Getting Out the Guns: The 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun Review
With plenty of proper off-road heritage, the Mitsubishi Shogun decisively proves that you can have a large 4×4 that walks the walk rather than just looking a bit like it should. Now in its 4th generation, the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun has been improved to provide heaps of space, a tank-like feeling of unstoppability and good value for money. It’s certainly one of the most practical 4x4s out there, prioritising this and off-roadability over the more superficial virtues. But not totally. The Shogun is what it is… and that’s a lot.
One thing is certain with the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun – it is what it is and it’s supremely comfortable in that. It embodies a bygone era of luxury SUVs which were first and foremost proper 4×4 SUVs. The recent years have bought in a few minor alterations but for the most part the traditional Shogun form will be familiar. Nearly 5 metres long and 2 metres in width and height – it’s strong and resolute. The Shogun cues are all here such as the short overhangs, flared wheel arches and of course the branded rear mounted spare wheel. There is a short wheelbase 3 door model available, but most will go for the long wheelbase 7-seater model.
The exterior dimensions of the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun reflect that of the interior. Swing open the fridge door style hinged tailgate to reveal one of the most practical cargo areas available at 1790ltrs which can extend even further if you put down the back (2nd row) seats. This figure is restricted to 1120ltrs in the short wheelbase version for the most obvious of reasons. Then there’s the 3rd seating row. Most cars of this type have to crowbar them in with a squeeze, but the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun fits in that 3rd row with ease. The 3rd row bench is cleverly hidden away beneath the floor and can be easily popped out whenever you need it and popped away just as easily when you don’t/would like some boot space. You access the rear through folding down the door-side chair to step through. Once sitting in the very back, you’ll be able to enjoy a decent amount of leg room – something you don’t normally get to do. The middle row seating area is nice and roomy, plus there’s the option of rear seat mounted cinema screens to entertain over long journeys. Up in the front of the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun, you’ll see that although there have been a few improvements and such over recent years, very little has really changed since its release in 2007. As such, it is a bit devoid of modern car luxuries, ambience and tech. The standard heated seats are a nice touch though and there is something to be said for a cabin that maintains its sturdy functional edge without being too gruff and basic. On the plushest versions you do get the interior all spruced up with lots of leather and wood inserts.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun is in a field of its own – in this case that’s probably literal. Compared to its cushy luxury orientated rivals who wouldn’t dare consider anything more than a muddy woodland path, the Mitsubishi Shogun is most at home slogging through the wilderness. You could say that the Land Rover Defender is probably the pinnacle of off-roading glory, and you’d be right, but where the Shogun really shines is the fact that it can take all this amazing off-road aptitude and package it well with a decent level of on-road refinement and interior quality. Defenders aren’t famed for comfort after all, so this works as a brilliant compromise to make it stand out in this segment.
The AWC (all-weather control) system is a tried and tested Shogun formula combined with the Super Select Transfer Case and central differential lock to give a Shogun driver the option of no less than 4 different transmission modes, which all cover the diverse needs of this car so it can pretty much get anywhere it needs to from a country lane to the Sahara. Let’s put it this way – with a set of good all-weather tyres, you’ll be unstoppable in one of these beasts. The 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun has a wade depth of 700mm and can hit slopes of an angle up to 45 degrees, it won’t topple and it has a hefty 3500kg towing capacity. On the road, well you hardly expected it to be a paragon of road-going virtue after all that off-roading goodness did you? That being said it’s not a bad ride, but the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun doesn’t handle the bendy stuff as well as its road-biased luxury rivals. If you keep this in mind and take a more relaxed approach then this shouldn’t be too much of problem.
The double overhead cam shaft 16 valve turbo charged 3.2ltr intercooled direct injection engine is, as expected, a very capable unit. It’s a big gruff thing that’s pretty much the engine equivalent of a burley lumberjack stereotype, and so it would need to do what it does so effectively while lugging around a 2.3 tonne body. True to off-roader form, it boasts a ton of torque which is available through the low rev ranges. It gets to 62mph from rest in 11 seconds up to a top speed of 111mph. Ironically enough, the ride can be a bit shaky on poor road surfaces and on tight corner’s you’ll have to be careful. The 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun comes complete with a system you’ll be very thankful for – the MASTC active stability and traction control which lends a big helping hand to keeping control of this big machine.
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Mitsubishi Shogun? The Shogun commands its own small, yet important niche characterised by a brilliant compromise between genuine off-road skill and on-road refinement. Anything from the domineering Land Rover Defender 4×4 to plush luxury SUVs like the BMW X5 can’t really cover all bases as well as the Shogun. It can handle family duties, all-weather, all terrain and towing equally well while maintaining solid engineering and good pricing. Some argue its simplicity, but then again the best ideas are often the straightest forward. The Shogun is something to respect and something tells me it’s going to be around to stay.