I remember the first time I drove the Mitsubishi Shogun and without doubt it was probably one of my top ten experiences of driving a vehicle.

It was winter, the weather was appalling with rain beating down and water gushing off the roads and into the fields.

Normally I would be a little bit nervous but the Shogun looked after me like a big brother facing the school bully.

I got home without a problem and since then the Shogun has been a special favourite. This is what proper motoring is about.

But we now have a sophisticated brother, which has come on to the market in the Shogun Sport and it is somewhat smaller than the original one.

Mitsubishi hopes to sell around 3,000 a year and the older model is to be scrapped for a little bit more luxury and refinement. A bit of a pity, me thinks.

Also known as the Pajero in some parts of the world it is designed to combine both practicality and toughness. It can carry up to seven people and tow a sizeable load. Sadly it is also known for being the favourite of the revolutionaries from the world’s hotspots.

The Shogun’s bigger brother is the Mitsubishi L200 and both vehicles share build quality and parts. The best advertisement for the Shogun is the fact of the almost 20,000 which were sold between 2000 and 2007 more than 12,000 are out on the road doing the job they were built for.

There are just two trim levels on offer with a 2.4-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder that produces 179bhp and 317lb ft, mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Only diesel is available.

The Shogun Sport 3 costs from £37,775 and has 18in alloy wheels, leather seats all round, LED lights, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, privacy glass, automatic lights and windscreen wipers and a touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The top-spec starts at a whisker short of £40,000 and adds heated front seats, an uprated audio system and adaptive cruise control.

With the middle and rear seats down you’ve got 1,500 litres of space to play with and in a five-seat configuration, there’s a 500 litre boot. With all seven seats upright you just get 130 litres of space.

There is bags of room even for seven people in the vehicle, but it is not recommended for a long journey!

When you clamber on board you know this isn’t going to be a top speed run you are in for. This is safe and sure but the Shogun picks up nicely as you barrel along.

The new Sport has a Terrain Control System which offers four off-road driving modes: gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock. The settings modify the traction control, throttle response and gearshift points to make the most of the available grip on different terrains.

There’s also the Super Select II four-wheel drive system which you get on other Mitsubishi models. This can be manually switched via a rotary controller near the gearlever to either send all of the power to the rear wheels only or to engage full-time four-wheel drive — a process that can be done at speeds of up to 62mph.

There are two additional off-road settings that lock the Shogun Sport’s centre differential and apportion power equally to the wheels. One of those settings also engages a low-range gear set. You can also lock the rear differential via the push of a button.

The hill descent control system is good and there is 218mm of ground clearance and a water wading depth of more than two feet.

  • Mitsubishi Motors have their UK headquarters in Cirencester and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been selected as the company’s employee charity partner for the next 12 months.

The charity was selected by a majority vote from the company’s employees, who will be taking part in a number of charity events next year to raise money for the charity.

Gill Crowther, general manager of HR, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK said: “This relationship will run alongside our existing corporate charity relationship with the amazing National Star Charity. We know that running and maintaining the air ambulance service is costly but it relies solely on charitable donations to keep the operation going.”

Valerie Whistler, at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Mitsubishi Motors in the UK and would like to thank their employees for choosing us. We are grateful for their generous support, which will go a long way towards raising the £8,904 we need every day to keep the helicopter flying and saving lives in Wiltshire and surrounding counties.”