Top Gear Philippines

Hi, Botchi. I'm one of your online readers from the Middle East. I need your expert suggestion and recommendation. I will be in the Philippines for my annual holiday and will pick up my wife's Mitsubishi Strada GLX-V Limited Edition. I did not choose the 4x4 variant because it will not be used for off-road purposes.

Unfortunately, the GLX-V variant is not so impressive on the outside. I'm doing some research on the best bang-for-the-buck minor modification to make my wife's ride look like a competitive truck.

I would like to have the following add-on accessories:

* fender flare

* roll bar

* door/rain visor

* simple bull bar (front) with two halogen lamps

* alloy wheels and tires

The alloy wheels and tires are my dilemma now, and I would highly appreciate your input. I really do not have any idea in this department. What is your suggestion? The stock wheels are 16-inch, and I think they really need to be changed. But since the vehicle will be driven by my wife, ride quality should not be sacrificed. I think decent wheels and tires with minimal lift (if required) would be fair enough. Of course, they should not break the bank.

These are all on my mind at the moment, and I hope this will not drain my pocket. The reason I wrote and sent this message is to get advice from an expert. I know you can point me to the right people/shops that can give me the best options depending on my budget.

I'm excited for my sleepless research nights to end in the next few days.

Kind regards,
Rex Valencia

 

Hello, Rex. You can go put on Montero Sport-sized tires. That would be the cheapest, easiest option and surest way to improve performance and maintain a good ride. That would be 17x8 17-inch wheels with 265/65 tires. You should be able to find slightly used sets of wheels and tires from either a Strada GLS Sport-V or a Montero Sport (any variant) at your nearby surplus shop or tire shop.

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You might be able to go bigger, but there's a chance that the front wheels will hit or rub on the mud guards when the suspension is fully compressed and while the front wheels are fully turned.

You can opt to get Bilstein's complete lift/suspension kit, which raises the Strada two inches higher by replacing the shackles, shocks and a few other parts. Total cost will be in the region of under P60,000. With the raised suspension, you have better ground clearance (useful for floods) and a better ride (thanks to the Bilstein suspension), and you can fit much bigger, wider and fatter tires.

I have a Strada GLS Sport-V myself and plan to go this route as soon as I'm able to save up for it. I'd like to be able to put in 285/65 R17 tires (about the widest tire you can fit on a 17x8 wheel) when I get to lift the suspension up. It will make the Strada look more macho!

You can also improve the lights of the Strada. I found the original halogen H4 bulbs a bit weak. I replaced mine with all-weather gold/rainbow-colored H4 bulbs, and replaced the fog lamps with yellow-gold bulbs to improve visibility especially in bad weather.

I hope this helps. Good luck, and kudos for working hard for your family and for our country! 

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor

 

Do you want Botchi to help you pick the right car? Send your inquiry to topgear@summitmedia.com.ph.

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor
Botchi eats, lives and breathes cars (aside from hotdogs). Aside from wanting to drive any car, preferably through some scenic destination, he's always thinking of ways to "improve them" by modifying the (insert any car-related word here).
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