The Shogun has been around for a year or two, and Motoring Journalist KEITH WARD says Mitsubishi’s monstrous 4×4 is now much greener.
MAKE no mistake – this is a monster. In old money, more than 16 feet long, well over six feet tall and weighing in excess of a couple of tons. It looks hard, standing stocky and square, with a huge spare wheel slung on the side-hinged rear door.
Mitsubishi aim it unashamedly at “true off-road drivers” seeking proven all-wheel-drive ability, thus presumably dismissing tentative soft-roaders and those mums mounting the kerb to park nearest the school gates.
To take some ire out of the prevailing mood agin’ 4WD high street tractors, the Shogun has recently been given something of a green make-over. In relative terms, that is.
Thus CO2 emissions from the 3.2-litre turbo diesel automatic tested here are down by 20 per cent to 224 g/km and the official combined mpg figure up by 24 per cent to 33.2. This, despite an improvement of 18 per cent in both power and torque.
So, pitted against such heavyweights as the Toyota Landcruiser, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, VW Touareg, Land Rover Discovery 4, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder, the Shogun claims to equal or better them in terms of mpg, CO2 and towing strength.
The current eight-strong Shogun range covers bodies of three or five doors in a choice of four colours, four levels of trim and manual or automatic five-speed gearboxes mated to the same 3.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. Prices start at £26,499 for the short wheelbase, three-door Equippe Manual, rising to £37,999 for the long wheelbase, five-door Diamond Automatic.
Basic Equippe trim gives you automatic air con, six airbags, heated front seats, six-speaker sound system, roof rails and 18-inch alloys. It’s also kitted for life in the wild with electronic compass, barometer and altimeter.
Two steps up, our Elegance model stretched to leather seats, privacy glass, front fogs, bits of chrome exterior trim, air con to the rear cabin, powered sunroof, high intensity headlights and an ear-bashing 12-speaker, 860W sound system. A new touch-screen sat nav unit, inherited from the next-down Warrior spec, also runs to onscreen MP3 control, a rear parking camera and integrated Bluetooth hands-free telephony.
Top Diamond trim brings you 20-inch alloys and a headrest-mounted DVD system to entertain rear-seat passengers. All five-door models have a pair of third row seats which fold away completely into the floor.
On the road, the Shogun’s sheer bulk takes some getting used to after normal steeds. You haul yourself up into it via grab handles. Shorter people will jump down from it. A side-step, modern equivalent of a running board, extends only part way so rear passengers complained it threatened to be an ankle-twister.
The big diesel clatters tractor-like into life from cold, but by 70 miles an hour it has settled at just 2,000 rpm into what somebody described as the steady tick-tick of a sewing-machine. You can even – admit it – start to enjoy the sensation of sheer strength and power (and safety) of the Shogun.
The transmission: On-road, normal drive (2H) is in high ratio to the two rear wheels. In tricky conditions a second lever alongside the gearstick lets you select, at speeds of up to 60 mph, four-wheel drive (4H). Power is allocated front or rear to the wheels promising maximum grip. A further notch (4HLc) locks up a centre differential to fully engage all-round 4WD in such as soft snow. Off road, next position steps down through a transfer box to ultra-low gear, for severe conditions of rock or swamp off-road.
If you still shiver at memories of last year’s winter, the Shogun could be your saviour this time around.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
Model: Shogun LWB Elegance Auto
Body: Five-door; seven seats; large 4X4; long wheelbase
Engine: 3.2 litre; four-cylinder; turbo diesel; 5-speed auto; selectable 2/4WD
Power: 197 bhp @ 3,800 rpm; max torque 325 lb ft @ 2,000 rpm
Performance: 111 mph; 0-62 in 11.1 secs
MPG: On test 27.9; official combined 33.2; tank 69 litres
CO2: 224 g/km
Weight: Kerb 2,275 kg; max tow (braked) 3,500 kg; unbraked 750 kg
Insurance: Group 34A
Warranty: 3 years unlimited mileage with Europe-wide breakdown-recovery; 12 yrs anti-corrosion