What is it?
Since the first-generation Shoguns arrived in the UK back in 1982, they have built up a 34-year reputation for being a tough but affordable vehicle with go-anywhere off-road capability. Available in both SWB (3 door), and LWB (5 door), they've won countless awards over the years for their on and off-road ability, and having never driven one, we at The Mud Life figured it was time to find out what all the fuss was about.
On the road
After driving an array of crossover SUV's for a month or so, it was nice to finally get my hands on a 'proper 4x4'. Driving into town for an errand I was suddenly reminded that I was actually driving something that could pull out tree stumps, the LWB Shogun is huge, and it feels like it too. The first thing I noticed, well second but I'll talk about the seatbelt later, was how agricultural the Shogun felt, and sounded. Driving around the pot-holed strewn streets of Bolton the ride was quite harsh, though I can probably assign fault on 2 factors, the first being the huge 20" rims and 265/50R20 tyres, for the second being that as mentioned, for the past couple of months I've been driving soft SUV's, so maybe I simply needed to man-up!.
Having said all of that, once on the motorway and cruising at 70mph, the shogun becomes a whole different beast; it's smooth, it's quiet and according to its on-board computer, we were averaging 26.5mpg. The 3 hour and 165 mile drive to Newcastle Airport was a joy, and it was also great fun on long winding country roads, though the wheel and tyre set up tried their best to soak up the imperfections in the road, but they couldn’t.
Off the road
Well, what can I say, the Shogun went everywhere, and if had been shod with better all-terrain tyres, it would gone even further! It was nice to have a proper Hi and Low box for a change and off-road is where the Shogun came into its own. On the way back from the aforementioned Newcastle trip I decided on a slight detour along a beautiful Cumbrian green lane called The Old Coach Road, and it didn't even break into a sweat.
A little closer to home I ventured a long a local lane to try out its flexibility, it didn't do too badly as you can see, but these days there isn't a need for decent articulation when you have electronic wizardry.
Jumping straight from Mitsubishi’s Outlander into the Shogun, the first thing I notice was the proper 4x4 driving position, you’re sat high looking down at the bonnet, this is where I like to be. Although the interior has had some negative reviews, personally I liked it, though for such a big car I thought the driving position was rather cramped, but that’s something I got used to. I certainly got the impression that Mitsubishi built the shogun to last as everything feels tough, but what I couldn’t get used to was the seatbelt holder at the base of the seat that protruded into my upper thigh, it was annoying and painful. Having said that, I had the opportunity to sit in another Shogun at the CLA Show that had done significantly more miles and although it was similar it wasn't half as bad as this press car.
Moving to the back of the Shogun there's no surprises that you get a huge amount of space, and the extra 3rd row of seats are handy too.
Engines ‘n’ transmissions
Mitsubishi keep things simple with the Shogun, you get a 3.2 diesel and a choice of 5-speed manual or 5-speed auto gearboxes and the Super-Select 4 II 4wd system.
The 3-door SWB manual has a combined mpg of 36.2 compared to the auto which achieves 34.4mpg. The 5-door LWB manual achieves 34.9mpg with the auto not far behind at 33.2mpg.
Towing wise, it's 3,000kg for the shorty, and 3,500kg for the big'un.
On reflection, I only have 2 things to rant about regarding the Shogun, the first was the seat belt holder that stuck into my thigh, and the other is the Sat-Nav that didn't recognise that Newcastle Airport existed, so I ended up using the Navigon system on my iPhone. Other than that it was great fun to get behind the wheel of a proper 4x4, as there aren't many left.
After 3 weeks with the ASX and 2 Outlanders, the Shogun was welcomed, it was a bit agricultural, but as I've said, the Shogun is a proper, no-nonsense off-roader, and it shouldn't have to make any apologies. On reflection, I suppose it should be thought of as an up-market Defender 110, and that's a compliment!