Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP: U Got The Look

The Mitsubishi L200 Warrior was tested last year, a review that can be seen by clicking here and was a big hit up with praise being given for it’s go anywhere ability, rugged good looks and impressive specification. And then the opportunity to look at the L200 Barbarian SVP, the Warrior’s aggressively styled twin, arrived recently from Mitsubishi Motors UK which was surely too good an opportunity to turn down, especially as a closer look at the Barbarian SVP’s specifications showed some very exciting developments.

The SVP, Mitsubishi say, has been specifically built from the ground up, giving it a rugged new appearance with 17” bespoke black alloy wheels and BF Goodrich off-road tyres, aggressive oversized wheel arches, black detailing, special seat trims with embroidered Limited Edition vehicle number and a tailgate SVP badge, there’s also only 250 available from your local Mitsubishi dealer. Exclusivity sells after all.

There’s certainly no denying that this limited edition L200 looks absolutely superb. In the flesh the SVP looks even better than the accompanying photographs make out. The small yet significant detailing added by Mitsubishi gives the Barbarian a whole new look. Now let us not forget that last year’s L200 was no shrinking violet, having a presence on the road that few others can achieve, but this new edition moves things on even further and is even better because of it. Whether it’s the black 17″ alloys with their chunky and distinctive off-road tyres, the extended black wheel arches or the bespoke black grille, the overall impression is memorable and hints at the Mitsubishi’s go anywhere nature.

What you need with a pickup, any pickup is a USP, something that isn’t offered by the opposition, something unique and despite the plethora of similar vehicles appearing on the roads today and in my opinion the Mitsubishi is able to stand out from the crowd due to the sporting nature of the aforementioned grille and front styling. Black surrounds to the front fog lamps and front and rear lights offer something different and help to create a cohesive whole to the styling matching, as they do, the shark fin inspired side step design, black rear bumper step and those all important ‘SVP’ badge on the tailgate.

When it comes to equipment, the L200 is as well appointed as it is boldly styled including, as it does, a veritable who’s who of desirable options such as: HID Bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, LED daytime running lights, Super Select 4WD system, Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control, 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift, ABS with EBD, Hill Start Assist & Trailer Stability Assist and let’s not forget the LEDs in the rear flat bed and a soft opening tailgate. Superb.

Step aboard using the striking side steps and you can’t help but be impressed by the raised position and sight lines that the cabin affords you. It really is a step up from the norm. Inside is the kind of luxury you could rightly expect from far more executive style motors, a fact brought to home almost instantly when sinking into the comfortable heated and powered front driver’s seat with it’s premium ‘six-pack stitch’ leather seat trim and suede-look ‘Alston’ inserts. Reach forward to the leather steering wheel and the Mitsubishi’s paddle shift grabs the attention as does the Keyless operation system with engine start/stop button, Satellite navigation system with HD 7” touch-screen, DAB radio/CD player with 6 speakers, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone connection with music streaming and Cruise control. Additional useful features are definitely the reversing camera, for obvious reasons, rain and dusk sensors and the excellent lane departure warning. Overall, there’s more than enough present to make the driving of this Barbarian an experience to be enjoyed rather than endured and for a vehicle of the L200’s not inconsiderable size, the feeling you get behind the wheel is one of confidence, not just in your own capabilities but of the Mitsubishi’s as well.

The sense of occasion that the engine start/stop function delivers upon starting the in-line 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC, turbocharged 2442cc diesel engine is directly inverse to the size of the button itself and it’s an additional sense of theatre that you just don’t become bored of and sets the bar high in anticipation of your next drive. And when it’s all said and done, it’s the drive that is even more important in a vehicle such as this. Long gone are the days when a commercial vehicle was just that, something to use for work and work only and the L200 is perhaps the vehicle that has done the most to break this mould, arriving on these shores, as it did, way back in 1982 and having been continuously updated and improved ever since.

What’s great about the L200 has already been alluded too as it’s the very ease of driving that helps the Mitsubishi stand out from the crowd. Once used to the height and length of the pickup it drives just like any other vehicle that you might care to experience, the steering offering plenty of feedback through the wheel and suspension that, although not sporting, is more than capable of isolating you and your passengers from the worst that the roads of our green and pleasant lands have to offer.

Even more importantly, the Mitsubishi’s remarkably easy to use Super Select 4WD system offers you the security that 4WD offers in wet and slippery conditions whilst giving you the capability, Mitsubishi say, of climbing seemingly impossible angles with ease and that despite boasting one of the best approach angles in its class, the pick-up has an extended front overhang which prevents water from splashing up and impairing visibility, even when traversing water at relatively high speeds. Now you or indeed I, may never need to find out how well the Barbarian goes off road but if your work takes you off the beaten track then you’re going to want something that is more than capable of getting you back again and the Mitsubishi is certainly that vehicle.

Things that haven’t been mentioned yet?

A beauty of an engine that delivers 180 bhp @ 3500rpm, torque of 317 Ib/ft @ 2500rpm and a potential combined mpg of up to 39.8. The cabin carries the driver and up to four passengers in complete comfort, the stereo is impressive in it’s quality and unlike many these days, it also includes a hidden CD player behind the screen, the sill scuff plates look so cool with the Barbarian nomenclature lit up in blue as does the interior with it’s matching ambient blue lighting and let’s not forget the feeling of solidity and weight behind all of the buttons and controls.

Overall then, the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP takes all of the good points present in the Series 5 L200 and injects a serious amount of cool into the proceedings, it really is all things to all men/women offering style and attitude aplenty and managing to do so without forgetting that this pick up needs to potentially be both a works vehicle Monday to Friday and a family car at all times in between. The price? The L200 starts at £19,305 with the L200 Barbarian SVP now arriving at just £30,135. Excellent.

Where will you go?

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