The midsize pickup truck segment is getting more and more competitive. Earlier this year, Nissan released the refreshed Navara that showcased a refreshed exterior, interior, along with other tech upgrades and an additional PRO-4X AT variant for those who desire a more rugged appearance. This new range-topping variant is set to face one of the fiercest contenders in its class, and one of which includes the Mitsubishi Strada Athlete 4x4 AT. Both models sport a rugged appearance, have the right amount of tech, and are ready to take on any unexpected obstacle ahead, the only question is who will stack up in this comparison.
On paper, the Nissan Navara PRO-4X is a bit shorter, but it’s wider and taller than the Strada Athlete. For reference, the PRO-4X is 5,260 mm long, 1,875 mm wide, 1,860 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 3,150 mm. The Strada Athlete, on the other hand, is 5,305 mm long, 1,815 mm wide, 1,795 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 3,000 mm. Also, both midsize pickups sit 220 mm off the ground.
In terms of design, both pickups were given special exterior appointments for a more rugged appearance. Starting off with the Nissan, its overall design was cleanly executed, it gets a fair amount of black and orange details. The package also includes new headlights which house DRLs and quad-LEDs projectors, plus, its fascia is then topped with a larger blacked-out grille along with a new bumper integrated with a pair of LED fog lamps.
It also gets step boards and a generous amount of black cladding, plus, blinkers on its side mirrors and a new set of 17-inch gloss black alloys wrapped in 255/65 tires. Lastly, the rear comes with new taillights and a large embossed Navara lettering which further elevates the fresh looks of the pickup.
The Strada Athlete, on the other hand, still sports the familiar design elements found on other standard trims, the big difference here is the generous application of black details upfront, on the side, at the back, and even on its roof. The exterior is even topped off with some special decals, a set of blacked-out 18-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 265/60 tires, and a roll bar at the rear. Like the Navara PRO-4X, the Athlete also gets step boards and LED headlights with DRLs. Lastly, unlike the Nissan, the Strada Athlete only gets halogen fog lamps.
As for the trucks’ payload capacity, the Nissan Navara has 1,100 kgs which are quite impressive for a pickup truck that comes with rear multi-link coil springs. The Mitsubishi Strada, on the other hand, sits a little bit lower than the Nissan, with it having 945 kg of payload capacity.
Both pickups are undeniably handsome in their own way, though we’d pick the Navara PRO-4X as the winner of this round given its slightly cleaner and better-executed exterior, plus, that extra payload capacity could be of good use.
WINNER: Nissan Navara
Interior and technology
Inside, both cabins exude in terms of tech and practicality, but the question is, which one is better in terms of interior packaging. Space is good inside the two models, materials used lean more towards the durable rather than the plush side. As for the dashboard, there is a range of silver garnish and piano black accents which could attract some dust and scratches. What sets the PRO-4X apart from the rest of the Navara range is the black and orange Nissan logo found on its steering wheel. You’ll also notice that the two midsize pickups have a gauge cluster with a center LCD display, though we’d give some applause to Nissan for giving the Navara’s information screen some insane animation. Overall, Mitsubishi was able to present the Strada’s dash better than the Navara.
Both come with leather seats, with the ones on the PRO-4X looking oh-so-good while the one on the Athlete can be a bit polarizing given its unusual color combination. Other amenities include rear air vents, while the Navara features the traditional placement at the rear of the center console, the Mitsubishi was clever enough to have the air vents installed above the ceiling which does give better distribution of the air for rear occupants.
Now, let’s go on to the main highlight of the cabin which is the infotainment system. Starting with the Nissan Navara PRO-4X, it comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display that features various media functions including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is also where the 360-degree camera is projected, allowing you to activate it when maneuvering or going through tight spaces at a low speed. The Mitsubishi Strada, on the other hand, also has a touchscreen infotainment system that comes with various multimedia functions such, however, it does not support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but it does come with navigation. Lastly, both models come with a 6-speaker audio system.
Other convenience features include dual-zone climate control, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, and a push-start button along with smart keyless entry. On paper, both contenders are well-equipped with convenience features, but given the Navara PRO-4X’s better interior design and the more advanced infotainment system, we hereby declare it as the winner of this round.
WINNER: Nissan Navara
Ride and comfort
Likewise, the Nissan Navara still holds the crown for ride and comfort all thanks to its glorious rear multi-link coil springs. Despite that, it is still worth noting that the Mitsubishi Strada’s suspension has greatly improved from its predecessor. It’s actually not as bouncy as before, bringing the diamond pickup’s ride comfort closer to class leaders such as the Navara.
WINNER: Nissan Navara
For starters, the Nissan Navara PRO-4X is more powerful than the Mitsubishi Strada Athlete, with it being run by a 2.5-liter turbo-diesel motor that churns out a healthy 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque. The said mill is paired with a 7-speed automatic. As for the Mitsubishi, it’s powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-diesel engine that puts out 179 hp and 430 Nm of torque.
The PRO-4X can only be had with a 7-speed automatic while the Athlete’s engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic, though what’s striking about the Mitsubishi is that it gets paddle shifters. Both vehicles feature a 4x4 drivetrain along with other off-road drive modes to boost their capability on different terrains.
Without a doubt, the two Japanese contenders deliver good performance and capability on and off-road. However, given the slightly higher power output of the PRO-4X along with one more gear to shift, the Nissan, once again, wins this round.
WINNER: Nissan Navara
Safety and security features are generous on both models. For starters, the two come standard with ABS, EBD, speed-sensing door locks, immobilizer, and ISOFIX child seat tethers. The Navara PRO-4X gets 6-airbags while the Strada Athlete gets 7-airbags. Both also come with other useful driver-assist features such as blindspot-monitoring system, high-beam assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward-collision warning. There are some certain features that are exclusive on both models, like on the Navara PRO-4X, you get the famous 360-degree camera from Nissan, as for the Strada Athlete, you get its all-around parking sensors.
Granted that both vehicles are well-equipped in terms of safety, both of them manage to conquer this round.
The two Japanese contenders are indeed strong and are indeed priced just right, with the Navara PRO-4X retailing at P1,849,000 while the Strada Athlete 4x4 sits a bit lower at P1,760,000. After thorough assessment between both models, the Navara PRO-4X managed to outdo the Strada Athlete 4x4 on almost all of the categories enlisted. While it does come a little bit more extreme, you do not only get the ruggedness, high-tech features, and the strong practicality points of the Nissan, but you also get a pickup that can match the ride and comfort of some crossovers in the market.
While the Strada ended up being the second placer of this comparison, it is still worth noting its more attainable price tag gives you quite a lot, therefore giving its buyers a taste of that sulit factor. We’re definitely confident that you really can’t go wrong with either of these two.