To a huge degree, the 2017 Strada GT answers all the criticisms leveled against Mitsubishi’s pickup truck offering when it first came out two years ago. From the removal of the toothy chrome grille to the application of the latest MIVEC clean diesel engine, the Strada GT has finally hit all the right notes and this should easily sway the buying public to take notice of it once more.
The 2017 Strada continues with its science fiction/concept car inspired look, but this year, the chrome has been toned down. There’s still some shiny bits found on the side mirrors and door handles, but the single biggest offender—the chrome grille—has been replaced by a matte black number. It’s surprising how a single design element has managed to change the Strada’s entire character, but it’s very effective in this case. Aside from the new grille, this top-of-the-line model also gets a front nudge bar (where you can install off-road spot lamps), 17-inch two-tone Diamond Vane wheels, and a rear bed roll bar.
Built from the ground-up as an “everyday pickup truck”, the Strada’s proportions prioritize usability than outright hauling capacity. Though the bed itself can still carry a good amount of cargo (it’s larger than the model it replaces), the news here remains the cabin’s space and execution. Maximizing the compact wheelbase, the interior is car-like. The steering wheel offers adjustment to both tilt and reach while the driver’s seat itself moves electrically. The gauges look plain, but are extremely legible while all the other controls are within easy reach. The front seats are also good, offering body-hugging bolstering and support; but it’s in the back where the Strada has a big advantage. The knee room is already great, but it also comes with a comfy seat pitch and generous cushion length. Indeed, it’s actually possible to spend long drives seated as a rear passenger without complaints.
For 2017, Mitsubishi has dismissed its long-serving 4D56 engine for the all-new 2.4-liter MIVEC clean diesel engine. Fitted in the Montero Sport SUV as well, it’s easily one of the smoothest, quietest diesels ever put in a pickup. It’s quiet at idle with minimal clatter and it doesn’t get much louder as the speeds go up. Aside from its refinement, there’s good pull too. Granted the power doesn’t come in linearly, it’s still there. Feathering the throttle and keeping the engine at its sweet spot are your best bets to keep the pace going.
Mated to the 4N15 engine is a 5-speed automatic. It’s 3 gears down compared to the Montero Sport, but the revised ratios do maximize the engine’s power. Though generally responsive, once or twice, you’ll catch yourself expecting an upshift only for the transmission to hold that gear a bit longer. Apart from better power, it also improves the fuel economy: 9.43 km/L or an 8 percent improvement over the previous GLS Sport V.
The Strada remains surprisingly maneuverable for its size. The hydraulic assist means a weightier feel compared to an electric assist set-up, but it feels lightened up for 2017. Compared to other pickups, the ride is cushier, but it can get unsettled over lumpy, corrugated surfaces and deep ruts. On the other hand, it can carry more speed through curves with far less drama. The body itself feels solid, but the numerous cabin rattles do little to reinforce that.
Although Mitsubishi has yet to adopt a fancy terrain-based 4WD system, the Super Select 4WD-II in the Strada does the job just as well. This system combines traditional helical gears (Torsen-type) with a viscous coupling. This system is deemed the best setup because it allows the Strada to react quicker on changing surfaces such as slippery or rugged terrain. Not only does this system allow a locked differential like a typical pickup, but it also enables its 4WD system to work even on paved roads. Together with this 4WD system is the adoption of Mitsubishi’s Active Stability and Traction Control or M-ASTC system. New for this year, it uses a comprehensive network of sensors to prevent drifting out of control by managing engine output, power distribution, and even braking force. In short, the Strada GT is always pointed in the right direction whatever the road or weather condition. What’s more, it helps maximize the full potential of the engine with complete confidence.
At P 1,655,000 the 2017 Strada GT represents a substantial P 215,000 price jump compared to the GLS Sport V before. But it still manages to play the value card quite well. On top of items such as the multi-information trip computer, dual zone climate control, push-button engine start/stop, HID headlights with LED DRLs, GPS navigation, and reversing camera; this year, you also get leather seats, a power driver’s seat, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, 7 airbags, tire pressure sensors, traction and stability control, and of course, the new engine. The only problem is that with the amount of toys, some don’t place nice with each other. In this case, it’s the keyless entry and alarm system. If you use the door handle button to lock, you must also use it to unlock; if you use the key fob to unlock, you must also use it to lock. Any other combination will cause the alarm to sound off. It’s a minor issue for sure, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless.
After all’s said and done though, the 2017 Mitsubishi Strada GT is worthy of another good look. In the increasingly competitive pickup truck segment, it’s finally come through as a well-packaged, well-equipped, and now, modernly powered and nicely styled offering too. It may not have the same credentials marketing and PR people like to harp about, but it delivers on where it counts. It’s well-suited to the needs and demands of everyday life that it’s hard to find another pickup as well balanced as this one.
2017 Mitsubishi Strada GT
|Ownership||2017 Mitsubishi Strada GT|
|Body Type||4-door pickup|
|Engine / Drive||F/4WD, Low, Locking|
|Under the Hood|
|Fuel Delivery||Common Rail Direct Injection|
|Layout / # of Cylinders||I4|
|BHP @ rpm||181 @ 3,500|
|Nm @ rpm||430 @ 2,500|
|Fuel / Min. Octane||Diesel|
|Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed||9.43 km/L @ 15 km/h|
|Dimensions and Weights|
|Curb Weight (kg)||1,850|
|Suspension and Tires|
|Front Suspension||Independent, Double Wishbone|
|Rear Suspension||Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring|
|Front Brakes||Vented Disc|
|Tires||Toyo Open Country A28 245/65 R 17 S (f & r)|
|Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)||Yes|
|Traction / Stability Control||Yes|
|Parking Sensors||No, with Camera|
|Other Safety Features||Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
|Fog Lamps||Yes, Front and Rear|
|Steering Wheel Adjust||Tilt/Telescopic|
|Steering Wheel Material||Leather|
|Seating Adjustment||Electric (driver)|
|Folding Rear Seat||Yes|
|Power Door Locks||Yes|
|Power Mirrors||Yes, with Fold|
|Climate Control||Yes, Dual|
|# of Speakers||6|