Pick-up truck mega test comparison

Do you think pick-ups are just farm or building site workhorses? Think again. Here, we choose the best of them from the UK’s eight main contenders...

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What Car? team
15 December 2017

Mercedes X-Class rear
Mercedes X-Class rear

Mercedes-Benz X-Class X250d 4Matic Progressive

List price inc VAT £36,612

List price ex VAT £30,510

It’s taken some time to get used to the sight of a Mercedes-Benz badge nestled among this line-up of rough and ready pick-up trucks. It’s the first of its kind from the brand, but it did have a bit of a head start, because it’s based on the Nissan Navara.

Inside, however, the X-Class looks and feels very different from the Navara. Its interior is the smartest-looking of the eight, with lots of chrome accents and plenty of stitched leather. The driving position is good, too, although it’s a shame that the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach.

The X-Class is one of the longest pick-ups here, resulting in impressive rear leg room, and its interior is among the widest. Head room isn’t great in the back compared with some of the others, but the X-Class doesn’t feel cramped, so you’ll be comfortable as a passenger on a long journey.

Mercedes X-Class interior

The long body means the X-Class has a long load bed as well, although it’s the shallowest. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, because it makes it easier to reach in over the top to access whatever is in the bed.

On the road, the X-Class isn’t quite such a cut above the rest. It’s the heaviest vehicle here, and while the 185bhp 2.3-litre diesel engine looks relatively powerful on paper next to most of the others, it doesn’t really feel that way when you’re behind the wheel. Acceleration is sedate rather than urgent, although there’s enough low-rev muscle to haul around heavy loads, and the engine is the most refined here. The automatic gearbox is slicker than all the rest, too.

The ride is relatively supple around town, but the X-Class is caught out by bigger road imperfections such as expansion joints and sleeping policemen. And although the steering has a nice weight to it once you’ve turned in to a corner, it’s actually very vague just off centre, making it tricky to place the X-Class accurately at higher speeds.

Specifications

Engine 4cyl, 2442cc, diesel

List price inc VAT £36,612

List price ex VAT £30,510

Power 185bhp @ 3750rpm

Torque 332lb ft @ 1500-2500rpm 

Gearbox 7-spd automatic

0-62mph 11.8sec

Top speed 109mph

Economy 35.8mpg

CO2 emissions 207g/km


Mitsubishi L200 rear

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian Double Cab

List price inc VAT £34,056

List price ex VAT £28,380

The Mitsubishi L200 and Fiat Fullback Cross are identical in most ways – a bit like Jedward. But before you skip over this pick-up, assuming there’s nothing new to say after reading about the Fullback, hold fire, because there are a few key differences.

For example, leg room in the rear isn’t quite as good as it is in the Fullback, because the thickly padded leather seats that you get with Barbarian trim take away a few extra millimetres of knee room for those in the rear. It’s only a minor difference, granted, but it’s not ideal when the rest of the interior is equally disappointing, due to low-rent plastics and a flawed driving position. 

Mitsubishi L200 interior

Things don’t get much better for the L200 when you look at the difference in performance between it and the Fullback, with the official figures showing that the L200 is significantly slower in the 0-62mph dash, even though they have the same engine and basic underpinnings. 

That said, the difference in pace doesn’t seem quite so dramatic in the real world, with both engines providing enough grunt to cope with towing. But there’s no denying that the L200 is slower than its Italian cousin.

Fortunately, the L200 is slightly more enjoyable to drive on the road, because its ride is a bit more supple. It’s still among the least comfortable pick-ups, but it isn’t quite as crashy as the Fullback over potholes and the like.

But perhaps the most important difference between the L200 and the Fullback Cross is the price. To lease, the L200 is an absolute bargain compared with the Fullback, although some options, such as parking sensors, are available only as expensive dealer-fit accessories on the L200. 

Specifications

Engine 4cyl, 2442cc, diesel

List price inc VAT £34,056

List price ex VAT £28,380

Power 177bhp @ 3500rpm

Torque 317lb ft @ 2500rpm 

Gearbox 5-spd automatic

0-62mph 11.8sec

Top speed 111mph

Economy 37.7mpg

CO2 emissions 196g/km

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