Mitsubishi Shogun review 2022

The Mitsubishi Shogun is a rugged and capable 4x4 sold between 1981 and 2019.

£12,157
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Very capable off road
  • Spacious interior on LWB car
  • Plenty of standard equipment

Cons

  • Very agricultural-feeling
  • Cheap interior
  • High running costs
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model review

Mitsubishi is well-known for producing rugged and dependable models, and the Shogun is one of its best examples. Also known as the Pajero in other markets, the Shogun is a large and dependable SUV that’s offered in short and long wheelbase guises, with the first examples being produced in 1981. 

A second generation Shogun followed a decade later, bringing a more modern design and new four-wheel-drive settings depending on the conditions being driven in. Jump forward to 1999 and the third-generation Shogun was launched, and was designed to be a slightly softer-looking model, with a more modern and less agricultural design. 

The last generation of Shogun was revealed at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, though it was really more of a facelift than anything else. Boasting a more stylish front-end design, it gained a higher-quality interior and additional technology, not least its 12-speaker Rockford Acoustic Design sound system. 

Latest model

Mitsubishi continued to adapt the Shogun, with the 2012 model year update including changes such as a new chrome grille, colour-coded front bumper and more distinctive 12-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, Mitsubishi worked to improve the quality with new materials used for the cloth and leather upholsteries, while the trim level structure was completely revised, with new ‘SG’ versions being introduced. 

Fast forward to 2014 and a new Barbarian model was launched, but purely in short wheelbase form. Key changes including new 20-inch gloss black and silver alloy wheels and bespoke leather upholstery. 

In 2015 the Shogun was revised yet again, with changes including a deeper, more integrated grille, LED daytime running lights and additional standard equipment on selected versions. 

In 2019 Mitsubishi discontinued the Shogun in the UK, with no replacement following. A total of 114,164 models were registered here in the model’s 37-year run. Mitsubishi also withdrew from the UK completely in 2021 as the brand looked to focus on other more profitable markets instead.

Value for money

When new, the Shogun also delivered plenty of car for your money, with prices costing between £30,000 and £40,000 when new. All versions also got plenty of standard equipment, including 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and electric folding mirrors, while the top versions got features like an electric sunroof, all-round heated front seats and full leather upholstery. 

If you want a cheap 4x4, old Shoguns are a great option, with high-mileage models available from only around £2,500. If you’re looking for the later fourth-generation Shogun, usable examples start from around £5,000, but you’ll have to pay around double that for a lower-mileage and clean example. The last-off-the-line examples are also commanding very steep prices, with some listed for more than £30,000. 

Looks and image

In a day and age where SUVs are typically softer, more road-focused models, the Shogun will appeal to those still wanting a capable no-nonsense 4x4. That’s reflected in the design, which is big and chunky, with plenty of chrome featuring really helping to make it stand out. There are the two clear body styles available, too – the SWB and LWB – with each offering a different appeal. It’s worth noting that the Shogun was also offered as a Commercial model, with the rear seats removed to make way for plenty of space. 

The interior is well behind the times, and – particularly on later cars – is very disappointing. The seven-inch touchscreen is small and difficult to use, while the material quality is largely quite poor. Sure it feels utilitarian, but that doesn’t quite cut it on an SUV like this. The seats are also flat and don’t offer much support, while the steering wheel doesn’t have that much adjustability, meaning not all drivers will be able to get comfortable.  

Behind the wheel, it’s off-road where the Shogun excels. It’s impressively capable, with low-range gearing in the four-wheel-drive system meaning you can get out of tough muddy and snowy conditions, and it’s certainly up there with the best from Toyota and Land Rover in this respect. However, if you do a lot of driving on tarmac, the Shogun isn’t very good. The ride is unsettled and not very comfortable, while the old-fashioned diesel engines make it feel slow and cumbersome to drive. 

Video review

Space and practicality

Where space is concerned, choose the long-wheelbase car as it’s a very useful tool. It’s very large in terms of size, with the option of five and seven seats – and the latter folding neatly into the boot floor. The boot is also a large and practical shape, measuring up to 663 litres with five seats in position. 

Contrast this to the SWB three-door car, and it suffers from all the usual problems that affect three-door 4x4s, such as awkward access to the rear seats, and a relatively small 290-litre boot. 

