Few 4x4s offer such cost-effective off-road performance as Mitsubishi’s Shogun. Bang per buck, its £36,000 price tag is some way shy of its more luxurious contemporaries. Geoff Ashcroft reports.
And there is good reason. The range is getting a little long in the tooth and the Japanese maker hopes the 2015 face-lift will be enough to woo more SUV buyers to the veritable off-roader.
However, the 4x4 market appears to have moved on much faster than the Shogun’s development, and such a genuine off-roader might now be in danger of being viewed as too capable off the black top, at the expense of delivering on-road refinement.
So are the latest changes enough to keep the big Shogun on the farming radar?
The most noticeable changes are to the front of the 4x4 – a new grille and bumper with LED daytime running lights gives it a more modern look.
Xenon headlights are standard too, and will be enough to scare vermin from farm tracks long before you can get within range. But if the headlights do not startle them, the large four cylinder’s distinct noise will.
Tweaks to the 3.2-litre DI-D common-rail turbo diesel means it is good for 33.2mpg on the combined cycle and meets Euro 5b emissions – it retains 197hp and 441Nm of torque, both useful values to throw at the Shogun’s bulk.
Interior changes are subtle. A USB port and upgraded infotainment system help to ease longer journeys for passengers, while gentle restyling and improved sound deadening on auto ‘box models will be welcome additions.
Given the Shogun stays with a five-speed auto, it spends plenty of time working its way through a limited number of ratios. But lift off the throttle and the Shogun feels like it will roll forever.
There is very little drag and the engine sits comfortably on its new, ultra-low idle speed allowing the Shogun to glide along.
But driving the Shogun remains an underwhelming experience. It needs armfuls of lock when maneuvering and you will be leaning when cornering. That said, it remains a rugged 4x4 which will work hard. It will reach places much more road-biased SUVs will simply fail to reach
If dealing with difficult terrain is the order of your day, the value offered by this long wheelbase, five-door SG4 model marks it out for a much a closer look.
Model: Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2DI-D SG4 LWB Auto
Price: £36,799 (£37,397 as tested)
Engine: 3.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, 197hp @ 3,800rpm, 441Nm @ 2,000rpm
Transmission: Five-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Performance: 10.1sec 0-62mph, 111mph, 33.2mpg combined, 213g/km
Towing capacity: 3,500kg
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