Auto Review

Mitsubishi Shogun Barbarian SWB

  • quick
  • Model spec: 3.2 DI-DC SWB Barbarian 4WD
  • Price: £31999
  • Engine: 3.2 DI-DC Turbo-Diesel
  • Max Speed: 111
  • facts
  • 0-60: 9.7 seconds
  • BHP/Torque: 197 / 441
  • Economy: 35mpg combined
  • C02: 207g/km
  • Tax: 285/year

Move over Land Rover Evoque because you can try but only fail to steal the lime light from the Mitsubishi Shogun SWB.

OK so the three door Shogun does’t have the designer boutique flavor of the Evoque but then again few SUV’s or even cars can match the Evoque’s accomplished styling. Yet the Shogun in SWB guise does hold appeal, its elevated ride height and that squat almost old-school industrial look is appealing and it’s a lot bigger than you realise.

The Shogun SWB Barbarian now sits above the Warrior its a leader, a class leader in terms of trim levels and in this spec you get 4WD as standard. Only one engine is offered, the 3.2-litre, 4-cylinder 197bhp turbo-diesel engine and it can be mated to either a five speed manual or automatic transmission.

Inside you will find more than enough space for both front passengers, rear seat passengers fare pretty well but acess is tight the exception being for the odd Umpa-Lumpa. The Shogun’s interior has remained almost unchanged now since the fourth generation was introduced in 2006.

“The Shogun in Barbarian spec is about the “bling” the Black Pearl exterior color with 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels and aluminium door mirrors, it looks like a rapper who had his middle tooth replaced with silver cap.”

Whilst the interior build quality is good Mitsubishi have introduced minor trim upgrades for the Shogun SWB in order to improve refinement and that’s what the introduction of the Barbarian trim level is designed to do. The majority of the trim remains more or less the same as before, a mixture of soft and hard plastics, faux leather inserts here and there. The benefits of going for Barbarian spec are the leather seats which in truth is the only significant if very comfortable change. Standard kit does get a boost with the addition of DAB Radio and you also get things like alloy pedals although the whole touchscreen infotainment UI is sluggish and a pain to operate at times.

Off course the rear passenger seats fold flat and increase standard space from, well its big enough for what ever you need and overall the loading bay is what it is, easily accessible and this being the SWB version there isn’t too much of an awkward compromise as you would expect other than you don’t get as much standard load space as you would with the LWB.

The Shogun still has that lack of feel when it comes to the driving experience, yes the ride is comfortable and its true calling as far as handling dynamics go is the straight and afar. Don’t expect a handling paradigm shift, the Shogun in LWB or SWB still lacks a communicative steering and your instinct is not too hurtle into corners as there is a basic detachment with the chassis and steering setup. But hey, that’s classic Shogun road manners for you. Where it really feels at home is plugging through a muddy field or a steep muddy incline, its got all the 4×4 etiquette you could want.

The 3.2-litre engine is mated to a 5-speed gear box which feels slightly sluggish at times and the engine can sound a bit agriculture when speeding through the gears but it returns a healthy 34mpg which isn’t bad considering the size and weight of this beast. There is enough lower-end torque to get you out of bothersome moments. The Shoguns all round off-road ability is a get out of jail card if the going gets rough.

The Shogun in Barbarian spec is about the “bling” the Black Pearl exterior color with 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels and aluminium door mirrors, it looks like a rapper who had his middle tooth replaced with silver cap. Its a bit of visual flair if nothing more than that. Don’t let the blinged up exterior fool you, it may not the fastest, or fleet footed or even the most modern line up in Mitsubishi’s fleet but its off-road appeal is still a badge of honor.

The problem with the Shogun is not the fact that an entry level Range Rover Evoque is cheaper by nearly £2k but the fact that its main competition comes from within Mitsubishi’s own line up, the Outlander is where the company is heading, the Shogun is a warrior that looks like a barbarian facing down a modern, civilised time.

But if you look at it this way the Shogun in 3 or 5 door guise is Mitsubishi’s answer to the Range Rover and that starts at £70k, incremental changes or not the Shogun may be no Evoque but at its significantly cheaper than a Range Rover.

 

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