MT stuff: Motor mouth - Mitsubishi Shogun LWB

The Shogun may be impressive offroad, says Sathnam Sanghera, but it doesn't quite fit in on the north London school run.

by Sathnam Sanghera
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2016

The joke, when I posted a picture of my test Shogun on Instagram, was that it would fit right into north London, where no nanny or Filipina maid would even consider tackling a school run unless first provided with a car with a wading depth of at least two feet. But the truth is that, even by the standards of NW3, which has more off-roaders than anywhere this side of the Australian outback, the Shogun felt excessive.

When I pulled up in a local Waitrose car park, the short bonnet, tall upright windscreen, fierce wheel arches and side-hinged tailgate with externally mounted spare wheel made the parade of nearby BMW X3s and Porsche Cayennes look like toys. Driving down a slightly muddy track to pick up a fair trade cappuccino didn't exactly make the most of the category-leading 'approach angle', 'departure angle', 'ramp break over angle', 'min ground clearance', 'climb angle' and 'roll-over angle' advertised in the Shogun press pack. And when I left it parked next to a giant oak during the great storm of 2013, it was the tree I was concerned for, not the car.

The fact is that there is nothing faux about the Shogun's 4x4 abilities. But you would be mistaken in thinking this means you are getting a Range Rover for a fraction of the price. For the downside of the high seating position, the impressive front downward visibility, and all the other off-road credentials, is that it is not very good at the simple business of going down a road. The wind and engine noise are so relentless that you are more or less obliged to have the Rockford Fosgate(TM) 860W 12-speaker premium audio system blasting out permanently to conceal it. The ride is so agricultural that at times you find yourself reaching for the handles on the windscreen pillars even on smooth dual carriageways. And the options, as far as they exist, don't do a great job of making the interior a mellow place to be.

I guess the light emitting diodes fitted in the ceiling, front footwells and rear compartment are meant to create warmth, but the cabin is so cavernous that they are the equivalent of trying to light up a barn with a smartphone screen. And as for the 'luxurious' leather seats - well, they are like painting a branch of Greggs in Farrow & Ball colours, and passing it off as a north London artisan bakery.

Mitsubishi Shogun LWB 3.2 DI-DC SG3

£33,799
Engine: 3,200 cc, 16 valves, DOHC, turbodiesel, four cylinders,
intercooler
Transmission: five-speed automatic
Fuel consumption: 34.4 mpg
(combined cycle) CO2 emissions 216 g/km
Power: 197 bhp @ 4,200 rpm Torque 325 lb/ft @ 1,600-1,800 rpm
0-62 mph: 11.1 seconds
Top speed: 111 mph

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