By on August 31, 2014

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The car-based small pickup market was launched in Brazil by Fiat during the 1980s. Taking a 147 as its base, the Italians cut out the back seats, added a bed, beefed up the suspension and called it good. The market deemed it so, and soon, there was a whole new segment gracing Brazil’s roads, with Fiat’s Strada dominating the segment. Since that time, nearly every challenger has been vanquished by the Strada’s unquestionable longevity – except for Volkswagen’s Saveiro.

According to VW do Brasil, the Saveiro is now the market leader in single and extended cab configurations. It has sold roughly 40,000 units up until the middle of the year while Fiat sold roughly twice that. Volkswagen says half of Strada sales were of the double cab line. So finally VW reacted and launched its own double cab (the Strada’s arrived in 2009).  Its take on this style of small pick up is different from Fiat’s. As of 10 months ago, the Strada now comes with three doors, which of course (in theory) helps entry. The Volkswagen offers just two. Getting in the car and reclining the seat, I wiggle my 6 foot, 220 lb  frame into the back seat.

Nice surprise. While the Strada seats just four, the Saveiro does it for five. There are three headrests and three point seat belts only for those who sit off to the sides. The middle passenger, besides fighting for space, has to make do with a lap belt. Space is larger than in the Strada, though I wouldn’t want to be there with two friends for more than short jaunts. The rear side windows open by popping out, while the back window is fixed. There are two cupholders and even an auxiliary jack and a compartment under the seats. Some thought was indeed put into it.

Getting into the front and sitting in the driver’s seat, the whole ambience is very typically Volkswagen. That means a sober, almost boring layout, hard but well assembled plastics, monotone decorations and lots of unmarked plastic covers where commands for optional equipment would be. All in all it is an ambience I don’t especially admire or find pleasure in being, while I can appreciate why others do. The seat is placed a little low, and the dashboard quite high leading to that sunken feeling that many nowadays equate with safety. What’s safer than driving a tank, right? As such, it’s good the Saveiro CD comes with parking sensors. That way you won’t smash the bed into anything.

Speaking of the bed, it has been reduced to 1.1 m in length and capacity is now 580L. The spare has been placed under the bed. Just to compare, the Strada has a volume 100L greater and can carry 50 more kilos (650 to the Saveiro’s 600). Though short, it is longer than the Strada’s and offers 10 tie-down points, a number its rival can’t touch.

The Saveiro Double Cab offers two engines. Both are 1.6L. One however has 8v while the other 16. The 16v is new and corrals 110 or 120 ponies (depending of fuel chosen, the first figure for Brazilian gasoline, the second for Brazilian ethanol) while the simpler mill makes do with 101 or 104 horsepower. While this output is relatively low, the multi-valve engine pulls well and vibrates less than the old one. Pulling power is steady and its capacity to rev higher makes it more comfortable to drive at high speeds on the highway. Top speed is 179 km/h, almost 10 more than the 8 valve unit. It has been on the market for a while now, and so far has not shown the same propensity of the old unit of going kaput at very low mileage. Keeping fingers crossed, one can hope Volkswagen do Brasil has finally figured out what kind of oil is needed to lubricate its 1.6 L motors.

Finally, and exclusively for its segment, the new engine also makes do without an auxiliary start up tank. In low temperatures, cars running on ethanol can have trouble firing. To avoid this, most cars here come with an extra tank you must fill with gasoline to aid firing. The new engine dispenses with this, aiding comfort and safety as there is no need for the extra tank, usually placed in the engine bay.

The Saveiro Highline comes with the 1.6 16v. I chose to drive it as I’m well acquainted with the 8v unit. It really helps the experience and makes the car that more enjoyable. Faster than ever, the little pickup has always been a handful to drive at high speeds with an empty bed. So much so that cars like these are known as caminito al cielo (road to heaven) in some South American markets. This time around VW has endowed the picape with stability control but only on the top-level Cross trim. Lower trim level buyers will have to be wary and drive with special care trying to make it around bends. While very sure-footed and planted in a straight line, the driver must not forget he is in a pickup and not a car. The bed will try to find the front of the car if the driver abuses it.

All double cab Saveiros come with disc brakes all around. Stopping power is of course enhanced, and emergency braking is done without drama. It helps that the Saveiro offers EBD throughout the Double Cab line. It’s very interesting how Brazilian cars are getting more equipped. Besides the mandatory airbags and ABS, the pickup comes with a hill holder function and special programming that allows VW to claim an off road traction launcher (depending on trim level). The Germans also claim their ABS and EBD have special programming offering better braking in muddy conditions. All of this was not present in the car I drove. For now, these are reserved for the pseudo-adventure Cross trim line.

The steering is precise as in most VW cars. In the city it’s not the lightest out there, but on the highway it beefs up nicely. Being a hydraulic unit, it offers more feedback than electric setups. The car comes with a manual 5-speed gearbox that remains among the best in Brazil. Its short and precise throws are better than the competitions and it can shift fast and true. Better yet, this time around the thumping noises of its engagement have been largely avoided.

I enjoyed this little truck. Pressure is now on Fiat to improve its Strada. Volkwagen pricing is in line with Fiat’s, but always offers just a bit more content. The drive is certainly modern and the use of an interdependent axle with longitudinal arms and springs in the back make it a less jumpy vehicle than the Strada. While the engine in the VW is smaller than the Strada’s 1.8, 16v, 132hp unit, it makes the car almost as fast and more economic, plus smoother than Fiat’s. Pulling power is aided by the hill holder function while the Strada has more torque. The Saveiro is now on par with the Strada and it will be interesting to be seen whether it will fulfill Volkswagen do Brasil’s prediction of taking over first place from the Strada. Though that will be a tough, uphill battle, the Saveiro now has what it takes.

 

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166 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 VW Saveiro CD Highline (Double Cab – Brazilian Market)...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    A 1.1m (~4’?) bed isn’t much, but I guess Brazilians find it useful. Make mine a single-cab with a 2m bed.

    • 0 avatar

      Bear in mind that most double cabs find use as urban vehicles. As such, tonneau cover added, locked tailgate, voilà, quite a nice trunk at 650L. Eventually, as they come into the secondhand market, double cabs will be used by professionals, but for these there are the extended cabs and single cabs. In urban settings, an extended cabs is for two, in many places it’s not. Reportedly, Fiat had the idea of making the double cab because the number of people getting the extended cab, fitting a “seat” and a “seat belt” and carrying 3 showed there was a market for a double cab.

