As you will no doubt know by now, MotorMartin spent an enjoyable day with Nathaniel Motors http://www.nathanielcars.co.uk/new-cars/mitsubishi/ last week for a Mitsubishi driving experience, where one of the cars sampled was the incredible L200 Series 5 Warrior. See https://motormartin.com/2016/04/10/mitsubishi-l200-warrior/ where in Part 1 of this review I discussed the styling of this pickup and showed motor MotorMartin’s inaugural YouTube video. And so we find ourselves arriving at Part 2, where I shall be discussing the driving experience and giving my thoughts on the overall merits, as MotorMartin sees them, of the Warrior.
Climbing up into the cab of the L200 is a remarkable experience and one full of surprises. Imagine how Jack felt as he climbed the beanstalk, excited and nervous at the prospect of finding the golden egg. It’s a little like that, a mixture of trepidation and wonder as you step up onto the footplate, swing open the door and continue to climb up into the cabin. In this, the Warrior specification L200, a sumptuous interior awaits you. With electrically adjustable leather seats and steering wheel, it’s easy to get comfortable whilst marvelling at how familiar everything feels.
Perhaps it’s just MotorMartin, but I was expecting something far more utilitarian and workmanlike from the interior, rather than a class leading cabin length, containing an additional 20mm of legroom over the previous Series 4. The new, wider front seats, Mitsubishi tell us, have been ergonomically designed with deep cushions and large side bolsters as well as being heated in the Warrior specification and above.
Much like a high spec saloon, the L200 Warrior comes with rain and dusk sensors, a keyless operation system which includes an engine start/stop button, dual zone climate control, air conditioning, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter and, perhaps most impressively, a SD card satellite navigation/DAB radio with an HD 7″ touch-screen and steering wheel remote audio control. And let’s not forget the sophisticated 4 wheel drive system that is probably one of the main reasons for looking at the Warrior in the first place.
For people of a certain age, MotorMartin included, the simple addition of keyless entry and a start button are stuff of science fiction but here they are, in a pick up, in what was once just a commercial vehicle. It really does feel like you’ve arrived at the Giant’s Castle and have set eyes upon the fabled golden egg.
But what you really want to know about is the driving experience, is it easy or intimidating to drive, do the L200’s origins hold it back or allow you the freedom that a saloon or hatchback might not and finally, does it offer ‘real life’ value for money motoring with that extra something that MotorMartin looks for in a car.
Keeping the Mitsubishi’s key in your pocket as you locate and press the start button is certainly an unusual feeling the first few times that you do so but the sophistication of this method soon begins to feel normal and adds drama to the beginning of any journey.
Setting off is simplicity itself as the clutch, like most new cars these days provides feel and lightness in equal measure and combined with the positive gearshift all add to the feeling of normality for the driver. The view through the windscreen is outstanding. The additional height offered by the Mitsubishi allows for a commanding driving position meaning that visibility whilst driving is excellent and the ability to see over roadside flora and fauna is a definite bonus. Whilst following a Hillux on the M4 out of Bridgend I was able to roughly gauge that the Warrior, although substantial, was slightly lower on the road than the Toyota and appeared easily able to keep up.
Back to the M4 and it was clear that the revised in line 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC turbocharged diesel engine with its smooth torque delivery, winding up to an impressive 317 lb.ft. at just 2500rpm, is ideally suited to motorway work as the quiet, economical engine, purrs away in front of you. Move swiftly up through the gears into sixth and you’ll find the Warrior to be delivering close to Mitsubishi’s stated 42.8mpg, which, considering the large expanse of metal pushing itself through the air, is quite the result.
Delivering easily accessible power from around 1500rpm means that there is plenty available for overtaking or when loaded up which, when combined with the refined cabin, means that this is a vehicle that MotorMartin would absolutely be happy to travel significant distances within.
Off the motorway, the car like manners of the Warrior come more into play as you start to enjoy being able to push the Mitsubishi through the bends whilst the suspension allows for a rather surprising lack of body roll to spoil the fun whilst keeping you isolated from all but the most severe potholes and imperfections that litter our roads. Clearly, this is no sports car, but there is still fun to be had as long as you remain aware of the L200’s dimensions.
It’s not just MotorMartin who’s impressed with the Warrior’s roadholding ability as Mike Brewer clearly demonstrates in this short film from Mitsubishi’s own YouTube channel below:
Impressive views, I’m sure you’ll agree. In the time that MotorMartin had available with the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior Series 5, I was unable to test its off road manners but fortunately we are able to rely, once again, on Mike Brewer and Mitsubishi for the following demonstration:
Mitsubishi themselves are extremely proud of the improvements made to the Series 5 in the driving and handling departments and yet have not forgotten about safety as they shared with MotorMartin that: “The L200 was the very first pick-up to feature a traction control system. This active safety feature works alongside technical innovations like ABS with EBD (which adjusts the level of braking power applied between the front and rear wheels, depending upon the load), Brake Assist (power assistance for the pedal under emergency braking), an Emergency Stop signal system which automatically alerts other drivers to a hazardous situation, and Trailer Stability Assist for safer towing.”
Before continuing to say that, “Features like the Lane Departure Warning system, Hill Start Assist and the Bi-Xenon headlamps, depending on the model, also make the L200 both safer and easier to drive. But, should the worst happen and you come closer than is desirable to another solid object, you’ll find the L200’s ultra-tough body and multiple airbags a safe place to be.”
And you can’t say fairer than that.
Overall, in MotorMartin’s opinion, the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior Series 5 is a serious piece of kit. With prices starting at just £21,995 from Nathaniel Motors http://www.nathanielcars.co.uk/new-cars/mitsubishi/mitsubishi-l200/ 01656 339849, the L200 offers great value for money out there in ‘real life’ motoring situations and as such, MotorMartin has no hesitation in recommending this impressive pickup.
But back to Jack and his golden egg who we met earlier, what would he think? As someone into adventure and excitement as well as the more mundane travelling to and from the market. I think he’d do well to sell that egg and treat himself to a Warrior.
Where will you go?