Mitsubishi Shogun Sport road test
What is it?
The Shogun Sport is a seven-seat SUV from Mitsubishi. It takes the place of the old Shogun in Mitsubishi’s range, although it’s a little smaller.
How green is it?
Not at all. There’s just the one diesel engine, and it emits 227g/km of carbon dioxide and drinks a gallon every 32.8 miles, according to the official figures.
Who should buy one?
If you need a true workhorse 4×4, then the Shogun Sport could be just what you are looking for. However, if you mostly drive on the road there are better SUVs.
Road test by David Motton, August 2018
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
There’s something slightly ungainly about the Shogun Sport’s looks. Stare at the car for long enough and you’ll realise its the gaping space between the top of tyres and the wheelarch.
That gap is there for a reason – Mitsubishi has designed the Shogun Sport to be a proper off-roader, with cliff-conquering approach and departure angles, enough ground clearance to drive over a bungalow, and long-travel suspension.
The mechanical specification ticks just about every box for serious green-laning. There’s a low ratio gearbox to handle steep slopes, and locking centre and rear differentials to make the most of any grip. A switchable terrain response system (with gravel, mud/snow, sand, and rock settings) adjusts the car’s systems to cope better with whatever is under the tyres, and there’s a hill descent system to hold the car at a sensible speed when crawling downhill.
We were thoroughly impressed with the Shogun Sport’s ability in the rough (although it’s worth noting that the cars used on the mud-plugging section of our test drive had been fitted with off-road tyres). If that’s where your priorities lie, you can safely double the two-out-of -five ‘driving and performance’ score.
However, if most (or perhaps all) of your driving is on Tarmac, there are better SUVs than the Shogun Sport.
The ride is unsettled, and the steering rather vague, needing lots of arm-twirling to negotiate tight bends. The Mitsubishi is not as comfortable as a Kia Sorento, and doesn’t handle with the poise of a Skoda Kodiaq.
There’s only one engine, a 181hp 2.4-litre diesel. It has 317lb ft of torque, which should be plenty if you have a caravan or horsebox to tow. This is a heavy car, though, with a kerbweight of well over two tonnes, so acceleration is rather steady.
The engine is a bit clattery but settles down once cruising along. The eight-speed automatic ‘box changes gear smoothly, and paddles behind the steering wheel allow the driver to take charge of gear selection.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
There’s lots of space in the front, and driving position is a lofty as you’d expect of a big SUV.
The dashboard design won’t win prizes for originality, but it’s neat and tidy and appears well screwed together.
Move back to the second row, and there’s reasonable head and legroom. Passengers won’t exactly be stretching out, but they won’t be complaining too loudly, either.
Clambering all the way to third row is a bit of challenge, but once in place there’s enough legroom for adults on short journeys. You sit very low to the floor with knees pushed up high, though, which won’t be comfortable on longer trips.
Predictably, luggage space is very tight with all seven seats upright. There’s just 131 litres, enough for a few bags of shopping but that’s your lot. With the third row folded away (a slightly more fiddly task than in most seven-seaters) there’s a much more useful 502-litre capacity, although that’s less than you’d find in a Kia Sorento or Skoda Kodiaq.
The Shogun Sport hasn’t yet been tested by Euro NCAP, although recent Mitsubishi models have generally been highly rated. All versions have seven airbags, including a knee ‘bag for the driver and curtain airbags. Extra safety kit is fitted to the range-topping model, including Forward Collision Mitigation (to slow the car in an emergency if the driver doesn’t) and Blind Sport Warning (which uses ultrasonic sensors to detect other vehicles in the driver’s blind spot).
There are two versions of the Shogun Sport, badged ‘3’ and ‘4’. The more affordable ‘3’ comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker stereo. Step up to ‘4’ spec for another £2000 to add heated front seats, a more powerful stereo with additional speakers, headlamp washers, adaptive cruise control, a 360˚-view camera and extra safety kit.
In terms of pricing, Mitsubishi hasn’t been greedy. A starting point of £37,775 is no bargain, but it’s not unreasonable when you consider the level of standard equipment. However, running costs will be high. ‘3’ spec sits in insurance group 43D (of 50), dropping to 38D for ‘4’ spec cars with their extra safety kit. Fuel bills will be painful if the official combined figure of 32.8mpg is anything to go buy.
WE SAY Very capable in the rough, but not as polished as most rivals on the road.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-62 in 11 seconds
Figures for the Shogun Sport 4