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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Shogun is extremely capable off-road, and there's a choice of three- and five-door models

Against Many rivals are much better on Tarmac

Verdict It's a fantastic off-road workhorse or tow car, but it's definitely no motorway cruiser

Go for… Any diesel

Avoid… V6 petrols

Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4
  • 1. The suspension may need an overhaul and brake discs need replacing every 60,000 miles
  • 2. Shoguns remain tough as old boots, which is remarkable given the hard life many of them lead
  • 3. Among the reported problems are gearboxes that can fail after about 60,000 miles
  • 4. It’s huge inside - five-door versions even have seven seats – but the materials and trim look cheap and tacky
  • 5. The diesel makes for a much easier drive than the petrol V6, thanks to its stronger pulling power at low revs
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Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Shogun is from a time when 4x4s were designed to go off-road. As far removed from a Chelsea Tractor as you can get, this is a great car for muddy fields - not something you can say of a BMW X5 or Volvo XC90.

However, the X5 and XC90 are perfect examples of how the market has moved on. Modern buyers want a 4x4 that’s more capable on Tarmac, and there the Shogun really is a step back in time. The ride never settles, especially at low speeds, and the handling is no better than mediocre, with lots of body roll in bends and vague steering.

The cabin is also disappointing. It’s huge inside - five-door versions even have seven seats – but the materials and trim look cheap and tacky. Given what else you can buy for the same money, it’s probably not something you’d be happy with.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Values firm and most popular model is 3.2 DI-D Elegance

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Go for the diesel, and not just because the 21mpg economy of the V6 is frightening. The diesel makes for a much easier drive, thanks to its stronger pulling power at low revs. For a car that could spend a lot of time off-road, towing or carrying heavy loads, that’s vital.

Three- and five-door versions can swallow an awful lot, but the extra versatility of the larger car – it has a third row of seats that flips up from the boot floor as well as the two extra doors – makes it the best choice.

As for trims, this is an expensive car, so it’s best to stick with the most basic - Classic. Besides, it’s hardly Spartan: it has alloys, air-con and a full complement of safety kit. Equippe, Elegance and Warrior add things such as climate control, an electric sunroof and leather upholstery, but this just raises the already expensive price.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates make this an excellent purchase, but beware of engine problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Inevitably, a Shogun will cost a lot to run. The petrol cars struggle to get much more than 20mpg, and even the diesels return less than 30mpg on the combined cycle.

That said, it’s no worse than any of its rivals, and considerably better than some. None of its competitors do much better than the diesel Shogun’s 29.7mpg, although the XC90’s 31mpg is good.

Insurance costs, too, are generally on a par with those of its rivals. Most Shoguns are in group 16, as are most Grand Cherokees, X5s and Mercedes-Benz M-Classes. However, you could save a few pounds in a Land Rover Discovery or Toyota Landcruiser, because some models sit as low as groups 12 or 13.

Likewise, servicing will set you back a fair whack. Finally, average repair costs are reasonable, dearer than on a Discovery, but much cheaper than on a Landcruiser.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Values firm and most popular model is 3.2 DI-D Elegance

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Shoguns remain tough as old boots, which is remarkable given the hard life many of them lead. Warranty Direct figures show the vehicle's reliability is better than average, and better than any others in its class, including the Discovery and even the X5.

There’s no one area that’s a particular weakness on the Shogun, but the engine, transmission and cooling systems are, between them, responsible for three-quarters of all claims.

Among the problems are gearboxes that can fail after about 60,000 miles, and, at around the same mileage, a suspension that may need an overhaul and brake discs that need replacing.

Shoguns have not sold in high enough numbers to be included in recent JD Power surveys, but if the reader reviews here on whatcar.com are anything to go by, its position would be very impressive. The reports are all positive, with problems few and far between, and all sorted out by the dealer.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates make this an excellent purchase, but beware of engine problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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