Mitsubishi Shogun Sport review
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport is not alone in offering seven seats with strong off-road capability in the SUV segment, but it demands too many compromises on account of its humble pick-up truck origins. Delivering a compromised driving experience with disappointing fuel consumption from an unrefined engine, the Shogun Sport is neither cheap to buy nor run and lags behind its rivals in many areas. Adept in tough conditions and capable of carrying seven occupants with space to spare, the Shogun Sport fails to distance itself sufficiently from its L200 stablemate and does not make a strong case for itself despite generous equipment levels.
28 Jan, 2019
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport has a distinctive exterior design, although this is partly deliberate it’s also inherited of the vehicle the Sport is based on. Thanks to its Mitsubishi L200 pick-up origins, the Shogun Sport sits high on the road with a large ground clearance and big spaces between the tyres and wheelarches. It also shares the relatively short front overhang and big rear overhang that is indicative of its shared heritage. It is not without a certain rugged appeal but it does not look as stylish as sophisticated as some of its classier rivals.
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Much of the same approach has been taken in the cabin, which is largely lifted from the L200 pick-up also. The straightforward layout is easy to understand, with the major controls grouped centrally and the button count kept to sensible levels. There is also a simple digital display between the large analogue instruments that makes it easy to stay in touch with the vehicle’s status. While all Shogun Sport models are fitted with leather seats as standard, the rest of the materials are a little disappointing for a car costing close to £40,000, with some hard and cheap-feeling plastics in evidence.
There are no additional options available for the Shogun Sport, although the higher-specification 4 model adds luxuries such as adaptive cruise control and heated front seats to the standard equipment list. All Shogun Sport models include electric seat adjustment, dual-zone climate control and a reversing camera, which are a welcome technology boost to the cabin.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The Shogun Sport is fitted as standard with a comprehensive audio system that includes Bluetooth, Apple Car Play and Android Auto with a seven-inch touchscreen. However, the system feels like an aftermarket addition rather than a fully-integrated unit, and the graphics look a little dated. It performs well in terms of functionality and sound quality, while the Shogun Sport 4 model gets a superior specification audio system with 510 watts of power.
Unlike most modern cars the Shogun Sport retains a separate chassis, meaning it has more in common with pick-ups and commercial vehicles than rival family-sized SUVs. While that helps it to deliver impressive off-road performance, the big trade-off is that the Shogun Sport is much less capable of providing a smooth ride. Unlike the L200 on which it is based, the Shogun Sport has multi-link rear suspension, but even then it behaves fussily on anything but the smoothest of roads.
This lack of composure continues through bends. At modest speeds the Shogun Sport manages to be acceptably well controlled, although it is less composed than its key rivals, but driven any more quickly and the vagueness of the steering and bumpy ride make for uncomfortable progress. Although it never feels unsafe, the lack of composure does not inspire confidence and the amount of body roll is disconcerting when driving at speed. The softness of the suspension also means the Shogun Sport is susceptible to pitching forwards and back during acceleration and braking, which makes it difficult to relax behind the wheel and puts it some way behind more polished competitors.
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The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox means a high ratio for motorway cruising and when driven normally it provides smooth shifting. Demands for greater performance however generally result in slow changes, so it is best driven in a relaxed manner. The standard four-wheel-drive system allows you to select rear-wheel-drive only for on-road operation, and in most circumstances this is the best option to minimise fuel consumption, but the facility to send drive to all wheels may come in useful in very poor driving conditions. In addition, all versions of the Shogun Sport are fitted with ESP and Trailer Stability Assist, a useful feature for the kind of vehicle that is commonly used for towing.
Where the Shogun Sport excels is in a proper off-road situation. With the abilty to switch between high and low range gearboxes, lock the differentials and with a terrain selection system, it is capable of dealing with conditions that would easily defeat a conventional SUV. For buyers that will venture off-road on a regular basis, the Shogun Sport is a much more desirable option.
Engines, 0-62mph acceleration and top speed
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport is available with a single engine option, a four-cylinder 2.4-litre diesel engine with turbocharging and intercooling to maximise performance and efficiency. It was first introduced in the L200 pick-up in 2015 and while it was a relatively sophisticated engine for a commercial vehicle at the time, it is less well-suited to a passenger car like the Shogun Sport where a higher level of refinement is demanded.
Acceleration is only adequate, and lags behind much of the competition for in-gear assessments as well as the benchmark 0-62mph measure. Rev the engine hard to extract maximum performance and its lack of refinement shows, with significant noise levels across the rev range, and even at idling speeds in traffic. The engine offers a reasonable response when a demand for acceleration is made but is hampered by the sluggish response of the automatic gearbox.
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The Shogun Sport’s 2.4-litre unit provides a strong 430Nm of torque available from 2,500rpm, and although this does not translate into athletic acceleration it does, at least, promise comfortable towing up to the vehicle’s maximum of 3,100kg braked.
The overall performance figures of the Shogun Sport are below average for a car of this class, with a top speed of just 112mph and a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds. Key rivals from Skoda, Hyundai and Nissan all manage the same sprint in under 10 seconds or better, and are capable of exceeding 120mph.
The Shogun Sport remains a relative newcomer to the market having been introduced in late 2018, so it has yet to feature in the Driver Power survey. Similarly it has yet to receive an official test rating from EuroNCAP although the L200 on which it is based received a four-star rating in 2015, and the Shogun Sport benefits from additional safety technologies over that vehicle.
