By on November 22, 2013

2015-Chevy-Colorado-3

Today’s Ur-Turn comes from Phillip Thomas, the rallycross driver/Subaru guru/LeMons mechanic that saved our butts during our ill-fated LeMons attempt. Philip spends most of his time behind the wheel of a pickup truck, towing race cars, collecting parts cars and going about his daily business in various half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton gas and diesel trucks. We asked him for his perspective on the new Chevrolet Colorado.

The Brazilians still call it the S10. Back in the day the S10, like the Ford Ranger, was the venerable American small truck. Modest, simple, hard working little trucklets that were still capable of respectable towing and hauling. And, as with the Ranger, it remained effectively unchanged for almost 25 years. In 2004, the Ford Ranger continued to soldier on into the abyss mostly unchanged, but Chevrolet decided it was time for a new compact.

When the Colorado was slotted into place in 2004, there was a bit of a lukewarm feeling. Gone was the small and capable S10, and in its place was a truck with less power, torque, and towing capabilities in a package that was fairly ugly. The interior was standard GM of the era, meaning functional but cheap. But it was sturdy. It got reasonable fuel economy. It was small (but not too close to its bigger brother, like the Dakota), and it sold well. Hell, NAPA Autoparts probably bought every white short-cab/short-bed (SCSB) that rolled out of the factory.

In those ten years, the Colorado stagnated – not even the V8 upgrade mid-cycle was enough. Its only rivals, the Tacoma and Frontier, have come a long way. The Frontier with its stroked 350Z motor (The VQ40DE 4.0L V6) is a respectably quick, capable hauler. The similarly powered Tacoma is still the sales king and arguably the class leader.

The ’15 Colorado comes to us with unique sheet metal front and rear, while sharing the cab with the global mid-size Colorado/S10. It’s a nice new take on GM truck styling, and stays conservative compared to the massively chromed Silverado. Inside, the two trucks are much closer in terms of family resemblance.

What’s really interesting to me isn’t the MyLink system or the new sheetmetal, but the guts of the truck. Of course, there’s the venerable “too weak to get my employee into trouble” four cylinder that will make its way into most fleet trucks and frugal buyers. The new 2.5L four banger produces 193 horse power, and 184 foot pounds of torque; the latter of which spreads 90% of its guts over a 2,000 rpm through 6,200 rpm range. Not exactly ground breaking power, but the emphasis on a flat and high revving torque band should keep this motor from being too miserable.

At launch, the high output option is GM’s familiar 3.6L DOHC V6. While making nearly identical numbers as the Pentastar V6 at 306 horse power and 270 foot pounds of torque, it jumps all over the Frontier’s 261 horse power and 281 foot pounds and curb stomps the Tacoma’s 236 horse power and 261 foot pounds. This will be the volume motor, and I’m happy for it. Everyone at TTAC, from Jack to Alex to Derek, is fond of the “high feature” V6. In top tier, it will tow in excess of 6700 pounds, a very respectable figure for the class.

Both are mated to a six speed automatic, though global markets get both five and six speed manuals depending on motor choice. I can only dream of a three pedal small truck with a bowtie on the hood.

But what really stands out in this package is the newly imported Duramax 2.8L I4, produced by VM Motori. In Brazilian spec, it packs 180 horsepower and a brawny 346 foot pounds ready at 2,000 rpm. Not only would this give the Colorado best in class torque, but also maintain healthy fuel economy.  For a real world, but apples to oranges comparison, our diesel race car tow rigs average around 20-25% better fuel economy compared to their gas brethren. We’ll have to sit on our hands until the EPA gets done with testing but the 2.8L Duramax manages to meet Brazil’s relatively strict emissions standards with no DPF filters.

The rest of the truck is as standard as it gets. Ladder frame, solid rear axle with optional G80 locking diff. RWD and 4×4 drivetrains. Though no standard cab will be offered at the start, it does come in an extended cab with a six foot bed, and a quad cab with either a four or six foot bed. Four wheel disc brakes are standard on our Colorado a welcome upgrade over the Brazilian S10′s rear-drum only package.

Now, the purpose of this truck? Simple, to be 90 percent of the Silverado with out its hefty size and fuel economy. I’m not a Luddite Texan who believes the height of pickup trucks was 40 years ago. But I do find modern half-tons to be oversized. Stick a 2014 next to a 2004, and see what I mean. The full-sizers have gained a lot of girth in ten years.

Contrary to what many believe, image isn’t the sole driver behind full-size truck purchases. Now that the full-size, body-on-frame sedan has died, trucks have taken their place, and you only need to take a look at half-ton model mix to see this in action. Most of them are Quadcabs with four full doors and enough back seat room for the children, with the shortest bed latched on and the base V8.

Outright utility – in the hauling lumber and sheetrock sense – is not what sells the modern half-ton in spades. But when you need a vehicle that can carry yourself, your family and your Home Depot purchases in comfort, a modern Quadcab is a great choice. Then again, so is a Tahoe. But there’s still a significant contingent of buyers who opt for the Lambda CUVs, the car-based crossovers that do 90 percent of what a GMT900 will do, but at a lower cost and with better fuel economy. Think of the Colorado as the Chevrolet Traverse of GM’s truck lineup. It offers greater fuel economy without sacrificing too much capability.

Beyond the family buyers or work users, there’s also an ignored contingent of current and future truck buyers that will find the Colorado very appealing: Generation Y. The new era of truck buyers isn’t just a bunch of hopped up brocacho millennials who all want jacked F150′s, Silverados, and Rams with 22” wheels and a metric Fordton (Ford is my four letter word) of chrome. There’s a fair number of potential truck buyers who desire the functionality of a pickup, but don’t want to pay full-size truck money or the requisite fuel bills.

A look at Chevrolet’s press photography shows that their marketing team has a specific vision of a millennial customer in mind: the guy (or gal) who had a daily driven Tacoma in college; the modest, small and capable little work horse, but has their nice job and is looking for a bit of an upgrade. They like to throw a mountain bike in the back of the bed, or attach a rig for a surfboard. They’re not so caught up in the whole “tough guy/cowboy” truck image, but the utility is a big draw. They are what markets call “lifestyle” buyers.

In 2012, Toyota moved 141,000 Tacomas – not an insignificant number, but certainly not major volumes in a car market of nearly 16 million units. With funkier styling and a diesel engine, the Colorado has the potential to be a shot in the arm for GM and the small truck market overall. Of course, GM could also spoil the whole thing by spending so much on incentives that a Silverado becomes an unbeatable deal by the time the buyer is playing the “four square” game with the F&I manager. But a Texan can dream. Fingers crossed for that 6-speed manual.

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262 Comments on “Editorial: A Young Texan Perspective On The Chevrolet Colorado...”


  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    “…at 306 horsepower and 270 foot pounds of torque, it jumps all over the Frontier’s 261 horsepower and 281 foot pounds and curb stomps the Tacoma’s 236 horsepower and 261 foot pounds.”

    That sounds great and will likely sell trucks, but how does the weight and gearing compare?

    • 0 avatar
      CST10

      No specs yet on gearing, but with a 6 speed automatic it already has a jump on the Tacoma and Frontier with their aging 5 speed automatics with a better gear spread. I’ve towed with a ’06 Nissan Pathfinder (Same drivetrain as a Frontier), it’s a healthy motor but only comes alive above 3,000 rpm. The transmission is what’s the “weak” point, fairly long gears and it takes time to get up into the power under bigger loads nearing 6,000 lbs.

      -Phillip

    • 0 avatar
      scrubnick

      Sounds like the same issue with that engine in the Lambdas. It’s a high revving V6, absolutely not what you want in a pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Phillip Thomas

        Same basic motor, yes. We’ll have to see how it’s spec’d for this chassis. The Lambdas are much larger and heavier than this *should* be, and the Colorado should pack shorter gearing. It will be a volume motor. The diesel will be our dream work truck.

        Personally, I think the spiritual S10 should be reacquainted with its new 4.3L from the Silverado.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Philip. It does sound like the Chevrolet Colorado is as a Mark Reuss said a “Lifestyle Vehicle” . We would not get the 2.5 engine in Australia, too small and anemic.
          Both the Holden Colorado and its fairly different twin the Isuzu Dmax have dumped their Petrol(gas) engines.
          I cannot imagine the new Chevrolet Colorado being able to tow a 27-30ft lightweight 5th Wheeler with a 1200lb hitch but they have few problems doing it here. The Globals are very different underneath as they are used as “1 Tonne Utes” in this case a 3000lb payload.
          A Sundance Ultralight? 26ft and a Dmax.
          http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzY4WDEwMjQ=/z/e64AAOxysE5Sbidf/$(KGrHqJ,!lgFJi2h1Gg-BSbidf(+j!~~48_20.JPG

          http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzY4WDEwMjQ=/z/e~sAAOxy8HlSbidj/$(KGrHqIOKo0FJfZfc)nuBSbidirwOw~~48_20.JPG

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – We have 3/4 ton pickups for 28+ ft 5th-wheel RVs. Even a 1/2 ton would be pushing your luck.

            You may live in a modern day Wild West, but never mind the small pickup suspension and brakes for a second. OK, anything short of a 3/4 ton has one single bearings at the end of each rear axle shaft, about the size of a Peanut Butter Cup. A 3/4 ton has two bearings at each axle the size of a pot pie. And an axle flange bolted to the hub assembly and that’s held on to the axle tube via a series of nuts with lock tab washers, not a C-clip that can unhook and spit out the axle and take the wheel with it.

            And if the rest of the small drivetrain is better apt for a CUV, well, you will have lots of problems soon enough.

            Use the right tool for the job, regardless of the sense of humor of OEM marketers Down Undah.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            @Denvermike:

            I’m on the Australian’s side here.

            They manage to tow trailers with cars and smaller trucks but their streets aren’t coated with blood or littered with broken vehicles the way RV.net hysterics would have you believe.

            There is a difference between “right tool for the job” and killing a squirrel with a .50cal.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @ajla – Whether they’re able to do it, isn’t the issue here. My 1/2 ton could easily tow a Bobcat or forklift on a trailer, day in and day out, if no one was looking. But I’d only be fooling myself if I was convinced it would tow as safely as a 3/4 ton with similar drivetrain longevity and overhaul cycles.

            No, I’m not saying our streets would be littered with casualties, human and machine, if we tried such stunts, but we’re also not missing several classes of pickups and never need to compromise anything. But I can see you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got, pickup wise.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @ailja,
            You are right, there is NO problem towing the 5th Wheeler above, but it does point out the inadequacies of US 1/2 tones that they would struggle with the above load.
            I posted photos of a European Caravan being towed by a car. This was almost sacrilegious to some who said a Midsize Pickup would have extreme trouble moving it let alone a car.
            I wonder if I posted a photo of an Airbus A380 would I get comments like “it is too heavy to fly”?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – The question isn’t if it can be done, but should it be done at all. Aussie capacity standards are totally lax when it comes to pickups and one look at “road train” simis says it all.

            OZ is another world, but the trucks aren’t any different. Just what’s seen as acceptable. You don’t have magic heavy-duty transmissions, brakes, suspensions, axles and other hardware on mid-size trucks that can do the hard work of 3/4 tons. I don’t know if the pictures you provided are as comical as they are disturbing.

            If the only other thing you have is commercial trucks to do the job of 3/4 ton pickups, it is what it is.

            And we’ll normally see commercial 2 ton, class 6 trucks doing the work of towing RVs that 3/4 tons are easily and legally capable of. So clearly it’s better to buy a truck with slightly more physical capacity than you need most of the time.

            http://www.smartcarguide.com/listimg/img1_1014/17/img_00H0H_bl5LDPCWNey_600x450_r.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            Totally agree I would not have a US 1/2 ton doing that or anything approaching it.The amount of “Magic Dust” added by te Manufacturers over the years obscures the somewhat limited capability of the vehicles, better a 3/4 ton ,at least they can tow a 26ft Lightweight 5ver. A 1/2 ton would really struggle.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Robert Ryan
            I do know my BT50 6spd manual is using a MT82 Getrag. It should handle a fair torque load. I think the V8 Mustang is using them.

            The auto in the BT50 is a 6R80 looks like a capable auto gearbag. They are used up to a 6.2 V8.

            I wonder if these gearboxes can handle a bit of a load ;) Also it shows the torque of these little diesels.

            So much for our ‘tiny pickups’.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – You wouldn’t think of using a 1/2 ton or midsizer to do heavy hauling and towing (even if legally accepted) when a 3/4 ton is at your disposal. But some people have to learn the hard way, no matter what you tell them. I have friends that now use 1/2 tons to get the job done, but started out with midsizers. They got tired of constantly replacing wheel bearings, ball joints, transmissions and head gaskets. Other friends used 1/2 tons at max capacity on a constant bases. They similarly got burned out on endless repairs until they stepped up to 3/4 and 1 tons. Use the right tool for the job. Otherwise, you’re not getting away with anything. And just fooling yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            ” Other friends used 1/2 tons at max capacity on a constant bases. They similarly got burned out on endless repairs until they stepped up to 3/4 and 1 tons. ”

            Frightening concept. To use a 1/2 to to do what that couple does on a regular basis, is certainly not recommended on safety grounds.
            1/2 tons in the US are not built for that sort of work. 3/4 tons yes no problems.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – I don’t advise the use of US 1/2 tons to tow/haul anywhere near their capacity limit. Especially not if they’re thinking about such use on a consistent basis. But that’s true for autos, minivans, SUVs, 3/4 tons, 1 tons, etc, etc. The only one you’re fooling is yourself. Don’t do it… The same holds true for midsizer trucks, obviously. Especially when you consider magical capacity standards in OZ. And there is no US DOT equivalent in OZ. Use your head and be safe out there, bottom line.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “I don’t advise the use of US 1/2 tons to tow/haul anywhere near their capacity limit. Especially not if they’re thinking about such use on a consistent basis”
            As I said before, totally agree. To use a Midsize Pickup to tow a 26ft 5ver i.e Tacoma or Frontier, that would be impossible as they could not even tow it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – Half tons and midsizer trucks are really passenger vehicles set up to perform work. 3/4 tons and up, are work vehicles set up to haul passengers. Big difference.

            Half tons and midsizers have the capacity to haul more or less than 50% of their weight, on the chassis, depending on how they’re optioned. I don’t recommend doing it too often or fast or far. But towing capacity of each can exceed 200% of a trucks weight and I don’t even recommend going beyond 100%, but that’s just me. I’ve seen too many towing related accidents. I can’t say it enough and do yourself, your family and everyone else on the road a favour…

            Use the right tool for the job!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            “Half tons and midsizers have the capacity to haul more or less than 50% of their weight, on the chassis, depending on how they’re optioned. I don’t recommend doing it too often or fast or far. But towing capacity of each can exceed 200%”

            That is in the “Danger Zone” as in the lyrics of a popular song. A 3/4 and 1 ton are much much safer than any 1/2 ton. Then again there are limits. Some heavy 5th Wheelers should be only be pulled by a MDT or preferably a Class 8, which can be purchased 2nd hand for a lot less than a 1 Ton pickup.
            Unfortunately manufacturers are advertising Travel Trailers as 1/2 ton towable when they are clearly inadequate to do that..
            Some very heavy 5vers have nothing saying they are dangerous being pulled by a 1 ton and that a MDT or HDT is required.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – At least we agree common sense should be the limiting factor, not what an OEM or body of engineers and lawyers are rating trucks. They’re not really there to help you distribute the load properly, look over your shoulder, tell you when to slow down, conditions or hazards to avoid, lend advise, or check your equipment.

            But 1/2 tons and midsizers can be the most dangerous, respective to their size, build and maximum capacity ratings. Of those, Aussie midsizer capacity ratings are the worst offenders by far. That’s when you REALLY have to use your own judgement. And remember OEMs selling in OZ are helping compensate for missing classes of pickup trucks, larger than mid-size. And you’re also not living in a litigious, sue happy society.

            Otherwise, all things equal. And the ‘rule of thumb’ in commercial trucking is you always buy more truck than you need 90% of the time. Being underloaded most of the time means less break downs, less wear & tear, safer rigs and safer driving. Private consumers should do the same. That’s why you see RVs pulled by MDT/HDTs when a 3/4 or 1 ton can easily do the job. Did they learn the hard way?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            “But 1/2 tons and midsizers can be the most dangerous, respective to their size, build and maximum capacity ratings”

            No their not. 3/4 tons and 1 tons are the most dangerous, trying to control a 39ft 5ver that weighs about 29,000 to 30,000lbs is crazy, but far too many do that in the US,
            Few guidelines on safety are given by the Trailer manufacturers.The Manufacturers do not want to know.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – If you’ve got a 3/4 or 1 ton, you probably/hopefully know what you’re doing and or have a Class B licence, that’s now required in CA and in an increasing # states, if towing 10,000 lbs or more. These aren’t traditional Family Trucksters. But if it was up to me, I wouldn’t sign off on anyone pulling a 30,000 lbs trailer, short of a class A licence. 3/4 and 1 tons are at least built like commercial trucks and aren’t apt to blow a head gasket or have a wheel come flying off unless you do something really stupid.

            Midsizers, and to some degree 1/2 tons, should not be towing more than 100% of their own weight, if you ask me. But I rarely see people in the US doing anywhere near that in 1/2 tons and mid-size, probably because the next higher class of pickup trucks is too easily accessed for about the same price. You and I wouldn’t have a problem towing 200% in a light duty truck, but pensioners can easily get in over their head.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            ” If you’ve got a 3/4 or 1 ton, you probably/hopefully know what you’re doing and or have a Class B licence, that’s now required in CA and in an increasing # states, if towing 10,000 lbs or more”

            That is the concern, “hopefully”is not good enough. As their are no standards for tow vehicles in the US and seemingly zero for what they are towing(No remedial licence etc like we have here)then it is no surprise that a Senior Citizen towing his RV can easily get himself into a lot of trouble. Commercial licences are a start, but their needs to be non-commercial licences for RV’s.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Well it has a 2.8 as the original S-10 did.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        High revving in what respect? I had a GMT800 Avalanche with the Vortec I 5.3L V8 and I seem to remember redline was 6K (or maybe 5.9K???).

        I don’t see redline at 6K as “high revving,” these days.

        The Honda Ridgeline redlines at 6.3K (only offers a V6).

        Peak torque on the GM LLT 3.6 V6 in the Lambda vehicles comes at 3,400 RPM, the Nissan’s peak V6 torque is at 4,000 RPM, along with the Tacoma (source Nissan’s website and Toyota’s website respectively).

        GM has a ton of configurations of the LLT High Value V6, with some models hitting peak torque at a lofty 5.2K RPM. Historically, GM has been that stupid – however they seem to be getting smarter.

        Is it possible they’ll use the STS/CTS/Camaro/Lacrosse configurations (each one is slightly different by the way, source Wikipedia which I know isn’t 100% accurate) – absolutely.

        It seems far more likely a Lambda configuration/tune/setup will be used with a lower, flatter torque curve. That would make more sense.

        (readily admit that GM has a long history of not doing things that make sense, but it seems on paper the powertrains are being done right)

        If there is RPM specs already released – apologies – didn’t see that info anywhere.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          The setup in the Lambda peaks earlier, but it is a dead fish under 2000.

          http://postimg.org/image/6eypo1kql/

          Looking at all the 3.6L plots the ATS actually has the flattest torque curve..

          • 0 avatar
            Phillip Thomas

            I can’t think of many motors that make much below 2,000 rpm. Even the classic 4.3, which was stout with torque.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Ford 302 in my 90 T/C made max torque at 1500 or 2000rpm (I can’t recall which)

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Agree with Phillip – not many modern non-diesel engines make peak torque under 2K.

            Agreed in a truck you want as much torque as low as possible with the flattest curve. I’m not arguing that point.

            Finding torque curves was flippin’ much harder than I thought.

            But the class leading Tacoma 4.0 V6 when tested by K&N is also in no-where land in the torque department under 2.5K. Actually, I was pretty surprised to see the results. You’ll need to scroll and read the fine print, both HP and torque are shown on different charts. This is done in 2012 so does not reflect the coming 2015 Colorado, and does not account for any possible Tacoma improvements from 2012 to 2014.

            For those of thin skin, not an attack on Toyota. The Tacoma is the class leader. The comment was torque on the GM high value LLT V6 is no-where under 2K RPM. Just pointing out, as others have, not many non-diesel engines have gobs of torque under 2K and the Tacoma 4.0 V6 is no exception to that.

            The point being the 3.6L is high revving – compared to its peers its not (depending on the many configurations GM has for the engine, in some cases as I noted like CTS, STS, Lacrosse and Camaro, it is high revving)

            w w w dot special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2012/01/2012-midsize-shootout-dyno-day.html

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            @APaGttH & Phillip:

            I think you both are reading way too much into what I wrote.

            My comment was not meant to be “torque on the GM high value LLT V6 is no-where under 2K RPM.” Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Maybe “dead fish” was a poor choice of words.

            I was not saying that the 3.6L was worse under 2000RPM than the Toyota 4.0L or that there are a multitude of engines that are better under 2000RPM.

            What I was saying was that even though peak torque in the Lambdas occurs at a lower RPM, the curve of the 3.6L used in the Cadillac ATS (even though torque peaks later) is stronger at low RPM and therefore should be more effective in a truck application if they are looking to copy a curve.

            I will say though that the new 4.3L is stronger in the low range than any tune of the 3.6L. So, whether it be for fuel economy, cost, or hierarchy reasons I don’t think the Colorado is getting GM’s best V6 option.

          • 0 avatar

            The old AMC 4.2 peak was 1800 if memory serves me right. I had several Eagles, they were more like tractors than cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @APaGttH
            I agree with Phillip Thomas????? Not many new diesel make peak torque below 2 000rpm???

            Wow, just google it! Even most (that I know of) 1.4-1.6 litre turbo diesels has full torque at below 2 000rpm.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        So is the Pentastar in the Ram, yet it pulls pretty well and has gotten good accolades. It definitely doesn’t have the low end grunt of the Hemi, but it’s decent enough.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        “Sounds like the same issue with that engine in the Lambdas. It’s a high revving V6, absolutely not what you want in a pickup truck.”

        Torque at the wheels is what matters, not at the crankshaft. There’s no reason a “high-revving” engine can’t do the job just fine in a pickup so long as you have the proper gear spread.

        hell, in theory a 400 hp small block could do the same job as a 400 hp Cummins in a tractor trailer, though the small block would probably need 40 forward gear ratios to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I wonder why they didnt spec the EcoTec III 4.3L for the Colorado, seeing it is more of a bespoke truck engine with torque more accessible down low compared to the more happy to rev 3.6L.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Although I agree the 4.3 makes more sense, though the fact it has AFM and all that other crap really pushes up the price, a much lower volume engine then the 3.6.
        Though if the 3.6 can fit into the engine compartment it gives hope of getting a 5.3.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        If I were to guess, I’d say it’s too large for overseas markets with displacement taxes, so it was never considered for use in this platform. GM could have spent the cash to adapt it to the US-spec version, but they instead used that on new interiors and sheet metal, which can also be used to refresh the Colorado in other markets.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Truck was designed over overseas first, the US market second.

        Welcome to the new world order where the United States and Japan no longer dictate what the rest of the world gets. We are no longer the largest car economy (China is) and we are a shrinking market (less total light vehicles on the road from the 2005 peak). We are going to get what other markets dictate.

        Also, offering with a 4.3L V6 blurs the lines further on Silverado versus Colorado.

        When the 4.3L V6 was offered in both the Silverado and S-10, the S-10 was MUCH smaller than the Silverado, they were totally different trucks. As many have noted, the Colorado is pretty darn big.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          ” We are no longer the largest car economy (China is) and we are a shrinking market (less total light vehicles on the road from the 2005 peak). We are going to get what other markets dictate.”

          But don’t conflate units with profit, either.

          What determines the models a market gets is the *size* of that market; I don’t see Anglo North America (lacking a better term for “US and Canada”) being too small to get specific trucks anytime soon.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            What about the french in Quebec, and New Brunswick?

            The Chinese still don’t get decent cars. It will take them awhile to get to that point. They will likely also have a large group of poor people for ages to come. When you have a billion people you can’t possibly distribute the wealth between them otherwise everyone would be poor.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “Welcome to the new world order where the United States and Japan no longer dictate what the rest of the world gets. We are no longer the largest car economy (China is) and we are a shrinking market (less total light vehicles on the road from the 2005 peak). We are going to get what other markets dictate.”

          I don’t see the problem, so long as the product is good.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Few of the Tacoma buyers are likely to move to GM.

    Some, but not many, of the Silverado/Sierra buyers are likely to downsize.

    This might capture some domestic buyers who want to downsize, but that’s not likely to be a high number. If this hits annual sales of over 100,000, I’ll be very surprised.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s really interesting.. except; I am a Tacoma buyer and I would love a good reason to move to GM… If the truck is *capable* and *competitive* I’ll be happy to trade in my Taco for a Bowtie.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I didn’t predict that no Tacoma buyers would switch, just that there would be few of them, i.e. not enough of them to make much of a difference.

        • 0 avatar

          I mean – I get it, this is the internet, and people can make statements, but I’d like to know why? I <3 my Taco but my mid 2000 / 105K miles Taco is getting old – its time to go long or re-up. As a Detroiter, I would love to be able to support the local car company without sacrificing… anything. So far, on paper, it looks like a competent offering with great looks.

          • 0 avatar
            DubTee1480

            Most people driving Toyota’s aren’t interested in supporting the home team. Just like some Chevy/Dodge/Ford fullsize truck owners are diehard loyal, there are a lot of Tacoma/Tundra owners who bought their first Tacoma/Hilux in the 80′s. They fell in love and never looked back. Heck, I know fullsize Chevy guys that wouldn’t take any other small size truck over their 80′s Toyota truck. A large portion of current Tacoma owners are these same guys or people loyal to Toyota (or that just won’t consider GM). I think in recent years though as the Tacoma has bloated that they may have picked up a few sales from people who wanted trucks but didn’t want huge trucks and these buyers may be more apt to consider the new Colorado.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I would go for the Tacoma. The Colorado has a lot of sizzle, but the Toyota has nearly a decade of service behind it. It is a known quantity.

            Even if I was in love with the Chevy, I’d want to wait a few years to avoid taking a ride on the GM launch product crazy train.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “As a Detroiter, I would love to be able to support the local car company”

            The Detroit metro area includes less than 2% of the country’s population. Their sentiments aren’t representative of most of the other 98+%.

            The compact market is a declining market. Truck buyers are more likely to be brand loyal. There aren’t enough of you to matter.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The “Tacoma has a record” point from ajla is a very valid one. GM product launches aren’t the best in terms of low error #’s from the factory.

      • 0 avatar
        DubTee1480

        Diehard Toyota fans are unlikely to jump ship to the Colorado. Casual small truck owners are less likely to be loyal if the Colorado looks like a better fit. If sales of the Colorado are strong hopefully Ford will opt to stay out of the game and push the Transit Connect fleet buyers, I can’t see too many players in this category being a good thing for any involved. If the new Colorado has the towing capacity of a late 90′s or early 20′s fullsize and the backseat is spacious enough for a carseat I’d be interested in a few years. Especially with the diesel option.

        • 0 avatar

          “Diehard Toyota fans are unlikely to jump ship to the Colorado.”

          That and the Tacoma will be $4000 cheaper for similar trim levels and displacement. The Tacoma starts at $17,800. I would be surprised if the Colorado starts under $23,000. The Canyon will be grand over the Colorado.

          • 0 avatar
            DubTee1480

            Motor Trend has base price estimated at starting around $19,000 – it’s all speculation until GM releases official pricing. I will say I think you’re probably a bit high but I will agree that GM is unlikely to compete with Toyota on base price. The Silverado starts at $25K, $23K for the Colorado seems too cramped unless there is not going to be a stripper model.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Word is the base Taco regular cab is being dropped over at Toyota for 2015 so the price will likely go up. Also there are a lot of pissed off customers with rotted out frames and resulting electrical gremlins etc in the upstate, NY area that are itching to trade on either a Frontier or this new Chevy. One guy is so pissed at his Taco that he swears never to buy an Asian truck ever again. It’s had it’s frame replaced, wheel bearings, brake issues, front end components replaced and now some of the interior pieces are starting to fall apart. The truck is only 5 years old! Even the Toyota dealer admitted that these trucks have caused there service facility a lot of nightmares in the snow belt regions.

          • 0 avatar

            @Dubtee

            I was going by how much a 2014 Malibu costs with the same base engine as the Colorado. I paid $22,600 for mine before discounts which weren’t a lot. Not an apples to apples comparison but I can’t imagine how a heavier, bigger RWD truck with a beefier suspension, transmission and bigger tires can cost less. Or is it possible that building a truck costs lot less money than a sedan?

            I believe Chevy will position it as a premium alternative and expand sales into the “lifestyle” segment and not compete with Toyota for stripped out sales.

          • 0 avatar
            DubTee1480

            @alluster
            “Or is it possible that building a truck costs lot less money than a sedan?”

            I’ve heard profit margins are much better on trucks but I don’t know if that is simply because the top end models are that marked up or if it’s universal across the board. Can’t answer that question. I agree that I don’t see GM competing on the extreme lower end but I still think $23K is too cramped. GM may get around this by not offering a standard cab as mentioned in the article though.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          As it stands I agree but the diesel could be a game changer even for loyal Tacoma owners.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Ahhh, but lets consider this about Generation Y. As a TTAC story and market research is indicating, only 39% of Gen Y are buying brands in cars/trucks that their parents bought.

          If mom and dad were driving Honda/Toyota when the kid was growing up, for 61% of them – Toyota/Honda is uncool.

          Does that mean they go and buy Chevys. Nope. But it does mean a majority of the next of car buyers will be turned off by Toyota/Honda success.

          Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just quoting the TTAC story that indicated the market study – and a long history that shows that each generation does, in a majority, turn their backs to what their parents used.

          Anyone want a Lucky Strike? How about Burmashave? There is a ton of evidence that Gen Y is turning their backs on the brands of their parents. McDonalds, Burger Kind, Campell’s, Coke, Pepsi, Darden Enterprises, OSH International…all brands struggling to connect with Gen Y. Many clothing brands that were strong a decade ago AF, AE, AA are being abandoned also, with other different brands taking over. Gen Y is not shopping at JC Penny or Sears.

          Human buying behavior is pretty darn cool -

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Well, considering that American trucks have dominated the market since nearly forever, does that mean the future bodes well for the Tundra and Titan?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            A somewhat over simplistic response.

            The F-150/Silverado duopoly is carried forward by commercial vehicle sales. Tradesmen, construction, local, county, state, federal government, modification for public service and commercial duty, on and on and on.

            I don’t have demographic information but I’m willing to bet, a fair number of Tundra drivers came from households were mommy and daddy hauled the family unit around in Ford/Dodge/GMC/Chevy.

            Look at the compact truck segment before it blew to pieces and everyone abdicated to Toyota and Nissan.

            The F-150/Silverado (and lesser extent GMC/Ram) numbers have a pretty deep connection to the health of the business sector and the government capacity to spend. So the impact to consumer trends is going to be softer.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @ajla
            For the dominance of the Big 3 to be tamed a more open market would be needed. But I won’t go there.

            I think the Colorado will take years to ‘knock off’ Toyota’s Taco’s. It took Toyota over a decade to rise.

            In all honesty if Nissan can come out with a 2.8 Cummins Navara/Frontier it will give Toyota a reason to worry more so than GM.

            The Colorado in Australia isn’t taking off. Toyota’s Hilux is still the leader, even though it quite outdated.

            Good marketing and Toyota keeping an eager eye on pricing. Toyota Taco’s will drop in price once this Chev Colorado is released.

      • 0 avatar

        There are some Tacoma buyers simply because there isn’t currently an Chevy alternative.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Pch101
      That’s what I would have thought here in Australia when we received these newer pickups and all are better than the Colorado. Pickups sales have increased 72% here over the past several years as well.

      The Hilux still is the best selling pickup, even though it is probably the worst in all round dynamics. Others pickups are increasing volume.

      The competition still has a little ways to go to catch the Hilux.

      • 0 avatar

        here, the S10 is the perennial leader. A generation ago, based on price. Now, the price is as high as the others, but it still gets the most sales. Why? Brand loyalty to be sure, but this one is a smidgeon less comfortable than the Ranger, but seems to take to farm work better.

        The Hilux is an overpriced also ran by now. I think even the Amarok is creeping up on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Considering the market for less than full size trucks hasn’t been much more that 200,000 for the last few years I’m sure you are right. This might grow the market a bit, at the expense of full size sales, but I doubt it will gain many current Toyota buyers, maybe it will win a few of the former Ranger/Colorado buyers who were left with having to choose between a Toyota and a Nissan. However if you look at the numbers Toyota and Nissan did not gain as many customers in 2012 as there were Ranger sales in 2011, indicating either the compact market is continuing to shrink or that former Ranger/Colorado buyers stayed brand loyal and moved to full size trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Scoutdude,
        I think it would be considered by many as being “more bang for your buck”Like you do when buying sedans. Here FWD drive sedans like the FWD “Midsize”Camry here does not sell very well, but the slightly bigger VF RWD Commodore “Fullsize” sells like Hotcakes because it is full size, RWD and has a lot more horsepower. On the other hand they buy SUV’s/ CUV’s, Pickups like there is no tomorrow and small cars.
        Whether GM’s gamble pays off we will wait and see. No doubt other US Automakers are also watching from the sidelines.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Bang for your Buck is the exact reason that the less than full size market has shrunk so significantly in the US. The fact is it doesn’t really cost any less to design, assemble or market a smaller vehicle than it does a large vehicle. Yes the raw material costs are less but they are not as significant in the overall cost of the vehicle as the development, assembly and to a lesser extent marketing.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scoutdude
        Once the US liberalises it’s auto industry more of these style of vehicles will be sold.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          @ Big Al highly unlikely, you keep reaching for straws and the fact is that the American consumer doesn’t like less than full size trucks. The sales of less than full size trucks peaked in the 80′s and have been going down hill ever since.

          The fact is that the US is not going to take backwards steps to allow less safe or less clean vehicles to be sold. If anything the change that would occur is for other countries to reach our level of standards and then you may see other brands/different vehicles offered here.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            I’m hoping for a more open US economy, so it can survive.

            More or less being ‘told’ what you can and can not buy doesn’t happen here in Australia.

            You guys maybe able to live with that.

            We used to be like that here over 30 years ago, our markets taxed and regulated to favour certain products. But the unions and large manufacturers lost out, thankfully to common sense.

            I mean, really if the tariffs and barriers didn’t have any effect they wouldn’t be there, now would they?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – What you’re witnessing is not so much a decline in the US midsizer market, but US consumer’s buying habits returning to pre mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion of the early ’80s.

            There was a decent niche market for small trucks and in the mid ’70s, and it started gaining momentum thanks to the Oil Embargo, CAFE and an over all fear of skyrocketing fuel prices. It didn’t hurt that there wasn’t much else to buy in the early ’80s. We were about done with muscle cars and other gas guzzlers. Like big 2-door coupes and molester/custom vans. It was the perfect storm for mini-trucks and their cut-rate pricing hit the spot. They were a tremendous, unbeatable value, before rebates and incentives. Mini-trucks were a hot trend and new car dealers would customize them like they used to do the molester vans. Right place, right time for mini-trucks. And yes, America’s youth were new car buyers.

            Then fuel prices leveled off, OEMs started upping the price of mini-trucks while consumers were introduced to sporty/compact SUVs and sporty 2+2 compacts and 2-seaters made a comeback. As did convertibles in all classes of cars. So the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion was fast coming to a close.

            Today, the US market is too fragmented and small truck OEMs are reluctant to offer their trucks in America or invest heavily in niche markets. Why would they? Why don’t we have more OEMs battling for the compact roadsters market, while they’re at it? Why should 2 or 3 OEMs have it all?

            Can you answer what you think US full-size trucks are “protected” from? And threatened by? And how are Americans forced to buy full-size trucks? Millions of them a year???

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            So, why the chicken tax and other barriers?

            You see, your view doesn’t quite marry up to the trade policy laid out by your government. This overall policy of protectionism is supported by the UAW and Detroit.

            What about the Transit Connect fiasco?

            DiM, these barriers are there to protect Detroit. If you look at the US per vehicle model you will see that each model has an average of over 230,000 vehicle.

            The UK has only 40,000 per model and we have 16,000 per model. Only countries like India which are extremely protect come in with these types of figures, granted the US is a large market.

            This indicates to me that the US has a closed market and has plenty of scope to open up to more competition, even when the size of the US market is taken into consideration.

            Like I stated, if what you consider is true, why the tariffs and barriers restricting freedom of choice on mainly pickups in your market?

            Pickups are the goose or geese that lays the golden eggs for Detroit. Detroit has been that poorly managed it still needs barrier and tariffs to protect taxpayer dollars that bailed them out. Even Ford with it’s huge interest free loan could be considered subsidised.

            The so called fad that you talk about was ‘nipped in the bud’ by an increase in protectionism via tariffs, design affecting tariff, etc.

            The UAW and Big 3 wanted the US to manufacture in house and not import as the US back then had the means to support those barriers and tariffs. Now it doesn’t you guys are almost in the poor house and yet the government is subsidising each and every vehicle by about $3 000 a pop, the Germans subsidise their vehicle by $1 300 a throw.

            Which country do you think has the more sustainable industry? The Germans export more as well. Germany is the globes second largest exporter after China.

            Maybe the UAW having the German auto workers contribute might change the antiquated UAW and possibly create a better and worthwhile union instead of the rabble of thugs they currently have.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Comment from BAF0, RE:”The so called fad that you talk about was ‘nipped in the bud’ by an increase in protectionism via tariffs, design affecting tariff, etc.”

            @BAF0 – There were no changes or increases in “protection” from he time the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion started to the time it ended (or now). Except for the ending of the Subaru BRAT loophole with plastic seats mounted in the bed and the Transit Connect loophole. Just a change in consumer buying habits. It happens. Get over it.

            But US trade policies are still among the most open in the world, despite the Chicken tax. But loopholes make it virtually irrelevant. The Chicken tax is as silly as it sounds and included light trucks only to hit Germany, or VW where it might hurt the most. The whole thing is silly and was in a day when the US pickup industry was a small market compared to cars, import and domestic. And small Japanese pickups didn’t really exist much in the US, in the ’50s and early ’60s. Then, good decade after the signing of the Chicken tax, Japanese pickup OEMs started importing trucks through various loopholes. The US is a nation of laws, too many laws, but they are easily circumvented by evoking the ‘letter of the law’. Once a vehicle no longer fits the exact definition of a “truck”, an OEM has bypassed the law. OEMs can’t do that in any other meaningful market. US, Japanese, Thai and Turkish OEMs can’t import trucks into Europe on a technicality or CKD kit. It’ll never happen.

            The UAW thugs lobbying to keep the Chicken tax alive proves absolutely nothing. They lobby for the sake of lobbying. That’s what they do.

            Ford had been importing the Transit Connect cleanly and in accordance with the law, but what kind of threat do you really think the TC was to US full-size pickups? Or the US Big 3 in general? Do you think Ford wants to put itself out of business when the TC kills F-150 sales? I don’t know what you’re thinking, but if you were thinking, you would know Toyota and other offshore OEMs have to be doing most of the lobbying in DC, if you stop and think for a minute. And who do you think has the most to lose from a 2nd small truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion? Or are there some full-size pickups from around the world, no one knows about? Don’t be silly.

            The Chicken tax does absolutely nothing to stop the flow of import trucks to the US. Assuming they not complete throwaway truck that there would be a profitable market for in the US. And assuming global OEMs want to go to the effort. And where was the Chicken tax during the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion?

            US full-size pickup, in and of themselves, didn’t need bailing out. Their parent OEMs did, and this had absolutely nothing to do with Big 3, full-size trucks with obscene profitability. Big 3 OEM’s full-size truck have been the world’s #1, #2 and #3 most profitable cars for the last 20 years running. But for years, GM and Chrysler were losing millions of dollars a day (and some minutes), and had to crash eventually. Common frick’n sense. Ford, not so much, but this had nothing to do with full-size trucks. They were innocent in this. Get this thru your head…

            US full-size trucks are protected only by DESIRE BB!!!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            “The fact is that the US is not going to take backwards steps to allow less safe or less clean vehicles to be sold.”
            They already are. “Less Clean less safe” applies to many US vehicles that cannot be exported.US Tier regulated diesels cannot be sold outside NA as they exceed Euro V pollution levels. US HDT trucks Cabs fail European Cab safety rules and equally cannot be exported to Europe.
            A moot point as US cabs do not work very well on European streets and about 70% of the US HDT Manufacturers are owned by Europeans anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Explain how a pickup like the US Ranger managed to maintain market share with a 30 year old platform?

            Really, DiM, full size trucks are great, but maybe not as great as you are thinking.

            They are at the risk of cheaper midsize imports. A fact that can be proven by your so called ‘fad’ of mini trucks that you think invaded the US. Taxes and barriers were put in place to stop them and to move their production into the US at the behest of the UAW and Big 3.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM & Scoutdude
            Again, using your analogy on the US based Ford Ranger.

            Ford stated it didn’t want to bring in the global Ranger. According to you guys (and Ford) the F-150 will be the alternative.

            Now, is that the case. Ford thought that the global Ranger was a big enough threat to canabalise sales away from the F-150?

            I think you guys have to stop being so Stars and Stripes and look at the situation with less emotion and more logic.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Midsize truck buyers aren’t as picky and demanding as car buyers or even full-size truck buyers. Fleet buyers/owners prefer trucks that don’t ever change. Ask Orkin (exterminators) why they stayed with the aging US Ranger till the bitter end? Small trucks don’t need constant updating and some preferred the aging Ranger for it’s true compact status. Orkin loved that it could get into tight spaces between trees and outbuildings. And they could keep wrecked trucks and use their parts on a wide range of model years.

            I’m not saying full-size trucks are the greatest thing ever, but they don’t need protection of any sort. And their sales figures speak for themselves.

            But you’re quick to assume small trucks are competing for the same buyers of full-size trucks. Not so much. They’re their own niche market. So let’s not over simplify.

            During the height of the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion, full-size truck sales were hardly impacted. Cut-rate and trendy mini-trucks eat away at most car segment and were perfect for displaced muscle car, molester van and other dead or dying segment buyers. And young 1st time buyers. Amazing value and great mpg. Now, not so much.

            And you’ve never answered where the F the Chicken tax was during the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion/invasion. You conveniently forget that import mini-trucks were only built in Japan as they were exempt from the (import) Vehicle Restraint Agreement. And they were dump on the US at cut-rate prices so sales had to soar. They were in the right place, right time, Chicken tax and all… After that, they could continue to import the trucks or build them domestically, along with their cars that were already built in the US. Japan chooses only to build their SUVs and luxury cars in Japan because of their profit margin. Even if it costs them more to build them in Japan. Clearly it’s cheaper to build in the US and absolutely nothing is stopping them from building cars like the Camry, Corolla, Sentra, Altima, Maxima, etc, etc in Japan. Ask them why they don’t… There’s no Chicken tax on anything from Subarus to BMWs and they still build them in the US. Go figure…

            Trends don’t need to be “nipped in the bud” to end, they just to. What nipped Disco in the bud? Or Hair Bands? Or Pet Rocks?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            WTF, again?

            Your are deflecting the arguments, again.

            Provide links that midsize trucks buyers aren’t picky? I’ve read extensively on this topic and I have never come across that.

            If that is the case why is this Colorado much different then you current offerings?

            DiM, Ford has considered the Ranger a threat to F-150 sales, they even stated that by them thinking they would buy a F-150. They haven’t. So that blows your BS view that midsize buyers aren’t picky.

            Go back to Spain and start your F-150 dealership. You know the one you think is viable.

            Like most every comment you make on the auto industry, you are clueless.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            As a midsize buyer I can say that I am not picky, but I am a cheapskate.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ BAFO

            What force was prohibiting the Japanese from building small trucks in the US?

            Few foreign nations have successfully created consumer economies, and the US will always be skeptical of nations who run current account surpluses to exploit the US consumer market. No one is being told what to drive and foreign companies are not being mistreated.

            CAFE regulations will shape the market in ways consumers do not approve, but the major changes will not happen for another half decade.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @TW5,
            “What force was prohibiting the Japanese from building small trucks in the US? ”

            Nissan and Toyota build non-diesel Midsizers, which have been extensively modified for the US market.
            So as to not cannabalise their own 1/2 tons these are “Lifestyle vehicles” with some work attributes and only compete in their market niche.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – If asking you simple questions you repeatedly sidestep because they derail your trolling is “deflecting the arguments”…

            But you said so yourself a 30 year old Ranger platform managed to maintain market share. Why do you think that is? Clue: Fleet buyers don’t care and even live for it.

            There’s no doubt the global Ranger would do some F-150 cannibalizing, but when combined with low margin and low volume, it’s better to blow off a few angry potential buyers and bloggers from Down Undah.

            But a global Ranger would take a US factory, built from scratch. A Thai built Ranger wouldn’t fly in the US. There’s better ways for an OEM to lose the A$$ on, even if feelings will be hurt. OEMs have to be all business first.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Why would it take an American factory?

            Again, you are showing that you don’t know the global vehicle manufacturing landscape.

            The global Ranger is manufactured in three locations outside of the US. They can supply the pickups.

            If what you state is true, then why the tariffs and taxes. I think you are making a poor assessment of the situation due to a lack of knowledge.

            If you listen to people who have knowledge you will learn.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Again, the dreaded CHICKEN TAX!

            They really can’t come from Thailand, now can they.

            But according to your brilliant knowledge the CHICKEN TAX has no effect on the US pickup market.

            Like I stated listen and learn from other and stop with your UAW Bull$hit.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            How much global Ranger capacity is there globally?

            Are they selling well?

            Is there room to manufacture a Ranger for the US market externally?

            I think you should look outside of the box.

            Ford stated it will not sell the global Ranger because the potential Ranger buyers would buy a F-150. The haven’t bought in the numbers that Ford evaluated.

            I think GM has picked up on this and are going to trump Ford.

            Importing a pickup externally to the US hasn’t occurred since the CHICKEN TAX stopped this practice.

            There is a larger midsize market in the US than some think, as I’ve stated GM wouldn’t be going down the Colorado path if it didn’t exist.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @TW5
            You state;
            “What force was prohibiting the Japanese from building small trucks in the US?

            Few foreign nations have successfully created consumer economies, and the US will always be skeptical of nations who run current account surpluses to exploit the US consumer market. No one is being told what to drive and foreign companies are not being mistreated.”

            I say;
            What nations have successful consumer economies, over 3/4 of global GDP is attributed to consumer market countries.

            Then go out and buy a BT50 3.2 diesel like I have. You can’t. You can only drive what is regulated in your economy. This is done by a plethora of US industry, union, government regulatory authorities, etc.

            Really, the US is far from the only consumer economy in the world. It actually is rated as having partial freedom economically.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Before you comment, you should study US automotive history, trends, fads, etc. And not selectively. Otherwise you’re just trolling on a topic you know very little about. For a long time, you refused to acknowledge the mini-truck craze and still haven’t mentioned where the Chicken tax was during that era.

            Then know that a Thai Ranger would never be accepted as our own. Even built in the US, it would never be more that a niche vehicle. It’s hard to tell what GM’s angle is, but one of the US Big 3 OEMs had to step forward and capitalize on the fact that many fleets, governments, and consumers in the flyover states demand a US Big 3 small pickup. Base trucks, mostly. And they’re not too particular or picky. Except when it comes to price, rebates, incentives and other discounts. But there isn’t much room or market share for yet one more mid-size truck. What’s in it for another OEM to take the loss when they don’t have to. Why not build a compact roadster and divide up that market too? Why are there just 2 or 3 OEMs that make those? Consumers would like to be able to chose from 12 compact roadster brands, regardless of what kind of losses OEMs have to take to provide them.

            But there’s no reason the global Ranger can’t thrive in places that don’t care where it’s built and don’t have prices capped by full-size trucks and their rebates/incentives. I’m not saying mid-size and full-size trucks compete for the same buyers, but small trucks have to have a smaller price for some unknown reason. They should be priced according to what would make them profitable. Of course, even less small trucks would sell. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If you’re an OEM, what’s not to love about the mid-size segment?

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @BAFO

            Americans stopped driving diesels decades ago, when regulations were more favorable. Companies stopped building/importing diesels. Recently, companies have started complaining about anti-diesel regulations in the US, but they don’t explain that they are simply trying to import diesels into the US (for CAFE) than redesign their gasoline fleet.

            The anti-diesel talk does not really pertain to sales, it pertains to lazy Germans with inefficient fullsize sedans, who would rather push to change US regulations than redesign the gasoline fleet Americans currently purchase.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @TW5
            “The anti-diesel talk does not really pertain to sales, it pertains to lazy Germans with inefficient fullsize sedans, who would rather push to change US regulations than redesign the gasoline fleet Americans currently purchase.”
            Now that does not seem to make any sense, whatsoever? What do you mean?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @TW5
            Wow! What a statement.

            So, now it’s the German’s forcing diesel onto an unsuspecting US public.

            That’s a new one. Ever thought that diesel might help some vehicles meet CAFE?

            Probably not, judging by you comments you haven’t thought much at all.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            I’m not sure why American diesel is an elusive concept. Americans don’t buy many diesels relative to the size of our market, and that’s why manufacturers don’t offer diesels.

            However, diesels are a shortcut to CAFE compliance, especially for large sedans which will be the most heavily hit (just like the original CAFE). The German manufacturers, particularly, want to re-educate their consumers about diesel cars, which may or may not change demand. To aid the re-education process, manufacturers want regulators to remove all impediments to widespread diesel adoption. The diesel situation in the US is a psychological battle between executives/investors and US regulators. The fairness of US regulations is not really the crux of the issue, nor are regulators interested in telling consumers to purchase gasoline vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Americans don’t buy many diesels relative to the size of our market”

            Diesel demand abroad is influenced by high gasoline prices and/or fuel taxes. US consumers don’t have to contend with either factor.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    Are car makers starting to read TTAC? First the return or the affordable, rwd, fun to drive sports car not made in Hiroshima. Then the diesels started returning to American shores. Now we are getting small trucks. When do station wagons make a come back?

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      nope, since they are all automatics, so they are only reading between the lines….

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        No brown, diesel, manual wagons.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Dont forget AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Sorry, sorry, you’re right.

            Brown, diesel, manual, awd, wagon – or shooting brake. Can’t forget shooting brake. Also acceptable in lieu of a wagon.

            It also must have 500 HP, 600 pound feet of torque. Peak torque comes in at 1.3K RPM all the way to the 9K RPM redline. The engine must not use forced induction, be under 3.0 liters in size, and run on regular unleaded gasoline.

            It must get 35 MPG city, and 50 MPG highway, it must have a 0 to 60 time of under 4 seconds, as anything slower than that is complete unsafe for merging onto the highway. It must have a top speed of at least 180 MPH, because, it has to run “The Ring” in under 7:30 because, duh, I need the bragging rights. It must have a skidpad road holding of 1.00 or better and hydraulic steering.

            In addition, it must have push button start, a 12″ touch sensitive screen, with redundant buttons, a LCD dashboard, HID, LED lighting, there cannot be any hard plastic, ANYWHERE. The interior must smell like a Wilson’s Leather store. The seats must simultaneously embrace you in their pillowy softness, while hold you like a vice grip when driving through Chimney Rock.

            The suspension must also simultaneously isolate you from all harshness on the road while being totally communicative. The brakes must be carbon fire, six piston caliper on all four corners, and must last at least 100K miles and cost $50 a corner to replace.

            And damn it, if this costs over $15,000 new it is way overpriced.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Meh…I’d pay 17,500.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Pch101
      “Diesel demand abroad is influenced by high gasoline prices and/or fuel taxes. US consumers don’t have to contend with either factor.”
      In Europe it is a major component of why they want diesel, but the other 50% is for towing. Elsewhere diesel is used for towing.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I hope this one does well so we get more “small” pickups. (This pickup is still enormous — but it’s at least usable as a daily driver for someone in a city, which a full-sizer is not.)

    I’m always amazed by the “just buy a base full-sizer instead” argument — I’d much rather have a midsize truck than a full-size, because the full-size is too big for plenty of garages and is a pain in the ass to park in the city and in many parking lots.

    What I really want is a durable, tough pickup the size of an ’80s Toyota pickup, but with modern conveniences.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Remember, though, that most people don’t live downtown, or go there much, most places.

      The suburbs are king, and a full-size isn’t a huge problem there.

      (It’s like me being amazed that anyone, EVER, bought a Smart.

      Except even in the city, for the love of God, I can’t see why a Kia Rio isn’t better in every way. It’s not like there are “Smart-sized-only” parking spots a Rio won’t fit in.)

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Actually, there are Smart-sized only spots, sort of, depending on where you are. I can only speak for my personal situation, but I street-park, and am very much at the whims of the people I share the street with being sensible. How often do you trust random strangers to do something sensible?

        Anyhow, it’s not uncommon for there to be spaces just a little too small to cram my Hyundai Accent into, because someone couldn’t just park within like two feet of the car ahead of them. It’s not frequent enough that I feel compelled to go and buy a smart, but because I rarely need the back seat or cargo space the Accent has, the fortwo would suit me rather well.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The matte trim and general shape of the side windows needs some work. In each photo my eyes go there and can’t leave.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’ve been toying with the idea of a pickup as a daily drive as my family (and weekend duties) have grown, and this may fit the bill. The ONE key factor for me is going to be the rear seat. If it’s not going to be comfy enough for 10-hour road trips for a tweenage boy & girl a decade from now, I’ll cross it off the list and go full-size (maybe) or possibly crossover. I also want something no-nonsense with good space under the hood — and under the body — for DIY without having to always use ramps (or hire a team of midgets to change filters and sensors). The target market for pickups tend to demand longevity and low operating costs, so I’d happily glom onto that.

    However, a 2-box design (SUV, wagon, minivan) is the most objectively functional of all configurations IF you don’t have the need for a bed — ie, does some of your cargo really need to be outside the passenger compartment? After years of destroying my wife’s wagon’s cargo area, I’ve almost crossed wagons off the list. Besides, nobody is giving us a good sized, capable, non-luxury wagon except Subaru, so pickings are slim.

    Wife is getting a van probably next year, and it’ll be my turn in 3-4 years. That’s a lot of time to think about a decision, but I would keep it for 10-20 years, depending on wear & tear.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      When did parents start caring how comfortable their kids are? I got crammed into the back of whatever my folks happened to drive, and I was thankful not to have to walk or stay home. And I was 6′ tall when I was 12, and cars were a LOT smaller 30 years ago…

      A little discomfort builds character. Which explains a lot about millenials, IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My family took a road trip vacation down to Daytona beach in the spring of 1994 driving a 1985 Honda Civic sedan with no A/C. I was 5 at the time and do not remember a thing about the drive, except our friends driving a Cutlass Ciera international Series, and staying at a seedy hotel in NC and eating chinese food for the first time ever. Probably would have been nice and cool in the baby blue GM, but I do not recollect any discomfort in particular. We took a single family road trip in our Zaporozhets back home in Siberia (I was barely 2 years old, my brother 5, and my cousin 3), the car had a comfortable cruising speed of 45mph but still managed to overheat with some regularity. My dad would coast down hills with the engine off, the 300km trip took 10 hours or so.

        I see nothing wrong with wanting to buy a vehicle that’s comfortable for the whole family on long trips, my own family upgraded to a 1989 mazda MPV for our road trips down south, which became quite regular once we had a comfortable vehicle for the task. Later supplanted by a 1998 MPV that was even better, with its dual AC and quad captain’s chairs.

        You just sound like a “kids these days” broken record.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        Exactly-I have friends now who are just starting to have kids. One kid these days apparently means you must buy a minivan or a 7 passenger SUV. That won’t be me.
        When I was a kid (and I’m only in my early 30′s) we’d load up our Buick Century sedan with 3 kids in the back and a trunk full of stuff and drive all day to our destination. At least we had A/C.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          Yes, but now we (by law) have ginormous child safety seats that didn’t even exist when I was growing up. And front airbags, so kids can no longer sit in the front seat, like my brother did, right between mom & dad, without so much as a booster chair . . .

          You can barely fit two kiddie seats abreast in one seat row in virtually anything other than a full-sized crew cab back seat.

          If you haven’t yet had kids, your tune will change once you do. There is an enormous amount of crap to carry around now (folding cribs, gigantic folding strollers, folding high chairs, etc), and a lot of it is significantly bulkier now than when it used to be made out of steel like when I was growing up.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Every time someone mentions CUV, SUV, or minivan on TTAC, its inevitable that a discussion about how terrible CUVs are begins. They are turning our children into spineless, soft, doughy blobs of entitlement!

        Just because I rode in the back of a silver Renault LeCar, with red cloth and vinyl blend, and without A/C as a kid, doesn’t mean I should buy a crapbox now that I have a kid.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “If it’s not going to be comfy enough for 10-hour road trips for a tweenage boy & girl a decade from now, I’ll cross it off the list and go full-size (maybe) or possibly crossover. ”

      I obviously haven’t seen the inside of the new Colorado with a large cab yet, but I’m very dubious about any mid-size being *really good* in back seat comfort and size.

      I suggest the alternatives you proposed; which one depends on your desires and needs and priorities.

      (I’m not sure *any car sold today* is very DIY-friendly in terms of space.)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Sigivald – There’s about the same front/rear legroom in a midsizer crew cab as an extended cab full-size pickup. That’s fine for smaller kids or short trips.

        But there needs to be a ‘full’ crew cab option (even if it only seats 4) for mid-size trucks, if they want to compete with mid-size sedans, SUVs, etc, never mind full-size trucks. Since the regular cab midsizers are going away, the King Cab, Access cab, etc, small trucks are really the new regular cabs. Their price should drop accordingly too, if they want to compete with full-size.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Sigivald
        These newer midsizers have changed in comparison to the older ones you get for cabin ergonomics and space/comfort.

        The cab lengths have increased and the rake on the rear seats made acceptable. I know my vehicle is okay for adults for up to several hundred kilometres. Kids should have no grip, there is more back space than a Camry/Fusion size car.

        That’s one of the biggest reasons they are taking off here in Australia. A family truckster or a SUV with a balcony.

        The one thing they can do here is have at least two different rear suspensions, one for work and one with slightly more capacity than a SUV.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    GM brought over the wrong pickup truck if you look at sales. The Chevy Montana outsells the Chevy S10 by a large margin in Brazil:

    http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2012/05/19/brazil-mid-may-2012-chevrolet-celta-3-montana-at-best-ever/

    And that is with tough competition from the Fiat Strada and VW Saveiro, which also outsell the S10.

    The 3.6 will make it an interesting alternative to the Camaro for people that think the Camaro is too light and nimble.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      The Montana is too light duty. It’s effectively FWD Opel-amino. Good city truck, but there’s not enough demand for that in the meantime.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        The US and Brazil have the same rural/urban split. If you do not think there is enough demand for the better selling Montana then the Colorado is really screwed.

        In Brazil the Montana is rated at 1,671 pounds (it is a three-quarter ton truck), and the S10 at 1,969 to 2,101 pounds. At least in Brazil the market isn’t finding that extra capacity worth the price.

        What Chevy is worried about is how much a $15K highly fuel efficient pickup would cannabalize Silverado sales.

      • 0 avatar

        The likes of Montana, Saveiro, Strada can pull “almost” the same as Ranger, S10, Hilux. IIRC, the small trucks have a payload of 750-800kg, while the larger ones something from 950-1100kg. For deliveries in cities, craftsmen and their tools, pool cleaners etc. the trucklets make more sense.

        The Montana doesn’t sell since it targets a very specific customer. It and the Saveiro don’t really go after professional use anymore. They use heavy duty bushings instead of traditional truck suspension bits. The Strada is the only one left with a real truck suspension. Ditto, it owns the market. Classified as LCV (light commercial vehicles, pus, light trucks, vans ets), you have to add them all up to reach the same sales of Strada. In other qords, for every Strada sold there is another truck, van, pu sold from a multitude of makers.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      There has been a notable decline in interest in two-door vehicles, but for a few niches. There isn’t enough US demand for mini-trucks to justify selling them.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        People said the Transit Connect would be a failure.

        You have no idea how a $15K pickup truck that gets compact car fuel economy and can carry three-quarter tons would sell in the US. And niether do I. But they sell like hotcakes in Mexico and Brazil.

        It looks like we both agree that the Colorado is going to be a niche truck because it prices so close to the Silverado but has less capability. It would be interesting to see something that does not price so close to the Colorado.

        Obviously Ford, GM and Fiat are not going to undercut their massively profitable full size trucks with a $15K pickup. But Nissan could grab a huge market with that kind of truck. And has both that kind of truck and a lot of factories in Mexico.

        http://www.nissan.co.za/en/web/models/NP200/home/hpage.htm

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “But they sell like hotcakes in Mexico and Brazil.”

          You really want to compare developing markets to the US? Seriously?

          Compact truck sales in the US have been falling. Compact car buyers want four doors. US truck buyers want large vehicles with powerful engines, and are willing to pay a premium for options packages — they aren’t looking for cheap vehicles. With factors such as those, we have a pretty good idea of why these mini trucks would be likely to fail.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “You really want to compare developing markets to the US? Seriously?”

            http://www.niagara-gazette.com/webextra/x934962270/Tacos-overtaking-burgers-in-the-U-S-as-demographics-shift

            There is no compact pickup market in the US. The weak sales are for midsize pickups with fullsize prices.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Vehicles have been increasing in size, trucks included. I don’t see a few Hispanic immigrants creating a market for mini-trucks; as it stands, they haven’t kept the segment from shrinking.

          • 0 avatar

            The Strada offers simple cab, extended cab, double cab, with two and three doors. Just sayin’ Pch, just sayin’.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The Strada offers simple cab, extended cab, double cab, with two and three doors.”

            It’s not wise to confuse body styles with size. Just sayin’.

          • 0 avatar

            Pch101, I’m not confusing it, what i”m pointing out is that, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

            Whenever such a car as the Strada comes up on TTAC, some here defend its success in the US. I don’t think it would. Too small, too crude for America. For now anyways, 20 yrs down the road, who knows?

            So size yes, body style, not really.

        • 0 avatar
          Phillip Thomas

          If it doesn’t come with a fullsize bed in the US, it’s too small. The Montana would only feed a tiny niche that so far is filled by kei trucks here.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            The Colorado pictured has a short bed.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Phillip Thomas
            Why then is the 6′ dual cab pickup very popular in the US?

            Full size truck beds are decreasing as the smaller beds are taking over.

            So a shorter bed would probably do okay in the US. I remember 6′ bed single pickups as a base model. They never really were big here.

            We’ve had a similar situation here where dual cabs with 5 foot beds have taken over our 6′x 8′ traybacks.

            I think the SUV aspect is now overpowering the pickup as a family truckster globally, not just in the US.

            Even 1/2 ton pickups in the US/Canada have become lifestyle vehicles. It’s quite ironic that Chev are touting these as lifestyle vehicles. What are most dual cab full size trucks used for?

          • 0 avatar
            Phillip Thomas

            Big Al & racer-esq,

            TTAC’s commenting system has formatting errors after a certain comment thread length, so I can’t reply directly.

            While the pictured one is a short bed, a six-foot bed is offered.

            With the Montana it’s literally not near the standard truck bed width. We can extend a short bed truck to 6″ with a tail gate down, over all length is flexible. But if you wanted to park anything wider than 4′ in the back, good luck. It’s bedsize is that of an old stepside truck.

            I’m not saying it isn’t a good truck, but there’s little for a 2 seater truck with a compact bed. That’s a very small niche. Hell, GM couldn’t even justify bringing the Ute, and it comes in a 5′ x 6′ foot bed with a V8!

            Bed length is largely a demographic thing, I feel. Quad cab and extended cabs with standard beds are common out here once you get out of any major city. Even the quad cab long bed (full 8′) are popular ranch/farm trucks. You can tell who uses their truck for work and who just wants a big do-it-all pretty easily.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Philip Bed Sizes are not a problem here as use Pickups differently to Asia(The biggest users of Pickups globally) Utility beds are
            manufacturer fitted or approved After market suppliers.
            8 Ft beds tend to be the default size.
            http://www.obrientraybodies.com.au/images/toyota.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Montana appears to be a cute ute which means its effectively forbidden in the US market. Despite this as FWD with and a roof over the bed and it becomes a wagon of sorts, which is even more forbidden.

  • avatar
    suckbangblow

    I must say I like the styling much more then the full size silverado. I guess I wonder what the point is if it 90% the size of a silverado. This comparable sizing is what killed the true small truck segment. If one of the major manufactures designed small rwd truck based on a unibody chasis they could revive what the small truck segment used to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      People asked for a truck of similar size to years of old. This targets those people, plus tons of companies wanting a cheap pickup.
      Small trucks simply aren’t profitable. If they build slightly smaller they get more groups of buyers.

  • avatar

    Why did they sell their stake in VM Motori if they were going to use their diesels in the new truck?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Interesting take from the target market’s eyes. F&I are still playing foursquare games? What does it take to kill the system sell? A wooden stake?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Customers who walk out when they see a salesperson start to play those games.

      I’ve done my part. The internet has done much more. These days, car shopping is so pleasant if you do it right — identify the exact vehicles in dealer stock that you want, request quotes, and haggle by email or over the phone, where it’s easy to hang up or not respond.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I have serious doubts that GM’s high feature V6 outguns the Frontier/Xterra VQ40 for truck duty. Same goes for the Toyota v6, transmission gearing aside. The GM 3.6 gives up displacement to those truck-engineered engines, and in the Impala and lambda applications, seems very revvy. The Diesel is another story, of course. What Chevy needs to do is offer a 6spd stick, because most of the lifestyler young people with tacomas that I know insist on a manual transmission.

    I echo the sentiments of those that want the EcoTec3 4.3 OHV v6 in this, that is an honest to god truck engine with torque to match, just like 4.3 Vortec S10s of yore.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      The VQ40 is a very revvy motor, as well. I have a lot of time behind it in an ’05 Pathfinder. It doesn’t come alive until about 3,000 rpm; it gets it up to speed quick unloaded, but suffers a bit with a bigger load. I haven’t driven a Frontier with the 5spd manual. That said, at highway speeds the 4.0 is comfortable and builds plenty of top-end power for passing.

      The Tacoma’s 5spd, if similar to the Tundra 4.7′s 5spd, is a miserable dog. Cannot stand the programming used in the Tundra, and it hunts in and out of fifth enough to drive you crazy on longer trips with a modest payload.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The VQ40 is just so loud. It’s annoying to ride around in my mom’s Pathfinder (2008).

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        VQ40 equipped trucks get a 6 speed manual. The 4 cylinder retains the 5 speed in manual form. I drove a king cab (2 door) with the 4.0 and 6 speed and it was my favorite combo and a blast to drive but my need for 4 doors, to tow, and a likely move to the DC area kept me with the auto. It is in my opinion a nice auto though…pretty quick shifting even if it is short a gear.

        I would give the GM models a look if I were buying today though but my inner cheapskate would probably have led me to the Frontier anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      me too and that’s nice, whats the take rate on manuals? I know the take rate on reg cabs is single digits. wish I had a 4 door extended cab clamshell. I drive a reg cab and used to think they were best. I like a stick shift, but a great auto will work. this truck needs to have a no issues auto. If anyone knows the take rate on manuals please post. I have one of each. Cruise control will be a must either way. why would anyone on this forum be down on this truck? makes no sense.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Given the outsized dimensions of today’s “full-size” pickups, I can see the attractiveness of this thing as an urban/suburban runner.

    Regarding diesels, the conventional wisdom is being undermined by the average 60 cent price spread between a gallon of diesel and and a gallon of regular gasoline (calculated using Flying J’s prices averaged nationally, which ought to be pretty good for diesel, since Flying J operates truck stops).

    Because I’m planning to buy a 10,000 lb. GVWR travel trailer and need a truck to tow it with, I’ve been “doing my homework” on the diesel vs. gasoline comparison. Using figures from pickuptrucks.com’s comparison of diesel vs. gasoline 3/4 ton trucks, towing a 10,000 lb. trailer, it turns out — based on those prices — that driving 10,000 miles in the best diesel would save me about $300. The difference is a little greater when the trucks are towing than when they’re running with just a driver and a passenger but not that much. While the best diesel got about 4 mpg than the best gasser, the higher price of the fuel eats up most of the savings. It’s true that the diesel does a “better job” of pulling the weight — it accelerates faster and pulls steep hills faster, but it doesn’t make sense to buy a diesel to save money on fuel.

    We’ll see how much success Chrysler has with its small diesel being offered in the JGC and in the RAM 1500 . . . which, among other things, leaves this vehicles significantly underpowered compared to their gasoline counterparts. In addition, there’s the fact that diesel emission controls have decreased diesel reliability (sometimes catastrophically in the case of the Ford 6-liter Powerstroke), likely increased repair costs and also have lowered efficiently, since some fuel is used to periodically burn up the particulates trapped in the DPF.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      We’ll have to see how the current crop of light duty diesels compare. I agree that with current truck diesels if most of your daily use is trailerless, a gas motor tends to make more sense. Especially with the price premium when new.

      That said, I hope to see the light duty diesels return a better split in fuel economy unloaded over their gas counterparts.

      For what its worth, the diesel truck we use is a 2002 Silverado 2500, quad cab/long bed, with a Duramax and Allison. With about a 6,000 lb trailer (Car and spare tires on the rack) and god only knows how much in the bed, it returns about 20 mpg at 75 mph. We recently used an ’07 (or so) Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi, quad cab short bed, on a trip to New Mexico with the same trailer and about the same load. Average economy was down in the 13′s, never mind the fact that it was fairly uncomfortable to drive. If your main use for the truck will be with a trailer behind it for long distances, modern diesels will spoil you with usable power and economy.

      Ford had a lot of issues that were outside of just the emissions systems. I don’t currently have any DPF equipped trucks at my disposal so I can’t comment on their impact on serviceability. I know some fleet buyers don’t buy DPF-equipped trucks as the heat from the system can cause grass fires.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I agree if your mostly towing heavy loads best to go with a diesel. I have always said buy a diesel for the pulling power because it probably isn’t gonna save you money. Also when towing it isn’t always about the weight. Often the wind resistance is a bigger factor, especially when your talking about a PU pulling a travel travel shaped like a billboard in the front. I have put a set of plugs, and 2 air cleaners to keep my 6.0 gasser runnning in my ’04 GMC 2500HD for the first 160K. Other than fluids, that’s it. With all the short trips and cold MN starts on that motor I doubt the DMax would have been cheaper to maintain and operate.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        That’s remarkable mileage from that Dmax under those conditions. The last time I tracked the mileage on an ’05 under those conditions, it averaged 16mpg.

        For comparison sake, my ’03 F-150 SuperCrew 4×4 with a 5.4L 2v gets 15mpg towing the same car and trailer on the same trip.

        • 0 avatar
          Phillip Thomas

          All highway, our shop is in the country and as are most tracks here in Texas.

          The truck has a bed cap, and some bolts ons from the owner. 18-20 mpg with the right driver who doesn’t roll coal up every hill.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Thanks for the tip. FWIW, in pickuptrucks.com test of 2011 3/4 tonners pulling the 10,000 lb. trailer over a 150 mile route, the best diesel (Duramax, I think) did an average of 13.91 mpg and the best gasser (Ford 6.2 liter) did an average of 10.86 mpg. Unloaded, the best gasser (a RAM with the hemi!) did 11.81 and the best diesel (also the Duramax, I think, but the Ford was very close)did 15.9.

        I don’t think the route had that much sustained high-speed (over 50 mph) driving, which is where diesels really shine. So, perhaps it wasn’t an accurate test. But the 16 percent spread between regular gas and diesel, on a national basis, with some regional differences, is not encouraging. Of course, some gasoline engines require midgrade (the hemi, for example)and supposedly Ford’s ecoboost V-6 does better with higher octane fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        I think now that, unless you want to break the law,you have to have a DPF on a diesel powered anything. The 6 liter Ford diesel apparently had a poorly designed heat exchanger that was supposed to cool the recirculated exhaust dumped back in the cylinders to reduce combustion temperatures. then the 6.4 was designed with only 4 head bolts per cylinder and now, Ford has this backwards design in the 6.7 that puts all of the hot exhaust manifolds and associated plumbing and the turbo on top of the engine. At least is gasoline engines, it’s not unusual for exhaust manifolds to get almost red-hot at high speeds and engine load.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    If a decent quad-cab can be had, with the Diesel, for under $30k, I’m fairly sold.

    BUT, and apparently this is the VM-Motori engine, my Liberty has the same engine without added emission garbage, and probably rides/drives a little better, and I do like a SUV better.

    SO more than likely, I’m hanging onto the Jeep for as long as I can. But once it needs replacement, it’s nice there is something out there that isn’t a god awful inept cross over

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Good vehicle for Texas I would think. Still seems big for NorCal or NY – and places like that though. How long is it? Like 200 inches? Bigger then a Durango?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I still maintain that down on the Chebbie lot, thrifty guys coming in to buy a Colorado with the big V-6 or a diesel will also be showed a Silverado WT. With GM (always) throwing in incentives many will buy a Silverado WT for the same price. Over at the Blue Oval lot the 4.0 V-6 Rangers were the last go. You could get an F-150 for the same price. Yes, the loaded, extended cab, XLT 4.0′s.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Why would a dealer do this? Is it because of a higher profit margin on a Silverado? I ask with genuine curiosity as I know little of that side of the industry. Because in a vacuum, to me a sale is a sale.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No a dealer won’t do that, there will be more profit in it for them in a nicely equipped mid size than a full-size in work truck trim. Plus for a personal user they likely aren’t going to be sold on that WT trim level of equipment.

    • 0 avatar

      This was true in the past when the Colorado was an outdated, expensive gas hog. GM did the right thing by equipping the the newer one with smaller, fuel efficient engines. The Colo/Canyon will be the quietest, most fuel efficient, most attractive trucks when released with tech goodies that you can’t get in a Tacoma or Frontier. Most buyers have already done their research before setting foot in a dealership. Sales personnel are gonna have a tough time upselling midsize buyers to a full size, when the differences in price, size, MPG, and weight are that big. I beleive they are going to sell really well and steal market share from the Tacoma. If GM sells 100,000 a year combined and if we assume 25,000 of those sales were stolen from the Silverado, that is still 75,000 more truck sales for GM. Very few who ‘need’ a full size will buy a Colorado without its V8 and all. Downsizing is in for those who just ‘want’ a pickup and there is no competition from the Ranger or Dakota. Watch this segment explode if the 2.5L or the 2.8L gets 30+ MPG HWY. A lot is said and written about the decline of midsize truck sales completely ignoring all of them were pieces of junk. The best in class Tacoma just sucked less.

  • avatar
    ant

    If i were to get a smaller pick up like this, I’d want a manual transmission too.

    But Toyota doesn’t even offer a stick in a 4wd taco.

    I see that nissan does, but I’m just not really convinced that there are enough people like me to make it worth while to offer them.

  • avatar
    DGA

    It’s sad that days of little trucklets is completely over and the GM mid-size twins prove it.

    My old man’s ’99 S10, base model if I ever saw one, that he drove for work (cabinet maker) all over Oregon and Washington saw him into retirement and still drives just fine with 230,000 miles on the clock. I think he drove it off the lot for 8,800 brand new in ’99. My how things have changed in a decade and a half.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Yep, those stripper S10s are some of the longest living cockroaches out on the road. Proof that the KISS principle increases longevity.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Was his S10 the 4.3 V6 or 2.2 I4?

      • 0 avatar
        DGA

        2.2L. I’ve done all the maintenance and repairs on it. So far: One starter, one clutch, fan clutch, battery, front brakes, two tune ups, two sets of shocks, and two fuel filters.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          2.2 OHV is a good motor. I had an opportunity to buy a 2.2/5spd Sonoma for 2K about two years ago, I ended up declining and last winter bought a Volvo with the money I would have spent.

          • 0 avatar
            DGA

            I dismissed the little truck as garbage for a long time and now that it’s gone for so long on nearly maintenance and gas alone, I really want to see it soldier on. My old man is an anti-car guy too, so I doubt he’ll get rid of it any time soon.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            What about a Ford 2.3/2.5 truck motor?

            4 cylinder Rangers seem to be pretty bulletproof, whether in Lima OHC or Duratec 23 form.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I really don’t know nearly as much about Ford products as I do GM’s. I personally prefer an OHV over OHC in a gas truck seven days a week.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “4 cylinder Rangers seem to be pretty bulletproof, whether in Lima OHC or Duratec 23 form.”

            One of my high school teachers managed to kill a Lima-powered Ranger by repeatedly towing a boat with it. He replaced it with a 3.0 Vulcan truck that was otherwise the same… for all I know that one is still running.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      DGA–I have a 99 S-10 LS extend cab with 101k with the 2.2 I-4 5 speed I have owned since new. It has been a great truck and just the right size. If GM doesn’t overprice this truck it could do well. I also have a 08 Isuzu I-370 crewcab that is a good truck, but the 99 S-10 is better (I bought the Isuzu new as well).

  • avatar
    ajla

    “While making nearly identical numbers as the Pentastar V6 at 306 horse power and 270 foot pounds of torque, it jumps all over the Frontier’s 261 horse power and 281 foot pounds and curb stomps the Tacoma’s 236 horse power and 261 foot pounds.”

    C’mon man, you know that there is a lot more to it than peak output numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      That’s all we have to compare at this time ;)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      With similar displacements, the power curves likely aren’t drastically different.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @ajla
      There is the Holden Commodore ute that uses this engine. It would probably be similar all round, including drivetrain.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep…

      My 1995 Ford Explorer makes 160hp/225tq from a 4.0 pushrod six, my friends 1993 S-10 Blazer makes 200hp/~240tq from a pushrod 4.3 Vortec six.

      Driving them back to back, the Explorer feels peppier and is actually quicker to 60 than the S-Blazer despite giving up 40hp and a handful of torque, just because it makes all its power below 3,000 rpm, where the Vortec makes it all above 3 grand. 60-100 is no contest that the Ford feels better as the Chevy feels strained. Now fuel economy the Chevy has the Ford beat. My friend has even noted while driving the Ford that it feels faster than his, and I’ve noted that his feels like its driving around with the parking brake on, it just isn’t as fast as the numbers would suggest.

  • avatar
    spunition

    4×4, diesel and 6spd? If so, yes please! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Too bad the overall size of this rig is almost spot on with with my old ’91 K2500 4×4 Std cab. Its only 3-4 inches narrower. What happened to the small truck!?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I do wonder why people seem to think that Toyota isn’t going to respond to this at all.

    • 0 avatar
      spunition

      I hope they do… with a diesel – the long awaited US Hilux!

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Not an easily answered question. I think Toyota will wait and see how this affects Tacoma sales at first. Then it will react within one or two model years to make changes to the Tacoma as needed. Toyota won’t roll over and play dead on the market share they want. Single cab 4cyl stripper models? Yeah, have fun and make big money on those GM.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @el scotto
        I think the next Hilux is touted to be a global and the US will probably receive it. Toyota are also working hand in hand with BMW with light diesels.

        So I would expect the next Hilux/Tacoma to come with a 2 litre diesel.

        Within 1/2 a decade I would suspect most midsize diesels will range from 2.0-2.5 litres. Diesel engines are outstripping gas engine in the development front at the moment.

        Diesel improvement is unlimited virtually, not like gas which is nearing it’s zenith.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I think all parties are going to wait and see how it sells and react accordingly. Ford and Toyota could have a new truck to market pretty quick. Not sure about Nissan though the Titan has a refresh on the horizon.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Ford has the Ranger waiting in the wings, it was designed to be able to meet US safety standards. They are certifying the diesel engine used in that Ranger for the upcoming Transit and they have a couple of options for a US spec gas engine for it.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Scoutdude,
          That is going to be the interesting exercise here for Ford and Toyota.Do they introduce a diesel midsize “Lifestyle vehicle” like GM?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Of course it all depends on how well the GM sells. Of particular interest to Ford will be how many of those sales will be at the expense of full size sales. Every sale that it is at the expense of a full size sale results in no net increase in profits and in fact probably a net decrease in after amotization profits.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            Once the Falcon ute is gone, I bet we will see a 5 litre Coyote global Ranger.

            The Sth Africans are running a Coyote powered Ranger, racing. They did the same with the previous global Ranger (based on a Mazda BT50) and ran the 3.2 diesel in it racing.

            The 3.2 was getting over 700nm of torque and over 350hp, reliably.

            Maybe here the Colorado might come with a small Chev V8 once the Commodore ute is gone, one can only hope.

            A supercharged 6.2 Colorado 4×4 sounds enticing. It would be the ultimate off roader.

            I would even settle for one of our supercharged Falcon 5 litre Coyote’s in a Ranger, or my BT50.

            A Raptor killer.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Big Al from Oz,
            The Coyote powered Ranger is being developed by a South African team to try an beat a South African developed Hilux with a Lexus v8 in the Dakar race. As well they are all trying to beat the 3 Litre diesel engined “Mini”s of the BMW team, that won last year(The race starts at he end of this year and finishes early into the New Year)
            The Raptor has pretty much a failure as an Off Road Racer. That is why Ford is having this winning South African team develop the Coyote engined Ranger.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Scoutdude
          Designed to meet US safety standards? A bit rich, especially when they are sold in 180 different countries.

          Maybe I’m wrong ;)

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yes they were designed to be able to meet US safety standards. They were originally intended to be sold in the US, but the less than full size truck market all but disappeared.

            No matter what you think the design requirements were set in Dearborn and one of those requirements was that they be able to meet US standards. Sure as they sit they do not meet US standards they will need redesigned air bags and a more passenger friendly/less pedestrian friendly front bumper structure. That of course is just a matter of dusting off the designs and putting them into production.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            A bit rich again.

            You response doesn’t quite make sense.

            The GFC changed the direction a little. The government realised it spent taxpayer dollars supporting the Big 3 (yes Ford also through interest free loans)and attempted not to increase risk, ie tax dollars.

            Also, the Obama government is semi sponsored by the union movement, so it also appeased the UAW.

            So, what do we still have in the US? A very protected full size pickup.

            Sorry, but whatever your response will be will be incorrect.

            what stopped the global Ranger from coming into the US was the breakdown of the FTA between the Thai and the US.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Toyota seems completely content to rest on their laurels these days. If the recent half-assed updates to their top selling Camry and Corolla are any indication I doubt Toyota will bother to do anything with the niche market Tacoma. Hell Toyota didn’t even attempt a mild refresh of the FJ – a market they shared with a single other competitor. If the Colorado begins to steal marketshare I suspect they’ll kill the Tacoma in the same way they did with the FJ and like a lazy, spoiled heir to a great fortune sit back and watch the trust fund checks roll in from their other bought and paid for cash cows.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        You’d be completely wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The FJ was a sales dud it did not make any since at all to through good money after bad when it was obvious that they weren’t going to recoup their initial investment.

        The Tacoma on the other hand does make some money, of course some of that is due to the fact that they haven’t spent any money on it in a while and they got a boost in sales when the Ranger was discontinued.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          True the FJ was a sales dud in its later years but originally it was a moderate success and could easily have been a significant threat to the Wrangler if Toyota had interest in keeping it current.

          Right now the compact pickup market is roughly the same size as the off-road SUV market. If Toyota doesn’t see any point in competing in that market,one in which it would have less competition and a better chance of success, I don’t hold a lot of hope for a re-engineered Tacoma.

          I suspect Toyota will go the Ranger route and allow the current Tacoma to hang on as long as possible and then let it die a slow death. The only way this will change is if the Colorado is a runaway success indicating an underserved market. I’d love to see a reinvigorated compact pickup market but I’m not holding my breath.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            The FJ was always one and done. When the concept debuted, they had no intent on building it, it was the high interest that eventually led them to build it. I wish they kept it, but the reason they’re discontinuing it don’t even come close to what you think it is. There’s also the 4Runner which is not going away which does compete with the FJ and Wrangler.

            Toyota is definitely not going to give up a market that they own and one that they’ve competed it and had huge success in for almost 50 years. Not to mention, the segment is even bigger for them globally with the Hilux. The compact truck market for Toyota is what the fullsize market is to Ford, they will defend it. There already has been a new Taco/Hilux in development, even before this new truck debuted.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @84Cressida,
            The Hilux is the Global “F150″. The next Tacoma will be a “lifestyle” derivative of that while the Global Hilux will be a full work Truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sorry but the Tacoma is not to Toyota what the F150 is to Ford.

            The F150 is Fords best selling, most profitable vehicle.

            The Tacoma is far down the list of Toyota’s sales chart and the only reasons it is as profitable as it is are #1 they haven’t spent development money on it in awhile and #2 other manufacturers have abandoned the shrinking less than full size market.

            I don’t see any reason to fight too hard for the Tacoma, they’ve got much more important vehicles to occupy their resources.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            You obviously didn’t get what I was saying. The F150 is Ford’s most important truck, where as the Tacoma and Hilux are Toyota’s (and before someone chimes in, I’m well aware they are not the same truck). The Tacoma is not only big on the sales charts (and always has been, as was the Hilux when it sold here, long before the competition folded), it also is a HUGE source of younger buyers for the brand.

            They are simply not going to let either wither on the vine and let the competition pass them up. A new Hilux and Taco has been in development as we speak and should come out for 2015. Those saying that Toyota will just let this one die on the vine are either super paranoid or gleeful wishful thinkers hoping Toyota does such a thing so their favorite brand can swoop in. Keep dreamin’.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I wish GM the best of luck. My father in law has a 4cyl automatic single cab GMC Canyon. No options except that automatic and honestly it is a tinny little POS. Reliable as the sunrise but about as comfortable and quiet as a beat up old Miata with none of the handling prowess.

    He bought it for commuting to a job as the plant operator in a water treatment operation. He sees it as disposable and treats it as such.

  • avatar
    DGA

    I really liked my old 2007 Nismo Frontier. The 4.0 coupled to the 6-speed manual was a good combination for both power and driving fun. I’ve taken it on some hairy trails, the type where guys would unload their jeeps off trailers and laugh at me telling me not to go further. The truck took everything I could throw at it, without needing help. It also had a very skiddish rear end which was pretty hard to catch in times of exuberance with the gas pedal. It’s how it met it’s untimely demise on one a cold wet morning kissing the concrete freeway divider after couple of complete 360 spins at 60 MPH; back end steps out, I try to catch it, just to over do it. I really loved that truck.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    I have a 98 Dodge Ram that gets occasional use to tow the boat to the lake, carry dirty stuff to the dump, get places before the snowplows come out, do landscaping, and handle the “Hey, that’s a really cool table!” fallout. It’s adequate for my needs and I don’t plan to replace a $4k truck with something new, but if I were in the market, I certainly don’t need anything bigger or more capable, and its one downfall is the real-world 11 MPG it returns if you put anything in it. So for someone like me who has an occasional need for a truck, the Colorado covers that nicely. And if I had to drive it all the time, the size and efficiency would certainly make it appealing.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Pickups are what you have to buy to get a BOF with rear wheel drive.
    It is the classic configuration of the American automobile. My Ranger is closer to a 36 Ford than it is to a modern appliance-mobile. I get about 21 mpg cruising at 70. It is a 5 window 2 door cab with 125″ wheelbase. 4.0 , 5 spd 4×4. I like its size compared to a modern F 150. They don’t need to be that big or that tall. The Ranger is a mini gas hog. I bought it for a weekender , round town, thing. I keep a battery minder on it, so MPG is not a consideration. I dont commute for work. I wouldn’t use a pickup to commute to work if I did. I used to keep a Grand Wagoneer for a hauler, Now its the Ranger. My BIL keeps a Chevy 4×4 PU for hauling his 24′ boat.But not for daily driving.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    LOL, Marketing to Gen Y is a lost cause and always will be. The student loan replaced the new post college vehicle years ago and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

    Also, I am highly disspointed that GM went with the 3.6L instead of the new 4.3L. Shame, I probably would have considered one if it had come with a proper truck motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Not quite.

      In my opinion (I’m an awkward age where I can be on the tail end of X, Y, or “millenial”) is that this generation has been getting the hard sell since before they could walk. Add in some rough economic times, and “how do we market to them” is totally the wrong question.

      There’s an easy answer: substance, without bull$#!t and without window dressing. Yeah, I know that’s hard for people who feel empowered by marketing to wrap their head around.

  • avatar
    DaveA

    Great review, and I fit the mid size truck demographic as the writer stated. I have no want to ‘cowboy up’ with a over sized 1/2 ton. One left out benifit of a mid sizer is that in stock form they are better for 4-wheeling than a full size. Another IMO point is that the Frontier is the best mid sizer going over shadowed by the more popular Taco- also a good truck.

  • avatar
    BigDuke6

    Far more comments than any other topic today. I submit that TTAC should officially change it’s name to The Truth About Trucks. I thought we were a bunch of car enthusiasts here. Guess I was wrong. It’s a fookin’ TRUCK. It might as well be a refrigerator for all I care about trucks. Not worth anyone’s passion.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Car enthusiasts buy and drive trucks too. Why are you here?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @BigDuke6
      If you look at most vehicle markets globally, light commercials make a significant proportion of their respective markets.

      Outside of Canada/US the second biggest pickup market is SE Asia and Australia/NZ. Thailand has a huge pickup market and is the second largest in the world.

      In Europe, those little 1.4-1.6 litre diesel front wheel drive van things are common. That could be the ‘Euro pickup’.

      Light commericals in developing nations are as common as cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      You can be very passionate about any vehicle, really. The idea that something utilitarian is not worth a look, or not capable of some personal “connection” or sentimental value is false. Even a Prius can have personality.

      I’ve been in more “tough” situations with a truck where it did work beyond its capability, happily, and got me where I needed to be with what I needed done.

      It’s like a dog, or a horse.

  • avatar
    Broo

    I had hopes for this one. I guess I’ll have to wait a bit more.

    I wanted the 7′ bed version. I read it exists outside America. A long bed you can actually reach in without climbing on the truck is what I need.

    Preferably manual inline 4, but bed size and height are more important.

    If it becomes available, I’m selling my daily driver car and my Ranger (7′ bed version with poor MPGs) to get it.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      I agree, I’m looking forward to a true long bed variant as well. My thoughts are they’re offering the volume seller package (quad cab, short or standard bed) first, then offering the more specific models later along with the diesel.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    It might be because I’m 5’9 (admittedly, average-ish height), but the current full-sizers are big enough to be off-putting. Like, it’s a climb to get in them, or to get anything in the bed, and the other size of the cab feels like it’s in another area code. They feel cartoonishly big.

    So, yes, the Tacoma feels about the right size, and I appreciate GM’s offering a competitor to that.

  • avatar
    The Butler

    “is as standard as it gets. Latter frame, solid rear axle with….”

    Ladder frame optional….

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Toyota has a new Tacoma brewing for 2015, right about the time this gets on the market. That’s why there is the news about the regular cab being discontinued that year, it’s when the new model hits.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree. It’s unlikely that Toyota is going to get caught with their pants down around their ankles so I expect that by 2015, 2016 at the latest, Toyota will present the world a new Tacoma that will do GM one better.

      Tacoma has been the best selling midsizer that drove Dakota, Ranger and Colorado into oblivion and I think it unlikely that Toyota would willingly give up that leadership position.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    This kind of action from GM is great to see, now where is my new Jeep Wrangler pickup?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The Colorado/Canyon never sold well. They did OK their first year out and then sales went down hill from there. That is why they did not spend money to update it and discontinued it w/o plans to replace it. Why they changed their mind it is hard to say. Time will tell if they made a smart choice. The big question is will it get most of its buyers at the expense of the full size sales or will they come out of Toyota/Nissan sales.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Scoutdude,
      GM is trying to grow a market rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Scoutdude
      The Colorado/Izuzu were never big sellers like the Hilux/Navara/Triton here in Australia as well.

      As for GM changing their minds. They would have done research and realised there is a market for a decent midsizer in the US.

      I think Toyota has been to complacent in their approach and should have had a new Hilux to replace the current one and Taco.

      This will come out soon in a year and a half. I wonder if we will get the new vehicle first as well before the US. That has been the trend of late, also with the design coming from outside the US as well.

      Like the global Ranger and new BT50 I’ve read that Australia is having a very large input into the next Hilux.

      It also appears that GM Detroit is trying to distance itself from the orignal Brazilian Colorado and try to state it’s an American pickup, this is just marketing. I think there is alot of the original Colorado, remember GM spent $2.5 billion designing it. $2.5 billion goes a long way in Brasil.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      @ Robert, trying to grow a market for a mid size truck does not seem like a good idea to me. Over the last 2 decades the market has spoken and what it has said was we don’t care for smaller trucks. Since truck buyers are some of the more brand loyal buyers out there it is very likely that they will be robbing Peter’s full size truck profits to pay Paul’s mid size development costs at the net result of a smaller bottom line.

      @ Al, I’m sure that GM did some research to convince the bean counters that they would sell enough of them to make an overall profit, presumably without a significant impact on the profitability of the full size line. The question is whether or not that research was valid and reflects what consumers will actually lay down their hard earned cash for. My guess is there is the standard disconnect in that they listened to those who say that they want it but never verified if those same consumers would actually buy a NEW one or had the means to buy a new one.

      Lots of people want things they can’t afford or aren’t willing to pay for,and will gladly tell you how much they want X or they are going to buy X in the future that never materializes.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scoutdude
        We can only hope that GM/Ford/Chrysler/UAW are willing to change rules.

        Look at where Canada is heading with their vehicle market. Will the US be going in that direction soon.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          This has absolutely nothing to do with what GM/Ford/Fiat/the UAW want and everything to do with what the US consumer wants.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            So, the US consumer supports a socialised vehicle industry with choices limited to them as consumers?

            I suppose restaurants in the US are governed by the government on what to have on their menu’s.

            Burger King and MacDonalds attract no tax, but buy a KFC burger and you pay an additional 25% tax. Almost ludicrous, isn’t it. I wonder which company would survive that approach??

            Yep, Scoutdude, people still have the choice for KFC, don’t they?

            Your comments makes a lot of sense ;)

  • avatar
    Carrera

    I for one am really excited to see a diesel offering in the mid-size pick-up segment. Nissan and Toyota will have to start thinking long and hard about bringing their diesel Navarra and Hi Lux engines to USA as well. There is no other way arround it. If GM gets the diesel engine right and can get at least 28-30 mpg hwy and 22-24 mpg city, Nissan and Toyota will HAVE to act. Getting 16-18 mpg out of a mid-size truck is obsecene. I feel dirty driving my Ridgeline and no, I am not an environmentalist or part of the Sierra Club but there is no reason why a mid-size pick-up should get 16-18 mpg. I think Honda will be out of the pick-up truck game by 2015 anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      If you were hoping for great fuel economy from a small truck, sorry for your disappointment. Unless you opt for the reg cab and manual trans (while they’re still offered on the Tacoma), 2wd of course, don’t expect econo car MPG. Their BOF, towing gears, and heavy weight means poor fuel economy. No way around it. And you also wouldn’t get the diesel strictly for savings at the pump. You’ll spend so much elsewhere, that it may take you a good decade to break even, all things considered, vs the gas option.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    DenverMike,
    I’ve been in crew cab European Hi-Lux and 30 mpg was not out of the ordinary. Yes it was a 6 speed I think, and I am not sure if it was 4×4 or not but 30 mpg out of a 4000lbs truck is good enough in my book.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Diesels give you much improved mpg, but the saving at the pump are nullified if you happen to own it. At least for the 1st few years of ownership, if all goes well. What you eventually start saving can be wiped out with the 1st repair involving emissions, high pressure oil pump, hp fuel pump, injectors, control module, turbo etc. I’ll take a simple gas engine any day.

      • 0 avatar
        Phillip Thomas

        The motors have been around internationally for awhile, and I didn’t see any negativity about them. The Brazilian site did keep some attention on serviceability.

        Diesel is only at worst ~20% more expensive here in central Texas. Over the course of a 20 gallon tank right now, it would cost you about $10 more.

        That said, compared to the Colorado’s outgoing average of <20 mpg (With no power to speak of), if the '15 Colorado avaraged anywhere near 30mpg, that'd be around a 50% increase in fuel economy while increasing torque to 346ftlb and on the whole a much better truck. That's with out taking into account fuel economy while towing, where diesels shine.

        For ranchers and farmers, if this made any impact on the agg industry, they can run "red" diesel in a ranch truck which is tax-free if it remains on property. An unlikely option for a newer truck, but common for old trucks (think 80's model diesels)

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Some US consumers will choose the diesel engine and don’t really care about over all savings. If they want it, they should have it. They may convince their wife it’s the best over all choice, but you can’t beat a modern gas engine, at least not in America. You may have to floor it to get the job done, but how much weight can you really pull in a small truck? This isn’t OZ. If you have a lot to pull, you’ve already stepped up to 1/2 ton or bigger.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Phillip Thomas
          If people are buying V8 full size and HD as personal transport thinking they are eco boxes then they will be dismayed.

          All this talk about not buying a diesel because of talk is quite incorrect.

          As most in the US drive their pickups empty with no passengers a V6 would suffice, as they are more economical.

          They also wouldn’t spend up big on mid and high end pickups. Diesel will sell. There is more to buying a car then mpg’s, especially when buying pickups.

          Maybe the size and ease of using, ie, parking a pickup might come into the equation.

          I think diesel will sell in the US, diesel is more expensive here in Australia also and diesel is the choice by 90% sold.

          Explain that.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Philip,
          Diesel is that way to go anywhere on the planet outside NA for a Pickup or a large Truck. We get
          Japanese Pickup builders,(Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi) who have dropped their (Petrol) gas options.
          GM knows that the new diesel will really shake this segment up.

  • avatar
    Atum

    I like how GM’s new products are super impressive, such as the Impala and the Silverado. However, the Colorado will probably be a sales hit in the first couple years, then barely move, just like the Ridgeline did. Also, the 3.6 is the same engine used in the Impala Limited. :/

    • 0 avatar
      Phillip Thomas

      The Ridgeline didn’t sell because it actually sucked. This is what happens when you try and build a full size fighter off a minivan chassis.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Phillip, pardon my ignorance, but could you explain for me?

        I’ve seen this comment about the Ridgeline a lot. But what aspects of it actually don’t work out in daily use?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Uniframe, lack of solid rear axle, lack of true 4wd, lack of a half decent engine.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The problem with the RL is there’s nothing there to like.

          It has practicality in spades. As a full width vehicle it’s night and day more usable than the compacts. It has all of the people moving of a half ton crew cab and most of the cargo moving in a package thousands cheaper and two feet shorter to park.

          Which is a total market miss because practical doesn’t daily drive a less impractical half ton, it daily drives a car. Their truck is 10 years old and parked during the week.

          All of the impractical things that people who actually buy trucks love and pay extra for are AWOL. It’s gutless, it’s styled like a dishwasher, it rides like the minivan that it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Phillip, the Ridgeline was never built as a full size fighter. I am not even sure if it was built as a mid-size fighter. It was built mostly for Honda owners who were defecting to mid-size Toyotas and Nissans because they just bought a 4,000lbs boat or a small travel trailer or a pair of seadoos. What it actually sucks is gas. It sucks at the rate of 17-18 mpg average. This is the best/only truck for guys/gals that don’t want a ladder type frame truck. It will tow up to 5,000 lbs and can do the Home Depot soil/rocks run and carry up to five people in comfort. It is also great in snow being based on a FWD architecture. If I had to drive a Ridgeline or a Tacoma/Frontier on snowy roads I would take the Ridgeline. I don’t have to weigh the truck down with 300 lbs of sand just to make sure the back doesn’t swing out on me because it is so light compared to the front. The ride is very compliant and smooth and the Ridgeline is constantly on top in Consumer Reports. This is the truck that can serve the needs of 65%-70% of the truck population out there that normally just haul air and go to the mall. Is it ugly? Yeah, it kind of is, but it isn’t offensive. One of the major reasons that Honda failed to sell lots more of them is the gas consumption. Mid-size (quasi)capabilities with full size gas consumption= sales failure.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I doubt people even got to the gas consumption before marking it off their lists.
          Who the f wants a truck without a traditional frame, SRA, or FWD bias unibody design, not to forget lack of decent engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Carrera

            If you have to ask Hummer, you either don’t get it or you’re not the target market. The Ridgeline’s engine is more than decent for what the owners are using it for.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            In MY area the Ridgeline is a Chic trucklet like the Grand Cherokee is a Chic SUV, as in women drive them, and they are very popular.

            I often see Ridgelines with a one-horse trailer behind them, or the bed loaded with hay bales or bags of feed and grain.

            I even saw one last winter with a flatbed trailer behind it that was loaded with three snowmobiles on US82 going up into the mountains.

            In my area the Ridgeline is as popular as Subarus are.

        • 0 avatar
          Phillip Thomas

          In advertising it was played up as something of a half-ton competitor/alternative, with a twist: The Honda touch of IRS, unibody construction, and the clever storage.

          At worst, it was dragged through the mud in half-ton (And midsize) shoot outs by the press against the big three trucks, from what I recall.

  • avatar
    agroal

    With this new Chevy the next gen. Toyota Tacoma just got instantly better. It must. It hasn’t had any competition in 15 years. I’m currently on my 2nd. Tacoma. 2011 4cyl. 5sp. 4X4. Great mid size truck but Toyota skimped on some strange things that every truck should have. Interior switches that aren’t lit up at night include the power mirrors,clutch start cancel,interior light dimmer,and worst of all the most important switch in any 4X4- the rotary 4X4 selector cant be seen in the dark. How about adding a bed light into the CHMSL? 20-22 mpg. in a 4 cyl. isn’t that far off from a V-8 full size truck. The next gen should have a diesel option in the US and at least direct injection. Hoping the new Colorado lights a fire under Toyota’s ass.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      agroal, re the Tacoma, I agree. It hasn’t had any competition for a long while and it drove the Dakota, Ranger and Colorado into oblivion.

      When my grandson joined the Marines right after HS, we helped his parents buy him a brand new 2009 Tacoma, Standard Cab, long-bed, 4-banger, 5-speed manual with Air.

      When we traded it off in May 2013 on a 2012 Jeep Wrangler for him we got an enormous amount of money on trade-in. And the truck was sold that same afternoon to another Marine from Camp Pendleton.

      I bet once this new Colorado hits the market place we’ll see some major changes in Tacoma because Toyota is not going to willingly give up its coveted best-seller spot on the midsize truck charts.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I was not sold on mid-size trucks but after driving our Adrenalin for two years I’ve changed my mind. I owned full size for years (SD 250, Expeditions), big stable vehicles that can tow and haul. We downsized because I stopped farming but still need to tow the boat, compact tractors, etc. The Adrenalin has 292 hp and 315 torque through a six speed auto. Also AWD, independent suspension. It’ll tow up 7000. It fits perfectly into a compact space, easily into an average garage, rides smooth. Best mileage I’ve got on the highway is 23-24 but around town it drops sub 2. I’ve hauled the requisite plywood, 2x’s. It looks sharp at a dinner party with 4 of us stepping out. Or yanking my boat out of the weeds, hauling a trailer load to the recyclers. In a city it’ll sneak through those jammed streets with ease and into low ceiling parking garages. With lockable bed covers, it’s got a bit more security.

    I’ve noticed a few local landscapers using mid-sized trucks (Rangers, sport Tracs, Colorados). But I’d guess the biggest market for such trucks are the retired who will like a low step in truck that’s compact, easy to use, gets 25-30 MPGs. I really don’t want to buy a full size again and the SO loves the “trucklet”. The diesel is not the selling point, the flexible utility, effiency, and 9/10′s size is. A hybrid version would be sweet. Let’s face it, full size trucks are more image vehicles than muscle cars. The toughest crabbers I know drive Rangers (should be a CW song).

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I’ll pay attention to the Colorado when I start seeing it on job sites or at the local co-op. Until then it’s just a fat guy wearing camouflage.

  • avatar

    “But there’s still a significant contingent of buyers who opt for the Lambda CUVs, the car-based crossovers that do 90 percent of what a GMT900 will do, but at a lower cost and with better fuel economy.”

    My ’05 Saturn Vue. 4 cyl 5 speed. 25 mpg around town. 16 mpg pulling a 2500 lbs 6×12 enclosed trailer.


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