      Anyway, the double cab is enough for those who don’t cart around a lot of equipment. I’d bet though, most are bought by people who use them as lots of people do the same with the much larger American pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      A 2M (6’6″) bed would be larger than base full size American pickups with four doors (5’6″ for F150, 5’7″ for Ram 1500 and 5’9 for GMC 1500)

  • avatar
    turboprius

    I’m sorry, but what’s the purpose of this truck? It has everything a majority of truck buyers (that want a backseat) DON’T want: stick shift, low ride height, short bed, two doors, and a cramped backseat. I like the styling and the orange color, but as a general truck, this wouldn’t do well.

    Maybe Brazil is different. We like lifting our trucks and putting Confederate flags and deer head stickers on them.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      This is all the truck that 90+% of suburban American truck owners would ever actually need. Carries 4-5 people, can bring crap to the dump and purchases home from Home Depot or furniture world. It just lacks the artificial codpiece aura of the big butch Amurika trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Completely agree and with the fanaticism of a convert. Our modern pickup monstrosities are an obscene mockery of the humble and handy full-sizers of yore.

        I used to so love pickups before they all got metabolic syndrome and addicted to bling.

      • 0 avatar
        Gardiner Westbound

        I agree the domestic market would welcome similar vehicles. Unfortunately FIAT and VW’s reputations for quality, reliability and durability are lacking.

        • 0 avatar

          Funny how these things are, but both VW and Fiat have the best reputation for durability and ease of repair, while the reliability reputation is being taken over by the Japanese (though people still think they break and are afraid of them breaking as their reputation for cheap maintenance is not so big).

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            That being said, in America I’d pick the fiat over the vw every time. Regardless of price, they all have expensive issues.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          “Unfortunately FIAT and VW’s reputations for quality, reliability and durability are lacking.”

          Luckily Fiat has the Ram brand to sell trucks. The large van already and the small van soon.

          There is speculation that the Fiat Brazilian FWD pickup is coming to the US as a Ram:

          http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/07/spied-future-midsize-ram-pickup.html

          It will have to be made in the US or Mexico to avoid the chicken tax.

          • 0 avatar

            @Racer, Yep, though those Ram trucks and vans are Fiats through and through. Based on Brazilian market realities, not a problem!

            Like I said elsewhere on this thread, the new Fiat Strada will be larger than the current one. Sort of midway between current one and old Ford Ranger. Renault/Dacia Duster, aka Nissan Terrano, also have a similarly sized to the new speculated Strada in the works. As American trucks have gotten so big, it does seem there is space in the market for something smaller.

            Maybe, as you day, because of the chicken tax, a Nissan (Renault) offering could be closer to reality than anything from Fiat/Ram or VW. Then again, both Fiat and VW have plants in Mexico and at least the VW Gol (sold in Mexico as Pointer) is well accepted there. Seems like a lot of the pieces are in place. Remains to be seen if there is an actual market in the US and Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            It can also be made in Thailand or Canada, I hear ford is considering bringing in the global Ranger from Thailand and calling it the f-100.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “The large van already and the small van soon.”

            I think the small van, Promaster City, is a rebadged Fiorino. The SWB windowed version may be the Qubo?

            If so, I hope the Qubo version comes to my little flyover region.

      • 0 avatar
        cronus

        I’ve had sedans with trunks bigger then 3.5′ this car is completely useless as a truck and any two door makes a poor people mover. The way I see it is it completely fails at both being a car and as being a truck.

        • 0 avatar
          cronus

          FYI, just for giggles I measured the trunk on my Mustang and it’s 40″. That’s only 3″ shorter then the bed on this truck but at least I can fold down the rear seats and carry things up to 10′ long.

          • 0 avatar

            Keep in mind the markets. Volumes of 500L are considered big here. At more than 600L, I’ve seen people justifying the purchase of this kind of car because the bed, with a cover, becomes a large trunk. Besides, it’s a pick up and you can stick thing in the bed and tie it down over the roof and carry long stuff. It is based on a small car, but that bed opens up some possibilities their car brethren do not offer.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @cronus – you have to try to see things through other people’s eyes.
            Most domestic 1/2 ton pickups won’t see any more cargo than what fits into one of these little trucks.
            This truck is rated for 600 kg. That is 1,320 lb. That is the max capacity for the majority of crewcab 1/2 tons we see in the USA or Canada.
            To put it in perspective, the Ram Ecodiesel Laramie longhorn 5.7 box 4×4 is rated for 881 lbs.(400kg) The 6.4 box brings that down to 859 (390kg).

          • 0 avatar
            cronus

            @Lou_BC You can’t directly compare payload ratings based on different standards. There is no way it would be rated the same in the US. For example the tires it uses would not have sufficient load capacity to support the entire GVWR based on US tire and loading standards. I also don’t think it could pass FMVSS 135 with 6 stops from 160kph at max GVWR.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @cronus – “You can’t directly compare payload ratings based on different standards”

            Then why make the comment you made in the first place?

            Domestic 1/2 ton pickups with the exception a few max cargo variants have pathetic cargo capacities.

            Will this vehicle even go 160 kph?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – You can’t have it both ways. Not with small trucks, not with fullsize. All pickups start out with decent payload, then those that care not about payload, add doors, 4wd, diesel and luxury. Small trucks don’t have it any better. Worse because they don’t have a “payload” edition.

            And 800 lbs go a long way when you’re mostly hauling air.

            But comparing the GVWR of a simple small pickup vs a fully loaded and tarted up fullsize is just silly. Nevermind the DOT would have issues with a pickup rated by the factory, not a DOT equivalent.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I picked the tarted up Ram as a worst case example.

            “All pickups start out with decent payload”

            Really?

            What do you define as decent payload?

            On average most 1/2 ton crew 4×4’s are in the 1000-1200 lb cargo range.

            That is not decent in my books because 5 passengers in the cab puts you around 800-1000 lbs.
            Decent capacity should be 1,000lb on top of a cab full of adults.

            Translation – 1,800 lbs.

            You can’t get that in a Ram Crew unless you go base model.

            Ford will give it to you in max tow form and push it to 2300 with max cargo.

            GM requires max cargo which is around 2K.

            Those are rare trucks.

