By on June 11, 2014

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The all-new Nissan Navara, unveiled today, will be Nissan’s mid-size truck in world markets. But unlike past Navaras, our next Frontier will be a completely different truck. Nissan is (literally) going back to the future on this one.

Speaking with a supplier source, TTAC  has learned that the next Frontier will abandon the current F-Alpha platform used on this generation Frontier/Navara, and instead use an updated variant of the D22 Frontier. Make no mistake, this is an old truck, dating back to the early 1990′s. Nissan is currently attempting to engineer the old D22 technology to be both emissions compliant and pass FMVSS crash tests with flying colors – and according to our source, they are not having an easy time with the latter. But there’s a method to their madness.

What Nissan is trying to do is bring back an affordable, fuel-efficient compact truck. Not a fairly large “mid-size” truck like the Tacoma, the upcoming Colorado/Canyon twins or the Global Ranger that everyone is lusting for. Instead, this will be a modern version of the old Nissan Hardbody. It will be simple, (relatively) small, and cheap.

The basis for this truck will be the Mexican-market NP300, which is an updated D22 Frontier, still sold in certain countries. The truck will have all-new sheetmetal, in addition to the emissions and safety features that FMVSS requires, but it will still contain the rugged (and, to be fair, somewhat antiquated) bones of the old Frontier. This gives Nissan a few advantages: for one, it’s a proven design that will have most of its costs absorbed via years of sale on the open market. For another, it will lend them a fairly lightweight architecture to develop the truck off of, which will be beneficial for fuel economy and of course, CAFE (which is notoriously unfriendly to small trucks).

An NP300 Crew Cab weighs in at about 3,800 lbs, while a current Frontier Crew Cab weighs anywhere from 4,200-4,500 lbs, no doubt in part to its over-engineered F-Alpha chassis shared with the Titan, Armada and QX56. This kind of weight savings is a major breakthrough in the truck world, with Ford touting the same 700 lb weight loss for its new all-aluminum F-150. Nissan seems to have achieved it by turning back the clock (though, with new crash safety and emissions equipment, that gap could easily narrow)

Our source was unable to estimate the cost of the necessary re-engineering, or what kind of pricing Nissan was aiming for, but there will likely be significant offsets from using off-the-shelf technology. The “small” truck segment is one that is generally derided as being unprofitable, with an unattractive price position relative to full-size trucks, low profit margins and unfavorable characteristics for regulatory compliance. But if Nissan really is dusting off old technology to provide a new, affordable small truck, Nissan may have been able to dodge these concerns while honing in on a niche that nobody in North America is serving.

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202 Comments on “EXCLUSIVE: Nissan Will Forgo Navara, Bring Small, Affordable Pickup To North America As The Next Frontier...”


  • avatar
    Mullholland

    It would make the perfect vehicle for the return of the Datsun brand to NA. Interesting story/challenge.

    • 0 avatar
      vtnoah

      As an owner of a 02 Crew Cab Frontier. I’d gladly pick up a brand new one. Solid truck for what it is.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      I don’t think Nissan needs another brand in the US at this point.

      However, I do think that the Nissan NV200 (e.g. NYC taxi/small city van) based, but better looking, NP200 pickup would have been a smarter choice for the US than the massively outdated NP300.

      It is more fuel efficient, meets US safety standards and is likely less expensive to produce due to unitized construction.

      http://www.nissan.co.za/en/web/models/NP200/Gallery/77307_458590.htm

      • 0 avatar
        Victor

        That’s one Dacia Loganamino, not sure about the NV200 connection.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        The real meat-and-potatoes market for small pickups in the US is not Urban Commandos and contractor fleets who can be well-served by a car with an open cargo-bed, it’s primarily rural and small-town areas where these vehicles see a lot of mild and some heavy off-road use.. not necessarily 4×4 but they do get bounced around alot in poorly maintained dirt roads and bumpy pasture and range-management land. If the underpinnings are from something that this bunch doesn’t trust then it’s just a dead-end niche offering.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’m going to disagree. First off, I don’t see “rural” as a compact’s “meat and potatoes” market. While some of it may be there, I expect suburban to be the largest market with full urban the next largest. On the other hand, were these smaller trucks notably more economical than the larger, then you could be correct. My own father-in-law, a farmer/mechanic, bought my Saturn Vue and flat-out loves its economy over his other truck–the Vue getting double the gas mileage in light-duty use. But when it comes to hauling logs, the full-sized truck is obviously the one used–and as a result gets the worst economy. But even then, the Vue at 30mpg highway far outclasses his full-size at only 17mpg highway. If a small pickup can do this, then you could be right.

          • 0 avatar
            Les

            Um.. no.

            I LIVE in ‘rural’, I know what I see everyday.

            Pickup trucks are the thing. We don’t mainly have multi-car garages, we have multi-truck garages. Compact pickups are highly desirable here either as first-trucks for kids who just got their license or as a second truck while the first is usually a big HD Duelly and too clumsy for field and pasture.

            Fuel economy doesn’t enter into it, mostly. We do like good miles to gallon but for us it’s mostly about how often you have to stop for gas rather than about how much you pay at the pump (Which is why I found my 30 MPG car so disappointing compared to the 15 MPG SUV it replaced, it also had a smaller tank so I was heading to town to gas-up just as often.) The big thing is how small and light it is and less likely to get stuck.

            Lot of compact and midsize trucks out here, mostly used, mostly because the only companies that sell new don’t have dealerships out here. Can’t be a coincidence, lack of interest in the rural market and the small pickup turning into a dying segment.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And my father-in-law is a farmer–and I know what I see every time I go up into Pennsylvania to visit. Want to know what I see? Horses–lots of horses doing the heavy work. When I see ANY truck at all in the fields, it’s one of those big duallies towing in specialized equipment such as hay wrappers. I’ll grant that different areas will work differently, but up here there simply aren’t that many compact trucks left and for the most part they’re either almost completely rusted out or they’re never used at all as a truck and kept almost immaculately clean. I NEVER see one in a field.

            However, I would expect that to change IF new compact trucks come onto the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Les

            Huh..

            I live in rural Oklahoma, and I’ve never seen horses actually used for hard work out here. I mean, I’m aware of the concept, we had an exhibition of draft pulling teams at the fairgrounds once. But mostly when we say ‘working horses’ we mean quarter horses used to herd cattle.

            Around here many have a half-ton pickup, but those that can afford two usually get a big dually to pull a stock trailer and haul heavy loads and a mid-size or smaller for going out into the pastures to hunt for lost calves, find and repair breaks in the fence, or just go out and find a good hunting or fishing spot.

            We use tractors for the actual Work work out in the fields.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Fk you, pile of crap Nissan. You ain’t takin’ my jerb.

            – Pennsylvania Horse.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Les: Heh. Polaris, Honda and so many other brands have those really small quad-cycles for that light truck purpose in the fields. They’d supposedly be more economic for the purpose as well. But you can’t really take those things on the road, either. Not safely, anyway. Just an observation.

            @thelaine: Amish horses will always have a job. While the Amish will use gas and electric for some things, none are allowed to actually drive the vehicle or equipment. Hay balers, even the combines are horse-drawn while the engines and motors operate the working side of the equipment. You would love watching the horse-powered hay lift that feeds the big rolls into the wrapper. I have video of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Les

            @Vulpine

            Yes, yes I am well aware of such vehicles, there’s a booming business in them even though people would really rather have a street-legal small 4×4.

            Yes, this is starting to sound like I’m being patronized.

            And yes, before you go further, I am aware of the Oreion Motors Sand-Reeper and that it is street-legal.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Fk you, Amish horses. This horse likes to drink and fornicate.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Heh. Not aware of that one, Les.

            And no, I’m not patronizing. My point is that we don’t even have as many of those old compact trucks as you seem to enjoy, much as many of our people want them. Of course, we’re pretty solidly in the Rust Belt up here, too.

  • avatar

    Wow. If this is actually true, it’s a pleasant thumb of the nose to Ford’s Ranger killing “One Ford” program.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      Hear, hear!

      It’s also likely to make me think mighty hard about whether I really want my family to be a two-Nissan-cube family. That’s unfortunate. But I could forgo our long-held goal of getting two cubes in our driveway a few years from now if it meant I got a return to my high school glory days driving a refreshed Hardbody! Woo!