An area where the Shogun excels is its towing capacity, with the model towing up to 3,000kg in three-door form, or an impressive 3,500kg in LWB guise. If you have a large caravan or trailer to hitch up, the Shogun is a very appealing option. 

Engines

All Shoguns of the latest generation came equipped with a 3.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine in the UK, with four-wheel-drive included as standard. There’s the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox on both SWB and LWB cars too. 

The engine puts out 194bhp and 441Nm of torque, with 0-60mph times ranging from 9.5 to 10.9 seconds, depending on the version chosen – the shorter cars are unsurprisingly the fastest on offer, with all having a top speed of 111mph.

Running costs

Adding to the old-school feel of the Shogun, the model will prove to be expensive to run. Though Mitsubishi claims between 33.2 and 36.2mpg, these figures are based on the old testing cycle, which doesn’t simulate real-world driving all that well. CO2 emissions are between 207 and 224g/km. 

Those high emissions also mean the Shogun can cost a huge amount to tax per year, with some versions costing more than £600. Insurance groups are also quite high at between 32 and 37. 

Things to look out for

Mitsubishi has a decent reliability reputation, and the Shogun is no exception. There are a few things to look out for, particularly under the bonnet. If a car idles erratically, it could point towards the fuel pump failing, while rattles from the engine will likely suggest issues with the timing chain and tensioner. Also check the electric windows work, as this is another well-documented problem. 

As with any 4x4, it’s worth having a good look on the underside of the Shogun for signs of damage from excessive off-roading. 

Rivals

The closest rival to the Shogun is the Toyota Land Cruiser, which also comes in short and long wheelbase guises. You could also look at the SsangYong Rexton, while older versions of the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe could be worth considering. 

If you have a bit more money to spend, a Land Rover Discovery 4 or 5 are both excellent choices, but are much more pleasant to drive on the road. 

Depreciation

Demand for good used 4x4s will always remain strong, and a decent Shogun that’s well looked after will always be worth something, but there are plenty of used examples available for less than £10,000. Later cars are holding their value well, though, with these likely to keep commanding a premium if they’re well kept. 

Trims explained

Mitsubishi offered a range of trim levels on the Shogun, though here we’re focusing on the versions offered later in the model’s life. Equipment highlights and prices are as follows.

SG2 –

All Shoguns get plenty of standard equipment, with entry-level SG2 cars coming with 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, keyless entry, electric folding and heated door mirrors and side steps. It also features heated front seats, a radio/CD/MP3 player with six speakers, climate control, cruise control, HID headlights and a leather steering wheel.

From £10,000 (used)

Warrior –

In addition to the SG2, this trim level adds leather upholstery and a touchscreen satellite navigation system with a reversing camera and handsfree Bluetooth. Styling changes include chrome headlight surrounds, chrome door mirrors, a rear spoiler and privacy glass.

From £3,000 (used)

Barbarian –

Limited to the three-door car, the Barbarian adds large 20-inch black and silver alloy wheels, revised leather upholstery, aluminium sports pedals, DAB radio and a colour-coded spare wheel cover.

From £20,000 (used)

SG3 –

Only offered on the long wheelbase Shogun, the SG3 comes equipped with an electric sunroof, privacy glass, rear spoiler, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. A seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation is also included, along with automatic lights and wiper, an upgraded 12-speaker sound system, electric front seats and leather upholstery.

From £12,000 (used)

SG4 –

In addition to the SG3, the SG4 version gets larger 20-inch alloy wheels, along with a rear headrest entertainment system.

From £22,000 (used)

SG5 –

Right at the top of the Shogun range, the SG5 gets an upgraded leather upholstery that is available in red, beige or grey, with carpet to match, while other extras include LED interior lighting, heated rear seats, new 20-inch alloy wheels and revised badging.

From £25,000 (used)

Summary

  1. Rugged 4x4 sold up until 2019
  2. Very capable off road
  3. Long and short wheelbase models available
  4. Five-door version is very practical
  5. Very compromised on the road, particularly for comfort
  6. Bland and low-quality interior
  7. Decent levels of standard equipment though
  8. Expensive to run
  9. Great towing car
  10. A capable old-school 4x4, but better options are available
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