Mitsubishi Shogun SUV (2010 - ) review
Read the Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4 (2007 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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There’s no such thing as a discreet 4×4, but if there was one, the Mitsubishi Shogun would probably be as close as you’d get. While some editions of the Shogun look flash with lots of exterior detailing, the overall shape of this car is relatively subtle, with entry-level cars especially unobtrusive. That’s not to say the Shogun looks bland though, as it’s got some nice touches such as the rear spoiler, roof rails and body-coloured sculpting down the flanks. These add up to a car that’s attractive rather than flash.
This is good in some parts but not so good in others. Some of the materials used look and feel cheap, while the whole cabin has a rather functional feel to it. However, it all works very well, even if the ergonomics aren’t always spot on. There’s plenty of headroom and legroom for five, but more supportive seats wouldn’t go amiss. It also doesn’t help that the steering wheel is adjustable for height only, and it could really do with rake adjustment too thanks to the upright seating position.
This is another area that’s a mixed bag. There are two types of Shogun offered. One is the three-door short-wheelbase version and the other is the five-door long-wheelbase edition. While the former can carry just five people, the latter has seats for up to seven, thanks to a pair of chairs that pop up out of the boot floor. It’s a system that works well, but those extra seats don’t provide comfortable seating for two adults on a long journey and they almost eliminate the boot space altogether. If carrying capacity is a priority though, the five-door Shogun can pack away 1,790 litres with the middle row of seats folded forward and the third row stowed away. By contrast, if you fold the back seats forward in the three-door model, boot space is just 1,120 litres. That’s much the same as a Vauxhall Corsa can manage.
Ride and handling
With such a hefty weight and a high centre of gravity too, it’s no wonder the Shogun’s handling is nothing to write home about. High-profile tyres and steering that’s none too sharp mean this isn’t a car that you’re going to take on an early morning drive, just to savour the dynamics. There’s an upside to this though, and that’s a ride that’s not bad on-road, and extremely capable when green-laning. And there’s the rub – this is a car that is best off the road rather than on it, at least dynamically.
Mitsubishi offers just one engine in the Shogun. A 3.2-litre four-cylinder diesel unit that provides 352lb/ft of pulling power and 197bhp, it’s a muscular unit but it’s not especially refined. Whether you buy a three-door Shogun or a five-door model, there’s a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, each packing five speeds. The manual transmission is pleasant enough, but the relatively lazy nature of the 3.2-litre engine means the automatic gearbox is the perfect complement. So while it doesn’t endow the Shogun with a sporty drive, it does make it very relaxing to drive.
As soon as you’ve got a car this big, weight and aerodynamics take their toll. The need for a big engine also means fuel consumption is always going to be fairly heavy, which is why the Shogun’s official fuel consumption figure is 35.3mpg for the three-door car and just 33.2mpg for the five-door edition. In the real world you’re likely to get closer to 30mpg though, and if you do any towing it will be more like 20-30mpg.
Mitsubishi has traditionally excelled at producing cars which are dependable, and after decades of off-roader production, the company has shown that the Shogun is very reliable. If the car is taken off-road a lot it can suffer from worn brakes and suspension fairly quickly, but those need to be seen as consumables on a car that’s given a hard time.
The Shogun hasn’t been crash tested, but when a car is this size, the chances are it’s going to look after its occupants in a crash – if not those that it crashes into. The rather functional nature of the Shogun means it’s not got much more than the minimum of kit. Naturally there are anti-lock brakes, along with electronic brake force distribution, traction control and electronic stability programme. There are front and side airbags for those in the first row, plus curtain bags for front and rear seat occupants.
Mitsubishi has never been afraid to fill its cars with standard equipment, which is why all four trim options are generously equipped. Entry-level cars have Equippe badges, while those above have Warrior, then Elegance, with Diamond topping the range. The Equippe comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, air-con, remote central locking, electrically heated and adjustable mirrors, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, electric windows all round and a trip computer. Move up through the range and Mitsubishi adds such niceties as privacy glass, 20-inch alloys, a multi-media system, leather trim plus climate control.
Capable on the road as well as off it, the Shogun is also practical, well-equipped and spacious. And it looks good too, in a discreet kind of way.