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        What about a Cube based pickup?

        http://www.nissan.co.za/en/web/models/NP200/Gallery/77307_458590.htm

        • 0 avatar
          Banger

          I’m a fan of the NP200 in principle, but I would like it a lot more if it did look like a cube pickup. Speaking of which: http://omgpancakes.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/cube-pickup/

          As it is, Nissan’s not even spending peanuts to market the existing cube. I highly doubt they’d go through the trouble. Much to my chagrin, I assure you.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          They look a little long in the nose to be a cube but guess that’s sheetmetal. Own a cube. 860 lbs. approx payload with the rubber band drive. Could have made a pickup from the 6speed stick I had before. Bangers cube conversion is wild but couldn’t hold a bike. Just make them capable of towing 1500 lbs. and it would sure work for me.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      I’m pretty certain the fate of the NA Ranger was inevitable before Mulally showed up. There was some talk of bringing the T6 over — but it was always a primarily APAC vehicle design. And if anything, this decision from Nissan is an admission that global compact pickups aren’t cheap enough to work here.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      With a successful full size pickup Ford faces a much different compact pickup calculation than Nissan.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Well waddaya know, someone is finally listening.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    This is OT, but being Nissan truck-related, probably the best place for this particular OT comment: the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division just resurrected the Bloomberg Administration’s Taxi of Tomorrow plan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/nyregion/appeals-court-rules-bloomberg-plan-for-taxi-of-tomorrow-is-legal.html?hpw&rref=nyregion

    Having enjoyed a ride in one of these the last time I was in the city, I whispered soft hosannas to the heavens when I saw the news.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      But… but… it’s not a HYBRID. That was the main objection, the other being that the City had no business telling taxi companies what vehicle to buy. I wonder what SCONY’s basis was? The first objection is strictly within SCONY’s purview, but the second could be appealed to a federal court on constitutional grounds.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I don’t get that idea of specifying one vehicle. Set some standards and let the marketplace deal with the details.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          It worked pretty well for London for decades. It’s ultimately a question of whether you’re more concerned for the riders or the medallion owners: from the riders’ perspective, a unified fleet made up of comfortable, safe vehicles is preferable, particularly as you don’t really have the option of flagging down a particular model of taxi as you wave your arms frantically on Sixth Ave during rush hour.

          • 0 avatar

            More than one company made and sold London black cabs. Today there’s only one, the Chinese owned LTC (and a competitor that sells something called the Metrocab made by a company that calls itself, interestingly enough, Frazer-Nash) but I believe that as long as the car meets the standards set, the choice is up to the taxicab owner, not the municipality.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Sure, if the unified fleet *is* safe and comfortable, *and* if the alternative is somehow not safe nor comfortable.

            But that sure sounds like a rigged argument – false dichotomy – to me.

            Especially given the idea that you propose, implicitly, that one might have a particular model preference – but then immediately assume that the One Mandated Cab will somehow be what All People would *want* if given a choice? Am I the only one that detects a bit of contradiction there?

            (Around here there’s no such unified fleet requirement – I’m not aware of one anywhere in the US, but I haven’t studied the issue – and the taxi fleet is all just normal passenger vehicles – not known for being generally uncomfortable.

            Is a Grand Caravan or Prius [to pick two popular choices around here] uncomfortable and unsafe when you paint it yellow and operate it as a cab, but not when you buy one from Dodge or Toyota personally?

            The thesis is untenable.)

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Well, I think that the City has no *decent basis* for telling the taxi companies what to buy.

        But I don’t think it’s unconstitutional, any more than the disgusting taxi monopoly itself is.

        The Constitution says only the Feds can regulate interstate trade – but telling a local company that to get taxi medallions and operate taxis in your city, it has to buy vehicle X? Not interstate trade.

        I don’t see a *constitutional* problem with it; just terribly bad and invasive policy.

        But that’s NYC for you, isn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Sigivald, I would be much less of a fan of the policy if NYC were mandating a change from Checkers to Crown Vics, but as I said in my OP, the new cabs are a revelation. The difference between the current fleet of groaning, shot-shocked Crown Vics, Escapes and Altimas with two centimeters of leg room, and heaving minivans that somehow have been reconfigured to seat only two comfortably in what was formerly a five-person rear cabin, on the one hand, and the new Nissan cabs, on the other, is like the difference between domestic coach and international business class.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      Just an FYI, but the Supreme Court is not the highest-level court in New York, unlike every other state in the union. It aint final until the Court of Appeals weighs in.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        I’m well aware – this was the Appellate Division, so the middle level of the court system. Notably, the Court of Appeals has discretionary jurisdiction, so the decision would stand if the CoA doesn’t decide to hear the appeal, if there is one.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Doing the peso to USD conversion from the Mexico website shows prices from 13k for a base model to 22k for a double cab 4×4 diesel, the question being how much more will it be for the new US version?

    • 0 avatar
      ravenchris

      Wow.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      I’d be happy with a $15k to $16k base and a $25K top-out, if Nissan wants to pad their profits and/or account for shipping costs.

      What I’d REALLY like to see, though, is a base price of $16K to $17K with the new Hardbody being built where the old ones were, just a couple hours from my home right here in the great state of Tennessee. That would complete the nostalgia trip, and it would be a great marketing point for Nissan. They could show video of the ’80s/early ’90s Hardbodies rolling off the Smyrna assembly line and fade it into a shot of the new Hardbody doing the same. Cue tagline: “Some of us still make ‘em like we used to.”

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      That’d be nice, but pickups in Mexico and elsewhere are severely decontented. “Base” means a regular cab, rubber floors, vinyl seats, no radio or AC and no bed (that’s what “chasis” means). That would be awesome, but no.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        severely decontented?????????????

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Awesome as in “nobody would buy one”?

        Yeah.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        The base F-150 (the standard cab XL) still comes with vinyl seats and floors — and radio, power windows, and power locks are optional. (Can’t buy it without AC, though.)

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          What about the bed? Except our small base pickups come with a load of forced “standard” equipment. That’s what was being compared at the top of the tread. Our base small pickups vs Mexico’s.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What “our small base pickups”? We don’t have any, so there’s nothing to compare with.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            OK, I meant midsize. Yeah, without technicalities, you’d have nothing. You sound like a shyster lawyer. But you knew exactly what I meant. And you still haven’t said what you do for food… Code Enforcement? HOA technical police? Meter Maid?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Looks pretty big for a “midsize truck”. Should be interesting to see how it holds up.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Smaller, cheaper, simpler makes auto journos and message board regulars happy–but will it sell.

    Or is the next cheap redux compact/midsize truck just a brown station wagon with an MT and diesel engine?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      They’ll sell – used. Not so sure about new, other than for fleet use.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You must be Denver|Mike’s twin brother. You even use the same words.

        If they’re priced lower than full-sized and even lower than “equivalent” mid-sized, then I can pretty much say that they’ll sell a lot more than just “fleet and cheapskates”.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Vulpine
          Probably on of DiM’s many names he goes by.

          Back to the new Nissan pickup.

          Here in Australia when on sale we could get into a mid spec D22 turbo diesel, crew cab, 4×4 for around $27990, “drive away no more to pay”.

          This is roughly $26 000USD, which is cheap even in the US for a mid spec 4×4 truck.

          The reason is competition from the Chinese. Now it appears the Chinese influence on the vehicle market is indirectly impacting the US.

          This is good as it will force the manufacturers to be more competitive like here in Australia.

          The D22 is a solid truck, agricultural by the standards of the new breed of midsizer, but an honest and reliable truck.

          What I like about this new D23 is they will come with front coil overs and not torsion bar susupension and better grond clearance which was a downside for a 4×4.

          A compact with the 2.8 Cummins would be a screamer as well. It should pull between 35-40mpg.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            My views aren’t unique, by any stretch. Sorry to disappoint. Anyone paying attention to the truck market and truck trends will come up with the same.

            But clue yourself into the ridiculously high price of used small pickups. Especially loaded 4X4, multi-cabs. Hard to find and you’ll pay a king’s ransom when you do. Fleet and cheapskates are not fans of these when it’s time for a new small pickup.

            Simply put, Supply/Demand.

            Too many wanting used midsize pickups. Not enough new pickups feeding the self righteous DEMANDS of 2nd or 3rd owner pickup buyers…

            Hello Vulpine!

            OEMs will build all the midsize pickups that are wanted, (unless their regular cab strippers) but when it comes time for the Small Pickup Mafia, all drooling at the showroom, to step up and buy new, suddenly their hands can’t reach their wallets! It’s called T-Rex Syndrome…

            OEMs aren’t falling for no banana in the tailpipe!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That argument, Denver, was refuted at length in another board. You think these people haven’t already read it?

            Yeah. Low supply means HIGH demand! Despite your opinion, it seems Nissan believes otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What exactly was “refuted” earlier? And by whom? T-Rex???

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @DenverMike – I totally agree with you, but I can’t really understand why the market is like this. My buddy just went shopping for a Tacoma, he usually buys used but in this case there was literally no reason to. Used Taco double cabs were selling for 90% of the price of a new one. The new ones are discounted and on sale, and available in practically any combination of options one could want. IIRC you can get a 2wd 4cyl double cab base model for around $24k, so the cheapskates would be able to buy those all day long. Who is lining up and willing to pay 90% of the price of a new one for an older model, and why?

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          I don’t follow that logic. If they are cheap enough people other than cheapskates will buy them? That simply dose not compute. Logically if they do sell well and price is the deciding factor then those buying would qualify as cheapskates no?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Depends on your definition of “cheapskates”, doesn’t it? Size, as well as price, will be the deciding factor. I would pay just as much if not more for a decent COMPACT pickup as for a base Mid-Size pickup, just as people are willing to pay as much or more for a decent Mid-Size truck as for a base full-sized truck.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I like small trucks, just not enough to pull the trigger on a new one. I’m a big fan alright, but I don’t like them THAT much. Myself, Vulpine and most Americans, can find better things to make our primary cars/trucks/SUVs. And just like Vulpine, I’ll wait for a nice used one, 10 to 20 years old, to pop up. Too many of ‘us’, and not enough NEW mid-size pickup buyers, causes used mid-size pickups to reach astronomical ‘used’ prices.

