If you stop to really think about it, Mitsubishi’s timing is impeccable. There’s been a wave of new pickups from different manufacturers over the last year; each one showcasing what they believe is best for the local market. With one launch after another, sometimes mere weeks apart, manufacturers have attempted to one up each other with their own special releases. Toyota had their Hilux Conquest; Ford generated considerable noise with their tough truck, the Ranger Raptor; Isuzu debuted a new Blue Power engine for the D-Max; Chevrolet followed with their Colorado High Country Storm; and Ssangyong just recently launched their Musso at the Philippine International Motor Show. Besides new models, manufacturers have also been offering special body kits and aesthetic enhancements to make their pickup models even more enticing to the consumer. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, has been relatively quiet this year in comparison, leaving people to wonder how their Strada would remain competitive in a segment where the competition is hotter than ever. Now we know what they’ve been up to, and their timing couldn’t have been better. Initially launched in Thailand to coincide with the model’s 40th birthday, the new Mitsubishi Strada/L200/Triton sees improvements in several important aspects; and it’s finally here.
On the Outside
Mitsubishi likes to throw around key phrases such as “Engineered Beyond Tough” and “Rock Solid”, but it does more than marketing speak this time around. Mitsubishi gives their 2019 Mitsubishi Strada a radical design change to its exterior and successfully makes it look rugged from all angles. The front fascia adopts Mitsubishi’s new-generation “Dynamic Shield” front-end design concept, which we first saw on the Mitsubishi Xpander, though the changes to the front end are more than just simple aesthetics. The headlamps are raised 100mm higher than the current model, and foglamps are now positioned more than 700mm from the ground, which keeps it from getting submerged in a flood or river crossing. Newly sculpted body curves flanking the side along with contrasting lines and extended wheel flares add visual width to the Strada’s look, further emphasizing its “tough truck” character. At the rear, the new Strada gets a thicker bumper and restyled tail lamps, which almost resemble the Montero Sport’s infamous tail lamp design. The shape of the cargo bed has been carried over to support current accessories available to the Strada, including canopies, bed liners, and sports bars.
On the Inside
Inside, the 2019 Strada gets updates that make the cabin feel more sedan-like and modern. The switch panel, shift panel, and air outlets now get silver frame surroundings, and tactile feel and aesthetics are likewise improved with soft pad materials and stitching on the floor console, armrests, and parking brake. To further improve the Strada’s utility, there are Smartphone trays located at the front console, and at the rear of the center console, both beside USB power sockets. The Multi Information Display is extremely legible, thanks to the use of high contrast colors, and a clear digital display at the center, which relays all the important information. The new Strada also features a unique air circulator built into the roof panel to ensure fresh air reaches the passengers seated at the rear.
To see a video review of the 2019 Mitsubishi Strada 4×4 GT in action, click here or on the YouTube video above!
Having tested the 2019 Mitsubishi Strada in Thailand, we were able to drive it through an impressive array of obstacles to gauge its improved off-road characteristics. The 4×4 2019 Strada comes equipped with Super-Select 4WD-II, allowing you to switch between 2WD and 4WD high and low modes with a rear-bias locking center differential that splits front and rear drive torque by 40:60. The Strada’s new off-road mode selection lets you toggle between GRAVEL, MUD/SNOW, SAND, and ROCK settings, which lets the system control the engine power, transmission, and braking to regulate wheel traction depending on road surface conditions. From quick straights on loose gravel to banked slopes and steep uphill climbs, the Strada proved more than capable of getting through the demanding off-road course. The Strada’s 220mm ground clearance, 31-degree approach angle, 23-degree departure angle, and 25-degree ramp breakover angle put it at par with the best offerings in its class, so it’s safe to say that it can confidently hold its own with the rest of the tough trucks in even the most serious off-road situations.
So, the Strada’s easily proven itself off-road, but it hasn’t forgotten its on-road manners as well. While it does carry over the excellent 4N15 2.4-liter MIVEC turbo diesel with no additional tweaks to it, the important bits that contribute to the Strada rewarding its driver with an enjoyable drive have been improved. First off: ride comfort. The 2019 Strada uses larger rear dampers containing more damping oil than the outgoing model, resulting in a markedly improved ride compared to its predecessor. Slight road imperfections are hardly felt at all, and large undulations and obstacles are handled with ease. I’ll even go as far as saying that the 2019 Mitsubishi Strada is one of the most comfortable pickup trucks we’ve ever tested. The Strada’s stopping power gets an upgrade as well, with larger ventilated front discs with twin-pot calipers. The larger brakes come in handy with one of the Strada’s new features: Hill Descent Control. It’s a feature that lets the Strada maintain a constant speed on steep hill descents, allowing the driver to focus more on where he’s going rather than worrying about the gas and brake pedals. Further improving the Strada’s drivability is a new 6-speed Automatic transmission system which bestows it with seamless shifts, better acceleration when you need it, and a more refined drive overall.
Doing the Thinking For You
A new off-road mode selector, which automatically handles torque and power distribution to the wheels. A new hill-descent function that automatically handles the braking. Are you starting to see a trend? If it’s not yet abundantly clear, it will be when we delve into the 2019 Strada’s new safety suite. The new Strada gains a distinct advantage from its competitors with its new set of safety features, which puts it firmly at the top of its class. One of the new features, Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), actively detects vehicles and pedestrians in front of the vehicle and automatically applies the brakes for you when the distance between you and the object in front of you is suddenly reduced. Blind Spot Warning (BSW with LCA) detects vehicles behind or at the rear quarter of the vehicle using microwave radar, alerting the driver with an audible sound while flashing a light in the side mirror. Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) sends audible and visual signals to the driver to avoid objects while in reverse. The Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) reduces the chance and severity of hitting obstacles when the driver mistakenly slams on the accelerator when stationary, or at speeds of up to 10 km/h. If the system detects an obstacle in front or behind you and you step on the accelerator too quickly, it automatically reduces engine power. Rounding out the 2019 Strada’s safety suite is the Multi Around Monitor, which generates a bird’s eye view image of the area around the vehicle, which works in conjunction with standard audible parking sensors. We’re not exactly at the point where vehicles are doing the driving for us, but Mitsubishi gives us a taste of a possible future where we’re worrying less on the more error-prone aspects of driving, keeping us as safe as possible behind the wheel.
After almost every manufacturer has played their hand in the pickup segment, Mitsubishi shows up with their ace – with the safest, most balanced, well rounded and refined offering in the segment yet. Perfect timing.
|Cylinder Head||Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder|
|Fuel Injector||Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDi), Variable Geometry Turbocharger, MIVEC Variable Valve Timing|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||178 bhp @ 3500 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||317 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm|
|Drag Coefficient (cd)||0.42 cd|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic, 4WD|
|Suspension System||(Front) Independent Double Wishbone w/Coil Spring and Stabilizer bar (Rear) Elloptic Leaf Springs|
|Brakes||(Front) 12.6” (320mm) Ventilated Discs, dual pot calipers (Rear) LT Drums with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Forward Collision Mitigation Braking, Hill Descent Control|
|Wheels||(Front/Rear) 18 x 8J split 5-Spoke Aluminum Alloy|
Weight and dimensions
|Curb Weight||1955 kg|
|Top Speed||190 km/h|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||10.4 sec|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||10.4 km/L (24.5 mpg) Combined City/Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||PhP 1,670,000|
|What's Great||+ Improvements to comfort, safety, looks, and off-road performance means the Strada is once again ready to take the pickup crown.|
|What's Not So||- A slight boost to the engine’s horsepower would be great, but that’s us nitpicking.|
|C! Editors Rating||9.5 / 10|