We’ve been lucky enough at MotorMartin Towers to have spent time with a couple of Mitsubishi’s timeless LWB Shoguns over the last couple of years and have always been rather reluctant to return them to Mitsubishi Motors UK due to their excellent mix of old school power, superior off road manners and thoroughly modern technology. And yet, (whisper it quietly) it was becoming more and more difficult to see where Mitsubishi could go next without losing that which made the Shogun special in the first place. What to do then?
Fortunately, Mitsubishi had no such worries, deciding very early on which direction to follow when the inevitable upgrade time was beginning to make itself known. What Mitsubishi have done is what we would all probably like to do in so many areas of our own lives, improve the areas that needed it, keep those bits that everybody liked and finish everything off with looks that are thoroughly modern and yet contain subtle clues to the past.
What Mitsubishi have come up with is this, the all-new Mitsubishi Shogun Sport and it certainly hits the spot. Marvellous. There’s a definite and quite deliberate family resemblance to the strikingly handsome front grille, reminding the casual viewer of the L200 pick up, ASX and Outlander which, in MotorMartin’s opinion, is certainly no bad thing. But here’s the rub, there’s such strong lines and personality added to this Shogun Sport that it creates an image all of it’s own.
Rather cleverly, those of you that already know and love the 2018 Shogun LWB, will find much that is familiar in this all-new Sport. Despite those ultra modern looks, the Mitsubishi is still made with the ruggedness and do it all, go anywhere qualities that we expect from the brand, qualities that have been updated and improved with every new model. Off road, with Super Select 4WD, Rear Differential Lock, for superior traction, Off Road Mode and Hill Descent Control, the Sport is still equipped with enough technology to see it overcome everything and anything that this green and pleasant land of ours has to offer.
On road, there is still much to admire as the Sport gets an opportunity to show you how and where the improvements have been made over the 2018 Shogun. Getting into the Mitsubishi using the chunky hand holds attached to the A-pillars is a welcome throwback to its more utilitarian forebears and allows you easy access to the well appointed cabin, even for those with a shorter inside leg.
Heated, fully adjustable leather seats as well as the ability to transport up to seven in comfort is a bonus especially as the two additional rear seats in the boot space are easy and quick to set up as and when necessary. Upfront, the driver is well catered for and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Mitsubishi had added every conceivable piece of technology that they could find so well specced is the Shogun Sport.
Located neatly between the speedometer and rev counter, the Mitsubishi offers a comprehensive multi info display which gives you full journey information at a glance including Fuel economy, estimated miles remaining, outside temperature and more. There’s also a 360-degree camera system , Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Unintended Acceleration Mitigation System, Front parking sensors, 8 speakers with 510W amplifier, Satellite Navigation, dual-zone climate control, Keyless operation with engine start/stop, DAB radio, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone connection and music streaming as well as smartening up the cabin with an electronic parking brake. The interior of the Shogun Sport offers luxury when needed combined with the feeling that this is also a place that would shake off the flotsam and jetsam accrued by your more adventurous journeys. Job done in MotorMartin’s opinion.
On the road and the first thing that grabs your attention is the more refined feel you get than that achieved by last year’s Shogun, an effect achieved by the matching up of an all-new 8 speed automatic gearbox with the Mitsubishi’s 2.4L diesel engine. This pairing works very effectively, delivering power of 179bhp at 3500rpm and torque of 317 lb/ft at 2500rpm. Do not be confused by the sleeker lines of the Sport, this engine delivers traditional Shogun pomp and circumstance whenever and wherever it is required. There’s also impressive fuel economy figures for a vehicle of this size of up to 32.8mpg combined and emissions of 227 g/km.
The net result of the power and torque on offer from the Shogun’s four cylinder, turbocharged power plant gives you a deceptively strong shove in the back as you push your foot to the floor, the 8 speed box dropping you directly into the Mitsubishi’s power band. 0-62mph of 11.0s and a (irrelevant) top speed of 112mph means that this Shogun Sport will cruise all day long at motorway speeds with the limiting factor being how often you and your passengers need to stop, this is a car that is all day comfortable. The technology and driver aids previously mentioned also help the longer journeys fly by with my particular favourite being the Adaptive Cruise Control, a quite brilliant bit of kit that once switched on allows you to set your speed and desired distance from the vehicle in front then let the Shogun maintain your settings until you press the brake. The system is so simple to use it becomes second nature to allow the Mitsubishi to remove the strain from driving long distances whilst providing you with an additional safety aid to compensate for increasingly unreliable behaviour on the crowded roads of today.
Suspension that copes admirably when traversing both on and off road delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride quality on the pot holed roads we call home but press on and the Sport delivers as well. Of course the chassis won’t deliver a experience akin to one of Mitsubishi’s legendary EVO models but then it’s not supposed too. What it does give you is a supremely practical family car that can, when required, give the drivers enough tools to provide more than enough fun when the everyday humdrum is completed.
Safe, powerful, well specced, comfortable, practical and economical within it’s class, the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport is a more than capable addition to the range. It’s a SUV that is more than worthy of it’s Shogun badge, a SUV that will challenge you every day to find it’s limits. You know what though, it’s extremely unlikely that you ever will.
The price? The Sport starts at £37,775 and that my friends, is still great value.
Where will you go?