            Trucks are SUV’s with a balcony. You can tow heavy or haul a load or carry passengers but not in any combination unless you go max cargo.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Reading is fundamental.

            “All trucks start off with decent payload… then add doors, 4WD, diesel, luxury…”

            Of course you’re going to pick the worst case scenario. And obviously payload is not a big concern for buyers of trucks heavy in features/luxury/etc. All of that junk is “payload”. It just depends on how you want to make use your gross payload, base truck vs load up/tarted up.

            But show me a fwd luxo diesel 4wd crew-cab “small pickup” and let’s see how much “payload” is left over. I’ll do the DOT math.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            You guys are arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Payload ratings on trucks are largely irrelevant. Nobody loads a 1/2 ton truck with it sitting on a scale. They toss crap in the back until it is full with the springs sagging, then a bunch of big guys get in the cab. This is on those rare occasions that they are hauling more than air and a driver. You can argue payload ratings until you are blue in the face – nobody cares other than some government bureaucrats! In my state at least, the cops can’t even weigh you unless you are rated for over 10K lbs! Not saying it is right, but it is reality, and the manufacturers know it. Trucks are wildly overbuilt. These little trucklets are probably safer in that they don’t have space to wildly overload them like you can a big truck.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes1 – Payload is irrelevant, for the most part, but it gets silly when comparing worst case vs best case. And US DOT vs whatever the OEM feels like rating it.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            “They toss crap in the back until it is full with the springs sagging, then a bunch of big guys get in the cab.”

            You just described the pro parking lot at any Home Depot on a weekday morning. 20 sheets of 4x8x1/2 drywall @ 50lbs/sheet + five guys + tools + mud…~2000lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Payload is relevant …… at least where I live. I’ve seen police pull over overloaded or incorrectly loaded pickup trucks.

            Vehicle inspection branch has gone on the warpath with 1/2 ton crew 4×4 pickups with sled decks. 2 sleds on the deck and the 1/2 ton crew is not only overloaded but improperly loaded.

            Just because people do not pay attention or know what is safe makes it right.

            @Denver – so now are we talking about regular cab trucks?

            Most pickups sold are crewcabs. They have sh!tty payloads unless you go max cargo and/or max tow. I did mention crewcab several times.

            On planet denverMike everyone is a cheapskate, only buys gassers, and only buys base model reg cabs but the rest of us have friends and family so buy crewcab trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Yes regular cabs are a minority of fullsize sales. I didn’t say they weren’t. Strippers are minority too. So what’s your point? Absolute maximum possible payload is obviously not a priory for most fullsize pickup buyers.

            Half ton regular-cabs start out with over 3,000 lbs payload, with opt pkg, 2wd. From there consumers have choices to make. Add other capabilities and payload drops fast. That’s were trailers come in. But is that any different for small pickups? Especially when based on fwd compact cars?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “The way I see it is it completely fails at both being a car and as being a truck.”

          That is your point of view and obviously it doesn’t meet your needs. However, I don’t NEED a ‘people mover’ as my family consists of myself, my wife, one dog and two cats. They’d easily fit in an extended cab version with no trouble. I also no longer have need for an 8′ bed but I do admit I need at least a 5’bed plus tailgate deck; the ’80s vintage compact trucks offered at least that much so I don’t see why a modern one couldn’t do the same.

          I, for one, DO have a need for an open-air bed to carry some loads and simply don’t want to put such a load into the back of an SUV (and have to leave the tailgate open. Such a vehicle as described in the article is admittedly a compromise, but it is a valid compromise if purchased as a second vehicle in the family that is used more as a commuter than a truck while still offering enough truck-like capability to avoid getting something that is simply too grossly big for the need.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        My first car is a Ford Ranger, regular cab with short bed. It has one of those silver tool boxes in the back, so bed space is compromised, but not as small as the bed on this VW truck. This morning, my mom and sister wanted to go biking, and their two adult sized bikes barely fit in the bed. Attaching a Thule rack to mom’s RAV4 would probably make more sense, but they seldom do this biking thing. However, for other truck duties, it does us well. It’s rear wheel drive and it survived Snowmageddon, for goodness sakes!

        Beside Jeeps, there are a lot of trucks at the school. A guy in one of my classes has an 06 F-150 with 33’s and a lift. It’s a crew cab, but he’s the only one driving it. It looks awesome. One of my friends has an 07 Tundra extended cab, and it’s a beast. When I start using the Ranger full time and not as a permit car, I’ll probably do some stuff to it. No lift; that would look silly.

        • 0 avatar

          One the good things about these small trucks is that they have a large aftermarket and OEM accessory market. Very common to see bikes, surfboards and other sports equipment tied down on the back of these. Even motorcycles. Put the back wheel in the bed, rest the front wheel on top of the roof. In my area it’s common to see single and extended cab Stradas carrying two off road motorcycles to trails. Bicycles, I’ve seen as many as 4.

        • 0 avatar
          thx_zetec

          Get rid of the toolbox. Voila bigger bed.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @krhodes1 – A Smart Fortwo is all the car 90+% of Guppie 3-series owners would ever need.

        Nearly 100% of the time, 3-series owners ride by themselves. At least get a dog. If it can put up with the vinyl seats.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey DenverMike, the comparison is not so direct. Small trucks compete with the larger ones. Rangers and such are called here midsizers. In comparison to them they offer a more car like ride, almost the same carrying capacity and incomparably lower insurance and upkeep costs. Where they don’t compete with Ranger, Amarok and their ilk is “presence”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Hey Marcelo, it’s not that the BRAT, VW trucklet Rampage, etc, didn’t have obvious advantages vs mini-trucks, but were caught in the middle. Hard work would kill them, and they were 2-seaters, except for bed riders. Subaru’s BAJA was just a CUV with a sun deck.

          • 0 avatar

            I understand! I totally do! I’m not advocating their sale in the US as I think the traditional US offerings (plus things like Ram ProCargo or Ford Transit) have it covered. It could be, eventually, some small businesses or professionals could find them interesting. How many would is an open question as is if they could even get there really competitively.

            The Strada (though not the Saveiro) seems really well-suited for work though. Seems their inverted U shaped back axle was even copied by Ford and others on their trucks (they paid for the privilege). But I really don’t think a private US buyer would look at these even once.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            I do think in the freezing cold Winnepeg winters a front wheel drive or even if a 4 Motion VW was available it would be useful in a single cab.

