Trot, Gallop, Heel
The Strada’s curvaceous profile departs from the ‘boxy’ pick-up truck stereotype. It’s so curvy that I couldn’t even find a single corner on it except for the company’s tri-diamond logo. Also, its aggressive “macho” styling is reminiscent of the Pajero Evolutions that completely dominated the Paris-Dakar Rally several times over. Call me biased, but I still think that the Strada is the most attractive pick-up in the market to date, especially when it comes in red (white comes in a close second).
For a pick-up, it rides well and true on high profile tires mounted on stylish 17 inch alloy wheels, but I have funny feeling that there would be some who’d toss them out for massive 22 inch chrome rims. It’s one of more comfortable pick-ups I’ve ever driven and performs notably when driving over rough terrain.
At the heart of the Strada is a 3.2 Liter Turbo Intercooler diesel engine that benefits from Mitsubishi’s own Direct Injection Diesel technology better known as ‘Di-D’. It churns out 158Hp with 343Nm of torque that quickly sends this bronco into a raging gallop; more than enough to leave some sporty sedans in the dust. The GLS Sport also comes with a Limited Slip Differential for that extra pulling power and stability.
On the Saddle
Mounting the Strada was quite easy even if it’s standing high off the ground. My 5 foot 9 inch tall frame allowed me to simply hop on the driver’s seat and abandon the side step boards completely. Embarrassingly, I only had to do this because I’ve never actually learned the art of climbing up the step boards. Logic always seems to escape me, and I couldn’t figure out the proper left-to-right foot sequence going up. It’s the same story going down, by the way.
The high ground clearance also gave me a great bird’s eye view on whatever terrain I’m about to go over. Be it mud, gravel, or even the dreaded mother-in-law; with the help of its manually selectable 4x4 system, the Strada can conquer them all. Ironically though, there is a downside to the Strada’s height. To compensate for its high cabin floor, the seats were mounted quite low, which compromised the seating position, not to mention sacrificed a bit of comfort as well.
The Strada can seat up to five adults. Though I wouldn’t really consider the rear seats to be cramped, it could be a smart choice not to let anyone taller than 6 feet sit at the back. Then again, given that this truck features a full four-door cab, Mitsubishi was still able to provide a substantial amount of rear bed area - 132.5 x 147cm to be exact. Plus, it’s the only pick-up in the market that I know of to offer a power opening rear window.
On the inside, they’ve kept everything clean and simple except for the big knobs, silver gauges, and long gear levers. This just lets you know: it means business. There are also some modern creature comforts such as cup holders, steering wheel mounted audio remote, and a 1-DIN JVC head unit. The GLS even comes with ABS, EBD, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (dealer option), and a Multi-Information Display mounted at the center of the dash.
Making the Horse Drink
Quite honestly, I’m no big fan of supersized SUVs and pick-up trucks. Really. I feel harassed whenever one of these behemoths pull up alongside my humble little sedan and bully me into giving up my right of way simply by its brute size. Although I do recognize the general importance of SUVs and pick-up trucks, it’s just not my cup of tea. To cut things short, I wasn’t all too excited when my boss asked me to do a story on the Mitsubishi Strada GLS Sport 4x4. But after a few days driving it around town, this noble steed has found a soft spot in my heart.
The Mitsubishi Strada 3.2L GLS Sport 4x4 M/T (*whew, that’s a mouthful*) is a true stallion. Utilitarian in purpose and bold in guise, it’s as well equipped for the ranch as much as the urban jungle for a price tag of P1,305,000. Not bad at all.