The Mitsubishi Shogun is one of the last of its kind. An ageing off-roader that has served with distinction many motorists and country dwellers who needed a true four-wheel drive automotive leviathan.
It is huge. It has not changed for years. The Mitsubishi Shogun eschews trends and shrugs off swooping modern design; it remaining at heart a workhorse. It has all the aerodynamics of 1½ house bricks and is powered by a gruff 3.2L four-cylinder engine with 197bhp and a chunky 325lb/ft (441Nm) of torque.
Why It Still Has Something To Offer
If the occasion arose whereby you needed to drive yourself, your family, a big dog, a full-size grandfather clock and your actual grandmother up the side of Mont Blanc in a storm this is the vehicle you would need. In terms of off-road ability it is up there with the best from the likes of Land Rover. It is robust yet simply engineered with a full compliment of high and low range gears and lockable diffs.
Driving The Mitsubishi Shogun
On the road, it has a modicum of pace and will cruise at high speed all day. The diesel engine, gravelly at first, settles down to a quiet hum when on the go although there is a fair bit of wind noise from the big wing mirrors. The five speed gearbox shifts smoothly enough but is crying out for another ratio. If the going really does get tough the auto ‘box has a manual option but for the most part it remained unused.
On a long drive around a tortuous country route in poor conditions, the Mitsubishi Shogun surprisingly excelled. We were able to maintain a consistently high pace through the twists and turns and, for such a behemoth, body control wasn’t bad at all. Sure, there’s a bit of sway but it’s a big motor.
This SUV just eats up the miles. Despite the fact that the rather thirsty diesel engine is dated and thus not terribly economical (we saw an indicated 24mpg although the car was being put through a good workout) or indeed ecological, Mitsubishi have at least been able to lower the CO² emissions a bit down to 245g/km on this featured range-topping five-door model – so there’s that.
Inside The Mitsubishi Shogun
Passengers sit high and mighty in this car looking down on other road users. An interesting factoid that make itself apparent was that there exist other people who feel the same way. Clearly this large SUV is never going to be a volume seller but we began to notice them about. Users appreciate that this big motor can go anywhere and do anything.
There’s a lever that sets the drive; 2WD on the rear wheels, 4WD and high and low range which are variable. There’s a graphic to show the set up in the dash, if in doubt. Don’t expect the very latest in fancy dashboard frippery here; it is solid, functional and useable and offers (on the tested version) a decent sat nav, Bluetooth and all the usual technology suspects plus a sprinkling of accessory sockets. The boot is a cavern of usefulness and the seats fold and adjust to suit with electric adjustment at the front.
The test car’s seats were nice and leathery and crucially very comfortable. We can attest that children love to clamber up in the spacious rear seats. There’s plenty of room. The interior is nicely finished and robust with decent floor mats and a proper handbrake in the correct position.
We honestly and truthfully did not want to give this car back. It is just so versatile.
Additionally to other new models, in 2018 Mitsubishi are re-introducing to the UK the seven-seat Shogun Sport with the latest styling and which will be powered by a lightweight 2.4L diesel engine, producing 180hp and maximum torque of 430Nm at only 2,500rpm, mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission and driving through the Super Select II all-wheel drive system. The standard specification also includes such features as Hill Descent Control, Trailer Start Assist, Hill Start Assist, and a dedicated off-road mode, which will allow a choice of driving modes that can be selected to suit differing types of terrain.
This doesn’t mean the end of the iconic Shogun as we know it. It lives and will continue to do so through 2018 and beyond when it is possible we will see a hybrid version.
If you need a big family-sized off-roader that can deal with the muddy stuff while being perfectly usable on the black top then look no further. The featured range-topper costs the thick end of £40k but there are less expensive variants. The Mitsubishi Shogun would make a fine used car buy too. High recommended.
Article by Geoff Maxted