Strada makeover: 2,400 changes
When Mitsubishi was confronted with the task of how to embolden its Strada pickup truck in a mid-life update, its team of engineers left no stone unturned in their search for innovations amid intense competition with rival brands.
The result was an impressive 2,400 changes that should keep the Strada among the most preferred pickups in the market.
Almost three months after its global launch in Thailand, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) officially unveiled the new Strada over the weekend at the specially-designed and custom-built off-road proving grounds of Pradera Verde, Lubao, Pampanga.
Just like in the previous launch of its Montero Sport, MMPC once again invited rally legend Hiroshi Masuoka to test the new Strada, and allowed participants to ride shotgun with him and take on the off-road track at full rally speed.
Considered as one of its most important models in its lineup, the Strada pickup produced in Mitsubishi’s Laem Chabang Plant in Thailand will eventually be sold around the globe in over 150 markets.
Going by the tagline Engineered Beyond Tough, the Strada carries with it 40 years of pickup truck history, and is packed with safety suites and performance features carried over from the Montero Sport midsized SUV.
The New Strada is available in six variants, and all are fitted with 6-speed transmissions. These six variants are: the top-of-the-line GT 4WD automatic transmission (A/T), GLS 4WD manual yransmission (M/T), GLS 2WD A/T, GLS 2WD M/T, GLX Plus 2WD A/T, and the base model GLX Plus 2WD M/T.
The new Strada is fitted with a new 6-speed automatic transmission, and is powered by a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC clean diesel engine with variable geometry turbo and its proprietary Mivec (Mitsubishi innovative valve timing electronic control system) 4N15 that gives a maximum output of 181 Ps/3,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 430 Nm/2,500 rpm.
The new powerplant is similar to the powerful Montero Sport SUV and with a lighter chassis. It ably powers the pickup, and refinements in the suspension make the ride a more comfortable, offering better handling whether on road or off-road.
Thanks to the use of larger rear dampers that contain more damping oil, it is one of the most comfortable rides for pickups without sacrificing load capacity.
Braking performance was also improved with the use of larger front discs and caliper pistons for the GT 4×4, GLS 4×4, and GLS 4×2 variants.
The GT 4WD A/T is equipped with a super select 4-wheel drive, and the GLS 4WD MT is fitted with an easy select 4WD that delivers optimum traction and handling characteristics on any given road condition.
The product specs of these variants allows customers to choose the best option for their daily drive workhorse pickup, whether for private or commercial use.
What’s obviously new for the Strada is its updated front and rear exterior, with its new-generation Dynamic Shield front design, using the same design language as its Montero Sport and Xpander siblings.
Its design concept, Rock Solid, embodies a refreshed design that communicates a powerful and reassuring sense of protection.
The high hood and functional LED lamps layout is meant to communicate a powerful and studier visual, and for the GT 4×4 and GLS 4×4 variants, the LED projector-type head lamps are harmonized with grille design and projector lamps.
The Strada’s newly sculpted body curves with contrasting sharp lines in all the right places exude an air of toughness, and yet evoke a character of elegance that matches well with its excellent ride quality.
The new Strada is available in seven colors: White Diamond, Graphite Gray Metallic, Sterling Silver Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Red Solid Clear, Grayish Brown Metallic and Impulse Blue Metallic.
Inside, the fit and finish are excellent, as expected from a Mitsubishi, and all the modern infotainment features in a modern and connected vehicle are available.
Its roomy interior can comfortably seat five adults, thanks to the unique J-line design that offers a class-leading legroom for enhanced comfort.
The new Strada comes with a functional, intuitive and modernized center panel and console.
All its variants feature a 2-DIN touch screen monitor, tuner, MP3 player, USB, iPod- ready auxiliary-in, Bluetooth with mirror link feature multi-media system.
All variants are also equipped with a GPS navigation system.
For passenger convenience, a front smartphone tray is available that includes USB terminals. A rear smartphone tray is also available, and is located at the rear of the center console with a USB power socket.
Also class-leading are the overhead rear air-conditioner vents on the GT variant.
The new Strada hosts an array of passive and advanced active safety features, some of which have been carried over from its SUV sibling.
Its proprietary RISE (reinforced impact safety evolution) body allows high impact absorption in the event of a collision, and retains the proven durability and reliability of a ladder-type frame, and safety cabin structure and design.
Other safety features like active stability traction control (ASTC), hill start assist (HSA), and trailer stability assist (TSA) are now standard on all variants.
It also has the ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system (UMS) that prevents accidents resulting from improper use of the accelerator when moving forward or reversing.
The blind spot warning (BSW) is also standard on the GT 4×4 variant. With the BSW, sideswiping is prevented when changing lanes by detecting vehicles behind or at the rear quarter, and alerting the driver through an audible alert and flashing light.
Having these features assures new Strada buyers the peace of mind that they are driving one of the safest pickups in the market.
Check out the L-INQ and Motioncars Facebook pages for an exclusive video of the Strada launch.