THE L200 is not very practical for some things – the cut and thrust of city driving leaves it floundering like carp on the riverbank and it takes corners with the assuredness of a drunken ice skater.
And without a job that requires it to carry collie dogs, wheel-barrows or toolbags, the poor thing must feel destined for a life unfulfilled, built for a job it is never destined to do.
Fortunately, however (for the L200, not my sanity or bank balance), I’ve just moved house and the sulking Mitsubishi has sprung into life as it got to stretch its legs and prove what it can really do.
For one, I managed to pick the only day to move in during our double digit degree winter that anything remotely wintry occurred. It snowed.
The L200 normally runs in two-wheel drive, to the rear wheels, but select neutral, crank the lever next to the gearstick and four-wheel drive in either high or low ratio can be selected.
It didn’t need the full low range but while other vehicles were slithering about on the excuse for a track from my outgoing house, the L200 just dug in its big tyres and off we went.
The load area in the back isn’t huge but it is alloy lined, which means it is hardwearing and very useful for my numerous trips to the local ‘Household Waste Recycling Centre’ – or ‘tip’ in old money. The £377 this metal lining costs is well worth it – it’s harder than a Glaswegian bouncer and still looks remarkably pristine.
But the beauty of the L200, in the admittedly expensive form we are running, is that while the snow patters down, the rear is full of waste and rubble, boxes and metal, you sit in a nice warm, comfortable cabin, oblivious to the chaos outside.
The leather seats are hardwearing, the heater is stronger than a workman’s mug of tea and, with the weight of my domestic detritus in the back, the L200 actually handles a bit better. It feels a bit more planted and less choppy.
How I would have managed the move without the L200, I shudder to think. Unfortunately, I’ve relocated to a 1950s suburban street and in my new role as Jerry from The Good Life, the big, black Mitsubishi has gone back to being something of a vehicle without portfolio. So if anyone needs any sheep lambing, or building work done, I’m available at weekends.
Price: £21,226 (£23,770 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 252
Company car tax bill (2007) 22% tax-payer: £9 per month
Combined mpg: 29.7
Test mpg: 27.8
CAP Monitor RV: £7,875/44%
Contract hire rate N/A
Expenditure: £756 (power kit)
- Figures based on three years/60,000 miles