Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 – 2019) Review
Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 – 2019) At A Glance
The 2007 Mitsubishi Shogun is one of those cars that’s good at a very specific job. If you want an affordable car that’ll take seven people deep into the countryside, possibly pulling a horsebox at the time, and you’re not overly concerned about how comfortably or luxuriously it does the job, then the Shogun could be just the job. If, however, you’re after anything more than that, such as a civilised everyday seven-seater family car with a reasonable amount of comfort, luxury and refinement, then there are numerous other large 4x4s out there that will suit you better...
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Amazing what a difference a few years makes, isn’t it? Once upon a time (we’re talking back in the nineties here), the Mitsubishi Shogun was the ultimate must-have accessory for the countryside set.
Back then, it was one of the few cars on the market that could pull a Palomino-filled horsebox to little Petunia’s gymkhana, with room in the boot for all her tack, while making just the right statement about owning a car solely and specifically for that job. For the green-welly brigade, it was a symbol of membership. For a time.
As the years rolled by, though, the Shogun’s appeal waned. It never lost any of the ability that made it popular - to this day, it’s still unstoppable off-road, hugely practical and impressively durable - it’s just that other cars came along that delivered all those same abilities, but with way more comfort and luxury thrown in, meaning less in the way of compromise. And for the well-heeled folk in question, that was temptation too strong to bear.
But instead of abandoning its roots and trying to compete with newer competition on luxury and comfort, Mitsubishi decided to just keep doing what it had always done. And that means that the Shogun has changed very little over the years. In fact, the car that went off sale reasonably recently in 2019 was hardly any different mechanically to the third-generation car that was released around the turn of the millennium.
It has a pulling capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes, and with a huge cabin and seven seats, it’s enormously practical. It’s solidly built, impressively reliable, comes with a decent amount of standard kit and it’s pretty affordable.
The flipside of Mitsubishi’s approach, though, was that in the areas in which it struggled, it felt more and more out-of-date as the years went.
In comparison to ever-evolving rivals, ride quality that started off being irritatingly jittery became borderline unbearable, while rolling refinement that was rather rowdy became a downright assault on the senses.
Stepping into the cabin, meanwhile, is like stepping back to the 1990s due to the dated nature of its design and materials, and if you compare the safety and infotainment kit available with that available in rivals, there are some very glaring omissions (automatic emergency braking and Apple Carplay/Android Auto, anyone?).
There are still a few hardcore fans kicking about who still love the Shogun for its unapologetic ruggedness and its refusal to dumb down on that in the pursuit of economic success. And for those people, who use their car within a very narrow operating window, it works just fine, thank you very much.
For the majority of today’s SUV buyers, though, who couldn’t give a flying mud-pie about off-roading ability and are far more interested in comfort, luxury, refinement, safety and gadgetry, there are literally dozens of other big 4x4s out there that will suit them better.