            Consumers like us prefer buy to small/midsize pickups we can pay for in one lump sum. And we get lots more truck this way, even at crazy prices. And let someone else take the original hit.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t you DARE claim you speak for me, D|M; you don’t.

            Unlike you, a smaller pickup truck would be much more frequently driven than my current full-sized model. Unlike you, I WOULD “pull the trigger” on a smaller one if such were built. In fact, I was waiting to see just how big the new Colorado was next to my current truck before making a final decision between that and a Toyota–despite the fact that I do not WANT a Toyota (brand). At least the Tacoma is a lot closer to the size I want than any available full-size truck.

            However, I believe I’m getting lucky enough to pick up a low-mileage ’94 Ford Ranger. For free. A truck that has been garaged for most of its life and exclusively driven for those weekend hardware runs. You see, I personally know the owner and he’s simply no longer able to drive it. (I’m also expecting it to experience some frequent breakdowns as I start to put it into everyday use and all that lightly-used hardware suffers a serious change in driving habits. Then again, I never have been a fan of Ford.)

            What getting this older Ranger will do for me is give me the opportunity to see if one of the American brands picks up on the fact that there’s a market for true COMPACT pickups. If not, I’ll at least have a choice between two Japanese brands and maybe an Italian brand (or if I’m really lucky, a JEEP pickup).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Why not. As Vulpine has said people have been asking for a compact truck and maybe for once someone is listening. Not everyone needs or wants a big rig. Price it competitively and give it better mpgs.

    • 0 avatar
      ilkhan

      People have been begging for a MODERN lightweight pickup truck. Despite new sheetmetal this is still going to be an old ass chassis design.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Agreed. My 1998 Ranger was still up to date when I sold it in 2012.

        I really wanted a modern replacement. If I’d wanted the same old stuff, I’d have just held on to the one I had.

        I ended up replacing it with a three quarter ton minivan. (Cargo capacity is 1570lbs). It’s not quite so good for smelly scratchy stuff, though.

        What would a modern small pickup have? Full time AWD, a high MPG diesel, and modern crash standards. As for everything else, well, it’s *upposed to be a truck – practical, utilitarian, no distractions.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I’m not sure the *mass* market agrees.

          Diesel will, if we can extrapolate from big trucks *and* sedans, add thousands to the price

          Utilitarian and de-contented doesn’t seem to sell real well.

          Modern safety, sure, that sells. And full-time AWD might win; I can see that being popular.

          But minimal and “no distractions” doesn’t seem to actually sell a lot of cars, especially combined with the diesel premium.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I want a new QX4.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Do you seriously think anybody who’s actually in the market for a small but durable pickup truck is really gonna care how old the chassis design is?

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      Old design with new federally mandated safety standards and new body bits=WEIGHT.

      This thing will be a heavy pig because I’m pretty sure they will have to add lots of weight to the old chassis to make it certified for new crash standards. You can’t make an old car into a new car and make it good and light.

      Look at the 5th gen 4Runner–it’s a reskinned 4th gen.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        But still, if it’s about 1,000 pounds lighter than full-sized, it’s still going to have an advantage over those bigger beasts.

        • 0 avatar
          FJ60LandCruiser

          I give you the Dodge Dakota: I had a V6 version that got about 13-14 mpg. It’s better than the full size pickups of the time that were pulling 10-12, but not great either.

          I give you the Tacoma: Only the 4cyl models get low 20s MPG. V6 models cost as much as a Tundra.

          It’s one of those things that can go terribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing.

          • 0 avatar
            lzaffuto

            There are 3 people at my office with 4-cyl 2wd Tacomas and they all average 24-26mpg. You’re going to have a hard time matching that with any combination of full size truck and powertrain.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @lzaffuto
            There was a blog here the other day about a guy and his V6 Pentastar Ram.

            He only is averaging 16.7mpg.

            Only our V8 gas Landcruisers are in that kind of territory.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Al-

            I don’t know how someone only gets 16.7 MPG in a Pentastar RAM. I got better with the Hemi powered RAM and I did not take it easy on the truck. I am not fond of the RAM though.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The keyword there, bball40, is “averaging”. We really don’t know where or how he drives and quite honestly that would be a very realistic figure if he’s in stop-and-go traffic most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bballbtw
            The article was only 3 day ago with that guy can’t remember his name that lives in Texas.

            The reality is most of you US pickup guys talk of these fantastic FE figures you pull when in fact most would get in the mid teens at best.

            The US and Canada aren’t the only places with large engines. Believe it or not they are common in Australia;)

          • 0 avatar
            JMII

            My 2002 4.7l V8 Dodge Dakota gets 11-13 towing a 16′ boat and 17-19 highway cruising unloaded. The size is perfect, it fits in my 2 car garage with inches to spare.

            So just give me the same truck except with better seats, an 8 speed auto but with DIESEL power I’d be in heaven. Price it in around $25K range and I’ll buy one tomorrow. Should easily get over 28 mpg since an oil burning RAM gets between 20-24.

            Current mileage leader gas wise is the Nissan Frontier with the V6, it cranks about the same HP and TQ as my older Dakota.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Good placement. Come in under the Tacoma/Colorado dimension and price. Will sell a lot to weekend handymen, delivery, lawn service, etc….in Wall Street speak…a size “correction”?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Yepper….thems as mulches and gravels is gonna be migh-ty happy.

      All the other small businesses will still buy Transit Connects and NV200s.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Also, I’ve never noticed lawn services and handymen around here buying *new*.

        The $15k you save buying a used full-size vs. a new mid-size buys *a lot of fuel* … plus lawn service use seems to cause a lot of depreciation, fast.

        Those guys might well love this truck once it starts hitting the used market, for sure.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Good point, Sigiwald. And I was being facetious in my previous comment as I just don’t see professional lawn & landscape guys adopting this little truck en masse new or used.

          I happen to have just engaged one of them for my yard work this season due to my hip. I’m going to keep him even after it’s fixed because the guy is *fastidious*. It just plain rocks to have a competent pro do stuff for you :-D

          I mention that because I spent time cruising my mostly retiree neighborhood to see who was working where and what kind of gear they brought with them. Of all the outfits I watched not one had less that a full-size pickup pulling a trailer with all their equipment. Not a tiny truck to be seen.

          There may be a good argument for the amateur DIY guy buying one of these for occasional stabs at landscape mods and maintenance, but the pros need bigger equipment for the day-in day-out grind. And yes, I see mostly 5-10 year old full-size pickups, predominantly Chevy.

          You just have to haul so much equipment to be competitive in lawn service that this pea-dinker would have no role.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Kenmore: While I’m not going to argue your observation, I would like to note that one of the reasons that observation is valid is the simple fact that there are no true compact pickups. That said, if you really bother to look at the equipment most of those landscapers are carrying, the heavy equipment is on a trailer while typically they carry the mulch or other dirty stuff itself in the bed. A smaller truck CAN do the same, though if said landscaper has a crew of three or more (including himself) the big truck is also his ‘bus’ and he’s using the truck for the purpose it was built.

            However, a one- or two-person operation or someone only just expanding into a larger operation may find a smaller truck ideal for their purposes because they can still tow a decent utility trailer for their mowing equipment and carry the tools in the bed of the truck along with other materials. Some, whose only business is mowing with little concern for more ‘advanced’ landscaping simply have no need for anything larger, but also have almost no choice for anything smaller. Until they have this choice, we really don’t know that things will remain as they are if the smaller trucks come out.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Vulpine,
            If I’m ever in extremis I want someone like you for a surgeon, cop, attorney.. whatever is needed because you DON’T give up.

            I don’t even remember why I got involved in this discussion (30 posts ago:-) and I have no personal skin involved beyond being hooked by the usefulness and practicality of the TC wagon.

            I hope the availability of this new Nissan proves you right.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Hehhehheh. You know the old adage, Kenmore. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I plan to be the squeakiest wheel out there until true compact trucks return. After that, I’m quite willing to let the market truly decide its usefulness–AFTER I get my own. I still want it to be an American-branded model however. I don’t want Japanese, but if the so-called “Big 2.5″ avoid this market as they have for the last decade, then I’ll take what I can get. I’ll get some breathing room if I manage to get my stepfather’s old Ranger (amazing shape for its age) but I will, eventually, buy a brand new compact once they’re available.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Good on ya… hope you end up with what works best for you.

    • 0 avatar
      cronus

      It depends on the area, the majority of lawn companies around me use 3/4-1 ton trucks because they use them to plow snow in the winter. I don’t see them suddenly buying a small truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        … which means you’re in the northern tier of states, cronus. On the other hand, there’s nothing preventing a smaller truck from doing private plowing as Jeep Wranglers and even garden tractors have been doing where I live for years (yes, even after a 16″ snowfall or more). All they have to do is make sure they have some balance weight over the rear wheels.

        Meanwhile, in southern climes snow plowing is a very rare event and usually so light that anything capable of accepting a plow mount could probably do it–including a 2wd pickup.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Short version: CAFE + low volume = Latin American leftovers.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    I know Nissan likes to be different (ex: CrossCabriolet), but I don’t think this is a good idea. Just use the new global model; even though I hate the styling, it looks modern and has some nice sounding powertrains.

    Besides, weren’t they concepting a Frontier diesel? New generation would make that come to life.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “… has some nice sounding powertrains.” Right. When did a pickup truck go from being a proper utility vehicle to “nice sounding powertrains”? Yeesh! The idea of a truck is utility first, sport later. Or at least, it used to be. It seems now that sport is the only reason anyone wants a truck–sport, and Mercedes-level luxury. What has HAPPENED to you people?

      It looks to me like Nissan may actually be trying something new by offering something for everyone; a big truck for big truck lovers, a mid-sized model for those who don’t want something quite so large and finally a true compact model for those who simply don’t want BIG and BIGGER. So we get a dolphin, an orca and finally a blue whale from one brand. Well, maybe.

      Strangely, it seems that the most vocal anti-small-truck zealots can’t see the forest for the trees; full-sized trucks lose trade-in value faster than almost any other vehicle. Sure, they’re high priced, but give them five years and their value has dropped almost 70%. On the other hand, 20-year-old “compact” trucks in good condition command 50% or more. Some, in exceptional condition, may even be worth more than than owner’s originally paid for them. The zealots say that it’s because small truck buyers are old hippies, throwbacks or some other denigrating term, but to be honest the automotive industry could care less. If they discover a given type of vehicle has a market that has been ignored, EVENTUALLY someone is going to address that market.

      Chevrolet thinks the market is in mid-sized trucks about the same size as 25-year-old full-sized trucks. Nissan, it appears, has finally heard that people really want something smaller than that. Considering how many people I personally know with that desire, I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear Nissan is working towards that goal.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        Very true, indeed. I’m on cars(dot)com looking at used Titans, and they’re about the same price as Frontiers from the same year, same mileage, and same trim level.

        I’m supportive of Nissan making a compact truck, but using a twenty year old platform? Nope, not today.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        “The idea of a truck is utility first” same for hatchbacks… Those have done poorly in the US typically until they bacame sporty well optioned and desirable. If no one wants a crapcan hatch these days who would want a crapcan truck? The market has moved forward and vehicles simply do not succeed with singular purposes. Everything from trucks to econo cars to performance machines have to be better and more well rounded to sell here in any numbers. This truck will flop because you are one of just a few people who want this. Just like people who dreamt of a of a tin can sports coupe like the good ol’ days can’t float the toyobarus in a market that actually wants bloated sedans instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          False. A hatchback is a people carrier first, with SOME utility capability–much as most minivans, SUVs and CUVs. Carrying people in a pickup truck should be an afterthought, not its primary purpose.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “Should”? Why?

            Your Platonic Ideal of the Pickup Truck’s One True Purpose sounds like a personal problem.

            The People have spoken, and they like a truck that can carry four or five people, as WELL as cargo.

            (Good riddance to the “standard cab”, I say. Any vehicle I can’t even carry an overnight bag in with a passenger is dead to me.

            Extended cabs let you not only do that but have a real toolkit, room for chains and emergency supplies, all in secure storage.)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Some people have a distorted view of what I consider an “ideal” pickup truck. Are you one of those people?

            Like you, Sigivald, I agree with, “good riddance to the ‘standard cab’”. Even driving a 1990 model full-sized pickup truck as I do, the standard cab legroom has me in the next-to-last notch in the seat track, while my wife is in the last notch and feels crunched. I’m only average size and my wife’s only six feet tall. Not even a full sized truck should feel that tight.

            On the other hand, the extended cab is perfect because it allows you to slide the seat even farther back on the rails AND, as you so well describe, lets you carry a ‘real’ toolkit and load management supplies (along with a couple of bowling bags, perhaps?)

            My #1 complaint: Full sized trucks are simply too big.
            My #2 complaint: Full sized trucks are simply too expensive.
            My #3 complaint: We have NO compact trucks to choose from.
            My #4 complaint: We have little choice in mid-sized trucks, most of which are as large as full-sized trucks from 20 years ago.

            My personal ideal? A reasonably equipped COMPACT extended cab pickup with a six-foot bed. Not a “stripper”, but also not a “King Ranch” edition, either. Something roughly in the Lariat-level of trim would be fine for my needs.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Sooooo much drama for the 1.5 or so, inches small trucks have grown since the ’80s. If they’re so HUGE, why are base mid-size trucks so uncomfortably cramped? SO which is it???

            And where exactly did they gain girth, length or ???

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “When did a pickup truck go from being a proper utility vehicle to “nice sounding powertrains”? Yeesh! The idea of a truck is utility first, sport later. Or at least, it used to be.”

        Not everyone is a contractor or a cowboy?

        The popularity of crew cabs alone suggest that Pure Utility is not “first” – per TTAC received wisdom, lots of crew cabs are not “just my truck, a pure work vehicle” but a sedan-replacing daily driver.

        (And even the contractor or cowboy might like to be pleased by their vehicle in itself, not just its utility?

        Hell, I *don’t care* what a powertrain sounds like, but it definitely pleases some people. People are willing to pay for that.

        And it’s not *wrong*.)

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      I saw a Cross Cabriolet in the wild, on Northwest Hwy in Dallas….the license plate was “guapo”

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I for one, would consider buying one. I am one of those people that does not need a massive F150 to commute in and need a truck every so often. Tacomas are really too big and they do not make the Dakota any longer. Would be nice if they have a 4×4 option as well. Sounds good but if true, will they get it to work? I think they can and call me crazy, I think they may be ahead of the curve.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If find this very interesting.

    Now, if the D23 Navara is coming in two different width cabs, this would mean the D23 might be based on the D20/D22 as well.

    Also, what’s interesting is how the US pickupmarket is coming up with many different ways to circumvent CAFE regulations.

    From Nissan’s perspective does this mean the Chicken Tax will be around for years to come protecting Detroit?

    Very interesting vehicle.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The “narrow” or “US/Latino” D23?????

    http://www.themotorreport.com.au/content/image/2/0/2015_nissan_navara_official_02-0611.jpg

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    This will be a “gamechanger”…….. ;)

    If it sells well the big truck Deetroit Evangelicals will have to admit they were wrong.

    BUT…….

    If this truck bombs the small truck Jihadists will have to finally bow to Detroit.

    I love it……. finally a choice between a fullsizer and a true small truck.

    My argument all along has been…. let the market decide (not tariffs, not CAFE rules)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Well, maybe Lou. All we know for the moment is that they’re working on it. I HOPE we get this chance, but there’s no guarantee they’ll manage it. I WANT that choice and if I’m reading this right, I expect we’re at least 2 years away from a final product in the US, maybe four. That will probably fall right in line for me wanting to replace the truck I’m expecting to obtain later this year–a ’94 Ranger with 30K miles on it. By then I might even be able to pay cash for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou and Vulpine
      I’ve owned both a D20 with a Z24 and a D22 with a QD32 diesel.

      They were good for their time, but they need considerable work in the chassis and suspension tuning area.

      I found an image of the D23 chassis and it appears Nissan have looked at these areas.

      I do think Derek’s assumption regarding the US safety standards is a little over the top as the D23 chassis will be the same between both the wide and narrow (America’s) variants.

      These will meet ANCAP with a 5 Star rating.

      The US variant from the ‘mug’ shots I’ve seen will be an identical body, just narrower and this actually improves it looks.

      Asia will also receive the narrow body D23 from the information I’ve gathered.

      My biggest disappointment is the lack of the ISF Cummins in the global vehicles.

      As for the small truck jihadists?? I do think that term was coined by some Fox and Friend advocate;)

      This also plays into the theory of the Nissan Titan, based on the philosophy of our current midsizer. A HD you have when you don’t have an HD.

      The Titan and Tundra will be slightly smaller than the current US Big 2 and Fiat HDs.

      This will make a compact pickup within the Nissan range not appear to be so silly.

      I would like to see the 1.4 ton (3 000lb’ish) payload and cab chassis so in NA you can put a 6′x8′ flat bed on.

      With a 2.8 Cummins this would really shake the US market. It could be used by a potential person wanting to carry a decent load and take sales away from market areas that are unimaginable;)

      I would think these will have around a 6 000-6 500lb tow capacity as well, like we get out of our diesel D22′s.

  • avatar

    This sounds interesting and exciting, but honestly I need an SUV more than I need a truck. Which is unfortunate, I may be in the market in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    This is not going to happen. Stop asking the janitor at Nissan product development questions!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s a link that states there will be two different body widths for the D23.

    http://www.themotorreport.com.au/59115/2015-nissan-navara-revealed-australian-debut-next-year

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I’m intrigued to see how a nearly 20 year old design is going to be reworked into a design people will tolerate. I’m not going to pass judgment because evidently this truck is going to pass muster and at only 80% of the competition they’ll land sales. I’m just skeptical this truck is going to make the F-series quake at night.

