- Great off-road capability
- Spacious interior
- Generous equipment
- Not great on the road
- Expensive to run
- Feels very dated
Tough, rugged, seven seater SUV.
The Mitsubishi Shogun, first introduced in 1982, and now in its fourth generation, is one of the mainstays in the 4x4 class. Whereas most modern SUVs favour on-road refinement, the Shogun sticks to its guns. It’s one of the most capable off-roaders that money can buy. It’s not particularly great to drive on the road, nor does it have a high-end interior. But with tremendous practicality, generous equipment, and a powerful diesel engine, the Shogun is a great option for those with a love for the outdoors.
Simple, utilitarian, and generously equipped.
If you’re expecting to get German-style luxury in the Shogun, you might be disappointed. But with its excellent build quality, simple design, and logical controls, it’s an easy car to live with. And with good practicality, and generous equipment across the range, it’s a great family car.
The dashboard design of the Shogun isn’t going to win any awards, but it serves its purpose well. Mitsubishi has favoured simplicity and ease of use over contemporary flourishes. Material quality isn’t as good as a lot of SUVs, as there are a fair amount of cheap-feeling hard plastics. But everything feels built to last, which is backed up by Mitsubishi’s excellent reliability record. Controls are well-laid out and easy to use, whilst the infotainment is one of the simplest systems on the market.
Practicality is a big factor for buyers looking for a big, rugged off-roader. Thankfully the Shogun doesn’t disappoint. With seven seats, the Shogun is ideal for big families. And whilst the rear seats are only really suited to children, there’s plenty of leg, and headroom in the middle row. With all the seats up, the Shogun doesn’t offer a great deal of storage capacity. But with the rearmost row folded, 663 litres is on offer. More than enough room for a full family’s travel luggage.
Equipment levels in the Shogun are generous no matter which model you go for. The entry-level SG2 model is really well-equipped for a basic model. You’ll get air-con, alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth, a leather steering wheel, and LED daytime running lights. Higher spec models add luxuries such as leather seats, a reversing camera, touchscreen sat-nav, DAB radio, and in-car entertainment for the kids.
All in all the Shogun offers an interior that is ideally suited to day-to-day family life. You’ll have to cut back on luxury, but if you want a cabin that’s built to last, the Shogun will meet your needs. And with plenty of kit as standard, and solid practicality, it’s a great family steed.
Great off-road, not so good on it.
The Mitsubishi Shogun has never claimed to be a fun car to drive on the road. It’s main purpose is its off-roading ability. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love the Shogun. It can handle almost any terrain; there’s no wonder it’s won at Dakar so many time. On the road the steering offers little in the way of feedback, especially at speeds. Whilst body roll is very apparent when you get it on fast, winding country roads. It’s not a composed car to drive compared to rivals, but few rivals can match it once you’re off the straight and narrow.
Suspension and Chassis
Unfortunately, the Mitsubishi Shogun doesn’t impress in terms of comfort and refinement either. The soft suspension deals with deep potholes at lower speeds. But on faster roads the Shogun never feels settled, and at times it can actually be uncomfortable. Due to the Shogun’s sheer size, refinement isn’t the best either. There’s plenty of road and wind noise once you’re on the motorway, so it’s not an ideal long-distance cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Shogun come only in one guise. No matter which Shogun you plump for, you’re going to get a five-speed automatic transmission. It’s not a match for the modern semi-automatics that you get in a lot of cars in this class. It isn’t what you’d call smooth, or responsive, whilst it also reduces fuel economy by quite a bit.
Only one rough-sounding diesel on offer.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Shogun, you’ve only got one option. All models are fitted with a 3.2 litre diesel engines. It’s not particularly refined, and it sounds agricultural compared to more modern rivals.
In a rugged off-roader like the Shogun, you can’t expect to find impressive straight line speed. The 3.2 litre DI-DC diesel engine produces 187bhp, and 325lb/ft of torque. It’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. But this isn’t what the Shogun is all about. The sheer amount of torque on offer allows the Shogun to be a brilliant towing car. It can haul up to 3,500kg, which is ideal if you have a big caravan, a horsebox, or even a racing car.
One group of buyers who won’t be impressed with Shogun are the eco-conscious among us. The 238g/km of CO2 it produces is pretty awful when you compare it with a Land Rover Discovery. Not only is it bad for the planet, it’s also bad for the wallet. The high emissions mean that it’ll cost £500 in road tax each year. Not only that, but the 31.4mpg fuel economy that it offers will drain your wallet of cash each month. Not a car for money-savers then.
The engine in the Shogun will not suit many buyers. There’s no doubting the fact that it’s a great haul loader, thanks to the engine’s high levels of torque. But it’s expensive to run, bad for the planet, and it’s noisy to boot.
Not tested by NCAP, but you’ll get a decent set of safety kit.
Unfortunately, due to the Shogun’s limited sales figures, the Shogun hasn’t been tested by NCAP. It’s hard to know how it would score, due to the fact that it’s a big, brutal off-roader, but it’s likely it’d fall some way short of rivals. You will get some safety kit as standard however. All models come equipped with electronic stability control, a full set of airbags, and Isofix child seat points. There’s no electronic drivers aid on offer in any of the models though. The added safety that comes with the Shogun’s four-wheel drive system will at least give you confidence in poor winter conditions.
Expensive to run, but some great used car bargains out there.
The Mitsubishi Shogun does not represent great value for money for most buyers. Especially if you buy from new. No matter which model you buy, you can expect to have running costs that far exceed anything on offer in rivals. Fuel economy is poor, whilst the high emissions mean road tax is pretty extortionate for a modern car. There’s no way around it. If you want to indulge in the Shogun’s immense off-road capabilities, you’ll have to pay for it.
Insurance groups for the Shogun depend on which model you choose to go for. It’s not going to be a cheap car to insure though, no matter what spec you end up buying. The cheapest model in the range is the 3.2 DI-DC Warrior 3dr, which is in group 30, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping 3.2 DI-DC SG4 5dr, which is in group 38.
Depreciation is a major factor with the Mitsubishi Shogun, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mitsubishi Shogun always has been, and probably always will be a tough, rugged off-roader. What it lacks in on-road ability, it more than makes up for in off-road capability. The Shogun isn’t cheap to run, and the interior doesn’t match most modern standards. But with its immense practicality, generous equipment, and huge towing capacity, it’s a great family car for the true adventurer.
Buying a used Mitsubishi Shogun online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mitsubishi Shogun for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Shogun. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mitsubishi Shogun online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Mitsubishi? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mitsubishi Shogun, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Shogun, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mitsubishi to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.