The market for old-fashioned, separate-chassis SUVs has declined as the market for car-based crossovers has increased. These big, rugged beasts are something of an anachronism in 2019 – generally unable to offer the refinement or dynamism of their newer rivals.
But Mitsubishi has a strong history of selling these types of vehicles, based on what they are good at – true off-road ability, dependability, and a general sense of toughness.
This is its latest competitor – the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport, based upon the same platform as the brand’s big-selling L200 pick-up.
What’s new about this Mitsubishi Shogun Sport?
The underlying platform of the Shogun Sport may be similar to the Mitsubishi L200, but rather than the pick-up’s load bed it’s fitted with a spacious – if not especially pretty – seven-seat SUV body.
The L200’s 2.4-litre diesel engine is present and correct but it’s mated to a new eight-speed automatic, replacing the previous six-speed unit to provide better performance and economy.
Crucially in a vehicle that’s meant to carry passengers rather than cargo, the rear suspension has also been replaced with a more car-like multi-link system, which should give slightly more refinement to the ride.
How does it look?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we’d struggle to call the Shogun Sport pretty. Imposing is possibly a better way to put it – it’s laden with chrome, especially on the large ‘Dynamic Shield’ front grille.
LED daytime running lights do at least make the Shogun Sport appear modern, but the rear end looks uncomfortably pinched. The wheels also appear slightly lost in the massive arches, especially at the rear.
The Shogun Sport definitely won’t turn any heads, then, but nor will it attract any disgusted glances – unless, perhaps, you try and sneak it into the local country club.
What’s the spec like?
There are only two trims on offer in the UK – rather unimaginatively named ‘3’ and ‘4’. Both are decently equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, full LED headlights, full leather upholstery, keyless entry and cruise control all standard.
Range-topping 4 trim adds a healthy chunk to the price tag, but does bring heated front seats, an upgraded sound system, adaptive cruise control and a raft of safety kit.
Both models use a third-party touchscreen infotainment system, the one saving grace of which is that it offers native support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is also the only way to get satnav on the Shogun Sport.
Continued on next page: Interior, driving experience and our verdict
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