    It’s real competition is the Tacoma but it’s going to be a hard sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Xeranar
      Sort of like a ladder, how many different design features can there be?

      A ladder frame chassis hasn’t really changed very much since it’s inception.

      They can redesign the suspension and stiffen up the chassis and reduce it’s weight.

      It will probably be hydroformed with thinner higher tensile steel.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not going to make the F-150 quake.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m guessing that it won’t do wonders for the Xterra, which I presume will be cancelled if this story is true.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Derek,
        What will diminish full size sales in the US, esp. Ford/GM is aluminium. This is where Ram has the better idea.

        These sort of vehicle will just step in an replace.

        Economics will govern this. As the US middle class has less money, they will afford less of these SUVs with a balcony, ie, Aluminium pickups.

        What a ridiculous idea.

        The smaller compact pickup will only take from full size trucks if the chicken tax is removed an the vehicles can be sourced from a cheaper supplier.

        Maybe having a pickup plant in Mexico to supply Latin America and the rest of NAFTA is a workable idea.

        But, they have to be competitive. Without a competitive set of rules and regulations, you are correct.

        Full size pickups aren’t able to be replaced. Look at how the rest of the OECD manages.

        Look at the US car market or even our market when free trade lets the consumer decide.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – What global 1/2 ton pickups are we missing, thanks to the Chicken Tax? But exactly what makes you think global pickups would truly impact trucks like the Titan and Tundra? Like at all???

          Wouldn’t they cannibalize the Frontier, Tacoma and the Colorado/Canyon 1st? Then start attacking small/compact/midsize car/SUV/crossover sales?

          Don’t Mopeds have more to fear than then Titan and Tundra ???

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “What global 1/2 ton pickups are we missing, thanks to the Chicken Tax?”
            –Mitsubishi.
            –Mahindra (at least in part).
            –Kia.
            –Fiat.
            –Hyundai.

            I’m sure I could list others, if I bothered looking for them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Hyundai makes a 1/2 ton pickup? Where do I go to dump my F-150 for one???

            If you call them “1/2 tons”, there’s a reasonable assumption they’re all in the same class. A 1/2 ton in Korea or OZ is a little different from what we call a 1/2 ton.

            And regardless of class, there’s a wide assumption these global pickups would make a dent in what we call 1/2 tons. The Titan and F-150 are examples of our 1/2 tons. It’s possible consumers would cross shop a Silverado with a Kia pickup, but no, not really…

            Then you assume OEMs like Mitsubishi, Kia and others that already sell vehicles in America, want low margin, crazy expensive to build BOF pickups, to cannibalize their very profitable and super cheap to build, autos.

            You don’t exactly have to wonder how well junk like Mahindra would do. Ask BAFO how well they do in OZ. Or if he would own one… Ya!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Hyundai and Kia don’t make a pickup.

            http://www.carscoops.com/2013/04/hyundai-group-still-considering.html

            Vulpine must be allergic to factual information.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I posted the answers to that twice already today, Denver and Pch. Do your own research. Both brands DO have a truck that could serve the purpose and Kia could still produce the Mojave. In fact, with recent word that Kia is planning a Mexico assembly plant, the odds of the Mojave hitting American shores jumps significantly.

            Oh, and before you call the Mahindra “junk”, I might note that Mahindra tractors are quite popular right here in the States. Apparently they’re very reliable, too. Since the Mahindra trucks are direct descendants of the Willys jeep, it may be more American than the current round of “American” Jeeps.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “‘We do not have a pickup truck. Other than that, we cover almost every segment,’ (Hyundai Vice President Lee In-cheol) told Automotive News at the Seoul Motor Show.”

            I suppose that Vulpine knows more about Hyundai’s lineup than one of its senior managers.

            Hyundai has the H100, but that is a commercial truck, not a US-style full-size pickup. Vulpine gets it wrong yet again.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            We have the Kia K2900 in Australia which is built on a midsize chassis.

            The truck is a forward control vehicle with a 2.9 litre diesel.

            It has a load (bed) capacity of around 1.7 tonnes.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Basically, Pch, you’ve proven yet again that your opinion is not driven by logic, but only emotion. The original question was, “What global 1/2 ton pickups are we missing, thanks to the Chicken Tax?” I answered with a list that includes pickup trucks that have not been built–BECAUSE of the Chicken Tax.

            And you know, I left Volkswagen out of that list by accident; they’re the brand that was the specific target of the Chicken Tax.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      The way the Dana sourced frame is rusting from the inside out on my 06 Tacoma I don’t know about that ! I’ll never buy another Toyota after this !The dealer says they replace two frames per week on previous generation Tacomcas, Tundras, and Sequoias . Unless there is a recall on my generation of Tacomas I am screwed ! Too bad at around 50k miles it is still like a brand new truck otherwise .

      • 0 avatar
        agiguere

        This is what my dad’s 06 Tacoma looks like
        https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7427/13945488340_5c6cb697a8_b.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          Zombo

          Make sure your dad takes that truck to a Toyota dealer to get that frame rust documented.The reply I got back from Toyota corporate said they will only do a special recall for frame replacement due to rust if they get enough issues with it for that model year.The dealers love it for the money they make doing the frame replacements , not so much loved by Toyota corporate.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’ve seen worse by far. On the other hand, all that fluid could be bothersome. That doesn’t look like AC condensation by the drip location, but it is an awful lot of liquid.

    • 0 avatar

      Xeranar,
      Pretty obvious what is happening, it is the normalization of the US market. Aaparently not everything sold in the US is profitable anymore. Makers have done this for decades in other markets, sell and continually update an existing, proven and liked platform. Relatively speaking, the main difference between a 90s car and a 10s is the safety and electronic controls. Cars from the 90s don t ride all that differently from the cars of today. Tolerable drive it will surely be. The engineering challenge is to abosorb the new tech into the old bones as seamlessly as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, Tacoma virtually is the small truck market in the US.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I also wouldn’t count on the current 2.5 litres diesel remaining.

    …………………………………………………………….

    Nissan has yes to confirm powertrain options for the new Navara, but it is believed that a Cummins diesel engine will feature – expected to be a version of the 120kW/360Nm 2.8 litre unit offered with the Foton Tunland.

    ……………………………………………………………..

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Like Pete, I need an SUV more than a truck. However, have owned a 620, 720, and a hardbody. The 87 weighed 2700 lbs so this is evidently considerably heavier. It’s not apples to apples as mine was a single cab but don’t think the 81 720 king cab was much heavier. I think a lot of people who use them versus talking about it won’t care if the chassis is “modern” or not. Fragile head gaskets finished them off, not an out of date ride. Would still be driving them otherwise.

    I doubt it will get the diesel option but that might just make me spring for one. Mama has the new car (Nissan) and mine is always 10 years old at least. Therefore, they aren’t making this for me or any other new truck. Fun to watch and wish them the best.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Will it get better gas mileage or drive better than a 305 hp Pentastar Ram? Probably not! But hey you got a good excuse to wear a jockstrap when you drive your truck.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=34109&id=34518&id=34519

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @BFBH
      “Fuel efficiency looks like being this engines strong point with the 4×2 single cab returning a healthy 7.3L/100km”

      result = 32.668692129629626 miles per gallon (US). This is average from a 2.5 turbo diesel D22, not highway FE which would be above US 35mpg.

      I think this is far better than a Pentastar Ram.

      Do you hypermill??

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – With Fullsize trucks soon weighing in range of current mid-size trucks, they can and will be powered by the same tiny engines, including diesels. This is what has midsize truck OEMs scrambling to come up with something, anything to not have even more consumers abandoning the midsize pickup segment. Like a sinking ocean liner!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          You do realize, Denver, that CoD–Coefficient of Drag–is a multiplier on the frontal area of a vehicle, right? While a mid-sized truck and a full-sized truck weighing the same and having the same CoD will show little difference in city traffic (assuming the same drivetrain as well), the smaller truck WILL show better economy on the highway simply because it has less frontal area. A compact truck would do even better–again assuming all else the same.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Drag Co must not make a big difference when full-size pickups are already getting better mpg than midsize trucks. Bottom line is the bottom line…

            unless you’re a flying insect!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Nice of you to say so. Now tell me, exactly WHICH full-size trucks have the same, identical drive trains as their mid-size equivalent? When you can give me that data, then I MIGHT believe your argument.

            Ignoring my conditions does NOT make them go away.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – What does the “drive train” have to do with Drag Co? What matters is how much fuel flows from the gas station into your truck. If you have to put more fuel into your midsize pickup vs fullsize, and suffer all the other drawbacks, what’s the point???

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            The ‘Frontal Area’ isn’t the only metric for calculating CD.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            One has to be extremely dense not to recognize that the CoD is only one factor of many in determining the fuel mileage of a vehicle AND that the only way to see a practical example of this is to have all aspects of the test identical EXCEPT the CoD.

            I offered a very simple and very blunt example where with all things being equal, meaning everything associated with the actual moving of the vehicle, at highway speeds a smaller truck WILL get better gas mileage than a larger truck. Your argument to the contrary chooses to ignore things like the smaller trucks typically running smaller engines with lower torque and usually different gearing to get that “equal or lower gas mileage”.

            Now, I’m fully aware that Ford is making certain claims to the potential fuel mileage of the new F-150s. What really seems counterproductive is the fact that Ford is about to put their smallest-ever engine into a full-sized truck–a truck so bloated in size that practical economy will be almost impossible even if it is capable of achieving those figures while empty. But hey, I’m at least willing to wait and see, though I’m NOT willing to call it a success–yet. On the other hand, that same engine in a ¾-sized compact pickup would be almost ideal as it won’t be fighting that huge brick wall that is the nose of the typical F-150.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @3Deuce27: Honestly, the ‘frontal area’ is hardly even a consideration in CoD; however, it IS the multiplier in calculating total drag of the vehicle. If we were to take two vehicles with identical CoD with one only 3/4ths the size of the other, the smaller vehicle would realize a notably lower total drag than the larger.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        If you have to resort to diesels, then maybe Ram could put a 4 cylinder diesel in their truck to compete.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @billfrombuckhead
          To compete, you need rules that are the same between opponents.

          You understand this? You can’t spot the winner ‘points’ then brag how good you are;)

          You haven’t earnt that.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          @> Vulpine. Reg;” If we were to take two vehicles with identical CoD with one only 3/4ths the size of the other, the smaller vehicle would realize a notably lower total drag than the larger.”

          Tried to sort that, I still couldn’t make anything of it, must be missing something. I guess I will have to yield to your superior knowledge of aerodynamics.

          Merc’ W124 series. > .28 Cd
          1985-96 ‘E’ Series that looks like a brick.

          NA Miata………..> .38 Cd

          Again, there are many factors affecting overall Cd. With the W124, Merc’ engineers masterfully managed all of them to produce a very low Cd for a sedan.

          One of the factors is the overall length of an envelope, the ‘Speed-Length’ factor(Froude number_’Fr’, or Mach_’M’ or ‘Ma’ for sub-sonic), factor that with the average frontal area/cross section of the envelope and we have another metric that contributes to the overall Cd.

          A Suburban has a better fluid flow then a Blazer or full size pick-up truck resulting in a lower fuel consumption at freeway speeds. Factoring this fluid flow, the new Ford 150 with a canopy or bed cover might actually get better MPG at the same highway speeds as a small compact pick-up. The smaller vehicle will have the advantage in the urban cycle due to accelerating less mass.

          Example; Naval architects/boat designers know that a longer water line for a displacement hull, equates to a faster potential hull speed. Big long boats are faster the smaller ones.

          But I’m with you, Vulpine, on wanting a compact pick-up with great MPG. It would become my daily driver, like my much missed Chevy LUV. I would still need my big truck for towing heavy loads, but little else.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re touching on the valid points, Deuce, but apparently missing the relevance.

            On those ‘boats’ you mention. A long narrow hull is faster than a shorter, rounder one. Why? Now, work that comparison with a full-sized pickup truck vs a compact pickup truck. The full size is tall and broad–and yes, somewhat long. Now, for the sake of this comparison, that full size truck does NOT have any sort of bed cover. The compact pickup truck is almost, but not quite as long, true. It’s also narrower and lower in profile to the ground and in overall height. As such, it impacts less air, just like that long, narrow boat.

            I do agree that shape is critical to the Cd. I also agree that putting a bed cover on a truck will improve it; but if it works on a full sized truck, it will work on a mid-size or compact, no? This again goes back to my original argument with Denver Mike where he says the full sized truck WILL get the same fuel mileage as a mid-size or even compact. However, when actually looking at the different models used in such a comparison, the effective power to weight ratio is almost identical between them, effectively eliminating any advantage a smaller truck can offer. Were that full-sized truck to run Ford’s 2.7L EcoBoost AND the compact were also to run that 2.7L EcoBoost, the smaller truck is guaranteed to get better fuel mileage than the larger one on the highway as well as in city driving.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s no point in splitting hairs about Drag Cos. Truck aerodynamics $uck a big fat one anyways. Because of the open bed/box, engine (therefor hood) that sits up high to clear front axles, steep windshield, big Dumbo mirrors that stick way out, ground clearance…

            If the drag Co is worse, but the truck gets better mpg, who cares??? Then you’re just talking about comparing small, imperceptible differences wind noise decibels with the windows rolled down.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well for once we agree on something, Denver; truck aerodynamics are crap!

            But that could change if the average truck owner could get past the idea that it actually has to *look* like a truck. There’s a reason most so-called ‘global’ pickups have more rounded shapes on the nose, lower rooflines and wraparound headlamps; it’s to help them move through the air easier. BUT, size is still important not just for the weight factor, but also to help it slip through the air a little easier.

            On the other hand, you’re hedging with your followup question, “If the drag Co is worse, but the truck gets better mpg, who cares???” First off, it’s trying to divert from the whole intent of my argument with you, which means you HAVE no answer. Sure, overall economy is the goal and few will care; BUT I still hold that given everything the same between a full sized truck and a compact twin–I’m talking identical in every way EXCEPT size–the compact model would get better gas mileage simply because it’s not cutting as much air.

            Why are the smaller ones NOT getting better mileage now? Simply because they aren’t the same. Rarely do they carry the same Cd as their larger cousins but even more rarely do they carry the same horsepower and gearing as their larger cousins, which means ultimately the smaller truck’s smaller engine has to work just as hard as the larger truck’s larger engine to push that shape through the air.

            But you know, here’s an interesting observation: Back in ’83 when I was driving that Mitsubishi, I was getting 18mpg at 80mph when full-sized trucks were lucky to push 12mpg on the highway. I was driving through Nebraska and Colorado headed towards Denver at the time, so that means I was driving uphill, too. Had I been driving more slowly, I would have easily exceeded 20mpg thirty years ago!

  • avatar
    Victor

    The US will get a narrow D23, then. There is not a single reason for Nissan to do otherwise. Whoever said the narrow and wide D23 have to share the same architecture to look similar? Judging by the pictures on Big Al’s link and those other pictures from the trucks that “were not for the US”, I guess we’ve seen both the wide and the narrow D23s. By the hard points it is safe to say the D23 is nothing but a redesign of both the D22 and the D40 to make them look a bit more alike.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Nissan is following their own parent company’s idea making an older Renault platform into a new Dacia and throwback Datson brands. Cars may have older tech and get most of the safety stars, they also cost 75% of new competitve vehicles. So they are priced like a used competitve CPO. There is room in the market for a cheaper basic vehicle. The price premium of used compact trucks prove it. Crew cab of that body is snug. King cab with great MPG and basic modern. Hey Nissan, If you build it, They will come!

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    I like this.

    I had a ’01 Frontier SE-V6 Desert Runner with a 5 speed. Loved that truck. I still kick myself in the ass for trading it on a 6 speed Maxima….. stupid, stupid! The Frontier was damned near bullet proof, though the VG33E was thirsty and not as powerful as the Toyota 5VZFE, but still solid.

  • avatar
    Jasbro1

    Conspiracy alert!! Nissan is introducing alien technology with this vehicle. The first person to see one in his rear view mirror with notice the vehicle;s name mysteriously transmorgrifying into Aravan, whereupon it will float over his vehicle while waiting for the train to pass, and disappear at the speed of quantum foam. The final nail in GM’s coffin.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Give it a nice design for the U.S. and I’m in. I don’t need no huge F150 nor a midsized Ranger. I want a small Ranger sized truck. For now, I’ll keep my 2000 Ranger.

  • avatar
    catachanninja

    If it drives ok ill trade in my Altima. Shoot just Tuesday night my girlfriend mentioned she missed laying in the bed of mt ranger during the summer.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Maybe this will bring on a Prius hybrid pickup, it would be about as useful or useless as this 3rd world truck depending on one’s view point about what a truck should be.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Makes sense. The new Navara looks like a 7/8ths Titan anyway, and the new Titan doesn’t need any help not selling.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Those who think a smaller Frontier will compete directly against an F-150 are missing the point. Nissan cannot compete with the Big 2 and Fiat/Chrysler but they can take a gamble and compete in the compact truck market. Not everyone wants to drive a large pickup. The worst that could happen to Nissan is they do not meet their sales projections which on trucks for the most part they are at the back of the pack as for sales figures. There is more than enough competition in the large half ton pickup market which is more brand loyal than any segment of the car and truck market. It would be better if Nissan does not offer too many options and keep this truck relatively simple otherwise the price will be too high. By using an existing platform Nissan has lowered their cost to develop this truck and can afford to sell it at a lower price and with a lower volume. The platform itself is already paid for.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      The new Nissan compact might not want to compete with the Detroit 3 trucks, crossovers and vans but the larger Detroit vehicles will be deadly competition especially in preowned form. It’s hard to beat a full-size American truck as Nissan has already found out with the failed Titan and the struggling Frontier. This is sort of another “white flag edition” Japanese truck.

      Already posters are talking about bringing back the “King Cab”, mission creep is already beginning.

      I remember many moons ago when these Japanese compact trucks first came out how cool they seemed to me because of their simplicity and low price but with the benefit of experience I’ve come to realize what utter poor excuses for transportation these trucks were. No safety features, no creature comforts, not much cargo capacity. I remember moving some furniture in 4 trips with a Ranger short bed when a full-size long bed would have made 1 trip or other times how useful a long wheelbase Grand Caravan was for moving. I noticed lately how many small survivalist type contractors use Aerostars and Astros much like European workmen prefer small vans. Truth be told, compact trucks are really vanity items so some guy can assert his masculinity by having some sort of truck however useless (well good for hauling garbage and dirt bikes though that kind of makes my point). That’s why manufacturers talk about “lifestyle vehicles” when they talk about these trucks i.e, display platforms for rifles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, dead deer and toolboxes full of empty beer cans.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @billfrombuckhead – you give me the impression that you do not understand the truck market or pickup ratings.

        1/2 of pickups sold are lifestyle choices.

        I am not talking about small trucks alone but also1/2 ton and HD.

        one half……………..

        let that sink in for a bit.

        Look at the cargo rating of 1/2 ton full sized crewcab 4×4′s.
        Most slot in at around 1300lb. Ram has the lowest ratings and Ford the highest.

        Do the math, a family of 4 with large dogs and a few items in the cab hits 800 lb rather easily. That leaves 500 lb for the bed.

        You want to tow?

        The auto companies blow smoke up everyone’s ass on that one.

        A safe tongue weight is 10-15%.
        Take the lowball number of 10%.

        That means a typical crewcab 4×4 1/2 ton with family on board can tow 5,000 lb if the box is completely empty.

        Small trucks do not pretend to be heavy hitters like 1/2 ton trucks.

        Full sized pickups, well, at least 1/2 are “really vanity items so some guy can assert his masculinity by having some sort of truck however useless (well good for hauling garbage and dirt bikes though that kind of makes my point). That’s why manufacturers talk about “lifestyle vehicles” when they talk about these trucks i.e, display platforms for rifles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, dead deer and toolboxes full of empty beer cans”

        You had better understand the topic before you make those kinds of comments.

        In the spirit of full disclosure, I own a 2010 F150 Supercrew 6.5 box 4×4.

        I don’t think that there is a bigger or heavier 1/2 ton than that.

        Ram has the worst cargo ratings. The lowest being a full bling Laramie Long Horn Crew long box 4×4 at 880 lb cargo.
        Ford the best with the max haul option yielding 2,300 lb.
        GM sits at 2,000 lb with a heavy cargo option.

        BTW – cargo includes passengers, gear, and accessories.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @billfrombuckhead:

        Lou pretty well answered your argument in one way and pointed out WHY today’s full-sized pickup trucks are so grossly underutilized (yet so grossly popular). But there are other aspects that have to be considered as well.

        A truck compact pickup–I’m talking a ¾-size model that seems where Nissan is headed–isn’t going to be a status symbol. The people who buy them will do one of two things with them. One, I can guarantee that a small proportion of them–I’d say no more than 5%–will be hyper-customized, “squashed”, “tuned” and who knows what else to make them into sports cars. Regretfully, this will also drive their insurance rates through the roof just as what happened the first time (an argument some here refuse to believe even though they acknowledge that some few were treated exactly that way).

        The other is that they will truly be used for what they are; capable of carrying things you simply don’t want or can’t carry inside any other vehicle of equivalent size. Sure, vans such as the Ram Cargo, the Transit, the ProMaster, etc. can carry a lot of stuff, but when riding empty they’re a huge, blocky vehicle that’s wasted space and certainly no fun to drive around in. A high roof means a high center of gravity after all. And you certainly can’t take the majority of those out on the 4×4 trails, they’re too likely to fall over on even one of the easier obstacles. So a smaller pickup truck has a lot going for it in both practicality and fun. It can go places a bigger pickup can’t reach–unless they take a detour around said obstacle–and just offers a sense of ‘fit’ vs trying to be the biggest thing on the road or trail.

        And they’re almost guaranteed to be more economical on average simply BECAUSE they’re smaller.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    A question for those of you who are asking for a smaller pickup: What size are you looking for? In the mid 80′s, a small pickup with an extended cab would be in the 185 – 190 inch range for total length. The current Nissan midsize truck is about 205 inches. What would you consider the right size for this smaller truck?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      MY11 Ford Ranger Ex Cab was 203.6 in in length and 71.3in in width with 4×4. IMO, this is the best footprint for an extended cab. If the Nissan is in fact this footprint, it may warrant my attention.

      https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/2011/2011_Ranger.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Let’s start with lower–as in being able to rest your arm on the roof; as in being able to bend over the side wall and reach halfway into the bed. Narrower–as in being able to fit it down an alleyway without fear of scraping your mirrors on both sides. Yes, and length, as in less than 16 feet long as compared to today’s full sized models in excess of 18 feet long.

      Let’s look at more agile, as in capable of making a safe U-turn on a three-lane road or from the center turn lane on a four-lane road without having to back up. (My Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4-door amazes people as I’m able to make such turns without even going onto the shoulder.)

      Let’s look at comfort, as you don’t have to climb UP into the cab or back seats; I can’t take my 90-year-old mother for a ride simply because she can’t climb into my Jeep. My 1990 F-150? just as bad if not worse since I can’t even mount handgrips where she can reach them and it doesn’t have a running board or step.

      Simply put, there are many cases where a full-sized pickup truck is simply too big for practical use. People who want a pickup truck but don’t want the size have almost no choice in the matter today and are literally forced to made do with a more compact SUV/CUV. These smaller vehicles are losing their “truck” label and becoming Wagons; at least according to MY insurance company. These newer SUV/CUVs are little different from ’40s and ’50s vintage station wagons. Were a pickup truck to come out with roughly the same size as the average SUV/CUV, there would be a massive take-up of the truck and the SUV/CUV market would see a significant drop of probably 25% or more. ESPECIALLY if these trucks came with a crew cab option.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      What size? The size of the gen-1 and Gen-2 Isuzu/LUV and the Nissan/Datsun ’720′ pick-ups.

      Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in) (SWB) 2,995 mm (117.9 in) (LWB)

      Length 4,405 mm (173.4 in) (SWB)

      Width 1,600 mm (63.0 in)

      The Isuzu/LUV was perfectly sized for me and handled like a sports car with a cargo box. On top of that it was tough and reliable, with great MPG.

      Probably not realistic from a marketing perspective in NA, because of horsepower and size, but I’m sure it would play well in more realistic(commonsensical) markets where Mahindra and others are marketed.

      Eventually, we will get back to the size of the early compact trucks when the cost of fuel finally reaches a price point that is no longer viable for most needing a utility vehicle, but not really needing towing ability. And for those who pick a large truck for and ego lifestyle choice they will keep driving a large pick-up if they can afford the upfront cost and fuel.

      I don’t think the mid-size and so called 3/4 pick-ups are the answer in comparison to the current full size, there is not enough difference mpg or price for base models.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Funny that, Deuce. After I got out of the Air Force, I took a job at an FBO (airport fixed-base operator) where I frequently had to carry propellors down to Atlanta from Chattanooga for overhaul. The company owned three different pickup trucks but strangely they ALWAYS assigned the Isuzu P’up for the prop run. A diesel P’up at that. It would make the full round trip on less than half a tank of fuel on what was essentially a four hour drive when taking the city driving around both airports into account.

        Later, after changing jobs to an electronic repair shop I frequently had to make pickup and delivery of televisions and other larger home entertainment components. The owner used a Chevy Luv for the purpose. Again diesel. With a lot of in-town style driving, we usually didn’t need to fuel up but once every two weeks or so.

        The simple point is that a true compact truck can and will get better fuel mileage simply because of its smaller size–no matter how much weight they try to peel off the full sized models.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Actually 190 in length would be an ideal size for an extended cab compact pickup which would be just a little more than a foot shorter. A foot is quite a bit off the length of a vehicle. The prior US Ranger was on the large side of compact but close to midsize (in fact many considered it midsize). With the EPA fuel standards a regular cab might be considered having the profile of a compact car and thus those standards would be applied. Also regular cab trucks are not selling as well. There is a better market for an extended cab. Maybe Nissan should just have an extended cab with one bed size and offer few options to keep the price low. They could bring back the Datsun name and call this truck the “Datsun King Cab”. Offer this with a diesel option with a base 4 cylinder gas engine and price it below 17k for the base model. Base should include a 5 speed, air, sprayed in bed liner, AM-FM radio with MP-3 plug in, power steering, power brakes, but maybe have rear drum brakes and disc brakes on the front to keep the weight and price down. Just a thought but that would sell and be very competitive with later model used midsize trucks.

  • avatar
    RS

    If this new compact Nissan is anywhere close in MPG’s and price to Ford’s 2015 aluminum F150 in XL/STX/XLT trim, it’s going to be DOA.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The Ford aluminum F-150 might get close in mpg, but by no means will they be close in price. I’ll expect a full $20K difference between them.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Not a chance the difference will be that much.

        The current NP300 with a pickup bed goes for about $14,800 in Mexico. That doesn’t include basic safety equipment like airbags that are required in the US. The “security package” (which, oddly, isn’t available on the pickup model down there, only on the chassis and stake trucks) adds an additional $1200 or so. So $16k for the minimum model you could sell in the US — *before* the cost of the additional re-engineering required for the new model. Probably $18k for the new truck meeting US standards.

        Ford can’t afford to price the new F-150 much above the Silverado. They can make a case for a slight price premium, but they’re going to have to have a somewhat comparable basic model. I would be surprised if they don’t have something available around $28k.

        So really, you’re talking about a maximum price difference of $10-11k.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Great news for me and those who have wanted the return of the ‘small’ pick-up. Maybe I can finally trade my nearly 30 year old ’720′ 4X4 for a new, more efficient, less polluting small pick-up.

    Good little truck, but the ’720′ never got more then 20MPG on a good day, whereas my 80′ Chevy LUV 4X4 would get into the high twenties and even thirties, day in and out.

    Kudos to Datsun/Nissan if they manage to bring a samll pick-up back the the NA market. We need it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Why would Nissan price a compact pickup with an older platform as much as a 2015 aluminum bodied F-150 which will be more to manufacture? The point of Nissan introducing a smaller truck is to be more competitive on price and mpgs. Not everyone needs or wants a crew cab full size pickup with heated leather seats and a navigation system. If one really needs a big 4 x 4 crew cab pickup with heated leather seats there are many to choose from new and used–and good ones. That is like in the 70s when car salesmen who sold American brands could not understand why the consumers were buying Toyotas, Hondas, and Datsuns when for a little more the could drive a Ford LTD or a Chevy Caprice. Now look what happen to those American cars and look where the Japanese are now. I don’t see as much Panther love today as in the past even at bargain prices on the used market.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff $ – I doubt Nissan will pass the savings on to the consumer. Old platform or not. And goal at Nissan more likely was to build a much lightened pickup without use of aluminum/alloy and or, composite bodies. So why design a Hard Body size/weight truck from scratch, when you can simply dust off an old/dead platform? It must be cheaper this way, but you can rest assured, the new Frontier will still cost a bit more than the Frontier it replaces.

      With Fullsize pickups going all aluminum and or, hi-tech (fuel saving) features, mid-size trucks have to pick up their game if they still want to somewhat compete.

      Not that there’s a lot of cross-shopping between fullsize and midsize, but smaller pickup have to live up to fullsize standards. Somewhat. Price, mpg, value, capacity, seating, etc.

      Although, midsize (or whatever size they end up) will force ‘extra cabs’ and other features, that aren’t forced on fullsize. So the prices of fullsize and midsize could still be very close, for basic trucks. And before rebates.

      But I don’t know of ANY truck that forces ‘heated seats’ or Navigation. That’s another nail in the coffin of smaller trucks. You can get a fullsize pickup extremely stripped, but with a V8, 4X4, or both.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–The F-150 might have less price difference than that because they will have to discount them to move them and to retain their No 1 sales position, but even then the price of aluminum is much higher and it will get more expensive if the demand increases. Maybe it will be better and maybe not. True aluminum does not rust like steel, but it still can corrode and it cannot be straightened like steel. The body shops will be very busy replacing body panels. Ford will still be a sales leader but many will not want aluminum bodies.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I said I expect it because the cost of using aluminum and all those high-tensile steels will put the truck on average VERY close to the $40K mark, with high-end models going much higher. On the other hand, Nissan is apparently working on this design to cut the costs AND cut the price; making it among the less expensive models even when reasonably equipped (though high end models MIGHT approach the $30K mark). All told, I’m sticking by my guns with expecting somewhere between $15K and $20K between equivalent trim packages. After all, the average difference between similar trim packages on mid-size to full-size runs in the $5K to $7K range. I expect a similar gap when you go to the smaller truck.

      Of course, this does assume the new Nissan is a true compact and not just another mid-sized model.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    @ Vulpine> “A long narrow hull is faster than a shorter, rounder one. ” The comparison works for any hull of comparable cross sectional area to length ration. A long boat and and a shorter boat having the same ratio, the longer boat will be faster.

    One of the real drag issues with trucks/pick-ups is under structure/carriage drag. This is where Merc’ engineers got most of their reduction in Cd. By keeping air out from under the vehicle and putting belly pans nearly the whole length of the W-124, they were able to drastically reduce Cd.

    Some of the new commercial semi trucks are addressing this frontal Cd and under carriage drag issue with good results, the most notable to date is Walmarts new semi-truck concept, and the AirFlow Bullet Truck which can double the typical Semi’s MPG.

    http://www.wired.com/2014/03/walmart-big-rig/
    http://www.ibtimes.com/walmart-reveals-wave-concept-highly-efficient-big-truck-video-1559140
    http://cdllife.com/2013/technology/7-concept-trucks-of-the-future/

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Aye, again you’re right. But here the issue is serviceability. Also, now you have to be concerned with a different aspect of aerodynamics: lift. At highway speeds, a lightweight car with a slick bottom can actually get lighter on its suspension, as proven by a high-speed attempt at Bonneville about 60 years ago ending in a disastrous crash when the car’s nose literally lifted off the ground. Early ’60s NASCAR racers faced similar problems as bumper designs actively pushed air down beneath the car while the ’59 and ’60 Chevrolets had the additional problem of a built-in wing pushing the tail down at the same time, making the car virtually uncontrollable at race speeds.

      So for something as big and heavy as a luxury car or OTR truck not expected to hit high speeds, cleaning up the bottom is more efficient. On the other hand, the modern air dam used on most smaller cars today is more effective at lower cost–but looks too ‘effeminate’ for the “truck driver” and killing ground clearance for the off-roader. Of course, the typical driver is also too lazy to want to remove and reinstall the air dam when leaving the pavement, so the dam is quickly shorn off and simply ignored. Interestingly, rumor had it that the GM full-sized trucks were going to have an automatic air dam that retracted or folded up when going off-road, but little seems to have come from that.

      The fix? More automation, which means more cost.

      Oh, and pickup trucks get better fuel mileage with the tailgate up than with it down. Definitely counter-intuitive, but the physics have been proven.

  • avatar
    Roland

    I hope that Nissan is able to bring a small, simple, and modestly priced truck to the NA market.

    Business is about enterprise. Right now the market for new small pickups in NA is completely unserved, and even the used market is underserved.

    Consumers will judge.

    Full disclosure: I am a card-carrying member of the Small Truck Jihad. My membership dues are fully paid, since I bought a 2011 Ford Ranger 4 cyl std cab 4 x2 base model.

    So yes, actual people do actually purchase such vehicles. For those on this thread who may be deceived, let me tell you: people don’t buy these trucks for the sake of sex appeal.

    Any sex that takes place in these trucks is purely incidental, and is not intended to resemble any real sex, by persons living or dead.

    Now that questions of masculinity and all that sort of whatever have been dealt with, I can tell you that I like my Ranger well enough, but I’d like it even more if it was a bit smaller.

    In my opinion, midsizing was the deadly sin of the small pickup market in NA.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Now that’s an argument I can agree with 100%, though I don’t go so far as to call myself a “jihadist”; I’m a fan of the small trucks for their capabilities–their REAL capabilities, not some perceived ‘macho man’ image. For me less (size) is more (capable); for others, the opposite is true.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Roland–Thanks, I couldn’t have said it better. Denver Mike sterotypes anyone who doesn’t buy a full size V-8 powered truck as a cheapskate. If anything he is a cheapskate because he has 2 F-150s that are at least 10 years old. I like to be able to reach in the bed of a truck to get something out without having to get on a ladder and climb into the bed. I also like something that is not so large that I can park in my garage As for handling a smaller truck as any smaller vehicle will handle much better than a much larger truck. If I want a larger truck I would buy one but if I really needed the capacities of a larger truck I would get at least a 3/4 ton which are much more capable. As for DM’s comment about getting a base 4×4 full size half ton pickup that is usually a custom order because the dealerships will not stock those unless it is one or two units at most to advertise a lower price. If you look on the lots of any new car dealership most of the trucks on the lots are the fully loaded crew cabs with every option available. The dealers will up sell most customers because “for just a little bit more in monthly payments I can put you in a Platinum or King Ranch version instead of the XL”. Maybe that works for many but if you don’t want one of those trucks then why should you be forced to buy something you don’t need or want. Kind of reminds me of going to buy a new washing machine and told if you want it delivered we only deliver on Wednesday, take it or leave it.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    I don’t have a dog in the truck war, except that I do like choice, and that the full-sizers have made amazing progress in handling and mileage.

    My real interest is the fact that a platform from 1997 is being brought back as a new car in the United States almost 20 years later.

    The ’90s wasn’t a bad era for cars, they weren’t super heavy, super complicated and the only thing compared to present day cars was safety though count me in as someone who would sacrifice a little safety for the liberty of a lighter, purer drive.

    Taking safety and NVH aside, there are times I wonder how things would be if it was possible for cars like the Honda DC2, F-body, S14 to remain in production into the present day but be updated with modern technology.


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