The Shogun is impressive off-road and benefits from the 3.2-litre diesel's huge amount of pulling power. The gearboxes have low ratios for added grip and the option of a rear differential lock for super-muddy conditions. On-road, however, the engine can struggle to move the weight of the car, so the Shogun feels very sluggish when overtaking.
You could happily spend hours conquering the roughest off-road terrain in the Shogun, but the picture isn’t so rosy when the surface you’re tackling is more conventional. This huge car feels cumbersome when negotiating bends, not helped by a huge amount of body lean. The ride feels very agricultural on the road, too, with plenty of fidgeting and knocking.
The Shogun's diesel is very gruff. It’s not too bad at low off-road speeds. But it’s more tiresome on the asphalt. Higher speeds also generate lots of wind noise around the large door mirrors and upright windscreen. Tyre noise is also too evident.
The Shogun isn’t a cheap car, and like most big 4x4s, resale values aren’t the strongest. Fuel consumption is as steep as you’d expect – mid-thirties at best - so prepare to throw a lot of juice in the tank. Also, every Shogun is also in the top 35% company car tax band.
The no-nonsense off-road ethos of the Shogun is evident in the way it's built. The cabin materials are more hard-wearing than classy, but like the rest of the car, they feel like they'll easily last the distance. The car's simple design and engineering should guarantee many a trouble-free mile, on- or off-road.
Traction and stability control systems are standard across the range and aim to keep you out of trouble. Anti-lock brakes come with electronic brakeforce distribution for more stable stopping power. Front, side and curtain airbags are also standard along with keyless entry and alarm.
There's enough adjustment in the driver's seat to get most people comfortable, but the steering wheel adjusts for height only, not reach. All-round visibility is a strong point, while the controls are grouped together sensibly and are easy-to-use.
The Shogun is a big car with bags of space. You're unlikely to hear passengers on the first two rows complain about head- or legroom, but the third-row seats are best reserved for children. These seats tuck away under the boot floor when they're not needed and leave masses of boot space. The seats, however, aren’t as clever as they are in many big 4x4s.
All Shoguns have climate control, alloys, MP3-compatible CD player, electric windows and mirrors and keyless entry. Warriors get a reversing camera, privacy glass and leather, while SG3 models have automatic lights and wipers, rear air-con controls and sat-nav. The SG4 model throws in a rear-seat DVD screen system.
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With no choice of engine, all you have to choose is the size of the car and the trim - and, with the five-door body and decent equipment, this is the pick of the range.