            Where you live in Canada smaller vehicles are more common than ‘down south in the USA’. This is supported by vehicle data.

            I think in your Canadian market there would be a larger demand for this style of vehicle like we had here in Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Interesting thing though, midsize regular cabs are all gone. It might be the right time to bring back a small fwd pickup, if priced around $17k, for the commercial buyer mostly. OK, cheapskates and bottom feeders too!

          • 0 avatar

            I find that damn interesting too! I had a single cab Ranger around the year 2000. If I were to buy a pickup today, I’d still take a regular or extended cab (double cab needs are, to me!, much better met by SUV/CUVs). Here, single cabs are still offered (for midsizers), but AFAIK, only on an order basis (none available at dealer lots). Seems the profile of the pick up user must have changed to warrant this big change.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            I agree with you!

            These smaller pickups can replace and fill in a void. Many single and young that don’t want an expensive full size to run would buy one instead of a CUV or Hatch/Sedan.

            It would make for a cheap first car.

            Midsizers like the new Colorado will also help fill in some of the void that will be left by the future and more expensive full size pickups.

            Wow, DiM, we finally see eye to eye on something.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @DenverMike

          A Smart ForTwo is useless outside of city limits, so I have to disagree. A car the size of a 3-series is all you really need to transport 4-5 people and some stuff in reasonable comfort. How nice that car is depends on your budget.

          As for being a Guppie, well, I am a professional, but not particularly urban, and as far as I know we have never had sex, so I don’t see how you can know my sexual orientation one way or the other. If you intended to type “Yuppie”, I am far from young. And my 3-series has a very nice Chestnut leather interior. Dogs are like children who never pass the toddler stage – no thanks.

          Given I have no commute, I suspect my BMW spends considerably more time with more than just me in it than most cars in the US. If I am driving solo, I usually am in my Abarth or Spitfire.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “As for being a Guppie, well, I am a professional, but not particularly urban, and as far as I know we have never had sex, so I don’t see how you can know my sexual orientation one way or the other. ”

            With an answer like that, we all know.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @khrodes1 – Point is, a sub compact is more than enough for most car owner’s daily “needs”, including most of your’s. Shocking anyone would need anything more.

            Pickup trucks attract buyers from lots of segments who have no intention of using its bed, necessarily. Since it’s there, might as well use it.

            But cars, CUVs, etc, shortcomings, inadvertently push consumers to pickups.

            One of my favourites is pickups are the last cars you can get ala carte. Rubber floors, but a V8. 4wd, but crank windows. Vinyl knit seat, but fog lights, limo tint and back window slider.

            But I apologize about the Guppie crack.

          • 0 avatar

            Why is that exactly? Must be that PU buyers add a lot of extra profits for makers. Here it is the same, wnat that little extra painted pink? For PU buyers, yes sir! For car buyers, yeah sure, but it costs 29999,99! Honestly, wonder why is that?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @DenverMike

            You need to distinguish between wants and needs. If you want a BroDozer in the driveway, by all means, be my guest. But that doesn’t mean you *need* one. And there is a societal cost to all the unnecessarily large vehicles roaming around that is not accounted for in this country.

            Thing is, in cars you have a choice – you can buy anything from a Smart to an S-Class. But in trucks it is Large (FrontierTacomaColorado), Extra-Large (1/2ton) to Battlecruiser (3/4ton and up). Would be nice to have the choice of Small and Medium as well. I realize the vehicles by the pound mentality makes it mostly a non-starter in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @khrodes1 – “societal cost”? So you’re saving the planet by owning a 3-series? You’re my hero.

            You want to save the world, ride a Schwinn.

            Call it a “luxury” most, or too many Americans get to enjoy. Whether that’s trucks, BMWs or BMW trucks. Top sellers of anything are just guilty of making their products too enticing. Giving people what they want’s a problem? Is this Endo China?

            And pickups haven’t really changed all that much, dating back to the ’60s , especially in their base form. That’s part of their charm.

            Small trucks largely failed at getting Americans to pull the trigger. You can bring over Ssanyongs, Protons, Mahindras, Mitsus, it doesn’t matter.

            However, there may be a point to tiny pickups, based on subcompacts, especially now that base midsize pickups force an extra cab. Who’s fault is it they continue to shoot themselves in the foot? But otherwise it’s just business as unusual.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s the controversy, right? Could such a truck as this find a home in America. Due to pricing, it seems unlikely. Even here, the next generation Strada is rumored to be growing to sit somewhere between the present size (similar to the Saveiro) and the size of the old Ranger. Let’s see. For most here, like there, the bed will see little actual use during the life of the pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          I’m amazed at the sales volume of these vehicles. The Brazilian market is surely different from the US.

          • 0 avatar

            In many ways yes, but outside those who buy them for commercial or professional reasons, the “private” buyers buy them for many of the same reasons people buy pickups inn the US. Of course scled down and better adapted to local conditions but I think it’s surprising that the rationale is so similar.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “the ‘private’ buyers buy them for many of the same reasons people buy pickups in the US.”

            In the US, large pickups have morphed into quasi-luxury cars that can haul air. Their sticker prices start in the mid-20s (not including rebates, which are usually substantial), but the average retail transaction price is around $40k. The upscale models are in the $50k’s, which is similar to the average transaction prices of BMW, Audi and Mercedes

            The US has had two vehicles similar to the Brazilian VW: the Subaru BRAT and the VW Rabbit pickup. The former was reasonably successful (Ronald Reagan was one of its more famous owners). The latter, not so much.

            If Subaru saw a market for it today, then they would be building it now, given their success with it. But they apparently don’t.

          • 0 avatar

            Pch, tht is part of the reason I say the rationale is similar. Here the Strada single cab, 1.4, bare bones starts off at about 30 thousand reais. But cars like the Strada Adventure Double cab and Saveiro Cross Double Car almost touch 70 thousand. At 2,3 a real to the dollar, you can see that they do appeal here to, relatively, the same buyer as there. I just cannot see it, to pay anything north of 50 thousand reais for one, but the number of over that level mini trucks one sees being driven around is mind blowing. For that money, many much, much better cars can be had. But people buy the trucks and love them.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @PCH101

            This is not the first time you have alluded to the Rabbit pickup being somehow “unsuccessful”. On what are you basing this? Those things were all over the place when they were in production, and they are still sought after now. A diesel Rabbit pickup in decent shape is worth a small fortune! I would certainly say they were FAR more successful than the Brat, even here in Subaru country. If you have production numbers, please share them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “This is not the first time you have alluded to the Rabbit pickup being somehow ‘unsuccessful’. On what are you basing this? Those things were all over the place when they were in production, and they are still sought after now.”

