Ok, here's the nitty gritty that came out of my day trip to Islamabad. Please bear in mind that I have done similar trips in a Prado 1996 and a LC 100 1995 before. Anything newer wouldn't be fair to compare as then I would have to compare the newer Pajeros also.
This trip came one day after I replaced the badly worn tires on the Shogun I bought. The replacement set were 31s GT Radial Saveros A/T. A good tire, softish and offroad friendly. A little noisy for the highway though.
I was scared of what might happen since I had heard a lot of horror stories about heated up Pajeros on the motorway, so I went equipped. Two 10 liter water carriers, brake oil/fluid, STP power steering oil, Delo Gold mobile oil, my trusty tow strap (my so called "manual winch") and of course a jack and associating components. If all else failed, I was ready to use my trusty cell phone. Just as I was getting in the Shogun, my Iphone slipped and now I have a horrid looking screen. This was not going to be an easy day. Screw Apple!
Filled her up near Thokkar Lahore, 76 liters went in. Pulled the suspension into the medium softness setting, made sure the seat shocks were in soft mode and proceeded to the first toll. Went on and near Sial, I turn on the cruise control at 125km/h. Stopped once for KFC, bloody goons hadn't opened yet. Reached Kallar Kahar, turned the cruise control off and switched the suspension setting into Hard and she climbed like a natural. Just once, I thought, letâ€™s go for it, and then I nailed it, and hit 160km/hr almost too easily. And then I remembered, itâ€™s a Mitsubishi, calm down big boy.
I will tell you this, this vehicle is the most comfortable 4x4 ever, the LC and the Prado were just not nearly as comfortable. However, since this is going to be unbiased, there was more than necessary rattle from within the cabin, and I remember from childhood that that was an issue in every 2nd gen Pajero I sat in. In contrast, the LC i remember was as silent as sleeping child who doesn't snore, but I have ridden several Prados, and they too are notorious for rattle in the center part of the dash, where the AC controls are located.
Enter the verdict. The Shogun was as calm as it needed to be, and never failed to respond when I needed that little extra. Itâ€™s a gem for the price you can get a good one in. It doesnâ€™t come without its drawbacks though. The rear view mirror is of little support if you have the spare mounted at the back, horrible reverse positions are inevitable. Itâ€™s a guzzler, especially mine, need to get it checked by a diesel lab. I averaged 5.5 km/l on the freaking motorway and 90% of the time, I had cruise control locked at 125km/hr. Revs were at 3100 rpm. The good part is there is absolutely no smoke whatsoever from my Shogunâ€™s exhaust, that just makes it harder to pinpoint the gas guzzling problem. Also, sometimes, just sometimes, if I hit a bump really hard, I get the â€œcheck engineâ€ light, just for a split second and then itâ€™s gone. Iâ€™m going to have that checked out very soon. The navigational panel in the middle of the dash, you know, the altimeter, the tilt measure and the external ambient temp gauge donâ€™t work like they should. I have no idea how to make the altimeter work, but the temp gauge works fine. The ride height is poor, at least with my Shogun, you have these huge frigginâ€™ side steps, and then ruin at least 3 inches of clearance. If they werenâ€™t there, I would have taken her off road for sure. Thatâ€™s, perhaps, my biggest issue with the Shogun.
I would appreciate a response to the poor consumption. This is my first ever diesel, so need the gurus to be patient with me.
Overall, I am as pleased as I could be bar the consumption and the ride height bit. I still stand with my earlier assumptions, great value, great looks, great feature set, great 4x4.