Review

Mitsubishi Shogun SUV

Price  £26,889 - £37,489

Mitsubishi Shogun SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Virtually unstoppable off-road
  • Decent passenger and luggage space
  • Mitsubishi reputation for reliability
Cons
  • Unsophisticated to drive on the road
  • Excessive engine, wind and tyre noise
  • Hard, cheap-looking plastics inside

At a glance

The greenest
3.2 DI-D WARRIOR 3dr £30,059
The cheapest
3.2 DI-DC SG2 3dr £26,889
The fastest
3.2 DI-D WARRIOR 3dr £30,059
Top of the range
3.2 DI-DC SG4 Auto 5dr £37,489

"Rugged and dependable, the Mitsubishi Shogun is worth a look if you're seeking a tough 4x4 with excellent off-road ability."

The Mitsubishi Shogun remains a sturdy off-road 4x4 SUV, and while rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery 4 have moved upmarket to offer more luxury, they cost substantially more than the Mitsubishi. The Shogun has a reputation for being almost unstoppable off-road, and it's built up a loyal customer base that appreciates its dependability, strength and rugged looks.

But you pay for its simple design and off-road ability on the road, where the Shogun feels coarse and agricultural to drive compared to its more sophisticated rivals. There's lots of space inside, with seven seats in the SG4 long-wheelbase model, but the interior is solid and practical rather than luxurious and stylish, with lots of hard, shiny plastics used throughout. The Shogun comes in short and long-wheelbase form and there are five specification levels.

MPG, running costs & CO2

1.8 / 5

Expensive to tax and fill up

Be ready to empty your wallet when you take your Shogun to the petrol station. Even the most efficient model returns just 35mpg and emits a hefty 213g/km of CO2, meaning road tax will cost you £280 a year. The automatic gearbox drops economy to 33mpg, while road tax remains the same. Fixed-price servicing is offered on the Shogun, which should help to rein in running costs a bit.

Engines, drive & performance

1.5 / 5

Strong engine and go-anywhere ability

There’s only one engine available in the Shogun – a 197bhp 3.2-litre diesel that's powerful but noisy. Lots of vibrations make their way into the cabin and the engine sound never goes away completely. It's gutsy, however, accelerating the Shogun with little effort and giving it the ability to tow virtually anything.

On the downside, the suspension runs into some real difficulties on-road, allowing lots of body lean through corners and giving an unsettled ride on anything but the smoothest surface. The manual gearbox is also far from precise, so the automatic gearbox is the better option – even though it compromises fuel economy.

The Shogun excels off-road, though, as it can climb and wade where other more road-biased SUVs wouldn’t dare to venture.

Interior & comfort

1.6 / 5

Falls behind rivals for comfort

When compared to its main rivals, the Mitsubishi is simply outclassed for comfort. As an old-style SUV, focused on off-road ability, it makes little effort to suppress tyre, wind and engine noise. The Mitsubishi’s only saving grace is that the six-speaker stereo system is loud enough to drown it all out. The seats are firm but too flat, with insufficient bolstering to be properly supportive, while the heating and ventilation system is only average. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, either, which means many drivers will struggle to get completely comfortable.

Practicality & boot space

3.7 / 5

Five-door version has huge load area

Fold down the standard split-folding rear seats and the five-door, long-wheelbase model of the Shogun offers storage capacity to rival a van. You can't say the same for the three-door model due to its shorter wheelbase, which also means it does without the larger car's third row of seats. In the five-door, those extra seats can fold down into the boot floor, while the second row folds, reclines and tumbles out of the way if necessary. The boot offers a maximum capacity of 1,120 litres.

Access to the third row of seats can be a bit tricky, and their size means they’re only really suitable for children. The deep storage box between the front seats is handy and the glove compartment is a decent shape, too. However, the side-hinged boot door can be a nuisance – it needs a lot of space to swing open, which poses a problem if someone parks close behind you.

Reliability & safety

4.2 / 5

Tough as a Tonka truck and safe to boot

The Shogun doesn’t feature in the Driver Power 2013 customer satisfaction survey, but Mitsubishi itself held on to its middling 19th out of 32 ranking in the manufacturer charts. It did particularly well for reliability, though, and the Shogun is built tough, so it should prove dependable in the long run.

Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, airbags and ISOFIX child-seat mounts. The Shogun hasn’t been put through the Euro NCAP crash test, however, and its old design means it probably wouldn’t fair particularly well against more modern competition.

Price, value for money & options

2 / 5

Not bad value, but outdone these days

If all you need is space and excellent off-road ability, then the Shogun makes a lot of sense, because its simple design means it undercuts most of its rivals on price. Standard equipment is fairly comprehensive, too: all models have alloy wheels, an MP3-compatible stereo, climate control and cruise control. Mid-range Warrior specification adds sat nav and a rear-view parking camera, while the top-spec SG4 (only available as a five-door) boasts a rear-seat DVD player and two extra seats.

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
As for the manual transmission version, it's even cleaner, dropping from 246g/km to 212g/km. Of its competitors, only the BMW X5 emits less CO2. The Shogun's claimed 33.2mpg combined economy is up drastically from 26.7mpg, making it one of the most frugal large 4x4s you can buy.
3 / 5
A rugged, hard-worker that can tow heavy loads without breaking sweat and conquer terrain that would faze nearly all of its rivals.
3 / 5
The Shogun performs superb off-road and feels robustly built. It seats up to seven and is well equipped, but it may be the Tonka Toy looks that really appeal
4 / 5
The second-generation Outlander is the best car Mitsubishi has produced in years. Nearly all models come with seven seats, making it a good choice for larger families, while the interior is well built and durable. There's plenty of cabin space, it's very good to drive and comes well equipped - even in entry-level trim. Unfortunately it isn't quite as refined or as practical as other offroaders with a narrow load space and a firm ride.
Last updated 
21 Feb 2014

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