            I am using things that many posters here refuse to use — they’re called “facts.”

            Westmoreland produced about 76,000 units over five years. Not exactly a lot of vehicles. It was discontinued for a reason.

            I realize that you may perceive things differently, but sales and production data trump your gut feelings. Relying on perception in lieu of the facts is a good way to miss what is actually happening.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I don’t know what numbers the BRAT sold in, but it is worth remembering that VW was a much larger player in the US market 35 years ago than Subaru was. They had higher expectations for the Rabbit Pickup than Subaru likely had for the BRAT. That the Rabbit Pickup was a flop in the US market is proven by VW discontinuing US production and sales two years before they replaced the Rabbit it was based on. The BRAT, on the other hand, stuck around for twice as long. Subaru sold a 2nd generation BRAT in the US, while VW killed off the US Rabbit Pickup before it had even completed what should have been its first run.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t have the BRAT numbers handy, but it was never a huge seller overall. However, Subaru was an even smaller brand then than it is today, so that model was successful relative to its overall market share at the time. A larger automaker probably wouldn’t have been interested in such modest amounts of volume, but there was a time when those were good results for a player as small as Subaru.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – “I am using things that many posters here refuse to use — they’re called “facts.”

            Really???

            What you really mean to say is, ” My (Pch) narrow interpretation of reality is what I (Pch) call fact”.

            I post multiple scholarly research articles about the chicken tax, VRA’s, and tariffs and you say they aren’t facts.

            Cue Pch and 3 pages of insults with Zero “facts” to back his version of reality (commonly known as delusions).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Coming from a guy who (a) doesn’t understand what inflation is and (b) believes that a paper written by a law school student is a better place to learn about auto pricing than are sources from within the auto industry, I’ll take that for what it’s worth.

            When you get around to learning what inflation is, you be sure to let me know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101,
            What?

            All of this coming from you, a retro 1920s communist American Exceptionalist.

            Yep. Read up on the how the early American communist were American Exceptionalist.

            Go back to your UAW call centre cell.

            Maybe you should go to the motherland of yours, Russia. It appears Putin is out attempting to screw up Russia…..again, as has occurred through failed leadership over the centuries.

            He’s similar to you, arrogant, elitist and socialist.

            He’ll be another great Russian flop.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – You have not been able to present ANY evidence supporting your side of the debate.

            You say it is obvious and that your argument is the correct one.

            I cannot accept your argument without 3rd party expert proof because I do not know you and I have no way of verifying your expertise in this debate.

            If you are correct then it is simple – post 2 expert researched studies backing your claims.

            How hard is that?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I can see why these small truck fanatics won’t end their jihad — they just aren’t very swift.

            If you can’t figure out that the price of EVERYTHING was climbing rapidly in the US during the late 70s/ early 80s, then you just aren’t very smart. And people who aren’t very smart, such as you and your even more hopeless mate from Down Under, are incapable of learning anything.

            And you still haven’t figured out that a law review paper written by a twentysomething law school student at a second-tier law school is not the best way to gather historical car pricing data. The fact that the kid didn’t adjust prices for inflation helps to clarify why he didn’t go to business school, instead — that was a basic oversight that should be obvious even to the less educated.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – if it is easy to find proof then post it. I’m sure there are 1st rate papers penned by experts from 1st rate universities floating around somewhere.

            Post your proof.

            I’ve asked you to show me what you got……..

            Insults and “I’m right” comments prove the opposite.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you’re not smart enough to type “inflation 1980″ into Google, then you’re frankly not worth dealing with.

            I already pointed out to you that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is the place to get inflation data. If you can’t go look things up on the internet and find its website, then your internet skills need some work.

            This period of US history is not exactly a mystery. It is well documented. Your lack of basic research skills is not my problem.

            Likewise, you can get historical MSRPs from NADA. There weren’t that many models of compact truck sold during that period, so you can look all of them up in a matter of minutes, and compare the change in prices to the corresponding inflation rate. Again, no mystery to reasonably intelligent people, but a complete mystery to you.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I’ve said all along, our small trucks or the rest of the world’s midsizers cost as much as big trucks to build IN (pay attention to the IN part) the USA or Canada. That puts them on build parity with full sized trucks. Why would companies building in the USA want to loose 20K profits in exchange for 5K profits?
          The other issue is the “broDozer” mentality eluded to by @krhodes1. @DenverMike and his “guppie” remark sums up the mentality – “you either are gay or have a small dick if you drive a small truck or worse one of these.”

          Build cost, profit margins and mentality all mean a tough sell for these trucks.

          I’d like to see a “tariff free” playing field expanded beyond the NAFTA zone and see what happens.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – The question remains, would you buy one? No you expect everyone else to. And you own a bigger BroDozer than anyone here.

            Thing is, they were here “tariff free”. Then what happened? Care to remind us? What’s so different now? Aside from there’s all kinds of new, more enticing segments that didn’t exist. Mini-trucks were too enticing at the time. And sold at cut-rate pricing.

            And I like small trucks. I guarantee I’ve owned more of them than you. But I’ll only buy them used. And that seems to be sentiment of most Americans that are fans of small pickups.

            Even “tariff free” doesn’t mean OEM’s are dying to bring their’s to the US. They no doubt want more for them than we’re willing to pay. BAFO willingly handed over $46+K for his Mazda pickup. That’s laughable here. Lunatic! Then fleet, cheapskates and other bottom feeders devour all the base trucks they’re willing to build. With deep discounts too. It sounds like a “party” global OEMs would rather be a “no show”.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike –

            Would I buy one?

            It all depends on what my needs are at the time of purchase. If I feel that it is all I need then the answer is yes.

            I’ve owned 1 reg cab Ranger long box 4×4 Ranger, 1 extended cab Ranger 4×4, a crewcab 4×4 F150 and a reg cab F250 4×4. I even owned an 8 passenger Safari.

