For over 35 years the Mitsubishi Shogun has gathering something of a cult following. Once upon a time it was considered THE go to 4×4 for anyone with an active lifestyle, capable of towing heavy loads, as well as heading further off road than many of its rivals, and without having to spend considerably more on a Land Rover.
But then a new crop of SUVs were launched, not only cars like the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 which offered higher levels of refinement and build quality, but also more affordable to run, and better on road manners. So how does the Shogun fair against the modern competition.
On the road
Where the Shogun really is at home is in the rough stuff, there’s a huge amount of pulling power, and the gearbox has high and low ratios for improved grip. You can also lock the diffs for more extreme off roading. It’s no wonder they’re such a hit with farmers.
On the road though it’s a very different story. It really lacks composure that you get from the best in class, the ride is fidgety and there’s lots of body lean through the bends. The steering doesn’t have much feel to it either, do it really doesn’t give you any confidence when it comes to tackling corners at pace.
The 187bhp 3.2-litre diesel engine, the only one available, has bags of pulling power, which is great for towing, but it’s not what you’d consider smooth. It’s very gruff, and the wind and road noise will irritate on longer journeys. Drive it with one eye on economy and you’ll average around 30 miles per gallon, which is considerably less than the best in class.
In the cabin
The cabin is a little dated when lined up alongside more modern competition, it’s fairly well laid out, but all the cabin materials just feel a little low rent. There is lots of equipment though, all versions get climate control, MP3 compatible radio – with CD player, and keyless entry. You’ll have to pay extra for things like reversing camera, leather seats, and rear air conditioning.
You won’t struggle to get a good driving position, the seat moves in all directions, however the steering wheel only moves up and down, not in and out. But all round visibility is excellent thanks to these large windows.
Space is also excellent for anyone in the front two rows, there’s loads of head and legroom. The two seats in the boot though are only occasional seats and best reserved for small children. They do fold into the floor though out of the way when not in use meaning a boot that boasts around 1120 litres of space with the middle row folded down.
The Shogun isn’t cheap, and like some of its main rivals, resale values aren’t what you’d call strong. With a fuel economy of a mid 30mpg figure, it’s thirsty and will be expensive to run as a company car. If you find yourself towing or regularly venturing off road, then it’s worth considering, but otherwise, there are much better and much more affordable options out there.