Mitsubishi Shogun

Mitsubishi Shogun lr

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By Tim Saunders

When travelling with three young children and lots of luggage a large vehicle is an absolute necessity. The heavy duty long wheelbase Mitsubishi Shogun is well suited to such a challenge. This well-built vehicle has plenty of space and will put up with pretty much anything thrown at it. And that includes little Henry Saunders (21mths) insisting on pretending to drive it every time we park. We all like the third row of seats tucked away in the floor of the boot; great for additional passengers or a change of scene for the children.
To put it through its paces we drive to Ringwood, the Isle of Wight and London. For all of these journeys we take in the usual dull A-roads and motorways where it cruises happily at 70mph. At Ringwood we visit a farm and this allows us to experience the Shogun’s abilities on farmland. It easily tackles slippery surfaces, mud and gravel. Ruts and speed bumps see the occupants bouncing all over the place at speed due to the hard suspension.
“It’s struggling; it seems to be in the wrong gear,” says Caroline when the Shogun is faced with really steep inclines on the Isle of Wight. I disagree because we are travelling at 30mph and it is an automatic so the choice of gear is not my fault. It quickly becomes clear though that at low speed there is a noticeable vibration from the 3.2-litre diesel unit, throughout the entire cabin as well as that chugging sound associated with diesels of the past. At faster speeds it is quieter.
I’ve known the Shogun since I was a lad. The father of a friend of mine owned a short wheel base version and my friend (aged 11) was allowed to drive it across their land. What I do notice is that there is very little change in the Shogun, for which I take my hat off to Mitsubishi. Much like the Land Rover Defender didn’t change externally in its lifetime, neither it seems has the Shogun apart from of course all the technology inside. Today’s Shogun is fitted with everything from a sat nav (the most complicated I have come across and I can’t operate it), a reversing camera, air bags, air conditioning, as well as power folding wing mirrors.
The automatic gearbox makes for lazy driving and my only complaint is that when I rest my right arm on the door, over a prolonged period, it starts to ache due to a lack of padding.
I like the large glass electric tilt/slide sunroof and the high up driving position provides a good view of the road ahead allowing passengers to see things they wouldn’t usually such as good views into people’s gardens and houses. The times I have heard Caroline, particularly, say: “I didn’t know that was there.”
The rear seats allow for different set ups. So for instance if there are three passengers one might choose to sit on the middle seat and then the rest of the seats can be folded away and pushed forward. The other two passengers can sit on the third row of seats unfolded from the boot floor. Access is gained either by climbing through the space left by the folded seats or the remaining seat can be lifted forward. It’s all quite user-friendly. The children love it. And they like the pop out rear windows, too.
The rear door complete with spare tyre providing access to the vast boot space is extremely heavy. This fact is emphasised when we park on a hill at Mottistone Gardens on the Isle of Wight. I get out open the rear door without supporting it. There is a great creak that reverberates throughout the whole vehicle. No damage is done but from then on I carefully support it whenever opening it.
Overall, this is a great family friendly and versatile vehicle for those rugged travellers trekking the countryside. Life is all about priorities and compromises and the Shogun’s strength is in its vast capabilities. When wading through 700mm of water or trekking across a muddy field fuel economy is not at the top of your list of priorities. It is survival. 

Facts at a glance

Shogun LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG3 A/T
Price: £35,000 approx
0-60mph: 11.1secs
Top speed: 111mph
Economy: 25mpg approx
Power: 197bhp
Ground clearance: 220mm
Max wading depth: 700mm

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