There are eight long and short wheelbase models with a few trim options but we tested the 3.2D in top spec which is arguably the most desirable and recognized.
It is as common in the country as the venerable Land Rover Defender, but its days are numbered, and for anyone who wants more comfort but does not want to sacrifice practicality then the Shogun LWB we tested is a very good rival and is more refined in many areas.
The big diesel four-cylinder engine comes from the old school and that’s not a bad thing as it is packed with pulling power for long hard journeys with or without a trailer.
Not quick to start it throbs into life and then settles down to a steady burble. You have a big spread of pulling power underfoot for whatever you encounter and the gear ratios keep it working to good effect but at some cost in fuel terms.
Changes are generally smooth unless you really floor it and then it can become a little jerky. There is a sport mode beside the auto selection and a second lever moves it from 2WD high to the workmanlike 4WD low if needed.
You have a workmanlike powertrain underfoot and hand and the Shogun rides high with very good ground clearance so you can tackle serious off-road conditions.
The long travel suspension means it does absorb shocks very well and the ride is quite good as a result except for a strong tendency to roll around corners on twisting roads.
That tall riding height contributes to excellent vision over hedges, normal cars and vans and you can judge situations very well to optimize the power and overtaking or need to slow down.
It does slow with great power and little effort underfoot on the brakes and the meaty sized handbrake will hold it on the steepest hill.
The turning circle is large and there is no getting away from that in urban situations, but the assistance is plentiful so you can twirl away at the wheel to negotiate a parking space.
A low waistline, big windows and good wipers, bright lights and a reversing camera with radar on the test car meant it could be very accurately placed on the road despite its size.
Secondary controls are mostly grouped on the wheel or column with big dials immediately infront of the driver and very clearly marked while a display in the middle of the upper fascia did suffer from reflections and was not so easy to read.
Heating and ventilation had big controls, worked very well and really pushed the desired air through the big cabin. There are powered windows all round and a big sunroof is standard on the SG4.
The Shogun’s size is really appreciated with excellent access into the front or back, there’s lots of room and the seats are comfortable so combined with the suspension long journeys are enjoyable. SG4 spec includes rear entertainment system to keep the youngsters happy – and a few adults too! The boot takes 663 litres with the back seats in place but can be increased to 1790 when they are folded. The loadbed is above knee-height and flat with a side hinged door for access and it carries the full-sized spare wheel.
The big Shogun is not a rapid on road performer but a slogger. Its weight and power are really intended for the long haul and we averaged about 28mpg but at times saw it dip below 20mpg and other times head into the upper 30s. It was highly variable. A sixth ratio would considerably help.
Most of the time it was quiet unless you pushed for power, but the abundance of plastic trim led to a few rattles and squeaks from different places, mostly in the fascia area.
The Mitsubishi Shogun LWB is not the most stylish off-roader but it is arguably the most practical at the price and it has a huge following among those who really value its virtues and unpretentious attributes. That means it also holds its value better than some more flashy four-by-fours and why it is such a familiar sight in the country and towns.
|Fast facts: Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2Di-DC SG4 Auto||Price: £37,489|
|Insurance group: 15A||Mechanical: 197hp 4cyl 3.2 litre, 5-sp auto|
|Max speed: 112mph||0-62mph: 11.1sec|
|Combined mpg: 28mpg||CO2 emissions: 224gkm|
|BIK rating: 38%||Warranty: 5yrs/ 62,500miles|