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Mitsubishi L200 Sportero: The Stylish Workhorse

Sportero8People around the world are obsessed with pickup trucks, a trend some people have difficulty coming to terms with. These fuel guzzling mammoths of a machine aren’t the most nimble on their feet, they’re not the best corner carvers, nor are they renowned for being speed demons. That leaves very little room for justification of the fandom. That is, until you consider the sheer power, functionality and utility these machines possess.

Luxury pickups are a great mixture of commercial vehicle versatility and passenger car comfort. Of course, fuel consumption and parking issues do appear to be set backs but let’s overlook that for a moment. Remember that these machines have amazing ground clearance, the ability to power through practically any terrain and unparalleled towing capacities. Now factor in the reality that Nepal is a country rampant with terrains unfathomable to the normal four wheelers, owning a machine that provides the prowess of an off-road machine as well as the luxury of a comfortable cabin seems like a very enjoyable proposition.Sportero10

Now that’s the logic of it. When we got a chance to test drive the Mitsubishi L200 Sportero, the only thing we had in mind was the opportunity to unleash the 2.5 liter diesel engine onto some challenging off-road terrain. Eager to test out the promising benchmarks the Japanese moniker is renowned for, we took the pickup for a spin.Sportero1

EXTERIOR

Right off the bat, you can see that the Mitsubishi L200 Sportero is a massive vehicle. Extending to a mighty 5120mm in length the robust size plays the major role in the road presence the pickup commands.Sportero5

Inspired by the Paris-Dakar-Rally-winning Pajero Evolution the front end is rounded with large headlights and a prominent three-pointed Mitsubishi logo on the nose.

The back end is mainly taken up by a considerably large carriage space that has a payload allowance of 1120kgs.AL-v-4-i-2-Tata-Zest-227

INTERIOR

Because it is so high off the ground, people on the shorter side of the height scale have trouble clambering into the pickup. However, once inside, the more than accommodating cabin space will appear to be huge. It can comfortably seat up to 5 very large occupants without any problem.Sportero12

The L200 was built for functionality, and can be a proper workhorse when put to the task. However, the interior styling doesn’t give too much away. Equipped with a sporty steering wheel, the center of the dashboard features three prominent knobs to control the air conditioning. Below that is a pretty standard audio system. The center console display is well lit and displayed the outside temperature along with a number of other information. Air vents on either side of the console work well with the overall design of the dash.Sportero13

There are two cup holders in the front, a sizeable glove box compartment and another compartment above the rear view mirror where you can stow away your sunglasses or driving glasses.

PERFORMANCE

The Mitsubishi L200 Sportero is a very good pickup, but if you’re looking for something that drives like a car, you’re looking in the wrong place. But as a pickup, it ticks all the right boxes. On pitched roads, the Mitsubishi L200 performs well. The 2.5-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine produces 134bhp, and bolts pretty avidly for a pickup. It isn’t blistering fast because it isn’t built to be, but it isn’t a slow poke by a long shot. It also has a towing capacity of 2700kgs.Sportero4

Maneuvering the big machine isn’t a daunting task and it responds well to the driver’s direction. It has the smallest turning radius in its class, which makes turning sharp corners and other tight maneuvers much easier tasks than expected. The driving position is also comfortable and high enough to give you a good vantage point of the road. The brake pedal is slightly on the softer side, which can be slightly unsteadying when you’re trying to bring 1885kgs to a halt. But once you get the feel of it, you realize that it does the job.Sportero3

The carriage at the back is very large and is there to be loaded with a lot of weight. And to withstand the added weight, the rear has an old fashioned leaf spring suspension. But with an empty carriage and stiff springs, the ride can be slightly rattling. There is also a considerable amount of body roll.Sportero11

Once it sets foot on dirt though, it instantly feels at home. The massive ground clearance of 200mm makes sure you don’t have to worry about a thing. Point the L200 at an off-road stretch you feel can’t be conquered and it will prove you wrong. The 4WD is ready for action at a blink of an eye when things seem a tad too difficult. If you’re looking for some serious off road experience, the low range 4WD option is at your disposal.

VERDICT

The Mitsubishi L200 is the most popular in its segment in UK, taking up almost a third of their market, which says a lot about its popularity. The Sportero is styled well and comes very close to giving you an SUV experience. However, at its heart, it is a commercial machine, a workhorse with functionality as its prime focus.Sportero9

It makes easy work of off road terrain and has enough payload and towing capacity for any situation one can face. It will get you where you need to go and judging by the reputation of Mitsubishi, reliability should also be a strong point. So, for adventurous overland travelers, the L200 is a very good choice because the machine wants to work rather than go out on leisurely drives. It can also fare very well when used for commercial purposes.Sportero2

A sensible and practical purchase for people who will plan on using it for the right reasons, the price tag is not shocking. As it is in most cases, chances are that purchasing this machine won’t be purpose focused. Luckily, it is also designed and styled to please the style conscious buyer. The performance of the machine is also capable of satisfying those who crave an SUV experience (to some extent), so it definitely helps kill two birds with one stone.

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