YOU can count on Mitsubishi to provide a 4×4 double cab pick-up that’ll suit the most diverse range of customers, and the newly reworked Trojan L200 is exactly that. It fits neatly between the 4Life and the more fashionable Warrior and Barbarian versions and the nigh on impractical Walkinshaw model.
Launched in 2006 the current L200 is a familiar sight but the specification levels of all the different versions can be confusing. All are inherently the same distinctive shape with the bodywork affixed to a ladder chassis with wishbone and coil spring suspension to the front and the familiar leaf springs on the rear. All exhibit the same Shogun derived front end and a commodious double cab that boasts the usual airbags, safety bars and wide opening doors.
Likewise both short and long load beds are an overt L200 trademark too, with the entire vehicle remaining the least bulky of all the 4×4 pick-ups, a distinct asset when off-road.
The Trojan was once the top of the range until more ornate models came into existence, and today comes with colour coded arches and 16in alloy rims along with various chromed embellishments including the grille, light surrounds, folding wing mirrors, door handles and badging. The whole comes together to produce a working truck that is visually as much at home on the farm as on the high street.
Only available in short wheelbase form, the Trojan still offers users a 1050kg load capacity in addition to 2700kg braked towing capabilities courtesy of the larger, more flexible 175bhp four-cylinder intercooled common rail turbodiesel engine – the 134bhp unit now being reserved for the more basic models. Add into this 295lb-ft of torque that kicks in exactly where it’s needed and the end result is a versatile working 4×4 that allows the user to tap into the available power when required.
It’s the cab’s interior that places the Trojan firmly in the crossover segment – the time proven layout being complemented by leather trim. And while the black hide adds significantly to the environment and overall comfort of the cab, it’s the tough, wipe clean plastic surfaces, simple controls and uncomplicated instrumentation that confirm the model’s working credentials.
The 16.5 gallon tank provides a 400 mile range combined with an average fuel consumption of 29.9mpg rising to an easily maintained 32mpg on a steady throttle even when hauling a light to medium load. The Trojan’s transmission remains one of its greatest assets. Five-speed manual only in Trojan form, the gears are well ratioed and positive in selection while the traction control system and what Mitsubishi calls its ‘Super Select 4WD’ allow the driver to slot easily between 2WD and 4×4 the instant one or the other is required.
A rear diff lock selector is fitted that in addition to a locking central diff gives the Trojan the facility of extra rear traction and lock-up, an invaluable advantage in difficult situations and a major plus point for those who have to venture into inhospitable territory.
On the road the Trojan is car-like to drive, the well-weighted power steering providing excellent feedback. It’s manoeuvrable, easy to drive and gives lively performance – which all go to show that this L200’s commercial underpinnings have been well disguised. Only the slight bounce generated by the rear suspension gives the game away but the ride improves once it’s loaded or when a canopy has been fitted. Off-road though is where the Trojan delivers. Mitsubishi has gone against current electronic trends and retained its manual transfer lever; the short, positive and easily activated shift being located next to the gear lever.
Even with road orientated Bridgestone Duelers fitted, the Trojan made light work of steep, deeply rutted, washed away tracks while the selection of low ratio significantly expanded the Trojan’s horizons. No matter how glutinous the surfaces became, neither of the locking diffs were required. Always one of the most capable working off-roaders, the Trojan continues the L200 tradition of being one of the most capable vehicles of its type both on- and off-road or with a load on its back. And while Mitsubishi claims that the new specification Trojan is the first of the ‘lifestyle’ models, a term that continually grates, it’s the Trojan’s genuine all round abilities that should see it gain both new and repeat sales.
If you can live without leather seats, the reason the Trojan as tested costs £19,324 plus VAT, then the Trojan becomes even better value at £17,999 + VAT. Irrespective of whichever L200 suits your needs, the one aspect you can rely on is that you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of one of the most respected and reliable working 4×4 pick-ups on the market. The Trojan is an ideal combination for those looking for an all-in-one workhorse with sensible domestic overtones.