            I think that this would be a great little trucklet for my sons once they are old enough to drive.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – It sounds like you’re definitely committing to a used one. I’m sure VW is dancing the Jig right now.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – until they show up in North America our discussion is rather academic.

            I’ve already posted my purchase history along with the explanation that I buy what closely fits my needs/wants at the time of purchase.

            If I don’t need a big truck why should I buy one?

            Don’t answer, that was rhetorical.

            You allege to be a businessman, you aren’t going to buy a class 8 wrecker if all you do is cruise underground parking lots impounding improperly parked cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – If you don’t need a big truck, you just might buy something smaller???

            Gotta love your moxy! I once decided I didn’t need a large pizza so I bought a personal pan.

            But the question still remains, would you replace your 4X4 F-150 crew cab Lariat with a Rabbit-like pickup? And would you buy it brand new?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I’ve already done it. I went from a small truck to a 3/4 ton back down to a small truck and then up to a 1/2 ton.

            I buy what I think fits my needs the best.

            Each truck was replaced because they were worn out and/or my needs changed.

            Who knows, I might need a F450/4500 next. Time will tell.

            The point is, I’m open to reassessing my options each time along my path through life.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            I do read into the ‘flow’ of discussion.

            It’s odd that once Pch101 is cornered DiM comes to the fore and Pch101 disappears.

            I do get the impression that these two are riding the same bus, so to speak.

            I would like to see TTAC staff observe this trend in the future.

            Very odd indeed.

            I can’t believe Dumb and Dumber are one team.

            They really argue along the same lines with little or no proof to support their arguments.

            Collusion?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, was that Data-bus?

            Based on your comment, I backtracked this thread since I had initially by-passed it completely because of lack of interest, on my part.

            But your comment “I would like to see TTAC staff observe this trend in the future.” prompted me to offer my thoughts.

            I don’t think that “observe this trend” will happen since the folks at ttac already know who he/she is and are convinced that he/she knows what he/she is talking about.

            Most of the time we, as readers, can readily identify those ttac commenters who write from practical personal experience; among them, Buickman, Ruggles, mikey, to name just a few.

            Anyone who has ever done battle in the arena of real business life and was in a position to make the hard “live or die” business decisions, or done the dirty jobs, understands that the supporting facts of any situation can always be interpreted differently.

            Theorists without any practical business experience often offer comments from an idealist perspective without regard to the unintended consequences such theoretical ideals can have.

            In laymen’s terms in the current vernacular, sometimes idealist blow it out of their @ss because their mouth knows better.

            I’d like to see more contributors from the practical real world — as opposed to academia or bean counters.

            But then…. we don’t know what ttac’s current agenda is, do we?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            Great narrative.

            Ahh…but the logic and driving force behind such arguments that Dumb and Dumber are involved in.

            I mean as you can deduce I’m no fan of Pch101 or DiM. They will argue and yet not look at what is in front of them.

            Zealots come to mind. For that to occur when we discuss issues like trade, economics and market influences. There is more than just a superficial influence governing their comments and retorts.

            As Lou asked for and what I would presume as a simple and expected request, provide some data/information to support your argument. It is never forthcoming from these two guys. Hmmm….like I stated it makes you wonder. Why and what it is in for them.

            It goes beyond normal thought. Why do they insist on their unsupportive arguments? Conspiracy theorists? No.

            I do think that your profession (job) impacts in an environmental fashion as well as you genetic disposition on how you debate and argue. It has a significant influence on how you dictate the direction of your arguments.

            The genetic side is your psychological makeup, ie, emotive, sympathetic or empathetic, etc.

            Now look at DiM he claims to be in the ‘truckin’ game. Bullsh!t I say. Pch101 claims to be some professional, again Bullsh!t I say.

            If they were, do you think they would come to the conclusions they do? No.

            They are pushing and protecting a view and not a paradigm. Marketing of some form, even with political undertones?

            Are there deeply rooted paradigms and influences acting as a barrier for them to continue with their line of debate, even when proven incorrect on numerous occasions, with hard data and information?

            No, again. Not possible.

            Maybe you should have a real in depth ‘conversation’ with one of them or more often. You get the picture.

            My job and responsibilities influence the way I argue or put forward a point.

            Your form of argument also, has been influenced by your career or job and makeup.

            Look at fanboi’ism, these two don’t argue along the lines of fanboi’ism.

            It’s a political debate they must support, even when the politics are supported, they will continue on like the losers do in Canberra, London and DC.

            They are selling a political argument. Now look at their argument and tell me was area of politics are they involved in?

            I do think I’m correct.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, completely understand your POV. Maybe I’m just conditioned to the fact that this is the internet and it is rife with poseurs.

            Then again, maybe my life’s experiences caused me to not take people seriously when they try so hard to prove that theirs is the one and only valid interpretation.

            Everyone gets an equal opportunity with me but when someone has lost credibility IMO, I just skip over their comments. I am very selective about who and what I choose to read.

            Regrettably, even an excellent site like ttac attracts individuals who have to prove their cred, and in doing so, fail miserably.

            People who have cred don’t have to prove it. It is only their own insecurity and the need for them to be right that cause liars and poseurs to try as hard as they do.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          Sure, if you can sell a fully loaded 4 door 4×4 for 22,500 like the Ranger. You’ll sell all of them.

      • 0 avatar
        Varezhka

        I agree that will fit the need of most US truck owners.

        That said, I never understood why so many US customers demand rear seats in a pickup, given that an average American family is not going to be a single car household.
        Wouldn’t something like a Japanese kei trucks be sufficient if we are looking strictly in terms of need? A 3.4m, 660cc Daihatsu Hijet has a 2m (6.5ft) bed and cost all of $5500 USD (before sales tax).

        The modern F150/Silverado in its current state well reflect our obsession with everything macho and our expanding waistline.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “That said, I never understood why so many US customers demand rear seats in a pickup.”

          The rear seat is the trunk.

          The bed is just along for the ride most of the time but when they won’t sell you a proper car anymore you take what you can get.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Why is it when it comes to pickups, buyers should never buy more than what’s “sufficient”? So shouldn’t we see the same restraint from car buyers?

          But it doesn’t matter what older cars with high miles you look at. The driver’s seat is about destroyed, some wear on the passenger seat, while the back seat is showroom fresh. And more so, the more expensive you go.

          I don’t mind the size of current pickups. Do you mind how cars have grown? What about how ’80s Camrys and Accords are the size of a current Corolla and Civic?

          • 0 avatar
            Varezhka

            Yes, I do think both car and truck buyers would be better served if they looked carefully between their “want” and “need”.

            I do have larger concern with pickups because:
            a) their larger size and weight do have a greater impact on its surroundings (safety, environmental, cost, etc.) and
            b) lack of choice

            With cars, I can actually choose from Toyota iQ to Lexus LS just within one company. I see people replacing their Camry with a Prius and a Yaris, not with a larger Camry or an Avalon.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Varezhka – the USA preference for big body on frame sedans with big V8’s never went away. People just started buying crewcab V8 pickups instead.

          • 0 avatar

            I completely agree with you Lou.
            I think the company thats first to pick the best bits from their L/D truck parts bins and make a proper BOF passenger platform, updated with efficient modern running gear and electrified HVAC and conveniences, they could build a variety of vehicles all built off common frame everything from coupe, Ute, 6, 9, 12 passenger to stretch limo, and if done right the company could be quite successful with a relatively low investment,
            It is what Detroit use to do very well, I think they should do it again.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        What it lacks is the ability to tow. Too small & underpowered. The majority of people that buy FS pickups tow something with them.

    • 0 avatar

      Hunting is not allowed in 26 of the 27 states, and there was no such thing as a Confederacy in Brazilian history. This serves the same function (mostly) of the American pickup.

      It fulfills the “needs” of those who imagine themselves close to nature or dream of a homestead. While most buyers can’t afford that second house out in the country just yet, this pickup aids them along in the dream.

      • 0 avatar
        360joules

        Marcelo: “and there was no such thing as a Confederacy in Brazilian history.”

        Actually, My uncle is a history buff of the Ameican Civil War and once told me that 10,000 Confederates came to Brazil after the Civil War to grow cotton. Slavery was still legal. They and their descendants were called the Confederados. Only a minor historical ripple in Brazil’s history. Wikipedia has a picture of then Governor Jimmy Carter posing with a monument to these people [truth is stranger than fiction].

        • 0 avatar

          Fully and totally aware of that. One of our most successful singers and band member of the very influential 60s rock band Os Mutantes, Rita Lee, is a descendant of these people. There is a city, in the country near São Paulo City, called, would you believe, Americana. They also affected the whole speech of the region and the region of Americana-Piracicaba roll their “r” just like Americans.

          What I meant to say is that, though full of separatist movements, our history never had one based on slavery (most of our tended to be of the libertarian kind) and the closest you get to a “rebel” yell was in my region where the Inconfidentes movement is still remebered and celebrated, though it has become completely innocuous as it had become incorporated into the official hagiography.

          Not to discount, of course, the separatist feelings of the 3 southernmost Brazilian states, in no large coincidence, the “whitest” states (one of which did fight for their independence and has a rebel yell more virulent than my home state, just remembered), where signs similar to what was seen in the US South until the 60s, were seen as late as the 70s, the biggest difference being that here, such placards and even feelings are largely illegal.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Different strokes…

      For me, a little trucklet (single cab) would be my ideal vehicle. Stick shift, FWD, good on gas, and able to do 75% of what my Ranger can do (which is about 90% capable of doing what most 1/2 tons can do). The compromise of utility and size works for me.

      Fits nicely in the garage, has a low load factor, and won’t punish me during the daily commute.

      What’s not to like?

      I’d by a Strada or Chevy Montana in a heartbeat if they were available in Canada. And I’d be willing to buy new.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    VW’s El Caminito beats Fiat’s. Who else is competing in this market? Any Korean or Japanese makers?

    • 0 avatar

      Nope. Fiat has 50% of the market, VW 30%, GM 18% (roughly speaking). The remainder is basically taken by Ford and Peugeot. Ford offers a 1990s Fiesta based pick up on order and Peugeot tried to tackle the market with a 207 based PU but was basically killed. Renault has been eyeing this market with care and has gone so far as do price quoting with suppliers, but always cites the overwhelming market dominance of the Strada as a reason not to enter. Being the Japanese very conservative, they must have eyed the situation and decided it was not worth it. The Koreans don’t have any natural competitor, AFAIK.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        That reminds me when I was in San Diego last year I saw an older Ford-something car-based El Caminito with Mexican plates. It was not Fiesta, but maybe Mondeo…? It’s a pity carmakers can’t sell their whole product line even by special order.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not aware if Ford Mexico developed any car based trucklet on their own. Maybe they did. That or you saw an Australian Ford ute. Because ford Brazil has done just 2 of them. The earlier Ford Pampa, very square looking but I dont know if that was exported to Mexico. The Brazilian Ford Courier (based on the Fiesta) surely was. As was the Strada and still is the Saveiro. The Chevy Corsa pickup (I think) and Montana (surely) are also sold there.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Good article and gives insight into the light commercial sectors in other markets. A little diesel would be nice.

    The comment regarding how and why would you buy this vehicle is quite uneducated. A Brasilian could also state why would you buy a big V8 pickup that spends it’s life empty with a single driver?

    This vehicle apparently fills the role that Brasilians’ require. It’s payload is on par with some full size US pickups as well.

    Marcelo, I don’t know if you remember, but a year or so I place a link regarding the work of WHO and vehicle safety in developing nations. LatinoNCAP was the outcome.

    Brasil and other Central/Sth American nations are incorporating newer and safer regulations for vehicles. These countries did the maths and realise the cost to the country of road fatalities.

    It’s cheaper for them now to have safer vehicles than the expense of the fatalities.

    • 0 avatar

      Diesel are forbidden for cars under a certain weight or that don’t have 4×4 system. The intention is to keep diesel cheaper than it should be as truckers of course depends on it (it is subsidized). Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where buyers of what are here ultra lux SUVs get to pay less than others for the fuel needs, but it’s one of those breaks the rich get. Insurance bytes them in the ass though as diesel powered vehicles pay double or triple what gasoline versions pay.

      Yes Big Al, I remember. It’s coming around nicely. The first few rounds of Latin NCap all cars failed miserably, while the last ones everyone is getting at least acceptable grade. Buyers are also making noise about this and it does seem it is influencing sales. Maybe life here is not as cheap as it used to be!

