We were loaned the Mitsubishi Shogun LWB SG4 for one week. Here is how we spent our time testing the car.
Day 1 – Mitsubishi Shogun First Impressions
2016’s first press car for Motor Verso, and at 4.3m long, 1.8m wide and 1.8m high it could end up being the biggest too. This thing is a bit of a beast. After it was handed over, I took a few minutes to take a look around the car. My first impression of the exterior was just how bold and muscular the styling looked. These looks, in my opinion, don’t differ that much from the previous model and it’s easily recognisable as a Mitsubishi from miles away. The car was sitting on a set of huge 20-inch alloy wheels that filled the arches really well.
Jumping in the car, I took some time to get to know the interior. There are lots of luxury touches that you don’t get in the rest of the Mitsubishi range, but there is still an undercurrent that the Shogun is rough and ready for action as a go-anywhere car. The overall design details are uncluttered and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with all the buttons inside the car.
I was going to AutoSport International 2016, so I put my gear into the car and set off. With my first driving experience of the car it was noticeable that the 3.2-litre turbodiesel engine was pretty powerful whilst matched with the 5-speed automatic gearbox. However, once you get the revs up the engine did sound a little noisy, but I guess we should expect that from a diesel.
Day 2 – Getting To Know The Car
After less than 24 hours with the car I’m already really enjoying it. Some might find the size of the car an issue but I don’t think it is too difficult to drive. The car has 7 seats, which includes the Fold2Hide seats in the boot, and the cabin space throughout the car is brilliant; it’s already proving to be a really comfy car. In the front there are heated leather seats to keep you warm and from the first moment of driving the car you get a sense of security, which I think comes from the ride height and weight of the car.
Different from most 4x4s, the Shogun features a tailgate that opens horizontally, like a normal door. In most cases this makes putting things in and out of the boot very easy but could cause an issue if someone parks close behind you.
Day 3 – Frozen Photo Shoot
We arranged to shoot the car in the great outdoors, leaving the house to get on site and set up for sunrise meant we were working in -1 degree temperatures, brr!! But the show must go on. Arriving onsite we were greeted by beautiful frosted grass, clear skies and frozen lakes. It was a great setting to capture the Shogun in and really gave it the outdoors, go-anywhere look that we wanted.
We spent a few hours in a few different areas around this location taking both pictures and video of the Shogun. We even got the drone in the air to capture the car from a different angle.
Shooting the car in below freezing conditions made the whole experience a bit more challenging than normal, but you can see here it made for a very picturesque scene.
Day 4 – Treating It Like My Own
We got a very light dusting of snow overnight. Being honest, I was hoping for lots of snow to see how the Shogun would handle it. But sadly it barely stuck to the roads. Once again we were attending AutoSport International 2016; I collected a few members of the team and we made our way over to the show. Now a few days into the test, I was really starting to think of the car as my own and enjoying the side open boot and all the space it offers. I was also enjoying how the car moved around. The 3.2-litre diesel engine created great boost when you want to make the car move, but I’m sure if you put your foot down all the time it would drink fuel, but the engine is a great match to the characteristics of the car for sure.
I can understand why Mitsubishi are pitching the car at families as the practicalities of the car are so high. The built-in games console with screens in the rear head rests and joy pads are a great touch too. I have to say, I was a little annoyed that as the driver I wasn’t able to play the games, but at least I could enjoy the driving whilst the others played along.
Day 5 – Stylish Night Time Shoot
To collect some contrasting pictures, we arranged to take the car into the city centre of Birmingham for a night time shoot. Shooting in the dark is a little bit trickier due to the lack of light, but this means we can produce some different and often more dramatic and exciting pictures. We spent a few hours in the city centre trying a few different locations. One picture I specifically liked was this one here, you can see all the technology on the car lit up and you also get a sense of the motion of the outside world flying by because of the slow shutter speed.
The last job for the evening was some light painting to create a picture like nothing ever seen before of the Shogun. To do this we found a completely dark area to shoot, set the cameras up on tripods and then took pictures where the shutters are left open for around 2 minutes per exposure. Once we started to take each picture, Ross Jukes would began to paint the car with light using a torch. After that, a very small amount of flaming wire wool was spun on string behind the car to create this dramatic effect.
Day 6 – Long Motorway Test – In Freezing Weather
On Tuesday I got the opportunity to test the Shogun on the motorway on a day trip to Oxford. Once again we were expecting the weather to get cold and there was a chance of snow. On the way down there was no problem at all. The car worked really well on the motorway and the 3.2-litre engine is great for overtaking, as you can imagine. I had the car in front wheel drive only mode on the way down for best fuel economy.
On the way back, late at night, the temperature dropped quite a bit. It was around -2 outside and we drove through snow, sleet and rain showers. Due to the weather conditions I engaged 4-wheel drive, the car will let you change driving modes whilst mobile as long as you are doing under 60mph which is really good for practicality. Being in 4-wheel drive meant that I didn’t really have to worry about how bad the weather outside got and allowed me to keep going as normal and focus on the drive.
I arrived home feeling relaxed and confident of the Shogun’s abilities.
Day 7 – Summary
This was to be my last day with the Shogun and from all my testing in the week I have learnt a lot about the car. The practicalities of the car are pretty immense, I can genuinely see this car being a great family car with the amount of cabin space and huge load space in the back. It has a go-anywhere drivability and you can have confidence it will get you there without an issue.
Today the Shogun is being swapped out for a Mitsubishi ASX to test and I’m excited to see if there are any parallels between the two cars.
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