Workhorse or lifestyle choice?
In Double Cab form this verges on SUV territory, with its option of four-wheel drive and low ratio. However, at heart itâ€™s a ute, a utility vehicle, and no amount of leather can fully disguise that. In your swanky SUV you canâ€™t carry a tonne of cargo, though.
The L200 can also tow another three tonnes behind it, so the workhorse moniker is well deserved. On faster, smoother roads, even when unladen the payoff for that load-lugging ability isnâ€™t too obvious, but take one unladen down a rough country road and your progress is interrupted by shakes, wheels leaving the ground, and thumps.
However, the actual handling isnâ€™t bad, nor is the steering, itâ€™s really just the compromise imposed on the design that causes the problems. The 2.4-litre engine pulls from low and is reasonably smooth but thereâ€™s quite a performance jump between the 151bhp base version and the 178bhp model. Off-road there really is some ability, with the driver able to select four-wheel drive and low ratio to crawl over rough terrain, such as building sites and engineering projects. Depending on spec, there is also the option of locking the centre or the rear diff.
Like in a proper off-road vehicle, the driver sits high in the cab with a good field of visibility. This is extended by large door mirrors, which is handy when reversing with a trailer (only higher trim levels have a reversing camera). Overall the cabin is fairly utilitarian, unless you go for higher Warrior or Barbarian models, but with utility comes hard-wearing materials and sensible design.
Kit levels are pretty low, but youâ€™re not really expecting Virtual Cockpit at this price level or this market. What you are looking for is space and practicality. Single Cab, Club Cab or Double Cab, there is adequate seating for the level chosen, and plenty of room in the front. There are also some stowage areas for the important paper and Thermos flask.
Naturally the load bed length is determined by whether you have, say, a Single Cab or Double Cab at the front, but in every configuration it can take over a tonne of payload. A Euro pallet can be accommodated on every model although, if you go for the 4Life version, you get tougher rear springs so it sinks less at the rear.
As a light commercial vehicle, company car tax and road tax are all very reasonable although fuel consumption is only average. This is a fairly simple vehicle so reliability is high and thereâ€™s also a five-year, 62,500-mile warranty.
If you were thinking about buying an L200 instead of an SUV then youâ€™d probably be looking at something like Titan or Warrior trim, the sort of level where youâ€™re getting nice alloys, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone air con and so on. But the lower 4Life and Titan trims do give very good value for money and would be worth a look.