Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin
At just about the same length and width as a Nissan Micra the Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin is a pocket-sized 4x4 that is ideal for the urban jungle. It has all the looks of a bigger 4x4 and most of the abilities, and if you are worried about killing the planet its diminutive dimensions may suit your conscience. Introduced to the UK in December 1999 the “shrunken Shogun” was initially available with just one engine option, a
Mitsubishi developed the system and claims that by mixing the fuel and air inside the engine rather than before it enters it can produce more power, better economy and improved torque. Within 12 months the engine range was revised, the 1.8 litre reverting to multi-point fuel injection while a new 2 litre GDI was introduced that produces 127bhp. Despite the extra size and power the 2 litre engine achieves the same fuel economy as the 1.8 litre, underlining Mitsubishi’s claims for the technology.
In normal road use the Pinin is rear-wheel drive, reducing noise and improving fuel economy compared with 4WD. Flick a switch and it transforms into all-wheel drive. A central viscous differential diverts the power to the wheels with the most grip and, combined with a high and low-ratio box, makes the Pinin’s 1,500kg towing capacity a useful asset. The dimensions of the load it is towing may dwarf the Pinin but it is unlikely to be intimidated.
On the inside the Pinin is small but perfectly formed. The large, clear dials and simple dash layout is hardly cutting edge but carries all the information you need. Being a 4x4 and having a nice tall body means that headroom in the front and rear is good but the rear seat is really only comfortable for two children. You’ll also need to be careful if you intend carrying much in the way of luggage. The five-door may have a reasonable 358 litre boot but the three-door makes do with just
166 litres and that is considerably less than that Nissan Micra I mentioned earlier.
In terms of reliability, the Pinin has produced few horror stories.
The Pinin is as close as you can get to driving a 4x4 supermini. If your lifestyle means that you need to nip into tight parking spaces, drive over mountains and tow the occasional trailer then the Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin might just be your perfect choice.
|Check the following|
|The one to buy |
|Values: Model Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin 2.0 GDI Elegance five-door|
Figures based on CAP September 2005 edition
© Jason Dawe Productions Limited December 2005