Mitsubishi Shogun SG5
Mitsubishi‘s Shogun in its current guise has been with us for 9 years now, and that model can trace its roots back to 1999. It’s fair to say the Shogun’s been in need of an update for much of its recent past.
This, then is the updated Shogun. Not that different, you say? Well, no; it’s gained some spangly LED lights, a new spare wheel mount and a Land-Rover style bonnet script (reading SHOGUN, not LAND-ROVER, obviously – that’d just be silly), and that’s about it in the looks department.
Where the Shogun has been improved is under the bonnet; it’s still a common-rail, 3.2l diesel unit (probably the largest 4-cylinder engine in production according to Mitsubishi), and it’s quieter and cleaner than it was previously. That’s not to say it’s whisper-quiet, though – it’s not, and it’s still no tree-hugger either, despite Mitsubishi’s claims that the Shogun is ‘more economical than any other authentic 4×4 you can buy’. We averaged 16.9mpg combined, according to the ‘authentic 4×4’s’ own computer system.
What it lacks in refinement, though, it more than makes up for in sheer grunt. Ignore its paltry sounding 197bhp – that’s irrelevant, it’s 441Nm torque at a barely rotating 2000rpm that counts when it comes down to towing etc. Of which this LWB Shogun will manage 3500kgs, by the way.
Off road ability
What the Shogun is primarily all about is off-road prowess, and its short overhangs, huge suspension travel and ‘proper’ drivetrain with low ratio ‘box and locking differential back this up. The downside of this mud-plugging ability, however, is some pretty shoddy road manners; it rocks and wobbles on its springs and the steering is vague and slow to respond.
Where the Shogun also lets itself down is in terms of final finish. It essentially feels heavy and built-to-last but the interior is a mis-mash of various grades and colours of plastics, some of which are unsubtle blanks, filling gaps, and they all creak and groan as the dash flexes.
There’s other areas rather lacking in refinement, too. The bottom of the rear passenger doors appear to be lacking some trim, and a section of unpainted metal sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. Other parts of the seats etc also lack substance and aren’t becoming of a premium, authentic 4×4.
Thankfully, though, this is where the Shogun plays its trump card: it’s cheap. Ignoring this range-topping SG5 model and its £40K+ price tag, You can have a LWB Shogun, albeit with fewer bells and whistles for a very tempting £32K. So that’s a properly big, 7-seat SUV that’ll go pretty much anywhere and tow pretty much anything for £32K, and it still looks sharp enough, just.
It’s quite clear where Mitsubishi’s money’s been spent in recent years, and they’re consequently reaping their Outlander PHEV shaped rewards. The Shogun’s days in its current guise must surely be numbered, but until a new model’s announced (and the inevitable price-hike that goes with it) it’s cheap enough and it shouldn’t let you down.
By Ben Harrington
Specifications; Mitsubishi Shogun LWB SG5, Engine – 3.2l four-cylinder diesel, Transmission – 5 speed auto, Layout – Front engine, 4WD, Power – 197bhp, Torque – 441Nm, Emissions – 224g/km CO2, Economy – 33.2mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 112 mph, Acceleration – 11.1s 0-62mph, Price – £40,299 OTR.
The Mitsubishi Shogun LWB is available now from £32,024, for full details go to; www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk