Review: Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial (2007 – 2018)

Rating:

Rugged build means impressive off road performance to match the likes of the Land Rover Defender, 3.2 DI-D engine has plenty of torque.

Lacks refinement and finesse, poor on road with sluggish handling and slow performance, no proper bulkhead.

Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial (2007 – 2018): At A Glance

If you want the advantages of all-wheel drive and more car-like road manners, Mitsubishi has proved a popular choice with its L200 pick-up. However, there is another choice from the Japanese manufacturer in the shape of its Shogun Commercial.

The Shogun Commercial is, in essence, a stripped out version of the passenger car, which means ride and handling much the same for the commercial model. It also means the driver enjoys the same high-riding seating position and commanding view of the road ahead.

Again like the passenger model, the Shogun Commercial has near unstoppable off-road ability and is one of the few vehicles that rival a Land Rover Defender for muddy forays. With selectable low-ratio four-wheel drive, the Shogun is a serious option for those whose work takes them further than a muddy puddle.

There are short and long-wheelbase iterations of the Shogun Commercial, offering anything up 765kg carrying capacity. This is allied to maximum braked towing capacities of 3000kg and 3500kg for the short and long-wheelbase models respectively.

What does a Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial (2007 – 2018) cost?

List Price from £32,199 +VAT
Contract hire from £365.48 +VAT pm
Lease from £320.17 +VAT pm

Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial (2007 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?

Access to the relatively large cargo area of the Shogun Commercial is by the side-hinged rear door only. While the door opening is ample and it’s hinged on the right-hand side for ease of use in the UK, it also means you need to make sure there is sufficient space behind the Mitsubishi to be able to open the door in the first instance. If someone parks too close or you’ve backed into a parking space, access is suddenly a problem.

The amount of space inside the Shogun’s load area is no problem at all and the short-wheelbase model can swallow up to 1650 litres of cargo. Go for the long-wheelbase version and that rises to 1790 litres, while the larger Shogun can carry 765kg and tow a braked trailer of up to 3500kg to match a Land Rover Defender or even a Range Rover. The short-wheelbase Shogun offers 580kg carrying capacity and 3000kg braked trailer towing limits.

Inside the load bay, Mitsubishi has completely blacked out the rear windows for security and the load floor is flat and uninterrupted. A high load sill is to be expected from this type of vehicle, while a tough plastic rear bumper cover stands up well to goods being dragged over it without becoming too scratched or bashed.

There are tie-down hooks in the back of the Shogun Commercial, but we’d like to see a proper bulkhead to protect the occupants in the cab. While most Shoguns will be used to carry lighter loads inside the cargo bay compared to a panel van, safety should still be of paramount importance.

Moving into the front cab, it’s very much the same as the passenger car version of the Shogun, which means a high-set driving position that affords a great view of the road ahead. Spotting the front corners of the Shogun is easy for the driver and large door mirrors make lane changes and reversing easier than in most panel vans.

The chunkily styled dash is not dissimilar to the L200 with clear main dials for revs and speedo. In the centre console, there are easily fathomed ventilation controls, but we find the stereo a bit fiddly and fussy. Otherwise, the gear levers and handbrake lever are placed high in the centre between the front seats so the driver doesn’t have to stoop to reach them. Comfortable seats offer decent support for most drivers, though some might find the side bolsters make the base a shade too narrow for those with rugby player figures.

What's the Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial (2007 – 2018) like to drive?

At the heart of the Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial is the same 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine as used in the passenger versions of this big 4x4. It’s not the most sophisticated or refined, but it lugs out 200PS at 3800rpm and a strong 441Nm of shove at 2000rpm.

It’s enough to see the five-speed manual gearbox short-wheelbase model accelerate from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds. The automatic gearbox slows that figure to 10.4 seconds, but neither feels sluggish off the mark or on the move. Go for the long wheelbase model and 0-62mph takes 10.5 seconds for the manual and 11.1 seconds for the auto.

If you want to experience the best of acceleration in the Shogun Commercial, you will also have to brace yourself for a fair bit of noise from the engine. While the four-cylinder motor is unerringly reliable and works well to keep the Shogun moving when driving off-road, it’s a crude beast compared to the likes of the Land Rover Discovery’s 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel or even the Defender’s 2.2 turbodiesel.

Drive with a little more moderation and the diesel can return 36.2mpg average economy at best in the manual short-wheelbase or 33.2mpg in the long wheelbase auto, so reasonable figures for both. The choice between auto and manual gearboxes is down to personal preference as neither is especially good to use.

With the auto, shifts are reasonably smooth under light throttle inputs but soon become stilted if you ask the Shogun to overtake or gather speed with any haste. As for the manual ’box, its shift needs a firm hand and a slow, deliberate action to give the transmission time to go from one gear to the next smoothly.

A low-ratio transfer box comes as standard with every Shogun Commercial, as well as the option of a locking rear differential. Coupled to the four-wheel drive, it tells you where the Shogun’s real strengths lie, which is off the beaten path and into the wilderness. Excellent ground clearance, as well as superb entry, exit and ramp-over angles for the short-wheelbase model, means the Shogun Commercial is ideal for anyone working in the back of beyond. It also allows the Shogun driver to have perfect confidence when tackling rural roads liable to flooding or landslides. This is one vehicle that will get you there.

Unfortunately, getting you there on most typical UK roads also involves a good deal of body lean, sluggish steering and handling that’s best described as adequate. It’s no worse than a Land Rover Defender, but the Shogun should be better and it’s not. It also has a ride quality that mixes excessive firmness with a bouncy castle feel. Allied to the poor refinement from the engine, plus wind and road noise and the Shogun’s appeal is very much for those with a specific role in mind for this big 4x4.