THE all new front of the latest Mitsubishi Shogun gives the impression that it is a new model but it is in fact a facelift and the Japanese manufacturer has also given different names to the four models in the range - but the big 4x4 still retains its tough go anywhere profile, writes Bryan Longworth.
As a result of this “progressive evolution” as Mitsubishi describes the changes, the long wheel base model I have just been road testing - previously the Elegance - is now known as the SG3 and costs £37,999.
It is in fact the next to the top model in the range and the long wheelbase Shogun is now powered by a Euro V compliant 3.2-litre four cylinder diesel engine with automatic transmission that produces a top speed of 111mph, zero to 62mph time of 11.1 seconds and combined fuel consumption of 34.4mpg.
I have liked the Shogun since it was first launched in the UK some 30 years ago and have closely followed its progress as it has made big inroads into the UK luxury off-roader market.
The man who delivered the test car to me was a retired police officer with 30 years service as a copper which involved him driving Land Rover police cars for a lot of the time.
But he told me that he preferred driving the Shogun to Land Rovers which of course was a personal view that I disagree with. For Land Rover have some formidable vehicles in their range but I still liked the Shogun and enjoyed driving it just as much as always because it has a charm all of its own.
For the Shogun has established a formidable reputation among the farming and horsey communities in particular because not only does it cut the mustard on the road, but it is also an excellent performer over the rough stuff and it is an accomplished tow car.
The latest facelift also includes new 12 spoke 18 inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, new interior materials, heated front seats, improved illumination for instruments, auto lights and wipers and privacy glass.
Since its launch into the UK in 1982 Mitsubishi has produced millions of Shoguns and it is a vehicle that has inspired exceptional brand loyalty with seven in ten owners retaining a Shogun.
This is understandable because the Shogun is a very competent vehicle on and off the road and has managed to retain a certain amount of old world charm over its rivals despite the updates.
The Shogun can be driven in two wheel drive for on road motoring which saves fuel and to engage four wheel drive and low ratio 4x4 the driver moves a lever next to the auto gear shift.
I liked its on road capabilities where it spends most of its time but I have also driven Shoguns over very difficult terrain where it is a top performer which is another reason why it has always been a favourite with country folk.
My Verdict: A classic big 4x4 with some old world charm!
Model: Mitsubishi Shogun SG3.
Engine: 3.2-litre four cylinder diesel.
Top speed: 111mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph: 11.1 seconds.
Fuel consumption: Combined 34.4mpg.
CO2 emissions: 224g/km.