Looking back over my time with the rather marvellous Mitsubishi Shogun SG5, there are a number of factors that loom large amongst the notes kept in the secure holding area situated in the rather elaborately, yet tastefully tiled, green porcelain basement area of MotorMartin Towers. MotorMartin has already discussed the styling and options available with this particular Shogun in, Mitsubishi Shogun Long Wheel Base SG5 5-Door: Do What You Want, Be What You Are and so now it’s a case of ticking off the other positives included in the aforementioned notes. So here we go then.
A family trip out along the incredibly dull M62 to visit the amazing Manchester University Museum a couple of weeks ago allowed the Shogun to fully showcase its family friendly credentials, a job that it did very well indeed. With the MotorMartin juniors safely ensconced in the back, more than enjoying their climate control and individual heated seats, and MotorMartin’s significant other enjoying the view from her position high up and looking out over the top of everyone else out there and the Mitsubishi was gaining fans by the motorway mile.
This really is a car that can make large distances shrink, in the manner similar to Concord all those years ago and all whilst isolating the driver and passengers from the worst that the outside world can deliver. The cabin is airy and refined with neat touches all everywhere you look and yet there is no scrimping with driver aids either as all the technology you could feasibly need to successfully complete your journey, is within reach and more importantly, simple to use.
Mitsubishi say that, the Shogun’s punchy, double overhead camshaft, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled, 3.2 litre, direct injection diesel engine has always provided masses of low-down torque yet never runs out of power in the mid-range. And MotorMartin loves the fact that Mitsubishi recognise the following to be true. Granted it may never beat a hot hatch off the line, but put pedal to the metal and this Shogun will fly when asked, or cruise happily at high speeds on the motorway, and it will return surprisingly acceptable fuel consumption whilst doing so.
This is great, Mitsubishi showing that they realise exactly what the Shogun can and can’t do. It’s engine is, in MotorMartin’s opinion, a bit of a belter. With 325 lb/ft torque produced at an astonishingly low 2000rpm, this is an engine perfectly suited to the imposing presence that is the Long Wheel Base Shogun. The size and weight of this 4X4 is obviously going to blunt the responsiveness of the 3200cc inline 4 cylinder turbocharged and intercooled Diesel unit, even with it’s 187bhp, but let’s not forget the elephant in the room here. After all, this is not and never will be, a vehicle designed to speed you from one business meeting to the next. Although it is a perfectly comfortable and impressive way to do this, this mighty engine has been designed to transport you across deserts, across mountain ranges, to ford rivers, to deliver you through Death Valley with nary a bead of wear upon your brow and of course, it does these things brilliantly if you ever need to repeat such journeys yourself. Thank goodness.
Part of the reason for this is the extremely clever 4WD system which is operated by the Shogun’s highly capable, Super Select system which provides the driver with four drive modes. Mitsubishi have explained how this works for MotorMartin as follows: 2H (2WD High range) gives quieter running and better fuel consumption during normal on-road driving: 4H (4WD High range), selectable at speeds up to 62mph, distributes torque between front and rear axles via a centre differential (CD) with VCU – the latter permits safer on-road driving in slippery conditions; 4HLc (4WD High range with CD locked) improves traction on snow, sand or dirt roads by distributing torque equally front and rear; 4LLc (4WD Low range with CD locked) provides greater torque for extreme off-road conditions. Thanks Mitsubishi.
In simple terms, the Shogun will take you anywhere you wish or need to go. The benefits for the driver and passengers are simple enough as this is a car that Mitsubishi have been developing and improving for around three decades, introduced as it was in 1982. That’s right, 1982. And you can feel every single day of input from Mitsubishi’s rather accomplished designers and engineers. The overriding impressions that you’re left with are of solidity and attention to detail. The interior is a luxurious place to spend time, think high end hotel beautifully documented on SKY Arts rather than anything shown on Channel 5.
With leather and high end technology in equal measures it’s a simple enough job to get everyone comfortable for the journey ahead. This particular Shogun, the SG5, has the excellent and powerful premium 860w audio system which was specifically designed by Rockford Acoustic DesignTM and includes a DAB radio (fitted to all models with satellite navigation), an AM/FM receiver and a CD player which is MP3 compatible and delivers a sound quality that is simply stunning. Mitsubishi are to be thanked for their views on in car entertainment at present as the fitment of a CD player is a feature sadly disappearing from a number of different manufacturers’ vehicles at present as it is assumed that more and more of us will be streaming our choices of music from smartphones or tablets rather than using the physical form. But, and here’s MotorMartin’s bugbear, there are still many people out hear in ‘real life’ motoring that still enjoy the pleasures of a physical CD as well as that of Bluetooth.
Ride wise, the Mitsubishi is as comfortable as expected, transversing the more usual potholes and poorly surfaced roads that make up travelling in the UK as if they weren’t there, yet still allowing the driver to ‘make progress’ as the Shogun still displays impressive roadholding and a desire to attack bends far better than you might actually expect. A clever trick to pull off and one that is to be heartily applauded.
So where does this leave MotorMartin and what conclusion is there to be drawn? In MotorMartin’s opinion, this is most definitely the best Long Wheel Base Shogun that Mitsubishi have produced so far. It’s a superb high end 4X4 that really can mix superior it’s superior off road manners with daily driver capabilities and comfort. Best of bothWorlds? You better believe it.
Where will you go?