For decades, the Mitsubishi L300 has been a mover and shaker in the world of business. That's not because of it being revolutionary in any way shape or form though. It's the fact that it's long been one of the top choices (if not, the top choice) for businesses big and small for their logistics.
After being shelved for a while, the L300 is back with a new heart under those oh so familiar looks. However, there is a new challenger to the Mitsubishi, and that's the Isuzu Traviz.
Unlike the L300, the Traviz is a totally new design from bumper to bumper. While Isuzu is no stranger to the commercial vehicle market, it could be said that the Traviz is truly their first model to go up against the established Mitsubishi. So, who has the better specs among the two?
But just to shake things up a little bit more, let's include two challengers from South Korea while we're at it. These are the Hyundai H-100 and the Kia K2500.
Let battle commence.
The heart of a workhorse
These two may be facing the same tasks in the future but their engines couldn't be any more different. Yes, they're both diesels but that's where their similarities end. For starters, the Mitsubishi uses a 2.2-liter turbodiesel whereas the Isuzu has a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated mill. No surprises in guessing then that the Mitsubishi makes more power.
The L300 makes 99 PS and 200 Nm of torque, which should come handy when you need to start carrying loads. The Traviz on the other hand squeezes out 78 PS and 176.5 Nm of torque. Both shift via a five-speed manual transmission.
But the Hyundai and Kia handily trounce the Mitsubishi and Isuzu. Both are powered by a 2.5-liter turbodiesel mill but they put out 130 PS an 255 Nm of torque; a fair way ahead of the L300 and Traviz. Here's another thing that might sway you towards the two Korean UVs: they both pack a six-speed manual, which should with help fuel economy.
Yes, these haulers come in different shapes and sizes, thus giving them different length and widths. So, for the purpose of this spec check, we'll compare their lengths in cab and chassis configuration. A cab and chassis layout means it's only the driver and passenger shell (cab) that's attached to the frame with the rest of the body to be added later on.
But even without the rear body, the Traviz is longer than the L300 by quite some margin. The Isuzu measures 4,450 mm long while the Mitsubishi is at 4,260 mm long. The Traviz even comes with a long wheelbase option, bringing cab and chassis length to 4,460 mm.
However, it's the Hyundai and the Kia that have the bigger numbers yet again, with the Kia edging the Hyundai slightly in length (4,860 mm vs. 4,850 mm) and height (1,995 mm vs. 1,970 mm). All in all, the Kia is the biggest in its class.
Load 'em up
On to the business end of things, it's time to talk about payload. These things are built for heavy duty service and both can easily carry more than your average pickup truck, and that's no easy feat these days.
Again, it's the Isuzu that edges out the Mitsubishi, and that's despite the fact that the Traviz has less horsepower and torque than the L300. The Traviz can haul up to a whopping 1,660 kilograms, which is a lot more than the L300's 1,085 kg. So what this means is you can go faster in the L300 thanks to its turbodiesel engine, but the Traviz can carry more. Up to you then if you want speed or payload.
What makes the payload capacity of the Isuzu even more impressive is the fact that it an carry more than the H-100 and K2500. Despite having more powerful engines, the Hyundai and the Kia are a significant amount behind the Traviz at 1,335 kg and 1,000 kg respectively.
Configure your own
Both of them are available with a variety of optional rear bodies to suit the needs of a certain business. You have aluminum bodies, dropside pickups, people carriers, and more. If that's not enough, you can have it customized by any of the body manufacturers for specialized needs.
Prices will, of course, vary depending on what exactly you need from these vehicles. But if you must know, and we're certain that you do, both of them start over Php 800,000. The price leader here is the L300 which retails for Php 804,000 in cab and chassis configuration. If you want a body fitted to it from the factory, that's a extra Php 194,000, bringing it up to Php 998,000.
A few thousand more Pesos gets you the Kia K2500, which starts at Php 810,000 for the cab and chassis configuration. It's close between the Kia and the Mitsubishi when it comes to pricing and it's all up to you if you'd rather save or spend that Php 6,000 difference between them. In fact, they're the same price if they're fitted with a passenger carrying rear body at Php 998,000.
It's a big jump in price from the Kia to the Hyundai as the most basic model (cab and chassis) retails for Php 945,000. It doesn't even come with air-conditioning just yet and it's an additional Php 40,000 to get it fitted. That price goes all the way up to Php 1,230,000 if you need it with a shuttle body and air-conditioning.
As for the Traviz, it has the highest base price. The standard length model retails for Php 962,000 while the extended one starts at Php 992,000. Do note that the prices listed for the Traviz doesn't include the rear body and air-conditioning just yet, and you might have to spend another Php 100,000 (or more) to get those bolted on. All in all, you're looking to spend well over Php 1,000,000 for a fully equipped Traviz.
Which one to get?
Pitting the spec sheets of these four workhorses yielded interesting findings. The L300 has more power than the Traviz, but carries less than its prime opposition. The Hyundai and Kia have the most powerful engines, but neither can match the payload capacity of the Isuzu. Perhaps Isuzu is trying to say power isn't everything.
That's not to say that the Kia and Hyundai don't make decent haulers. They can both carry a ton at the very least and having a six-speed transmission should help lower fuel consumption and, for your business, operating costs for your fleet.
All four of them have tempting propositions. The L300 is the most affordable while the Kia offers solid value for its price. Both the Kia and Hyundai have the most power and most gears but the Isuzu trounces everyone in the hauling department.
Which one to get? Do you get the most affordable one or the one that can carry the most? That's all down to you, your budget, and the manner of your business.