Pick-Up Truck of the Year 2015: Mitsubishi L200

We always knew it would take something special to knock the VW Amarok off the top of this class, but even we were surprised at how impressive the new L200 is.

The Mitsubishi is now in its fifth generation, and this model adds car-like sophistication, driving dynamics and running costs to its predecessor’s long list of standard kit and attractive prices. It looks more upmarket, too, with flowing lines, distinctive LED running lights and a bold chrome grille.

Inside, you get a slickly designed and robustly constructed cabin that comfortably takes five adults. And with dual-zone climate control, touchscreen infotainment, lane-departure warning and powered, leather seats, it’s as cosseting as a posh SUV.

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Under the bonnet is an innovative, all-aluminium 2.4-litre diesel that pumps out 178bhp and a muscular 430Nm of torque. Paired with a surprisingly slick six-speed manual gearbox, the new unit delivers strong performance and refinement.

Head off the beaten track and the four-wheel-drive transmission can be engaged with a twist of a rotary control, while a low-range function allows the L200 to explore parts other trucks can’t reach.

Stick to the tarmac and you’ll discover quick, direct steering, limited body roll and a composed ride. And with claimed economy of 43.0mpg and CO2 emissions of 169g/km, the Mitsubishi is easy on the bottom line, too, while a combined carrying and towing capacity of 4.1 tonnes is the best for any pick-up.

Our choice

Warrior 2.4D (£23,049 ex VAT)

The mid-range Warrior effortlessly mixes the composed driving experience, classier looks and long kit list of an SUV with a keen price and low running costs. The punchy 178bhp 2.4-litre diesel is the L200’s only engine option, but it’s a quiet, frugal performer for such a large pick-up.

Commended

Ford Ranger

Distinctive looks, sharp, car-like handling and attractive pricing make the Ford a firm favourite in this class. It’s not the last word in mechanical sophistication, but the rugged Ranger is well up to the rough and tumble of working life, especially if you go for the big-capacity 3.2 TDCi diesel, while Wildtrak trim offers SUV levels of kit.

Volkswagen Amarok

After three years at the top, the versatile VW Amarok has been relegated to a runner’s-up spot. It’s still hard to beat for upmarket kerb appeal, while its interior blends desirability with utility. The VW isn’t cheap to buy, but it’s still the best truck for cutting a dash, and the 2.0 BiTDI twin turbodiesel delivers plenty of pulling power.

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