Shogun 3.2 DI-DC SWB SG2 Commercial Auto
especially when it comes to a set
of wheels that will take you most
places on and off the beaten track;
places that could quite likely be
starred on your bucket list...
FOR THOSE FREE-SPIRITED TGIF-ers fortunate enough to be able to sling their
gear in the back of their car every Friday after work and take off for the hills
or to hit the waves, a set of wheels with plenty of manned-up space to stow
their gear is de rigueur.
You may be thinking Jeep Renegade or crossover here, but what makes an even
better rootin', tootin' 4WD carryall is Mitsubishi's square-jawed, short-wheelbase,
three-door Shogun. While it's available in the indisputably macho Barbarian
trim rolling on snazzy 20-inch alloys, the one to take into the wild is the
stripped-out Commercial version.
Don't panic. When we say 'stripped out' we don't mean literally, like a club
racer. What's gone is the second row of seats which still leaves the two up
front one for you and one for your best friend (two-legged or
means plenty of room behind for 'stuff'. The large cargo space is separated
from the main cabin by a steel mesh grille. Access is through the full-width
side-hinged tailgate; and it couldn't be better because it's hinged on the offside
and opens to almost ninety degrees. Plus the load sill is back-friendly
just above knee height. A foolproof lock clip ensures it can't slam back on
you even on very steep slopes or windy days.
The SWBs rear loadbay
measures 840mm long
by 1,395mm wide
and 1,105mm high
which, if you dont
to do the math,
equates to 1,650 litres.
So, pretty damn big.
And to that you can add
the 220lbs you can
carry on its roof and the
braked 3,000kg it
A full-size spare absolutely essential if you're going places
even Green Flag won't go is mounted on the outside of the tailgate
but set low so there's no restriction of the view behind though the large rear
screen. A colour-coded hard cover keeps it all looking neat plus it'll still
be there when you return wheel thieves won't be able to get it
off because the spare wheel has to be released from inside.
The rear loadbay measures 840mm long by 1,395mm wide and 1,105mm high which,
if you don't want to do the math, equates to 1,650 litres. That's not far shy
of the five-door's 1,790 litres! So, pretty damn big. Full diving gear will
fit as easily as climbing kit. Surfboards (long and short) can ride on the black
roof-rails; the roof load capacity is 100kg or 220lbs. And if that's not enough
the SWB Shogun can pull a braked 3,000kg. Just for the record, the new Jeep
Cherokee can only manage a third of that just 1,000kg
and only musters a 1,297-litres loadbay.
The cabin is spacious and the chairs welcoming with plenty of shoulder room
the gulf between the seats' inner edges is about ten inches
and long outer armrests. They're also well shaped with just enough side bolstering
to enhance comfort rather than hinder it. A wide, padded slide-adjustable centre
armrest adds to the comfort as does the fabric upholstery that will help you
stay cool and dry on sticky summer days and cosy on icy winter mornings.
Entry keyless is easy through the big doors. Side
steps make it even more accessible, as do the substantial grab handles on the
A-pillars and overhead. Once in you sit high and enjoy A1 visibility over the
bonnet, to the sides and through the tailgate's rear screen.
You do, however, have to adjust to the lack of rear three-quarter views as the
Commercial SWB comes with blackout glass instead of the lightly tinted rear
side windows you'll find in the Warrior and Barbarian versions. However, there
is a plus side: nobody will see what it is you're carrying through them. The
doors mirrors are helpfully large and, to a degree, cover the blind spot
smooth leather-wrapped wheel is good to grip and even with four spokes looks
sporty; remote buttons on the horizontal spokes control the audio and cruise.
Although it only adjusts for height there's enough manual seat adjustment (the
driver gets front and rear seat base height adjustment) to set a decent driving
The elevated driving
position makes the
Shogun easy to place
accurately on the road
(and, more importantly,
off it!), and if
you were expecting a rough ride, well,
this SWB version is as
much at ease on tarmac
as it is on tundra...
Big boots? Not a problem the footwell is roomy enough for size
elevens and includes a decent rest for your left foot. And don't worry about
mud the floor is protected by tough 'n' tailored rubber mats.
You'll find a USB connection in the lit and lockable glovebox along with a dedicated
compartment for a small USB device and 12v sockets in the storage box under
the centre armrest as well as on the centre stack. You can also take for granted
twin cupholders, a drop-down glasses case, and a CD/radio unit.
A driver information display is sited top-dead-centre of the deep fascia and
shows all the essentials: average mpg, range, and outside temp, along with elevation
and barometer readings. Also appreciated is the illuminated keyhole on the steering
column and the standard-fit tyre pressure monitoring system.
The two major dials are each housed in their own nacelle: the speedo incorporates
the fuel gauge; the rev-counter also shows the coolant temperature as well as
the currently engaged gear (D, M1, M2, etc). Between them is a graphic indicating
the active drive mode (2H, 4H, etc). Sticking with tradition, the handbrake
is the kind still favoured by most drivers a smooth-action pull-up
One-shot power windows and on-demand powerfold and heated door mirrors are also
standard, as too is a fast-acting automatic climate control system (with easy-to-operate
rotary controls) and quick-warming, two-stage heated seats, so you're covered
whether it snows or shines.
If it's the former then the Shogun's tough and authentic all-wheel drive system
is there for you. Switching from two- to four-wheel drive (or vice-versa) on-road
can be done on the fly just move the smaller transfer box lever
(alongside the auto's leather-topped selector). For more dire conditions and
challenging terrain the same lever can engage either 4HLc (locks up the centre
differential) or 4LLC. In 4LLC for extreme low-ratio off-road
work, be it rocky terrain or swampy conditions there's not much
the SWB Shogun won't take a run at, clamber over (210mm ground clearance) or
ford through (700mm wading depth).
on the blacktop it's equally at home. The 3.2-litre turboed and intercooled
four-pot diesel's hefty 325lb ft of torque so crucial off-road
is put to good use in more civilised surroundings. Along with
197bhp, it's all you need to cruise mean city streets. The autobox offers a
traditional P-R-N-D gate along with a 'Sports Mode'.
The SWBs bold
flared wheel arches and
strong, high flanks
topped by the breeds
tall greenhouse make for
Tonka Toy good looks
and kerb appeal...
you want a bit more vim then just flick the selector to the left out of Drive
for sequential manual shifting that puts control totally in your left hand.
This also comes in useful when you're towing a task the three-door
Shogun is also happy to perform up to a limit of 3,000kg braked. Along with
the selectable four-wheel drive, there's also traction and stability control
systems fitted as standard to keep things shipshape, particularly when pulling
a trailer or horsebox.
The elevated driving position makes the Shogun easy to place accurately on the
road (and, more importantly, off it!) and if you were expecting a rough ride,
well, you'll be disappointed this SWB version is as much at ease
on tarmac as it is on tundra.
It's also quiet at speed and has an easygoing gait on motorways where it runs
true and feels stable even on windy days. It also brakes well, steers well (a
power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering set-up), and is reassuringly predictable.
Officially it will average 34.4mpg with 28.2 and 39.2mpg respectively for Town
and Touring. In the real world most owners should be confident of matching our
hard driven 32.1mpg average.
While the family-sized five-door seven-seater 4WD Shoguns can be most things
to most customers, the breed's three-door versions continue to provide a competent
off-road-capable go-anywhere solution for more demanding crossover fans who
want substantially more than just socially acceptable SUV looks and LED running
lights from their 4WD
Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-DC SWB SG2 Commercial Auto
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 10.4 seconds | Test Average: 32.1mpg
Power: 197bhp | Torque: 325lb ft | CO2 216g/km