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Pick-up of the Year 2018: Mitsubishi L200

The Mitsubishi L200 is the 2018 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Ford Ranger and Mercedes X-Class commended

The Mitsubishi L200 is turning into the Mercedes S-Class of the pick-up category, because it wins for the fourth year running. No rival serves up the same balance of rugged versatility, kit and value.

Mitsubishi offers utilitarian single and Club-cab versions for the toughest jobs, but the double cab is the model of choice for business users who need a work vehicle during the week and family transport at the weekends. Go for a Warrior, Barbarian or the limited-run Barbarian SVP II version, and the kit you get for your cash means you’ll experience the trappings of a top-spec SUV, too.

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Under the bonnet is a strong 2.4-litre turbodiesel that allows the L200 to carry an impressive payload for a double-cab pick-up, at 1,050kg, while it’s also able to tow a 3.5-tonne trailer. Throw in Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD system, which allows the driver to switch between rear or four-wheel drive with the flick of a rotary controller, as well as low-range gears, and the L200 has more go-anywhere ability than most buyers are ever likely to need.

If you’re not maximising its carrying capacity, the L200 is reasonably refined for a pick-up. It works best when there’s a heavy load in the bed to help settle the ride, but the amount of bounce you experience from the rear end isn’t harsh enough to be off-putting when you’re driving it empty. This really is a pick-up truck that is worth considering over a conventional SUV, and if you add a load cover, it transforms the bed into a vast boot.

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The real attraction of pick-ups like the L200 is the favourable Benefit in Kind rates for which they qualify. As they are classed as light commercial vehicles, there’s a flat rate of tax to pay, and company car buyers at the wheel will face tax bills that are similar to a supermini rather than an SUV.

Our choice 

Mitsubishi L200 2.4 Double Cab Warrior manual (£31,026 incl VAT)

While the Barbarian model and SVP special edition get more kit, the Warrior is better value for money. It’s nearly as well equipped as a Barbarian, including leather, climate control and a rear-view camera, and offers the same practicality and driving ability. 

Commended

Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger - front

The Ranger offers something different in the pick-up truck class, with cabin quality lifted from Ford road cars. The latest SYNC 3 infotainment declutters the dash of buttons and is more user-friendly than ever. A potent five-cylinder diesel gives extra pulling power, although most buyers will be happy with the punch of the four-cylinder.

Mercedes X-Class

Mercedes X-Class review - front quarter

Mercedes has hit the bullseye with its first double-cab pick-up. Under the skin, the X-Class uses the Nissan Navara as its base, but it has been overhauled to deliver the cabin quality you’d expect from Mercedes, and it has the smoothest ride of any pick-up in the class. Yes, you pay for the privilege, but it’s worthwhile if you want Merc luxury in a utilitarian body.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2018

For complete, in-depth coverage of the 2018 New Car Awards, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now or click here to subscribe...

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