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The Top Gear car review:Mitsubishi Shogun
For:Many seats, much space
Against:Almost everything else
3.2 DI-DC SG2 5dr
New Shogun looks sharp and runs greener, but is still far happier in a swamp than the suburbs. Manly
The barometer is the giveaway. Though the new Shogun does a fair impression of a metrosexual, road-biased modern soft-roader, that atmospheric...
What we say:
The Shogun's a workhorse. If you're looking for on-road luxury as well as off-road prowess, look elsewhere.
What is it?
A workhorse. If you regularly throw bales of hay in the boot and spend more time on mud than on tarmac, then the Shogun makes sense. But for the rest of us, it’s one to avoid. The diesel is far too unrefined, and the interior quality is not up to rivals, even after a semi-recent facelift.
Tyres modelled on balloons don’t do much for the ride, which is better than before but still too bouncy and roly-poly, a common problem among hardcore off-roaders like this. At least the brakes are more reassuring than you’d think they would be, with discs all round. Its off-road technology (two levers to switch between high and low ratios or two-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive) may not be on par with the Land Rover Discovery’s Terrain Response System, but it gets the job done for a lot less.
Mitsubishi’s 3.2-litre four-cylinder diesel has been revised, with power up to 197bhp and torque rising to 325lb ft. Sadly any delusions of a silky BMW-spec diesel disappear into the throaty rumble of the engine. It’ll haul the Shogun at a passable lick - 11 seconds to 62mph - but it won’t do it with much enthusiasm. It will, however, enthusiastically pull large things out of bogs, as it’s capable of hauling a mighty 3,500kgs. The more expensive Toyota Land Cruiser will tow a pitiful 2,800kgs.
On the inside
The five-door version has a third row of rear seats that fold into the floor when not in use. They’re best kept for kids since space is minimal. Still, passengers in the first two rows won’t complain as they’re extremely well catered for with plenty of leg and shoulder room. When not in over-qualified school bus mode, the boot is amply proportioned (1,790 litres) and has a long, flat load bay. The rarer three-door, obviously, has less space and the rear seats are difficult to access.
The revised Shogun is extremely well built and feels tough inside and out. The cabin quality has improved, but it still can’t be called classy, burdened as it is by materials that are grey, dull and very unappealing.
The Shogun is thirstier than Ollie Read in a prohibition era sauna. If you can imagine that. Wouldn’t say residuals are bad, but the Titanic depreciated less quickly on its way down.