First DriveThe Mitsubishi Shogun has been mildly tweaked for 2012, but remains a no-nonsense tool with strong off-road credentials, albeit an expensive one
First DriveVery good in the rough stuff, but very crude on the road. And it's not cheap, either.
What is it?
The new Mitsubishi Shogun. Not that you’d know - you’ll have to look twice to spot the difference. It’s the details that distinguish the new Shogun: the spare wheel is now positioned centrally, the oversized wheelarches have shrunk, and there’s a new grille with modified headlights.
Mitsubishi says Shogun customers like the authentic 4x4 look, but this doesn’t mean that they are immune to the spoils of luxury, as the new interior proves. Inside is a new dashboard with a seven-inch touch-screen LCD monitor that controls the integrated 30GB sat-nav and music system.
Options include a reversing camera and screens for rear-seat entertainment. Cabin space still doesn’t compete with that of the Land Rover Discovery, but the Shogun can accommodate up to five people in reasonable comfort, with room for two more on foldaway seats in the back.
Mitsubishi has also stuck to its guns mechanically. The four-cylinder 3.2-litre diesel unit has been given common-rail injection, but power remains at 158bhp (168bhp if you take the automatic version) with a slight increase in maximum torque to 281lb ft.
What's it like?
Power comes in smoothly without the usual turbo lag, but refinement is not the Shogun's strength. That's no surprise considering the high 0.8-litre displacement per cylinder.
A smooth 3.8-litre petrol V6 with 246bhp is barely any thirstier, but we won't get it in the UK.
The chassis and drivetrain stay much the same. Five-door versions get an extra 10mm of suspension travel over the three-door, bigger brakes and boosted roll resistance.
You can choose between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with variable power distribution. For serious off-road work, there are also lockable centre and rear differentials and a proper low-range box, all of which combine to give the Shogun lots of ability in the rough.
Should I buy one?
It's not the most refined 4x4, but it is well-equipped. It's also reasonably priced, at an estimated £32,000 for the top-of-the-line five-door. The Shogun is also adept off-road and can tow 2800kg.