As standard all Mitsubishi Shogun Sport models are fitted with typical features such as stability and traction control, eight airbags and brake assist, but in addition it benefits from Trailer Stability Assist and a reinforced structure that Mitsubishi calls Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution. Choose the high-specification 4 model and Forward Collision Mitigation and Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation are also added, the latter designed to avoid unintended acceleration during parking manoeuvres.
The Shogun Sport is too new to have appeared in our annual Driver Power survey, while Mitsubishi as a whole has not featured in the manufacturer results since 2016. It finished a disappointing 31st out of 32 manufacturers on that occasion although it did achieve 15th place in the reliability rankings, which indicates that the Shogun Sport has some potential. Judged on the fit and finish of the exterior and interior, the Shogun Sport appears to be relatively well-built although the materials themselves are of mixed quality
All versions of the Shogun Sport come with a five-year, 62,500-mile warranty with a 12-year anti-corrosion perforation promise also included, which is competitive compared to its rivals. Hyundai’s unlimited mileage warranty is valid for the same period, while the Skoda Kodiaq’s warranty only applies for three years and 60,000 miles.
Mitsubishi offers a service plan on its entire range, and for the Shogun Sport the cost is £750 for the first three services over three years or 37,500 miles, whichever comes first. This is similar in price to the fixed price monthly plan offered on the Hyundai Santa Fe, but more than the cost of the first three services for the Skoda Kodiaq.
With just a single bodystyle available and seven seats as standard, the Shogun Sport is an obvious contender for buyers who need the ultimate flexibility for passengers and luggage.
One of the largest cars in this segment, the Shogun Sport is both longer and has a bigger wheelbase than the Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq at 4,785mm and 2,800mm respectively. In addition, it is also considerably taller than its key rivals - almost 150mm more than the Skoda and Hyundai - which is in part due to the high-riding stance. The Shogun Sport offers 218mm of ground clearance, which is of significant benefit when taking the vehicle off-road although it can make climbing aboard more difficult for some passengers, especially those getting into the third row of seats.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
All three rows of seats offer good head and legroom, and of particular note is that the third row is sufficiently spacious to accommodate children and shorter adults with ease.
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Up front the driving position is helped by electric seat adjustment and the Shogun Sport’s high ground clearance, giving a commanding view of the road ahead. Over the shoulder and rearward vision is slightly compromised however, due to the tapering window line towards the tailgate. This is mitigated somewhat thanks to the standard fitment of a reversing camera on all models.
Storage space within the Shogun Sport’s cabin is sufficient but not exceptional, and is limited to door bins, a storage cubby in the centre console and the glovebox. Cup holders are available between the front seats and in the second row armrest, with bottle holders in both front door pockets.
Because of the seven-seat configuration the Shogun Sport can be arrange in a variety of layouts, with the ability to fold the third row individually and the second row in a 60/40 split. With all seven seats in place the boot offers a modest 131 litres, increasing to 502 litres with five seats unfolded and 1,488 litres in a two-seater layout. These figures lag behind both the Kodiaq and Santa Fe, although the latter offers little measurable space in seven-seat mode.
Using the boot is also more of a challenge with the Shogun Sport because of the high ride height and boot lip, compounded by the false floor that houses the third row of seats. The boot itself has a generous aperture but an electric tailgate is not available.
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Well-suited for towing trailers or caravans, the Shogun Sport can accomodate a braked trailer up to 3,100kg in weight and is assisted by both Trailer Stability Assist and an additional towing mode for the automatic gearbox dubbed ‘Uphill Control’, designed to optimise its performance for more challenging conditions.
With a single engine and transmission option available, potential buyers of the Shogun Sport must do without the choice of petrol or a manual gearbox, limiting the SUV’s appeal to some.
The combination of the Shogun Sport’s weight, aerodynamics and engine efficiency means that fuel consumption and emissions also lag behind key rivals. Mitsubishi quotes an official CO2 figure of 227g/km and a combined consumption figure of 32.8mpg, considerably worse than the Skoda Kodiaq and still behind the more powerful Hyundai Santa Fe. With a fuel tank capacity of 68 litres the Shogun Sport has a theoretical range of 490 miles, somewhat below many competitor products that can offer close to 600 miles or more from a full tank.
In terms of VED costs the Shogun Sport is in band L, giving a first-year fee of £2,070 with a second year fee of £140. That is on a par with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq despite the inferior CO2 figure. The emissions performance also means that it attracts a Benefit-in-Kind rating of 37%, which is more than these same rivals that benefit from a greater choice of engines and transmissions.
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Despite a single engine and transmission option, the Shogun Sport has two different insurance group ratings depending on the trim selected. The cheaper 3 model is in group 43 while the top-specification 4 model is in group 38, thanks to the additional safety systems that the latter model is fitted with. That compares favourably with the equivalent Hyundai Santa Fe which is rated in group 39 for the manual and 40 for the automatic models, but the Skoda Kodiaq is significantly cheaper thanks to a group 24 certification for the highest-rated model.
Depreciation of the Shogun Sport is relatively high and broadly in line with the rest of the Mitsubishi range. A retained value of approximately 41.4% after three years is slightly behind the Hyundai Santa Fe at 46.9% and 46.7% for the Skoda Kodiaq. The Shogun Sport is still a relatively new offering and does not have the same following that the old Shogun model enjoyed, hence relatively light demand for used examples.