Gazing out onto the car park of MotorMartin Towers from the rather opulent reception area, is often a quite uplifting experience, especially when the vehicle in question is suitably luxurious and can therefore hold its head up high against the extravagance of the MotorMartin Media Hub. And stand out is exactly what this Mitsubishi Shogun Long Wheel Base SG5 does against the swathes of rather generic looking silver boxes that make up the majority of traffic on the roads today. Fortunately the Mitsubishi has a few things in its favour that help it to create a strong first impression. Have I mentioned it’s size yet?
Now that we live in enlightened times we see more and more large off readers out and about on the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land of ours. Once upon a time, a large 4×4 was the preserve of the farmer, builder or general outdoor type of family, but now, with a vast variety of different sized SUVs catering seemingly for everyone and anyone, they’ve clearly moved away from those utilitarian vehicles of the past and have created a whole new genre of Off Roader.
Where then does this leave the venerable Shogun? Well Mitsubishi have always been ahead of the curve with this one as they themselves state that, In 1982 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation launched a brand new breed of car: a 4×4 which was tough enough to go where others feared to tread, yet which enjoyed the sort of sophisticated specification more normally associated with top end saloons. And now find ourselves tripping the light fantastic 34 years later in 2016 where, in MotorMartin’s opinion, the Shogun is surely one of the most instantly recognisable large SUVs out there.
For a vehicle, any vehicle, to have such a long lifespan it must have that certain something that MotorMartin looks for in a car, that undefinable spark that gets under your skin and just won’t let go. There’s been many changes in the world over the last three decades, an IRA assassination attempt on the British Government in Brighton, Live Aid, the Challenger Shuttle disaster, one of Chernobyl’s four nuclear reactors exploding, Lockerbie, the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
All of these events have created headlines and reaction that still resonate with us today and throughout all of this turmoil and incredible upheaval the Shogun has been there, seen it and done it. Indeed, if it weren’t for the Shogun, they’d no doubt still be areas of the world that were unaware of the above events, blissfully unaware of what human beings are truly capable of.
This particular Long Wheel Base SG5 5-Door Shogun, represents the fourth generation of Mitsubishi’s evergreen 4×4 and is the pinnacle of Shogun development thus far. Styling wise the Shogun is a triumph, in MotorMartin’s opinion, as it manages to be both instantly recognisable and new all at the same time. I particularly like the premium looking new headlights, as they feature HID xenon lamps with automatic levelling and retractable washers, whilst the front fog lamps and LED daytime running lights keep the Front end of the Shogun looking remarkable fresh. Combine these impressive features with the large and imposing front grill and you get a front end fit to grace a car such as the 2016 Shogun.
Mitsubishi have been rather clever here as they’ve kept everything that people love about the Shogun and updated and changed only those areas that were necessary to keep it bang up to date. With the SG5 representing the Japanese manufacturer’s idea of the last word in luxury off reading, it really comes as no surprise to see that the Shogun is fitted with superb looking Premium 20″ alloy wheels, extremely comfortable and infinitely adjustable Premium beige leather upholstery, the Premium floor mat set, Heated front and rear seats, Twin rear USB ports, a fantastic Premium 860w audio system specifically designed by Rockford Acoustic DesignTM, amazing blue LED mood lighting, that iconic ‘SHOGUN’ bonnet badge, Side step inlays and Front door entry guards to name but a few.
And yet, despite all of this attention to detail, it’s the feel and capabilities of the Shogun that have allowed this SUV to remain so current amongst some of the extremely tough competition that’s out there. With its 3.2l, In-line 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC turbocharged diesel engine, the Mitsubishi is neither short on power or torque producing as it does 187bhp at 3500rpm and 325lb.ft at just 2000rpm and yet the Shogun can return up to a claimed 30.4mpg, perfectly acceptable for a 4×4 as large as this with, let’s be honest here, not exactly the most svelte and aerodynamic of frontal area.
What MotorMartin likes about the 2016 Shogun is that despite of, or because of, the intimidating styling and look of the Shogun, a look that MotorMartin rather likes I might add, you soon forget about its bulk as from the inside the Mitsubishi is light, airy and perhaps surprisingly, very easy and forgiving to drive.
When out and about, the Mitsubishi is fantastic. The sheer size of the Shogun allows you a commanding driving position that gives you the full benefit of the excellent sitelines that you have when driving, the view that you get of the oncoming traffic, road conditions and roadside obstacles is really quite superb and just not available in 99% of the other traffic on the roads today. Leaving all of the gear changes to the excellent 5 speed automatic box of tricks and the Shogun in 2wd mode and you can drive as you would any other car. That readily available torque means that it takes minimal effort to hustle this 4×4 through the bends where it remains surprisingly stable and composed.
With an additional third row of seating cleverly hidden under the floor of its vast boot, all the looks and toys that you could reasonably expect from such a premium vehicle and a starting price, for the Long Wheelbase Model, of £32,034, this really seems to be remarkable value for money.
checkout part 2 where I’ll be looking in more depth at the driving experience and technology within the Shogun and answering that age old question of whether it achieves out in the world of truly ‘real life’ motoring.
Where will you go?