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Car group tests

Toyota Hilux vs Mitsubishi L200

Toyota’s new Hilux blends hard work with SUV-like appeal, but can it compete with the class-leading Mitsubishi L200?

Pick-ups need to be practical. That’s a given if you’re looking for a working vehicle, but today, these versatile load-luggers no longer demand compromises in terms of refinement and comfort.

There’s a new crop of trucks emerging that aims to combine the usability this sector has always been known for with more SUV-like driving dynamics and upmarket interiors featuring tech that wouldn’t be out of place in a premium crossover.

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• Best pick-ups on sale right now

The latest is Toyota’s new Hilux. The famous nameplate needs no introduction, as the Hilux has been providing tradesmen with dependable transport since 1968 when the original launched. Over that time the Hilux has evolved, and this Mk8 model is more sophisticated than ever.

But if it wants to take class honours, the newcomer will have to beat the Mitsubishi L200, crowned Best Pick-up for the second year on the trot at our recent New Car Awards.

The L200 sets the standard for road manners, versatility and efficiency at an affordable price, so the Toyota has got big working boots to fill if it wants to take on the mantle as the sector’s finest.

Head-to-head

Numbers game

If you’re in the market for a pick-up, your decision might come down to the cost of ownership. Factoring in the purchase price, depreciation, fuel, road tax, servicing and insurance for three years, the L200 works out the cheaper model to run by £407. Its advantage will be enhanced if plans to tax trucks based on CO2 emissions go ahead.

Refinement

What the L200 loses in practicality, it definitely makes up for in the way it drives. It’s more settled, the auto box is better and the more powerful engine is also quieter. This means the Mitsubishi is the easier pick-up to live with if you’re working behind the wheel a lot.

Load luggers

Toyota has addressed the old Hilux’s major flaw by offering 13cm more width across the load bay than before, along with an improved towing limit. The truck is more usable than ever, but is still only a slight step up, and can’t quite compete with rivals. 

Verdict

First place: Mitsubishi L200

Thanks to its broader breadth of ability, the L200 takes class honours yet again. It’s slightly down on the Hilux in terms of practicality, but this is easy to accept thanks to the level of standard kit on offer, lower running costs, superior performance and comfort on the road. Like the Hilux, we’d recommend saving even more money by going for the manual model. 

Second place: Toyota Hilux

Big improvements where it counts mean the Hilux is more competitive than ever, being able to carry and pull more weight than its predecessor. But it’s pricey and doesn’t feature as much equipment as the L200, plus it’s not as efficient and can’t match the Mitsubishi’s road manners. While it looks good, the deciding factor is that the Toyota will simply cost more to run.

Other options in this category...

Nissan Navara 2.3 dCi Tekna Auto

Nissan Navara NP300 2015

Price: £30,800Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl, 187bhp

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A more powerful engine and a 3,500kg towing limit make the Navara versatile, plus it has a keen price. But despite its sophisticated independent rear suspension layout, it’s still not as good to drive as the L200.

Isuzu D-Max 2.5 TD Blade Auto

Isuzu D-Max Fury front

Price: £33,342Engine: 2.5-litre 4cyl, 161bhp

At this price, the D-Max is an outside choice. While it’s not as swish inside as the latest pick-ups, its five-year/125,000-mile warranty is almost as strong as its 2.5-litre engine, which gives a useful 3,500kg towing capacity.

Figures

 Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab AutoToyota Hilux Double Cab Invincible Auto
On-the-road price/total as tested£30,238/£30,668£31,350/£32,645
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)£15,040£17,189
Depreciation£15,198£14,161
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£634/£1,268£634/£1,268
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,954/£3,256£1,998/£3,330
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost13/£805/J/£265TBC/£888/K/£290
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£720 (3yrs)£240/£390/£240
   
Length/wheelbase5,285/3,000mm5,330/3,085mm
Height/width1,780/1,815mm1,815/1,855mm
Engine4cyl in-line/2,442cc4cyl in-line/2,393cc
Peak power 178/3,500 bhp/rpm148/3,400 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 430/2,500 Nm/rpm400/1,600 Nm/rpm
Transmission 5-spd auto/4wd6-spd auto/4wd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel75 litres/full-size spare80 litres/full-size spare
Load bay (length/width/height) 1,470/1,470/475mm1,525/1,645/480mm
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,860/1,050/3,100kg2,095/1,045/3,200kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.8 metres/N/A11.8 metres/0.39Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery5yrs (62,500)/3yrs5yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers12,500 miles (1yr)/11310,000 miles (1yr)/181
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.31st/30th16th/4th
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/stars81/84/76/64/4N/A
   
0-60/30-70mph10.0/10.1 secs13.5/14.1 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 4.0/4.3 secs5.2 secs*
50-70mph in 5th/6th 7.4 secs/N/A8.7 secs*
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 109mph/2,200rpm106mph/1,800rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 54.2/33.8/10.2m57.2/39.3/10.3m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph74/52/60/71dB75/55/60/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range31.5/6.9/520 miles30.8/6.8/542 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined33.6/43.5/39.2mpg29.2/42.2/36.2mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined7.4/9.6/8.6mpl6.4/9.3/8.0mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket240/189g/km/34%246/204g/km/37%
   
Airbags/Isofix/parking sens/cameraSeven/yes/no/yesSeven/yes/no/yes
Automatic box/stab/cruise ctrl/AEB^Yes/yes/yes/noYes/yes/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsDual-zone/yes/yesDual-zone/£1,800/£750
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£430/yes/yes£545/LED/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yes£750/yes/yes/yes
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