The best Strada yet
Written by Chris Van Hoven
The current-generation Mitsubishi Strada made waves when it launched with its new facelift sometime last year, ranking as one of the best pickup options available in the market on numerous media outlets. With the recent release of the Strada Athlete variant, Mitsubishi is taking an already proven product and amping up its road presence with some pretty significant aesthetic updates. Let’s take a look at each one.
Black Dynamic Shield
The updated Dynamic Shield and front bumper garnish are the first things that catch your eye when you glimpse the Strada Athlete for the first time. The Strada’s already impressive Dynamic Shield front fascia gets an all-black treatment complimenting the updated bumper that makes it clearly stand out from all the other cars on the road. It does a lot to make the Strada more imposing, giving the front end an almost menacing quality.
18-inch black alloy wheels
The Strada’s 18-inch wheel size, also found in their GLS line, hasn’t changed. It now gets an all-black treatment in glossy form as well, sporting chunky 265/60R18 Dunlop Grandtrek tires. While not specifically off-road tires, despite our Strada Athlete having 4×4 capabilities, the wheels were a perfect contrasting complement to our test unit’s “White Diamond” body color.
The Strada Athlete’s blacked-out roof is perhaps one of the more striking aesthetic updates to the base Strada’s design. It gives the Strada a distinct sporty appeal that makes it look just at home in an urban environment than it does in the countryside. Again, it’s all about the contrast, and it works best when paired against a light color.
Side decal accents
Admittedly, flashy decals have never appealed to me, but if catching glances is something that appeals to you, then the side decals streaks on the Strada Athlete are perfect for you. I won’t deny that it got admiring glances from several passers-by, and it does add tremendously to its street presence.
Two-tone leather seats
The two-tone leather seats (orange and black) used in the Strada Athlete are one of my favorite design elements in the car, simply because it adds so much character to the interior. The Strada’s interior has always been lauded as straight to the point, simple, and efficient. Tthe added color introduced by the orange accents to the seats, together with orange accents on the gear shift panel and floor center console give the interior a complete fresh appeal which looks great even from the outside.
There aren’t any changes to the current Strada’s mechanicals. It still houses the same 2.4-liter MIVECT diesel engine that produces 181-hp and 430-Nm of torque, which still provides plenty of power and torque for pretty much any road scenario. I used the Strada Athlete to carry some heavy furniture from one house to another, and I continue to be impressed by how the Strada gets more composed when loaded with weight. Even unladen, the Strada ranks as one of the more agile and comfortable pickup options in the market.
What’s even more impressive are the list of features you’ll get with the Strada Athlete. At P1,760,000, it’s certainly on the upper end affordability if we’re talking about 4×4 options. Still, it’s not the most expensive 4×4 out there, even without taking the Ford Ranger Raptor into consideration. But for the money, you’ll get the added aesthetic upgrades plus forward collision mitigation, blind spot warning with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system, stability and traction control, trailer stability assist, hill descent control, hill start assist, multi around monitor, and automatic high beams.
The Mitsubishi Strada has always been an easy recommendation for those looking for a highly versatile 4×4, and that recommendation is made even easier now with its great looks, impressive feature list, and competitive pricing.