Here at TTAC we often find ourselves bemoaning the lack of compact pickups on the US market, and trying to determine if that fact is due to weak demand or a lack of OEM investment into the segment. But now Chrysler has announced a new entry-level Ram 1500, codenamed “Adventurer,” which proves that full-sizers are the reason compact pickups are doomed in the US. According to ChryCo’s release, the “Adventurer” is
a value-priced, HEMI®-powered Ram 1500 regular cab truck that appeals to a cost-conscious, new-vehicle buyer who doesn’t want to give up performance and capability. The unnamed new Ram 1500, like the Ram Tradesman, offers buyers a standard HEMI V8 engine with its 20 mpg rating for the same price competitors are charging for their V6 engines.
The price? $23,830, including destination charge. That’s less than a V6, automatic 2WD Toyota Tacoma and nearly identical to a V6, automatic, 2WD Nissan Frontier. And at 20 MPG hwy, the Adventurer’s efficiency tradeoff is relatively small considering the performance advantages of its 390 HP HEMI V8. Though we applaud Ram’s decision to bring an entry-level, utilitarian pickup to the table, we bemoan the fact that this makes selling a compact pickup that much harder.