Long term report: Mitsubishi L200
And so I manged to snaffle the keys to the imposing L200 Barbarian. Was I worried? Did it hold any fears for me? Well, I normally drive a Honda 1.4 Civic, so what do you think? Yes, some. But over the hundreds of miles, we got to know each other's idiosyncrasies and I like to think a mutual respect developed.
Oh, all right then, yes I know, it's a massive lump of metal . . . I had to respect the Barbarian; this wasn't going to be a two-way thing.
But it didn't take long to feel confident in the driving seat. Plus I can't remember my wheels ever being called 'cool' before by that difficult-to-impress demographic – kids. But that's what happened when I was with friends one day and their offspring caught sight of the Barbarian.
This pick-up truck wasn't designed with long journeys and just an overnight bag in mind, more your local hops by builders, landscape gardeners and the like, with the tools and detritus of their trade. But on those motorway hauls the L200 handled well and was comfortable, even if the fuel consumption brought something of a tear to the eye. The infotainment system was a boon, too, especially as it proved fairly intuitive.
One major niggle: the gears. Oh boy, did we fall out! All would be fine, then every now and again I'd find myself slipping into second instead of fourth or vice versa. Not cool. That aside, this is going to be a long-distance relationship that will, unlike others, stand the test of time.
Author: John Bowman
Model: Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab
Price: £28,798 (as tested)
Engine: 2.5-litre diesel
Power: 175bhp, 350Nm
Max speed: 109mph
Mileage this month: 1,205
This month's highlight
Not causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to other cars while manoeuvring