March 25, 2019

Son of a gun

Shogun relaunches its top-of-the-range Sport model. Dan Gilkes takes a look.

Mitsubishi has reintroduced the Shogun Sport name to the UK, to replace its aging Shogun at the top of the SUV range. An earlier Shogun Sport, based on the L200 chassis, was originally sold in the UK from 2000-2007 and Mitsubishi claims there are still around 12,000 on UK roads, providing a potential customer base for the new model. As with the Shogun itself, the Sport will be offered without rear seats as a commercial vehicle later in the year.

It is powered by a 181bhp version of the firm’s 2.4-litre diesel engine, as seen in the L200, though here it pushes out a healthy 430Nm of torque. It drives through an eight-speed automatic transmission, rather than the five-speed in the L200 and Mitsubishi’s Super Select II all-wheel drive system. This system allows changes from two- to four-wheel drive at speeds of up to 62mph using a rotary controller in the centre of the cab.

The Sport will also come with a Terrain Control System, offering four off-road driving modes for gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock. These alter the gearchange points and the vehicles braking and ESP systems to suit varying conditions. Super Select incorporates a centre differential locking system, plus the Sport is equipped with a rear differential lock, to tackle tougher off-road conditions.

On the road, drivers benefit from Forward Collision Mitigation, with autonomous braking, Blind Spot Warning, a 360° camera and an ultrasonic system that reduces the chance of hitting obstacles if the driver mistakenly presses the accelerator at speeds of up to 6mph.

As the majority of Shogun Commercial buyers opted for the high specification Barbarian model, rather than the utility-spec 4Life, Mitsubishi will offer Shogun Sport Commercial in the SUV’s top trim level of Sport 4.

This includes heated leather upholstery, 18” alloys, electric seats, dual-zone climate control, full LED lights, Bluetooth and DAB with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Though retaining the rear side doors, the windows are blanked out to allow VAT to be reclaimed where possible. The middle and rear rows of seating have also been removed and a flat load floor installed, with a small bulkhead lip at the front. A full height mesh bulkhead will be offered as an option.

The load volume is an easily accessible 1.5m3 and the van offers a payload of up to 600kg. Mitsubishi claims that it is possible to fit a pallet between the rear wheel arches, though a tailgate would make it difficult to access with a forklift. The overall load length is a useful 1,827mm though. The towing capacity is 3.1-tonnes, which is slightly below the old Shogun’s 3.5-tonnes maximum.

There are no prices yet for the Commercial, though the Sport 4 SUV sells for £39,775. In terms of running costs, the company claims that 32.8mpg should be possible, while CO2 is set at 227g/km. Service intervals are every 12,500 miles/12 months and the Shogun Sport comes with Mitsubishi’s five-year/62,500-mile warranty.

Toyota has just entered this sector of the market with van versions of its three and five-door Land Cruiser, though both are in a more utilitarian trim. At the opposite end of the scale Land Rover will sell you a Discovery Commercial, but for a far higher entry price.

Indeed, Mitsubishi’s biggest competition is probably in-house, with the Outlander Commercial and the L200 pick-up providing a full line-up of all-wheel drive load carriers. For those looking for a replacement for the old Shogun Commercial however, the Sport seems to tick most of the boxes.