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Shogun Showdown: New sport aims to storm the SUV market

Mitsubishi's Shogun Sport is now on sale. It's smaller than full-size Shogun, but draws inspiration from its famous 4x4 big brother.

What's new?

Mitsubishi has launched the Shogun Sport into the mid-sized SUV marketplace, hoping to capitalise both on the famous Shogun name, and also a gap in its 4x4 line-up.

The manufacturer says the Sport is its most advanced and capable full-size SUV ever, and says it is now the brand's flagship off-road vehicle.

Competitors include the Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The Shogun Sport sits between the Outlander and the Shogun itself in the company's range.

The venerable Shogun is a champion of 4x4s, a rugged and capable go-anywhere mud-plugger and trailer-puller, and the Sport aims to be its athletic younger brother.

Much as Land Rover did with its successful Discovery Sport and Range Rover Sport ventures, Mitsubishi is hoping the Shogun Sport will revive interest in new audiences and new markets.

It follows on the heels off the January arrival of the Eclipse Cross, a compact SUV.

These are exciting times for Mitsubishi; the Eclipse Cross is its first venture into the highly-competitive smaller SUV market, going up against sure-footed rivals like the Nissan Qashqai. The Eclipse Cross impressed with the quality of its cabin.

Looks and design

Based on the platform of the new L200 pick-up, the Sport looks like what it is: a big mid-sized SUV, with seven seats, a large boot and large overhangs too.

It's a well-hewn beast, handsome from the front and sides in a rugged sort of way, and it has plenty of purpose in its squat, muscular stance.

But you'll notice a more modern, refined exterior than the Shogun, with design cues from the Eclipse Cross.

This transfers to the cabin, which is considerably more modern than previous Shoguns.

Engines and trim levels

This is a car that has excellent 4x4 ability, and will mix it with the best in any terrain. It is also an excellent load-lugger with a towing capacity of 3,100kgs.

The new car is offered in two trims: Shogun Sport 3 and Shogun Sport 4.

Both versions will be equipped with an all-aluminium, 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine that produces 181hp and 430Nm of torque combined with Mitsubishi's Super Select II all-wheel drive system and an all-new, eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Super Select II all-wheel drive system allows the driver to switch between 2WD and 4WD on all terrains.

What this means in practice is that on the road drivers can max out on engine efficiency in 2WD mode, but can switch to 4WD when towing or in ice, mud and snow. Since most journeys will be on tarmac, this ensures fuel efficiency.

Standard equipment

Standard spec includes Hill Descent Control, Trailer Start Assist (TSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a dedicated off-road mode.

As well as seven seats, you can configure up to 1,488-litres of space (with rear seats down).

In the entry-level Sport 3, you'll find leather upholstery, electrically-adjustable front seats, power folding mirrors, LED lights, reversing camera with rear parking sensors, keyless entry and privacy glass.

Bluetooth connectivity with music streaming is also standard, as is a Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA) system which allows users to connect to apps or other features of their Apple or Android smartphone through the touchscreen or via voice control.

Higher trim

Priced from £39k on the road, the Shogun Sport 4 adds a bunch of extras including heated front seats; the Mitsubishi Power Sound System with additional tweeters and a 510W amplifier; headlamp washers and Mitsubishi Motors' most advanced safety and driver assistance systems including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

There's also Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), which uses radars in the front grille to judge whether there is risk of a collision with the vehicle in front, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), a 360˚ view camera and the Ultrasonic Mis-Acceleration Mitigation System (UMS) which utilises front parking sensors to halt any accidental sudden acceleration when any obstacles are detected nearby.

Choose your colours

There's a limited number of paint jobs: all Shogun Sport variants are available in three metallic shades - Deep Bronze, Atlantic Grey and Sterling Silver - plus pearlescent Imperial Red and solid Polar White. Cosmos Black pearlescent paint is also exclusive to the top-of-the-range version.

Who would buy one?

Families, people who need seven seats, anyone with terrain or towing requirements or people with active outdoor lifestyles.

As with the rest of the Mitsubishi range, you get a five-year/62,500 mile warranty.

The all-new Shogun Sport goes on sale in the spring, priced from £37k on the road.

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