Periodic updates are designed to increase our appetites to buy new, a product strategy from which the Mitsubishi Shogun has benefited from. Yet somehow the Shogun still feels like it is in a state of suspended animation. And while the Shogun has chosen the route of the tortoise, rivals have chosen the fast track course of the Hare. The Range Rover and to a lesser extent the VW Touareg offer an overall much more refined package. That much is known. For Mitsubishi the rivalry begins from within, the new generation Outlander showcases the company’s future.
The Outlander, in terms of refinement as a whole, outshines the Shogun. It doesn’t help when the analysts say the Shogun’s mass market appeal has shrunk as buyers of chunky SUV’s go for the premium end of the sector. But the Shogun still has a few tricks up its sleeves such as a £5k reduction in price across the range. The SWB version is a deceptively large three door 4×4 to behold, its offered in four trim levels with prices starting at £23k for the Commercial editions. Just one engine is available, a 3.2 litre turbo diesel which can be had with a 5-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
While the engine sounds agricultural at low revs it does the business when cruising, at 70mph, its relatively quiet but wind and tyre noise make a good effort of overwhelming the interior ambiance. With 441Nm of torque available the Shogun even in SWB guise can manage to pull nearly three tonnes of trailer weight if that’s the sort of lifestyle you want to lead. The five speed auto shifts smoothly but even so the Shogun SWB feels a tad sluggish when the need for speed is required. Its got all the 4×4 armory to make short work of the great out doors, High-range, Low-Range, Center-Diff-Lock that’s serious off-road tech. Interior quality is OK, its roomy and despite the SWB tag rear occupants won’t be short of space and of course with the rear seats lowered cargo space is a useful 1,120 liters.
The Shogun has never been a driving exclamation point and that continues to be the case to this day but it has a comfortable ride and in these frugal times 32mpg on a combined run is measurably good. The Shogun Warrior SWB costs £31k, that’s entry level Range Rover Evoque territory bear in mind the 3dr Evoque is cheaper to insure. So it comes down to this if you want a three door 4×4 with kerb appeal buy a Range Rover Evoque, if you want a 4×4 mud plugging tool then consider the cantankerous Shogun SWB instead. Me? I would go for the Evoque hands down.