Mitsubishi Shogun 2010 car review
- We like...Proper, go-anywhere 4x4
- We don't...Noisy engine
While other big off-roaders are now part mud-crosser, part-executive-class cruiser, the Shogun has stayed close to its origins. So it’s more about being sturdy than it is about being beautiful. Inside and out it’s built for work rather than to impress the neighbours.
And that’s a quality we really like. The car sits high off the road and its wheels are agile enough to deal with fearsomely rough ground. There’s only one engine choice, a four-cylinder, 3.2-litre diesel, but it packs huge low revs urge, while a second gear lever lets you pick between two and four-wheel drive, low-ratio gears and a transmission lock (for extra grip). Short of doing something silly when off-road, it’s hard to imagine how you’d get it stuck.
If you need to work it hard, it’ll lap it up. And while the cabin in our Elegance model – one down from top in the four-tier range – is packed with kit, the vibe is very much about toughness and ease of use rather than upscale comfort. That said, you do get climate controlled air conditioning and leather seats as standard while the stereo is a fancy one that includes a huge boom box in the boot.
Satellite navigation is standard and the on-board computer even summons up an altimeter (to measure distance above sea level) and a barometer (to predict the weather). Lounging space in any of the front five seats is massive and although there are also two additional chairs that fold out from the boot floor, they’re only big enough to suit kids. Unless they’re in use, the boot is vast, although the side hinged rear door can make loading a hassle if you’re tightly parked at the kerbside.
At 4.9 metres long, the five-door version is a monster to pilot in town but a high-set driving position, squared-off bonnet and rear parking camera all help. Low geared steering makes inch-perfect placing a chore, though. The wheel adjusts for height but not for reach, making it trickier to find that just-so comfy position.
Mitsubishi has just fettled the Shogun to improve its fuel economy and reduce emissions so that they’re among the best for big 4x4s. But the diesel remains gruff and the car’s none too eager when shifting from rest. It’s better once under way, though, and it’ll settle to an easy cruise at the motorway maximum although engine noise is ever-present and there’s noticeable wind rustle from around the car’s top screen.
It rides competently enough but there’s nothing in the way it handles that’ll have you bragging to your mates about.
Shoguns have an admirable reputation for toughness and dependability and resale values for second-hand ones are pretty good. But whether you’re considering one to buy for yourself or as your next company car, tax and/or running costs will be high. Even so, the asking price stacks up well against its keenest rivals, Land Rover’s Discovery and the Toyota Land Cruiser.
Should you buy one? The Shogun’s an acquired taste. As a tough workhorse it has few equals and you may buy it for that – or even just because you love its no-fuss image. For us, the Land Rover Discovery’s greater breadth of talents would nudge our money its way. Try both – then decide.
*Insurance rating given below uses the new 1-50 groupings system
- Engines3.2 4cyl diesel
- 0-60 mph11.1secs
- Insurance groups34A*
Motors.co.uk value verdict: