MY colleague Trevor Gelken, from whom I have taken custody of our L200 Warrior, was beginning to warm to it after a month or two in its company.
I too was looking forward to trying my hand at truckin’ after the adventures on the launch in Turkey (Fleet NewsNet, February 16 2006), but was concerned that the machine that fared brilliantly at crossing mountain rivers might not be so suited to UK roads.
For one thing, the L200 is a sizeable beastie, but pumps out only 134bhp.
A rocketship it ain’t.
With that in mind, the first thing the L200 faced in my ownership was a trip back to Mitsubishi’s headquarters in Cirencester to be fitted with a power upgrade.
According to Mitsubishi, ‘additional electronic componentry’ was added to the engine management system in just an hour or so, remapping the engine to boost power to 160bhp.
The difference is not immediately noticeable. In fact, when I floored the accelerator for the first time, I couldn’t tell what had changed. But after a few days of chugging up and down motorways and weaving through the Lincolnshire countryside, a subtle improvement in mid-range oomph could be felt.
It’s still slow and lumbering, though, and with Mitsubishi asking for £696.86 for the upgrade, plus £60 fitting, I’m struggling to recommend it.
The arrival of August heralded a task for the Warrior that did not require impressive speed credentials. Glorious Goodwood was at hand and my racing-mad potential in-laws required transportation for themselves, my girlfriend and me, plus a monumental picnic.
It may have frustrated me day-to-day, with its lethargic acceleration and ridiculously wide steering rack, but for a family jaunt the L200 couldn’t be bettered.
The loadbed swallowed up table, chairs, lobster and wine without protest and the potential in-laws were more than comfortable in the back. Had they not spent the journey confidently predicting the winners of each race, they could even have watched a DVD on the roof-mounted player.
While other punters struggled to conquer the terrain of the parking field, the Warrior strode over all in its way, leaving us plenty of time to chow down before the horses hit the course.
The tailgate acted as a perfect bar to keep the drinks on and the acres of space meant easy access to anything we needed – none of the boot-ferreting that plagued adjacent picnickers.
The jockeys eventually did their thing and much fun was had by all. I’m not one to brag about betting talent but will merely point out that even the L200’s roomy interior struggled to cope with the vast piles of cash hauled back triumphantly from the bookies. I’m rather glad the DVD player stayed off now…
Price: £18,799 (£23,770 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 252)
Company car tax bill (2006) ) 22% tax-payer: £9 per month)
Insurance group: 9)
Combined mpg: 29.7)
Test mpg: 28)
CAP Monitor RV: £7,700 /43%)
Contract hire rate: N/A)
Expenditure to date: £756.86)
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles