It may be in the twilight of its career, but Mitsubishi is now offering the Pajero Sport in Shogun guise and it’s kitted out to tackle the (rougher) world.
- R70 000 worth of 4x4 gear
- Excellent offroad capability
We recently spent some time with Mitsubishi’s latest offering, the Pajero Sport Shogun. Essentially a run-out special edition, the adventure-ready Shogun is fully rigged with accessories totalling over R70 000 at no additional cost to the 4x4 enthusiast who decides to buy it. We put the Shogun to the test!
The added accessory list for the Pajero Sport Shogun is quite extensive and features include chunky all-terrain tyres on 17-inch rims with heavy-duty front and rear shock absorbers. There’s also custom-fitted underbody protection to protect the vehicle in rough terrain as well as rock sliders. Heavy-duty plates for the engine and gearbox are fitted and the model is further distinguished with a snorkel, custom roof rack with a spotlight and a detachable tow bar.
On the inside, the Shogun gets a rubber cargo protector as well as an aftermarket Garmin GPS device, which was strangely absent from our test unit, and according to the marketing material comes loaded with popular overland routes and maps so that you can’t get lost in the wild.
Styling & Features
Other than the added accessories, the Shogun is still the same old ladder-frame, bakkie-based Pajero Sport. That said, from the outside it looks rather appealing, particularly from the front and side. The Pajero Sport was updated back in 2013 and nothing has changed since. As is to be expected, it has not dated quite so well in the cabin, and the interior looks quite old-fashioned in our opinion, but it still provides decent comfort for up to seven passengers. With the last row of seats folded flat, boot space is healthy at 1 149-litres and that extends to 1 776-litres with the second row of seats folded.
In terms of features, the Pajero Sport Shogun comes with leather upholstery and a leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls for Bluetooth, audio and cruise control. The interior combines hard-wearing plastic with carbon fibre-look trim elements which is perfectly suited for outdoor adventures. There’s also a display mounted on the fascia which gives read-outs such as fuel consumption and barometer and altitude readings. To help you park the Shogun safely, rear park assist is fitted as well as a reversing camera.
Safety features include ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and six airbags fitted as standard.
Engine Power & Drive
Under the bonnet of this Pajero Sport Shogun is the now familiar 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine, which replaces the previous 3.2-litre diesel engine. This unit however develops 131 kW and 350 Nm of torque and power is transferred through a 5-speed automatic gearbox. Turn the ignition and the Shogun rumbles to life and if you close your eyes, you might think you are seated in something rather utilitarian. That said, if you're after a city slicker that prioritises refinement and low noise levels, a vehicle such as this would probably not be on the shopping list in the first place.
However, on a decent piece of tar the Shogun’s ride is relatively smooth and it definitely feels solid and planted on the road. The steering is quite heavily weighted and turning the vehicle into corners requires a fair degree of work from the driver. We also experienced a fair dose of body roll in corners, which isn’t uncommon in bakkie-based vehicles.
The Shogun feels heavy and sluggish in the lower end of the rev range but once it gets up to speed, matters improve substantially with good performance in the mid-range. Once the turbo has finished with its hissing and spitting, the Shogun comes into its own and actually delivers a decent drive. The transmission can be a bit slow with changes if you hammer the throttle all the time so it’s probably best to take a chill pill and adopt a more conservative driving approach to get the most out of the drivetrain. If you have to, you can use the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel to manually shift gears.
If you are going into the heavy stuff, then the Shogun comes well equipped to tackle any terrain. With rear differential lock and the versatile Super Select 4WD-system, the driver has the choice of four driving modes depending on the terrain and these include 2WD, 4WD, 4WD with diff lock and 4WD low range. Modes are selected using a short secondary lever in the transmission tunnel which also has the tendency to impose against your leg while driving.
Although we didn’t scale mountains in the Shogun, we did take it on a gravel track and it felt right at home and coped well with undulations and imperfections in the road. We have no reason to doubt that the Pajero Sport Shogun is a capable and tough 4x4 offering.
Mitsubishi claims 8.5L/100km on the combined cycle and you will be lucky to achieve that figure in the real world. In our time with the Shogun, the best figure we managed to achieve was 11.2L/100km and it only got thirstier from there.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Shogun Price in South Africa
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Shogun will be sold in limited numbers with a price tag of R514 900 which is the same price as the standard Pajero Sport automatic. Remember, the Shogun offers R70 000 worth of adventure gear at no additional cost, which makes it particularly appealing for 4x4 enthusiasts.
The price includes a 5-year/90 000 km service plan and a 3-year/100 000 km manufacturer’s warranty.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Shogun will resonate with 4x4 enthusiasts and the added extras sweeten the deal even further. However, the Shogun is not an ideal car for the city and the loud engine will quickly become overbearing. Although sluggish at times, the Shogun has decent performance in the bag and its biggest strength lies in its capability off-road. If you aren’t a serious 4x4 nut, then you may want to consider vehicles like the new Ford Everest or Chevrolet Trailblazer which are more forgiving in daily driving applications but still offer good practicality and wild-side capability.
Test Team Opinion
"The new generation of bakkie-based SUVs are likely to not only be more expensive, but also more sophisticated and... complicated underneath. A relatively no-nonsense, rugged and old-school offering such as this Shogun could therefore appeal strongly to buyers with a sense of adventure. Many such buyers accessorise their vehicles at great expense after purchasing anyways, so this offering has strong merit." Hannes Oosthuizen
We like: Exterior styling, off-road ability, accessories, likely durability
We Don’t Like: Unrefined noisy engine, average ride quality, sluggish transmission
Also Consider: Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Chevrolet Trailblazer
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Shogun – Quick Specs