The trend in vehicle design leans toward sportiness these days, that’s why you’ll often see many top of the line models come with features that prioritize a sporty feel over that of sleekness and luxury.
No more is this trend obvious than in the pickup segment, where the Toyota Hilux Conquest and Mitsubishi Strada Athlete are two of a pickup buyer’s best choices. We square off these two off-road behemoths against each other and take our pick as to which one deserves your hard-earned money more.
The Mitsubishi Strada Athlete sports a blacked-out Dynamic Shield, black front bumper garnish, 18-inch black alloy wheels, black roof, styling bar and side decal accents complemented by the two-tone finish. All these add up to a tougher aesthetic compared to the standard Strada.
The Hilux Conquest asserts its bolder look over the rest of the lineup, showing more authority on the road with its sporty and refreshing new features such as a new grille design and sports bar, restyled daytime running lights, a bed liner, and 18-inch alloy wheels further amplifying the active lifestyle of the Hilux Conquest owner. A “Conquest” graphic at the rear sides further distinguish it from its Hilux family.
For its interiors, the Strada Athlete displays a two-tone black and orange leather with orange stitching accents in its seats, gear shift panel/knob and parking brake lever (available in the 4x4 variant). The pickup also comes with a whole suite of safety and driver assistance systems that includes Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist (BSW with LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), to name a few. Infotainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen.
The new Hilux Conquest is now equipped with a Smart Key/Entry feature and furnished with a new black interior trim and a 6.5-inch display to go with the Steering Wheel Audio Control. Overall, the Conquest’s cabin is just the same as the next top Hilux variant. In terms of safety, the Conquest 4×4 models get anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution (ABS-EBD), hill-start assist, stability control with traction control, downhill assist, and trailer sway control. Meanwhile, the Conquest 4×2 gets only three airbags along with ABS-EBD. A reverse back-up camera and clearance sensors are also onboard.
Winner: Mitsubishi Athlete
Under its hood of the Athlete is Mitsubishi’s reliable 2.4L MIVEC Turbo Clean Diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission with Super Select 4WD II system that produces around 179hp and 430Nm of torque. This powertrain combo links to a Super Select 4WD-II with off-road traction control that allows drivers to choose between different drive and terrain settings for better handling on any road condition.
The Hilux Conquest is powered by the same fuel-efficient and durable engine used in the current Hilux lineup; a 2.8-liter four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC Variable Nozzle Turbo with Air-cooled Intercooler and a 2.4-liter version of the same engine. Both are befitting for any off road activity. Engine output maxes out at 201hp and 500Nm for the 2.8L and 148hp and 400Nm for the 2.4L. A choice between a 6-speed automatic and 6-speed intelligent manual gearbox ensures all that power reaches either all four wheels (4x4 variants) or rear wheels only (4x2 variants).
Winner: Hilux Conquest
Pricing and options
The Mitsubishi Athlete comes in two trims, priced at P1.443 million (Strada Athlete 4x2) and P1.76 million (Strada Athlete 4x4). Car shoppers can have the Mitsubishi Strada Athlete in three color options including Sunflare Orange Pearl (exclusive only to the Athlete variant), White Diamond and Graphite Gray Metallic.
The Hilux Conquest on the other hand, has four different trims, priced as follows:
CONQUEST 2.8 4x4 A/T: PHP1,850,000
CONQUEST 2.8 4x4 M/T: MSRP PHP 1,775,000
CONQUEST 2.4 4x2 A/T: PHP 1,475,000
CONQUEST 2.4 4x2 M/T: PHP 1,400,000
Available in the colors Super White, Grey Metallic, Attitude Black Mica, Nebula Blue Metallic, and the Conquest-exclusive Emotional Red, the Hilux Conquest ensures a tougher appearance on the road.
Winner: Hilux Conquest
As you can see, each pickup has its own merits. The Hilux Conquest wins in terms of options and power, but if you’re looking for more finesse and style, then it’s the Mitsubishi Athlete for you. Feel free to check out the rest of the specs of both pickups here on Carmudi.
Photos/s from Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corporation