Mitsubishi Shogun Sport (2018-2021) Review
It's got a spacious interior but the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport lacks the on-road comfort of more expensive SUV rivals
Strengths & weaknesses
- Capable off road
- Seven seats
- High equipment level
- Uncomfortable over some surfaces
- Feels cheap in places
- Noisy and ineffecient engine
Tall, rugged-looking sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are understandably popular. The extra height provides a commandng driving position and makes it easier to strap children into their seats, while it often brings extra interior space too.
And then there's the go-anywhere, unstoppable image that's created by chunky bodywork and big wheels. For most families, who are unlikely to venture off road, it's not necessarily a problem that many medium-sized SUVs don't always include four-wheel drive, or that those protruding pieces of bodywork will actually scrape over jagged bits of rock.
But if you need an affordable SUV that can put its money where its mouth is, and carry you through muddy bogs or up slippery ditches, your choice is limited. That's where the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport comes in, as it boasts improved looks, it has been built on over 80 years of Mitsubishi 4x4 expertise and comes as standard with the sort of equipment that makes real off-roading possible.
A locking rear differential, four individually selectable transmission modes, hill descent assist, a traction control system to tackle numerous scenarios and a wading depth of 700mm are all items that you'll be looking for if you want a proper off-roader.
It also costs less than £40,000, which quickly falls closer to £30,000 for relatively recent second-hand models.
Only the Toyota Land Cruiser can really compete on specification, but even the most basic models start at £40,000 and easily breach the £50,000 mark when kitted out with additional luxuries.
Similarly, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is renowned for its off-road abilities, but it is also pricey when the options boxes are ticked, while the more affordable SsangYong Rexton feels very cheap and basic in comparison.
This high standard specification is down to the fact that Mitsubishi wants to appeal to today's SUV buyer, despite the rugged underpinnings of its model, so offers 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, reversing cameras, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and leather upholstery on even the most basic models.
It's a tempting proposition, particularly for those who want some luxury yet have a genuine need to venture into the mud, but it's not without its flaws.
The 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine (the only thing offered here) sounds agricultural and it's not particularly efficient when compared to rivals, the interior lacks that premium zing and the ride will feel distinctly agitated for those used to the refined on-road manners of a modern SUV.
However, the price might just make some of these factors meaningless for many, as Shogun Sport deliberately dips under the £40,000 mark to avoid the dreaded 'luxury car tax' and it will be available in a commercial vehicle version (blanked out rear windows are the only real change here) for those business users who fancy saving a dollop in Benefit in Kind and monthly running costs.
It also comes with seven seats as standard, the rearmost of which are easy to access thanks to some clever middle bench folding mechanisms and offers an impressive amount of headroom, even though legroom is naturally limited.
Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Engines
Engine choice is limited to just one 2.4-litre diesel unit, which can be found in a number of Mitsubishi's hardy SUVs and pick-up trucks.
But here, it only comes with an eight speed automatic gearbox. True off-road aficionados may baulk at the reduction in control that this offers, but it does include some influence over gear selection with a 'manual' mode, where pulling on paddles behind the steering wheel cycles up and down the gears.
The engine itself isn't particularly quiet and sounds gruff under heavy acceleration, while the official fuel economy figure of 32.8mpg is not only wishful thinking, it is also not as good as the cheaper and more basic SsangYong Rexton.
There is plenty of pulling power on offer, though, giving the Shogun the ability to pull up to 3.1 tons - or to drag its own not-inconsiderable mass out of muddy ruts.
An official 0-62mph sprint time of 11 seconds is good enough to rival most in its class and won't put you off overtaking a slower vehicle on single-carriageway roads.
Official fuel economy
2.4-litre AWD Manual
Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Trims
The Shogun Sport only offers two choices of trim level - starting at 3. These include 18in alloy wheels, leather upholstery and electrically adjustable front seats as standard.
The exterior has bright LED headlights and rear privacy glass makes summertime motoring more comfortable for those in the back. .
Inside, that leather interior doesn't quite match the beautiful hides offered by Jaguar Land Rover and its heavy padding makes it clear that it hasn't been altered from the model offered in Indonesian markets.
Still, most buyers will be happy with the standard equipment list, which includes automatic headlamps and wipers, keyless operation with push start and an dashboard screen that's compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This software makes it easy to use your apps through the touchscreen and voice commands and is particularly useful, as you'll be able to use map apps for navigation: there's no other sat-nav available for the Shogun Sport.
This won't be a problem for those living in big towns or cities, but the more remote customer base will find themselves struggling for a phone signal and cursing Apple Maps when it fails to load important map data. Also frustrating is the slow reaction time that the touchscreen has to some commands.
All models receive the previously mentioned Mitsubishi Super Select II 4WD system, an off-road Terrain Control system, the rear diff lock, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Stability Assist.
It represents a formidable off-road package as standard, but customers can enjoy more on-road technology should they step up a grade.
Heated front seats, a Mitsubishi Power sound system with additional tweeters and a 510W amplifier, headlamp washers, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and a 360˚ view camera for easier parking manoeuvres all come part of the £39,995 '4' trim package.
Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Reliability and warranty
Mitsubishi has long had a reputation for creating reliable vehicles and a five-year, 62,500 warranty provides confidence that the Shogun Sport will continue this trend, as it's longer than average - even though the mileage limit will affect higher-mileage drivers.
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport feels very well bolted together and it has been designed to tackle some of the roughest terrain you'll want to drive on, while a well-established dealer network means there is strong customer support.