Mitsubishi Shogun

LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG5

Auto

Mitsubishi Shogun, front
Mitsubishi Shogun, front
Mitsubishi Shogun, front
Mitsubishi Shogun, side
Mitsubishi Shogun, rear
Mitsubishi Shogun, rear

WHEN it comes to full-fat off-road all-wheel drive behemoths, few are as big and striking as the Mitsubishi Shogun.

Once one of the kings of the off-roaders, it now has many sophisticated rivals, but the big beast is still a striking presence with plenty to offer.

The 2016 model is the best looking version so far, stylish but still muscular looking, with its large front grille and familiar Mitsubishi three-diamond logo.

It features 18-inch alloy wheels, HID headlamps, LED daytime running, flared wheel arches and the familiar rear-mounted spare wheel.

It is one of the few cars in its class to still offer a choice of either three-door short wheelbase or five-door long-wheelbase versions.

Competitively priced in its segment, it comes with plenty of kit as standard, including, active stability and traction control, alarm and keyless entry, climate control, twin/side/curtain airbags, ABS & EBD, roof rails, fog lamps, electric windows and door mirrors.

This range topper had all the bells and whistles of high-tech and comfort equipment at a price of just over £42,000, substantially cheaper than many rivals in its class.

The muscular profile of the exterior is mirrored inside the cabin with robust controls and switchgear which are easy to use, if now looking slightly dated.

Dominant is the the infotainment screen which shows vehicle operating status information and sits at the top of the console, with the audio controls below and the climate control panel with at the bottom.

There is standard six-speaker stereo system with Bluetooth and a USB, while this range topper offered heated leather seats, sat nav, rear parking camera and a premium Rockford Fosgate 12-speaker sound system.

The cabin also features LED lighting in the ceiling, front footwells and rear compartment. As you would expect, head and legroom is impressive while the five main seats are comfortable and supportive.

The interior finish is a mixture of dark, harsh plastics, disappointing on a car of this price, with some soft touch finish and leather trim and chrome togive a more luxury feel.

Finding a compromise between genuine hard-core off-roading, which the Shogun is more than capable of, and good road manners for day-to-day use is difficult to balance, as the rise of so many so-called 'soft roaders' can testify.

But if you want big, bold and powerful, the Shogun fits the bill. It's clear who the firm is aiming at.

As Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: "Yes, there are newer competitors, but they are a lot more expensive. If you want a vehicle that will fit your whole family, tow a horsebox and go across muddy fields, there isn't anything better than Shogun."

The latest models all feature with a revised Euro 6-compliant 187bhp 3.2-litre turbo diesel engine, with a 56 per cent reduction in NOx emissions.

It has bags of torque and offers a braked towing capability of 3,000kg or 3,500kg depending on three or five door variant. The 0-60mph sprint takes around 11 seconds with a top speed of 112mph.

Economical? No, but the claimed 30.2mpg for once seemed pretty near the mark in real time driving.

But there's plenty there to pull both for urban and motorway driving, not to mention when towing a trailer across a muddy field, or tackling seriously rough terrain.

The five-speed automatic gearbox is supplemented by another manual gear selector lever, which allows you to select four-wheel drive in both high and low ratio for the really rough stuff.

It is a practical motor, with the five-door version featuring Mitsubishi's ‘Fold2Hide' third row of seats, complete with head rests, which lie beneath the floor of the boot.They simply fold out from the boot floor to create a third row of seats and turn the Shogun into a seven-seater as and when needed.

The rearmost pair are really only suitable for children or small adults, however, the rear floor height provides 860mm of headroom in the third row of seats - providing almost as much head and shoulder space as the first and second rows.

It is superb off road, but less comfortable on normal roads. The engine pulls well enough, but occupants will hear plenty of road noise from the large tyres and wind noise around the large door mirrors.

The initial diesel clatter, quickly eases off while under way and there is plenty of torque for overtaking, particularly on the motorway.

It feels distinctly wallowy on corners, but again, this is no sports vehicle, so pin-sharp handling is not a priority for buyers of this type of motor.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi Shogun LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG5 Auto

Price: £41,239

Mechanical: 187bhp, 3,200cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 5-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 30.4

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 245g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 5yrs/62,000 miles

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