Mitsubishi Shogun

LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG3

Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, dynamic
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, front quarter
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, rear quarter
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, controls
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, detail
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, interior
Mitsubishi Shogun LWB, engine

WITH the crossover craze showing no sign of abating you can't move on our roads for the glut of trendy pseudo-SUVs.

People just can't get enough of these off-road lookalikes with their raised suspensions, chunky cladding and bulging, muscular panels.

Few of them, though, are actually 4x4s as the vast majority are unlikely ever to take on terrain any more challenging than a Tesco's car park.

The Mitsubishi Shogun on the other hand is the real deal - an old school off-roader that could get mum, dad and three kids safely to Everest base camp.

Grandma and granddad could even go too in this five-door long wheelbase model, because it also features a pop-up bench seat beneath the boot floor.

Being a bench rather than individual seats, it can't quite match an MPV for versatility, and moving the second row seats to gain access takes a bit of muscle, but how many MPVs will get your entire clan half way up a mountain?

The imposing dimensions, upright stance, and boxy, square-jawed shape are all traditional styling cues that underline its off-road credentials, while the rear-mounted spare wheel is a long-standing Shogun trademark.

The key to its rugged, go-anywhere capability is Mitsubishi's all-wheel control (AWC) and Super Select systems, which offer four driving modes.

Rear-wheel drive is fine for everyday driving and offers the best fuel economy while standard four-wheel drive makes light work of slippery wet conditions, packed snow, ice and light off-roading.

Selecting 4HLc mode locks up the centre differential to deliver power evenly through all four wheels to tackle softer snow, sand, dirt and the like and in 4LLc low-ratio mode the Shogun can effectively negotiate rocky or swampy conditions where extra traction is required.

To haul all this off-road gear and the Shogun's three-tonne frame you need some serious grunt - and that comes from a 3.2-litre diesel engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

It is, admittedly, pretty gruff and agricultural and far from rapid - but that's par for the course in these types of cars.

As is often the case with motors so heavily focused on off-road ability, you have to make some compromises on-road, and the Shogun is sluggish off the mark and can feel a little cumbersome - it's sheer size necessitating a sensible approach to avoid excessive body roll in bends and extra care when manoeuvring.

Once up and running, however, that big powerpack makes light work of motorway cruising - although at such speeds the angular frame means there'll be wind noise to add to the engine rumble.

To distract from this Mitsubishi has tried, with some success, to make the roomy cabin more premium feeling than utilitarian.

That pop-up rear seat is best left to the kids, but elsewhere the Shogun's generous dimensions mean there is genuine space for five adults to get comfortable and plenty of personal storage.

And although everything is solidly screwed together and feels very durable, materials are of a high quality - with my mid-range SG3 model getting leather upholstery.

It's hugely practical, with a cavernous 663-litre boot, rising to 1,790 litres in two-seat mode, and roof rails to easily add a storage box.

Equipment levels are also in premium territory, with all models getting active stability and traction control, alarm and keyless entry, climate control, alloy wheels, fog lamps and electric windows and door mirrors as standard.

Stepping up from entry-level to SG3 trim adds a colour touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, 12-speaker premium audio, DAB radio and rearview camera as well as a powered sunroof, automatic lights and wipers, powered and heated front seats and rear parking sensors.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi Shogun LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG3

Price: £35,299

Mechanical: 190ps, 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/62,500 miles

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