Mitsubishi Shogun LWB Elegance Auto19 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    It may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but the Shogun's a great workhorse


    Like the Land Rover, the Mitsubishi Shogun seems to have been around for many years. In fact many of the early models are still around – a little bit worn and tattered at the edges perhaps but still giving sterling service down on the farm, at the boatyard or in the builders’ depot where they continue to put in a hard day’s work with barely a murmur of complaint. And that has always been the Shogun’s trump cars ... strength and ruggedness coupled with that most important asset of all, reliability. The early models were distinctly Japanese with questionable interior styling and an awful lot of plastic, but bags of guts.

    The latest model is light years away from those early days. It still has beefy pulling power and excellent off-road capability but the designers have put a lot of effort into making the interior a bit easier on the eye too. The standard level of equipment is amongst the most comprehensive in its class with sophisticated onboard computer which even gives your altitude and barometric pressure. It’s a big flexible vehicle which can do a vast variety of jobs and the price is still in a sensible range. So it’s got a lot going for it.

    The latest model is light years away from the early days

    On the road

    It’s not the fastest piece of kit on the road and with an automatic box it is decidedly slow off the mark, but you wouldn’t buy this to set speed records. Slow, deliberate and considered is how you might describe its acceleration but what counts with this machine is the power it puts down on the road. There’s a lot of it, whether you’re in two- or four-wheel drive, or high or low ratio. Power and torque are both up by 18% over the previous model and towing capacity is also increased by 200kg to 3500kg for braked trailers. At the same time economy has been improved to a claimed 33.2mpg (although I had difficulty averaging 30mpg over 1000 miles) and the emissions are down too.

    All of that is down to engine improvements, including a lower idling speed, a high efficiency alternator, new engine and differential oils, an enhanced differential ratio and a drop in ride height. The vast interior swallows luggage and in the week I had it, I managed to transport several large pieces of furniture and a pedal cycle, albeit with the rear seats folded. Offroad it is still just as capable and the traction controls from two- to four-wheel drive and high and low ratio gears are simple to operate. It’s a fine piece of machinery but there’s just a nagging feeling that everything’s been tweaked rather than re-thought and re-designed.

    Comfort & Safety

    Included in the high standard specification are many safety features including active stability and traction control, twin front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution. The Elegance, which I tested, came with a high-tech hard-drive navigation system, colour touch screen and premium quality Rockford Fosgate 12-speaker audio system. I tested the sat-nav against an off-the-shelf £200 Garmin unit and I think the Garmin was just that little bit better.

    Should I buy one?

    If you need off-road pulling power then this is certainly one to consider, but the Koreans are giving it a good run for the money.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £34,999 / £34,999
    Engine / Power: 3198cc / 197bhp
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 11.1secs, Max 111mph
    How big/heavy?: H1890mm  W1875mm  L4900mm / 2275kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 33.2mpg / CO2 224g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 34A / Band K, £245
    Alternatives: Kia Sorento; Hyundai Santa Fe; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Toyota Land Cruiser

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