After successfully staging a rallycross style event in Pradera Verde, Pampanga to highlight the off-road performance of the all-new Mitsubishi Strada a few months ago, Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. (MMPC) gathered a select group of motoring pen pushers and flew them to the scenic island of Palawan for an eco-style ride and drive behind the wheel of the latest Strada.
According to MMPC President Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, the Palawan experience would allow the participants an opportunity to test and feel how the Strada behaves over a long drive.
“The long stretches and winding roads of Palawan is the perfect venue for motoring journalists to feel how the Strada performs on road. Here, they can push the Strada to its limits,” he stated.
Upon our arrival at the newly refurbished Puerto Princesa Airport, MMPC executives and members of the media proceeded to Maximotors Corp., Mitsubishi’s dealership in Palawan. Breakfast was served by our gracious host Paul Elton Lao, Maximotors general manager.
Driving the latest Strada
By mid-morning, the Mitsubishi Strada convoy proceeded with the ride and drive, with veteran racer Pepon Marave as the convoy leader driving an Xpander. For the next two and a half hours, the convoy gradually snaked its way through the newly paved roads of Puerto Princesa. The repair and expansion program of Palawan’s road network started four years ago, as part of Gov. Jose Alvarez’s goal of providing easy access around the island to make it an investment and tourism friendly destination. With five Strada variants, two of which were 4×4’s with one manual version, lead footed motoring journalists had a blast attacking fast corners and going flat out on clear stretches of pavement. The Strada was not lacking in power and the suspension was not soft, but firm yet comfortable. Despite the humidity, the climate control system provided cool comforts in the cabin. The NVH levels of the new Strada is also commendable because despite driving at high speeds, my colleagues Randy Peregrino of Business Mirror and videographer Dodong Desamero of Motoring Today could converse in a normal manner. The touchscreen audio system at the central console kept us entertained throughout the drive.
“This is Mitsubishi’s way of promoting environment protection and preservation. We should do our part for Mother Earth,” said Arlan Reyes, MMPC marketing and press relations officer.The vast stretch of shoreline allowed the participants to throw caution to the wind as the media had some playtime with the Strada, kicking up some sand and splashing seawater along the famous San Vicente beachhead.
The sixth generation
Now on its sixth generation, the Strada/L200 is also known as the Triton in other foreign markets. Cumulative sales of the first three generations have exceeded 2.8 million units globally, making it one of the best-selling compact pick-up trucks by a Japanese manufacturer.
In the Philippines, the Strada is a workhorse and is popular in the provincial areas for its flexibility and reliability. The latest version was launched late last year in Thailand and early this year in the local market.
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