Mitsubishi Shogun Field LWB

Think of a special edition, and chances are it'll be nothing more than a base model with metallic paint and a CD player added. But Mitsubishi has done things differently with the Shogun Field. As the name suggests, this car is all about leaving the tarmac behind, and showcases the firm's new off-road traction control.

There's something honest about the Shogun. On road, it's flawed, but it has never been better off it thanks to its new traction control. Fans of the really rough stuff will love the Field but, at £30,000, it will struggle to compete with the likes of the Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Land Cruiser, which are equally as good off-road.

Think of a special edition, and chances are it'll be nothing more than a base model with metallic paint and a CD player added. But Mitsubishi has done things differently with the Shogun Field. As the name suggests, this car is all about leaving the tarmac behind, and showcases the firm's new off-road traction control.

Applying the Evo VIII's anti-slip wizardry to a 4x4 might seem a strange conversion, but grip is just as important if you're climbing a muddy slope as it is when cornering on a race track. The technology behind the Field's versatility is called MASTC - Mitsubishi's Active Stability and Traction Control - and makes the car virtually unstoppable.

The system integrates traction and stability control - both of which can also help to recover an on-road slide - with Engine Brake Assist Control, which offers safe steep hill descent. Off-road, grip is measured at each wheel and power fed to whichever has most traction. Combine the technology with chunky off-road tyres and a low-ratio gearbox, and the Shogun Field is a force to be reckoned with.

Under the bonnet is Mitsubishi's 158bhp 3.2-litre DI-D direct-injection turbodiesel, which feeds power through a five-speed manual or automatic gearbox. To the soundtrack of a traditional diesel rattle, 0-62mph is covered in 13.8 seconds, with 26.9mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 278g/km.

None of the figures is particularly impressive, while the on-road handling is sloppy compared to more tarmac-biased 4x4 opposition. However, strong brakes and reasonable steering feel are plus points. Externally, only Field badges and the knobbly tyres set the new mid-range model apart from other versions but, inside, equipment is generous.

As well as climate control, there's an electric sunroof and seven seats, although, surprisingly, a CD player is left on the options list. With an auto gearbox, the long-wheelbase Field is priced at £30,495, which pitches it directly at Land Rover's Discovery Td5 XS.

The Shogun is great off-road, and MASTC serves to make it more capable. But the technology is only really useful to serious mud-plugging fans. The standard Shogun has enough for most applications and in Classic trim is £3,500 less - so you'll need more than a field before you discover the benefits of the Field's advanced traction control system.

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