Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 – 2019) Review

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Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 – 2019) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The stuff that the Shogun does well, it does as well as ever. It’s brilliant off-road and a fantastic towcar with a strong engine. Sadly, it's a let down in most other areas.

A rugged hard-worker that can tow heavy loads without breaking sweat and conquer terrain that would faze nearly all of its rivals, spacious cabin and seven seats, reasonably affordable and most version well equipped.

Land Rover Discovery runs rings around it on the road for refinement and handling, back seats of seven-seat LWB models are cramped.

Insurance Groups are between 29–35
On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure

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...

Looking for a Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 - 2019)?
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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.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend an economical 4x4 for £3000?
"The wife and I have decided to consolidate our cars. We have a sporty car for the summer but we now want a car that can be used for long journeys and can do some off-roading and hopefully we can camp in it. I can be flexible on the gearbox, and I would also go LPG but this may make camping in the back problematic due to the LPG tank. I have been looking at - Audi All Roads but the MPG is not great. Also looking at Nissan X-Trail and Qashqai - but the space in the back is poor. Our budget is £3000. "
Any 4x4 of this price will be pretty old so you'll have to be prepared for high maintenance costs and potentially big fuel bills, too. A Mitsubishi Shogun could be a good choice. They're pretty tough, good off road and very practical. There are some rough ones about, though. Alternatively, how about a Honda CR-V? Not as practical as the Shogun nor as good off road, but they're pretty reliable and you'll get a newer one for the money.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a towing vehicle for a small budget?
"I want to buy an SUV which tows at least 2-tonnes, it must be auto and ideally have 4WD as well. I tow a horse trailer which has a 1600 kg MAM and travel about 250 miles per week to work. But I only have about £4000-6500 to spend. I have looked at the Kia Sorento (would be about a 2004-2006 model with 80,000-100,000 miles at this price), Hyundai Santa Fe (can find slightly newer than the Sorento), also Tiguan, Shogun (possibly a bit too much for what I need), Land Cruiser (same as Shogun, but a lot pricier). I have avoided anything Land Rover due to reliability issues I have read about. Are there any you would recommend for this purpose in this price bracket, any you'd strongly avoid, or any I may have not considered? Thank you."
You're certainly thinking along the right lines - we'd be avoiding Land Rovers at this price, too, and the Kia Sorento/Hyundai Sante Fe/Mitsubishi Shogun/Toyota Land Cruiser all sound like more sensible options. Have you considered a SsangYong Korando? They're very popular with the towing fraternity due to their two-tonne towing capacity. You should be able to find a fairly tidy 2012 model within budget. We'd also recommend a Honda CR-V. Certain models can tow up to 2000kg. It should be a very reliable choice, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a budget-friendly, reliable, no frills 4x4?
"We're looking for a second car. Something with no frills; a proper 4x4 (rural Highlands and Islands) with a raised driving position, reliable and preferably under £5000. We are considering an old Nissan X-Trail, Skoda Yeti, Mitsubishi Shogun and Suzuki Vitara. Would you recommend any of these or something different? Thank you."
You might find that second-hand Shoguns have led pretty hard lives and finding a good one can be difficult. Diesel X-Trails can be troublesome, while we've also had a lot of issues reported with Yetis. My money would go on a Suzuki Grand Vitara or Honda CR-V. Both ought to be very reliable choices. Also, consider a Dacia Duster if you're after a no-frills 4x4.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What 4x4 is best to replace our Mitsubishi L200?
"We have £15,000 to replace our 2008 Mitsubishi L200. We need four wheel drive, an integral boot rather than truck body, seven seats, reliability and plenty of rugged boot space. My husband would love a Land Rover Discovery but i’m not keen in terms of reliability. What do you suggest?"
I think you're right to avoid the Discovery on reliability grounds. A Mitsubishi Shogun would be a good choice - they're reliable and make an excellent workhorse, but they feel very old-fashioned - especially compared to a Discovery of the same era. The Kia Sorento might be worth looking at. They're practical and your budget will get you one still inside its original warranty. Also consider a Volvo XC90, but do your research first.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Mitsubishi Shogun (2007 – 2019) cost?