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As a vehicle inspector and driver i get the chance to appraise and drive a lot of new vehicles all over the country, usually at several hundred miles at a time. As a 4x4 enthusiast and having owned umpteen discoveries / range rovers etc I was looking forward to delivering this particular vehicle. Said vehicle was a lovely metallic silver 2.5 turbo-diesel (05 plate)with all the trimmings, leather seats,electric windows etc ,,,,,but what a let down. Dont get me wrong , If you are Farmer Jones then this will quite happily bounce across your fields all day without a murmour and tackle the steepest of hills with ease,(This is based on the L200 which is the UKs biggest seller! and one of the most reliable), but where this vehicle lets itself down is on its road manners. It has an extremely "agricultural" feel to it in that you feel all the vibrations from the engine/road being transferred to the steering wheel and dash. 5th gear if you are 5ft 10" or over ends up resting on your leg (A right pain when travelling distance). Shoguns also have a tendancy for their engines to "hunt" at low revs which makes them jerky at slow speeds or moving off (Unless you use a generous amount of throttle).The seats however are very comfortable even on the longest of journeys and the leather used (if you opt for that option) is of excellent quality, the slightly raised roof (over the older models) gives an average of around an extra inch or two headroom which is a god send and ensures that you are not doing a Quasi Modo impression at the end of your journey. Mitsubishi claim around 27mpg sitting at motorway speeds for their diesel variants which i would agree with which on balance sounds quite economical for a big brute. However, I own a 4 litre petrol Ford Explorer (Yeh, ok It looks like a brick compared to the Shogun) which on the same journey returns just over 25mpg, and with diesel now costing on average 9p a litre more expensive than unleaded ,is a diesel variant now the better cheaper option?? This Shogun also had a "glitch" with its inbuilt compass in that it decided to read South when heading North etc. Ok this may only be nit picking and may not be of use to 99% of the general public but im from the school of "If its fitted then it should work perfectly, no excuses".Load space in the rear is good if not fantastic (More space available in the Ford Explorer / Land Rover Discovery / Toyota Land Cruiser) unless of course you opt for the 7 seat versions of these models (Except Explorer, no 7 seat variant available from factory). Performance is good when on the move with plenty of torque and pull available, even when overtaking at 70mph. Build quality is also another plus, with all doors closing with that solid assuring "clunk". The motor that powers the electric windows is whisper quiet and they close without a murmour and keep the outside noise elements well at bay. All in all, the Shogun IS an exceptionally good vehicle if you can live with the slight "agricultural" feel to it, but is it the best 4x4 out there, well in truth, no its not, far from it. Its no Range Rover , but there again its almost £30k cheaper than a Range Rover and almost £20k on a similiar spec Discovery. Toyota Land Cruiser anyone?? , Yes Please, but only if you decide to part with an extra £15k. This only leaves the petrol Ford Explorer (Which incidentally has a far superior engine/auto gearbox than the Range Rover!)at around the same price. Is the Shogun worth the money? Well, it depends on your use , If your travelling down the motorway a lot , buy an Explorer and kit it out with an LPG conversion kit (£1200 with government grants available of up to approx £800 to aid you and LPG is currently around 40p per litre!) . You will get a far better and smoother ride not to mention just over 200 BHP on tap (Explorers also have air-ride suspension,same as the Range Rovers) and you will still have all the gizmos as the Shogun. Downside is that the Explorers are not constructed as well as the "bomb proof" Shoguns when it comes to the off road capabilities and the re-sale values of the Shoguns are much more favourable which will leave you more cash in your pocket at the end of the day. The Shogun (well in my view anyway) is a much better looking vehicle than the Explorer and "looks the part".Is it the best one out there? Only your use can decide that question,Personally I prefer my Explorer but there again I dont do a lot of off-roading (and by that i mean, no roads whatsoever!),, give me another £15 grand to play with however,,,,,,,,,,,,thats an other story!
Great about me there - could have written it myself. marcellep stole the words from my mouth. The information and detail in your review is excellent, had it been presented a little better you would have sailed a VH from me! May I respectfully suggest writing these on Word or something and then pasting onto Ciao - it's what the rest of us do and it ensures that everything is tidied up. Were you talking Range Rovers perhaps for the extra £20K.......you might like to pop off and have a look at my review on the latest R.R.! Keep them coming though it's great to read a veriety of car reviews, my personal favourite and by the sound of it you've driven the lot which makes your opinion carry far more weight. Best of luck in futuire reviews, I'm putting you "on alert". All the best, Richard.
marcellep 21.08.2005 10:48
Good review. Just a little tip trya nd present your reviews a little better. This was a bit sore on the eyes~Rob