Trojan is a powerful ally for pick-up enthusiasts
Mitsubishi's L200 pick-up series needs little in the way of introduction, having been around in one form or another for over 25 years.
This generation is no shrinking violet and Mitsubishi compound its macho look with a series of names that just sweat pure testosterone.
This version of the L200 marks the entry-level double cab in the L200 range, so it needs to be versatile to succeed. And powerful. Just as well then, that the latest Euro5 version has a bit more poke beneath the bonnet then.
The powerplant is the same 2.5-litre common-rail diesel unit that powers all L200 models. There are varying flavours of this engine but the one to have is the 175bhp unit – which is exactly what this Trojan model now gets, a unit with 30% more power than before and 27% more torque, 400Nm now being on offer. That means you're rarely found wanting for sheer lugging power, even when you have the bed stacked full. The Trojan doesn't boast one of those engines that has you wondering what sort of fuel to put in, the diesel catching with a rasp and settling into a distinctly blue-collar back chatter.
The independent double wishbone front suspension does a good job of filtering the worst jolts, but the heavy duty leaf springs at the back can bounce a little with an unloaded bed. You'll be glad of them when you have the vehicle groaning under the weight of a hefty consignment. Chassis rigidity has been greatly improved compared with previous generation L200 models, lessening vibration and boosting handling.
The Mitsubishi L200 doesn't look like many other pick-ups. Curves are not things we're used to seeing on macho pick-up trucks but the L200 is smothered in them. The front end, obviously Mitsubishi, is softened with rounded edges for grille and headlamps, plus oval recesses for the circular fog lights. The rear edge of the cab arcs down and around the vehicle's lower edge, while the compound curves of the tailgate and windows are a world away from more set square rivals.
Inside, the Trojan gets a similar Super Select full-time 4x4 set-up to that found in Mitsubishi's Shogun. It allows the L200 to be driven in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive mode on the road without the excessive wear and tear suffered by part-time systems as a result of transmission wind-up.
In slippery off-road situations, a further 4WD mode can be selected which maximises traction by locking the rear differential. Both of the systems are operated by the traditional lever sited alongside the gear stick. All of the Super Select L200 models feature the M-ASTC traction and stability control system as standard. You'll value that when accelerating hard on wet roads with nothing in the bed.
The L200 line up starts with the 4Work and 4Life models, with the Trojan slotting in beneath the Warrior, Barbarian and Walkinshaw models. I'm wondering what the late, famously irascible Mr Walkinshaw might have thought about being grouped in such company. A no-nonsense sort of guy, I should imagine he'd have been drawn to the practicality of the L200. The Trojan doesn't have a huge equipment list but you can expect to find an MP3-compatible CD stereo, climate control, electric windows all round, a multifunction trip computer, 16-inch alloy wheels, chromed outer door handles, a category one alarm, colour-coded wheel arch extensions and privacy glass.
Expect to pay around £18,000 for your L200 Trojan excluding the VAT, but you can add just over £400 (ex VAT) to that figure if you want metallic paint and just over £1,300 (ex VAT) if you want leather trim.
The L200 is narrower than most other UK market pick-ups which aids manoeuvrability and helps produce a tight turning circle. The downside is a slight reduction in interior space and carrying capacity. The double cab body style is the only one you can get in Trojan trim. This is a five-seater model with a decent amount of legroom for the rear passengers and seat backs angled at 25 degrees which make a change from the staunchly upright seating provision usually found in older double-cab pick-ups. There has to be a compromise for this extra passenger space and it comes in a modest 1,325mm load length.
This Mitsubishi L200 Trojan still offers a high-value package if you're looking for a tough, well specified go-anywhere pick-up. And if you need the occasional practicality of a pick-up but are set to use the rear seats a good deal more often, this Trojan more than makes a case for itself. It rides just about well enough to be a viable on-road alternative to a cheap SUV and there's just enough space in the back for adult passengers.