Is the Mitsubishi Shogun still a great family 4x4? June Neary decides.
Will It Suit Me?
Women love the idea of driving a 4x4. The elevated seating position gives them added security and a 'king-of-the-road' attitude. If you are looking for the perfect family 4x4 that acts like an off-roader but can deal with the everyday hustle and bustle, then Mitsubishi's Shogun still, I think, has plenty to offer. It slots neatly into the comprehensive line-up of 4x4 vehicles currently being offered by Mitsubishi. The range includes authentic off-roaders like the L200 as well as plush crossover models like the Outlander. The Shogun is positioned at the top of the company's 4x4 tree, going up against large 4x4 rivals, the most notable being the Land Rover Discovery.
Like its predecessors, this Shogun has the ability to access remote locations with a family and their camping gear safely stowed inside. At the same time, it's also adept on the school run, on the motorway and in the supermarket car park - the places where real people are most likely to use it.
Behind the Wheel
The Shogun is a comfortable cruiser, which takes to winding country roads with a level of composure not normally associated with 4x4 vehicles. In 3.2-litre diesel form, it goes from 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds and can tow up to three tonnes. Three door short or five-door long wheelbase models are offered. This car is properly big too, at least in long wheel base guise. This is 4.9m long, 1.9m wide and 1.9m high, so you'll need a garage with a fair amount of headroom, especially if you fit a roof box for ski trips. Mitsubishi's innovative 'Hide&Seat' system quickly converts the long wheelbase car from a five to a seven-seater with two seats that fold from a flat boot floor to create a third row complete with integrated head rests. As well as the option of three or five doors, Shogun buyers have the choice of a three model line-up - SG2, Barbarian and Warrior. As always, the Shogun comes packed with an array of standard safety and luxury equipment. All models come with ASTC active stability and traction control, alarm and keyless entry, climate control, twin front, side and curtain airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes backed up by EBD electronic brakeforce distribution and 17inch alloy wheels fitted as standard.
Value For Money
The list of standard features may be long but pricing for the Shogun remains tight, emphasising Mitsubishi Motors value-for-money policy. Prices range from around £27,000 for the three-door SG2 model through to around £35,000 for the five-door Barbarian variant. This looks very good value when you pause to consider that some diesel Toyota RAV4s cost more than £30,000. Whether you choose a SWB 5-seat or LWB 7-seat Shogun, there's just a single 197bhp 3.2-litre DI-DC diesel engine on offer and it now comes only mated to automatic transmission. Equipment levels include an alarm and keyless entry, black roof rails, heated front seats, electric windows and mirrors, plus climate control and 18-inch alloy wheels. Top models get the MMCS 'Mitsubishi Motors Communications System' colour screen with its wealth of driver information, including audio settings and a display from the fast and efficient satellite navigation set-up. Built in here is a 40GB hard disc drive that can also act as a music server, able to store up to 2,000 songs. Ultimately, emissions regulations will kill off this generation Shogun model; they've already made sure that we can't buy the manual gearbox version in this country because it can't meet the Euro6 standard. But then this is a very big and heavy vehicle, so you wouldn't expect it to sip fuel, especially if you're running loaded or towing. The kerb weight of long wheelbase car is a hefty 2,275kg and this takes some energy to get moving. The plus side is that whole life running costs are on the reasonable side, depreciation offset to a certain extent by the low up front asking price and by a steady demand for this sort of car, a genre that's a bit more immune to the vagaries of fashion than typical compact or luxury 4x4s. Insurance is on the reasonable side thanks to the Shogun generally being purchased by more mature customers who don't park them outside nightclubs. Fuel economy is rated at 34.9mpg (combined) for an automatic long wheelbase variant, with 213g/km of CO2.
Could I Live With One?
The Mitsubishi Shogun is able to cope with any eventuality you may throw at it, making it still a great family SUV choice. Its size makes it perfect for the school run and supermarket trips as well as the annual camping vacation. If you're in the market for a family car with go-anywhere capability, then this model still deserves a look.