Now that we live in enlightened times we see more and more large off roaders out and about on the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land of ours. Once upon a time, a large 4×4 was the preserve of the farmer, builder or general outdoor type of family, but now, with a vast variety of different sized SUVs catering seemingly for everyone and anyone, they’ve clearly moved away from those utilitarian vehicles of the past and have created a whole new genre of Off Roader.
Where then does this leave the venerable Shogun? Well Mitsubishi have always been ahead of the curve with this one as they themselves state that, In 1982 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation launched a brand new breed of car: a 4×4 which was tough enough to go where others feared to tread, yet which enjoyed the sort of sophisticated specification more normally associated with top end saloons. And now find ourselves tripping the light fantastic 34 years later in 2016 where, in MotorMartin’s opinion, the Shogun is surely one of the most instantly recognisable large SUVs out there.
For a vehicle, any vehicle, to have such a long lifespan it must have that certain something that MotorMartin looks for in a car, that undefinable spark that gets under your skin and just won’t let go. There’s been many changes in the world over the last three decades, an IRA assassination attempt on the British Government in Brighton, Live Aid, the Challenger Shuttle disaster, one of Chernobyl’s four nuclear reactors exploding, Lockerbie, the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. All of these events have created headlines and reaction that still resonate with us today and throughout all of this turmoil and incredible upheaval the Shogun has been there, seen it and done it.
This particular Long Wheel Base SG5 5-Door Shogun, represents the fourth generation of Mitsubishi’s evergreen 4×4 and is the pinnacle of Shogun development thus far. Styling wise the Shogun is a triumph, in MotorMartin’s opinion, as it manages to be both instantly recognisable and new all at the same time. I particularly like the premium looking new headlights, as they feature HID xenon lamps with automatic levelling and retractable washers, whilst the front fog lamps and LED daytime running lights keep the Front end of the Shogun looking remarkable fresh. Combine these impressive features with the large and imposing front grill and you get a front end fit to grace a car such as the 2016 Shogun.
Mitsubishi have been rather clever here as they’ve kept everything that people love about the Shogun and updated and changed only those areas that were necessary to keep it bang up to date.
With the SG5 representing the Japanese manufacturer’s idea of the last word in luxury off reading, it really comes as no surprise to see that the Shogun is fitted with superb looking Premium 20″ alloy wheels, extremely comfortable and infinitely adjustable Premium beige leather upholstery, the Premium floor mat set, Heated front and rear seats, Twin rear USB ports, a fantastic Premium 860w audio system specifically designed by Rockford Acoustic DesignTM, amazing blue LED mood lighting, that iconic ‘SHOGUN’ bonnet badge, Side step inlays and Front door entry guards to name but a few.
And yet, despite all of this attention to detail, it’s the feel and capabilities of the Shogun that have allowed this SUV to remain so current amongst some of the extremely tough competition that’s out there. With its 3.2l, In-line 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC turbocharged diesel engine, the Mitsubishi is neither short on power or torque producing as it does 187bhp at 3500rpm and 325lb.ft at just 2000rpm and yet the Shogun can return up to a claimed 30.4mpg, perfectly acceptable for a 4×4 as large as this with, let’s be honest here, not exactly the most svelte and aerodynamic of frontal area.
When out and about, the Mitsubishi is fantastic. The sheer size of the Shogun allows you a commanding driving position that gives you the full benefit of the excellent sitelines that you have when driving, the view that you get of the oncoming traffic, road conditions and roadside obstacles is really quite superb and just not available in 99% of the other traffic on the roads today. Leaving all of the gear changes to the excellent 5 speed automatic box of tricks and the Shogun in 2wd mode and you can drive as you would any other car. That readily available torque means that it takes minimal effort to hustle this 4×4 through the bends where it remains surprisingly stable and composed.
A trip to Manchester to visit the amazing University Museum, allowed the Shogun to fully showcase its family friendly credentials, a job that it did very well indeed. With the MotorMartin juniors safely ensconced in the back, more than enjoying their climate control and individual heated seats, and MotorMartin’s significant other enjoying the view, the Mitsubishi was gaining fans by the motorway mile. This really is a car that can make large distances shrink whilst isolating the driver and passengers from the worst of the outside world. The cabin is airy and refined with neat touches all around, whilst all the technology you could feasibly need to successfully complete your journey is within reach and simple to use.
With an additional third row of seating cleverly hidden under the floor of its vast boot, all the looks and toys that you could reasonably expect from such a premium vehicle and a starting price, for the Long Wheelbase Model, of £32,034, this really is worth every penny. And MotorMartin hasn’t even delved into the superior off-road manners yet…