If you’re marketing a macho vehicle you have to come up with an appropriate name – and names don’t come much tougher than Barbarian.
Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian?
Well just like Arnie, the trendy, top-of-the-range version of Mitsubishi’s latest L200 pick-up is big, muscular and packs plenty of punch.
Unlike Conan, however, the Mitsubishi Barbarian has a softer side – when you get inside.
For while this is designed as a tough, go anywhere working vehicle – as well as being ideal for anyone whose hobbies include water sports or ridding – the Japanese manufacturer realised that many owners will still use it as family transport and want all the comforts that are normally associated with high spec hatchbacks.
That means generous room for three in the rear, full leather upholstery with supremely comfortable memory foam heated seats, satellite navigation, dual zone climate control, cruise control, LED mood lighting and even puddle lights to illuminate the exterior floor area around the doors.
There’s also a lane departure warning system and a pin sharp rear view camera for reversing. And with a vehicle that’s almost 17.5ft long it’s a feature that you will definitely be grateful for. The luxury features on this, the fifth generation L200, are one of the reasons Mitsubishi is confident that this SUV will stay ahead of the competition.
Get behind the wheel and you feel as if you are driving a giant Tonka toy but, surprisingly, it’s very car like with sharp handling and a comfortable ride.
Because it’s far from a lightweight the Barbarian feels a little sluggish off the mark but as you nip through the gears it livens up and has a very respectable 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time of just 10.4 seconds, quicker than many a high spec saloon.
Surprisingly this is one SUV which is very quiet, so you won’t get any complaints from passengers.
And when the going gets tough the Barbarian can handle it. With a name like that would you expect anything less?
In normal operation it uses two-wheel-drive to conserve fuel, but when it comes to the rough stuff you can simply turn a dial near the gear shift to engage any one of three different levels of four-wheel-drive.
And for good measure there is hill start assist to ensure you don’t roll backwards on steep inclines. Just as valuable on-road as off-road.
Despite its name the Barbarian is less bulky than most of its competitors and far more agile which makes it a more appealing vehicle for anyone swapping from a more conventional car.
One thing’s for sure. With all that space – the loadbed is 4ft 10ins square and 18 inches deep – you will never have any problems with the family’s holiday luggage. Just make sure you order one with the optional lockable load cover.
Model: Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
Price: £23,799 (ex VAT)
Mechanical: 4 cyl, 2,442cc 178 bhp diesel engine driving all wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 111 mph
0-62mph: 10.4 secs
Combined mpg: 42.8
CO2 emissions: 173 g/km
Warranty: Five years/62,500 miles