The public was first introduced to the Mitsubishi Shogun SWB (short wheel base) in 1982. The following year, it firmly underlined its off-road credentials by winning the Paris Dakar rally at the first attempt. Sales have been strong ever since and show no signs of slowing. The following article provides you with an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of these legendary off-roaders.
A brief overview
Mitsubishi's Shogun LWB cars didn't become available until the year after the two-door short chassis. During that phase, cars were produced from 1983 until 1991, with a range of petrol and diesel engines including turbo options. The long wheel base (LWB) cars had an extra row of seats over the SWB Shogun that could be folded to increase the load area. Second-generation cars Second-generation cars came in 1991, and brought larger bodies. Multiple function four-wheel drive became available in some markets with the ability to switch between two and four-wheel drive at speed. Certain markets also received the distinctive blister wheel arches. The next facelift came in 1999, with improved driving characteristics as a result of the discontinuation of the previous ladder chassis design. New, more powerful engines were added to the range.
The main selling point of these cars has to be their strength and solidity. They are immensely robust and have the ability to reliably cross nightmarish terrain with unexpected comfort. Mechanically, the earlier models are simple and easy to repair whilst the later versions require more knowledge and tooling. Engines on the original cars are considered pretty well bulletproof and rack up huge mileages without complaint. Off-road, there is little that can touch these, including the Range Rover. Their credentials are firmly underwritten by the fact that military and security forces around the world use them through choice. Later models and the Diamond pack option on earlier ones give very impressive levels of equipment, and interiors are hard-wearing and spacious on the LWB.
The biggest let-down is the on-road driving experience. Even the switch to a unitary construction failed to improve matters much. Engine type Although ultra-reliable, the Mitsubishi Shogun diesel engine is ponderous and lack lustre, preferring to use its massive torque to extract itself from sticky off-road situations. V6 petrol engines are really juicy, so be prepared for some big bills at the pumps. There are far too many imported Pajero badged models with lower specs which are hard to get hold of their parts in the market place. Make sure you check these thoroughly to ensure that you don't get caught out.