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Pick-up of the Year 2016: Mitsubishi L200

The Mitsubishi L200 is the 2016 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Ford Ranger and Nissan NP300 Navara commended

Despite challenges from new workhorses like the Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger, the Mitsubishi L200 retains its crown in 2016 as our Best Pick-up.

Its robust underpinnings will take just about anything you can throw at a working vehicle, but the Mitsubishi is more car-like to drive than its rivals, with superior refinement helping improve comfort.

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Yes, some of the switchgear looks dated, but there are plenty of car-like features to use, reinforcing the L200’s civilised feel. DAB radio, sat-nav, a rear-view camera, cruise control and keyless go are available, while seven airbags and lane departure warning give it strong safety credentials for a pick-up. Yet flexibility and carrying capacity are arguably more important for these working vehicles. The L200 stands up to the challenge with a maximum payload of 1,050kg and a towing limit of 3,100kg, making it a versatile truck.

The 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel model weighs only 1,860kg and delivers 178bhp and 430Nm of torque, so acceleration is decent – the L200 covers 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. But it’s the pulling power that counts, and even loaded up or with a trailer, the Mitsubishi’s performance isn’t dented much. The auto box makes towing easier, while the manual is a big step up over its predecessor. You feel less vibration through the lever, with a tighter and more positive action.

Mitsubishi L200 - front

Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4WD electronically controls the switch from rear to all-wheel drive, plus there are high and low-range gearbox settings. Low range gives the L200 even more load-lugging ability, plus this versatile workhorse is backed by a five-year warranty.

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Fresh looks mean it’s easier on the eye than many bulky rivals, while a narrower body than most trucks doesn’t affect passenger or load space, yet makes it easier to manoeuvre. The L200 is a jack of all trades, but it’s mastered one: being a brilliant pick-up.

Our choice 

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab (£28,559)

Impressive fuel economy of 42.8mpg and 173g/km CO2 emissions mean the L200 will be great for businesses, but with the level of equipment on the top-spec Barbarian model, it’s perfectly usable as family transport, too. Best of all, it’s cheaper than its main rivals. 

Commended

Ford Ranger

Features such as adaptive cruise control and Ford’s SYNC2 infotainment make the Ranger more civilised, while impressive carrying and towing capacity ensure that it hasn’t lost its focus as a dependable, practical vehicle. However, claimed 39.8mpg fuel economy means it falls just short of the Mitsubishi.

Nissan NP300 Navara

Nissan Navara long-term - front tracking

A new independent rear suspension layout has improved the new Navara’s ride, and a 187bhp twin-turbo engine delivers plenty of power. The gearbox isn’t quite on par with the L200’s, plus it feels much larger and more lethargic to drive. But lots of high-end features see it balance an SUV feel with the abilities of a pick-up.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016 

For complete, in-depth coverage of the New Car Awards 2016, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now or click here to subscribe...  

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