Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-D Elegance auto LWB - MITSUBISHI SHOGUN Car Review

Review

Added: 15 Sep 2003
Last update:

TWO decades of sluicing through the sludge and mile-munching on the tarmac has seen Mitsubishi's flagship off-roader evolve into a serious contender for the honour of best four by four in the business.

It is already a couple of years since Shogun models passed the two million worldwide sales mark and interest, particularly in the UK, shows no sign of waning.

The big mud-plugger's latest revision saw not merely better comfort, added spec and improved safety but also the arrival of a new five-door Elegance 3.2 DI-D variant with no increase in price.

It's just as well, because with a quid's worth of change from £32,500, the top trim level Shogun isn't exactly cheap.

That doesn't seem to have deterred Mitsubishi enthusiasts though, as in-house research has revealed that more than 60 per cent of new Shogun buyers have owned one before - with more than a quarter citing reliability as the prime reason for going back for more.

What the Shogun achieves so well is transferring its outstanding ability in the rough, where it can cope with just about anything, to its realistic habitat of suburban roads and supermarket car parks.

This is a full-blown 4x4 with genuine street cred thanks to its commanding presence on the road - more curves than straight edges, chunky profile and dominant grille with its assertive three-diamond logo.

But pride of place must go to the 3.2-litre direct injection diesel engine which, in the test car's case, comes with Mitsubishi's INVECS-II five-speed transmission with sports mode - a system that can automatically adapt gear change timings to suit the driver's style.

The DI-D unit with turbocharger and intercooler was the first Mitsubishi diesel in Europe to feature direct injection technology, with the result of improving fuel economy by up to 15 per cent compared with the previous 2.8-litre derv burners.

That said, it's quite noisy, though once up to cruising speed the DI-D feels both strong and lively.

With the exception of some body roll on corners, the Shogun handles like a family saloon, sticking to the road with confidence thanks to the wide track and tyres.

At the same time it also offers more comfort than many luxury cars and conveys a terrific feeling of security thanks to the high driving position.

Standard equipment is generous - the likes of front and side airbags,alarm, immobiliser, child-proof rear door locks, cruise control, electric windows and sound system are standard, though you have to pay extra for a CD player.

And long wheelbase versions come with seven seats, the back two of which fold away under the boot floor.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-D Elegance auto LWB

Price: £32,499 on the road

Mechanical: 158bhp, 3,200cc direct injection turbodiesel engine driving all four wheels via 5-speed automatic gearbox

Max speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 13.8 secs

Combined mpg: 39.2

Insurance group: 16

CO2 emissions: 278g/km

BiK rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles; 6yrs anti-rust.

Words: Mike Torpey

Keywords: MITSUBISHI, SHOGUN