      As to this being adequate or not for North America, the Strada is on sale all over Western Europe, though it seems it fulfills just a commerical vehicle niche. I don’t have the numbers, but to me cars like this satisfy a psychological need for many buyers here, much like it does in the US. Downsized and adapted to our conditions.

      That it could fulfill a need in the US I think is undeniable. Does the American market even recognize that need? Highly doubtful.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Marcelo, I do think there would be a market in the US for this style of tiny pickup. It would be relatively small. I would think the single cab would be the biggest seller.

        We had one similar tiny pickup here by Proton in Malaysia. They stopped selling them here because of safety requirements.

        Many were sold, to people who use them just to go down to the hardware store or to throw in some fishing and camping gear for a weekend.

        Very useful vehicle in single cab if you just need a cheap pickup to bash around.

        I really do like the look of this VW over the Proton or Fiat.

        http://www.caradvice.com.au/proton/jumbuck/

        • 0 avatar

          Hey Big Al. But that’s the rub, isn’t it? Being small, and the fact that they’re platform mates are not built in NAFTA, they’d necessarily have to be imported. What would then be the price vis-à-vis the 17,000 F150? Though even if close, a vehicle like this would have lower running costs, making it attractive to a subset of American buyers. BUt how large is that subset?

          I agree with you though. The single and extended cab versions could satisfy some US buyers. Like the Strada does in Europe. What would be the entry price? 12,000 USD? Could a Saveiro or Strada make it there for that price? It remains to be seen.

          Maybe the next generation. The new Strada and under development Renault/Dacia and now Nissan Duster/Terrano are larger than these cars while smaller than the last Ranger trucks sold in the US. Both are sold in Europe (so safety could be, in theory, inexpensively be met) and will be larger than this Saveiro. Will be interesting to see if someone bites the pill. As at first a lone competitor in a yet unproven US market, if that market were found, rewards could be enticing enough to make someone try it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @BigAl – Brazil does not need to focus on small diesels for mpg gains since they have a profitable and self-sustaining ethanol industry unlike that of the USA which is highly supported by the USA government.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Lou, as is the ethanol industry/lobby here almost fully sustained by the government here. We have our own foibles you know. Right now, you can’t sell a car here without it being capable of running on ethanol and gasoline. However, due to many and varied circumstance, it makes no sense to fuel up with ethanol nowadays. So “no one” actually uses the stuff!

            It seems the industry is on the verge of making ethanol from the waste by products of the process. If and when that happens (have been hearing that for years), ethanol could become a competitively priced fuel. Until then it exists, from a financial viewpoint, only because the government props it up.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Marcelo – thanks for the clarification. I suspect that I got my information from a green leaning source. My bad ;)

  • avatar
    kojoteblau

    If I were to buy a small truck, this would be the size. I like the look of the Strada, though I haven’t learned much about it. The “small” trucks sold in the states are just too big for what what I want or need.

    • 0 avatar

      In comparison to the Saveiro, the Strada uses a more robust, “truck-like” suspension in the rear and is preferred by those who use them to carry heavier loads (more durable) or on rougher roads. The Saveiro is more urban. That is the basic difference.

      • 0 avatar
        kojoteblau

        Thanks for the comparison. Main reason to have a truck for me would be the ability to occasionally head off road to pick up desert rocks or grab some firewood. I’d like a heavy duty offroader for fun, but I mostly just drive a long commute. A small soft roader with good gas mileage and the ability to occasionally carry loads in the bed would be perfect.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Why do you guys keep writing about cars from completely remote and far fetched countries like Brazil Isn’t 95% of your readership US based? Nobody cares!

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      I care a little.

    • 0 avatar

      Talk to Derek. He seems to care as do some of the commentariat. Don’t like, don’t read, don’t comment. Get out of the house, walk outside, take in the sights. No one is tying you down in front of the computer.

    • 0 avatar
      cronus

      As much as I laugh at the “this is the truck America needs” crowd, I actually find articles like this interesting and I’m glad TTAC publishes them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @bikephil – and Americans wonder why the rest of the world does not like them…………….

      Pull the box off of your head, it is blocking the view.

      No one forced you to read this blog.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Personally, I wish there was more international stuff – the world is shrinking, and what goes on in Brazil, China, Indonesia, Europe and Russia has wider implications for the North American market. And, considering that almost every manufacturer in North America is represented in all those areas, I would prefer to be viewing this in the macro.

      I always appreciate Marcelo’s take on his home market, plus I like that he interacts so well with the commentariat.

      Keep it coming.

      • 0 avatar

        As a car enthusiast, to me it’s interesting whatever is sold in New York or Kazakhstan. And there is that business angle. I for one have long sustained that there are convergent trends in the world car market. The rise of the luxury trio started in the US, spread to Europe and affects luxury car buying the world over, killing the big mainstream cars in the process. SUVs then CUVs also spread from the US to the world. Smaller cars, more sophisticated, continued selling in Europe and are now finding a home in the developing world and also in the US. To see these things from different perspectives is always interesting.

        And thanks for the kind words Monty.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Marcelo –

          “I for one have long sustained that there are convergent trends in the world car market.”

          Exactly.

          Those completely blinded by the paradigm created by their own socioeconomic upbringing are the ones that cry the loudest about change and how sudden it happened.
          The reality is things do not change suddenly.
          If one looks at the USA car companies the change is very real.
          Ford F – Series is the only truly American product they have left.
          The Mustang was the only other holdout but it too is becoming “globalized”.

          Chrysler hasn’t been an “American” company for a long time. A large number of their platforms are based on Mercedes and we are seeing similar things occurring now that Fiat is at the helm.
          Jeep Wrangler and Ram pickups are pretty much the only American products left in their portfolio.
          Even the Ram 1500 has gotten a VM Motori diesel.

          GM is left basically with pickups and large SUV’s as the last bastions of “American” vehicles. Even the Camaro is Holden.

          The influence exerted on markets by baby boomers is waning as we age.

          I do wonder how long full sized trucks will remain the last bastion of exclusively American style?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      bikephil, “Why do you guys keep writing about cars from completely remote and far fetched countries like Brazil Isn’t 95% of your readership US based? Nobody cares!”

      I care! Although I live in the US, I have family living in Portugal, Germany, Brazil, England, Canada and the US, and they all love cars, just like I do. I often copy and fwd these articles to them for their reading enjoyment, if they haven’t already visited ttac themselves.

      You may be surprised to learn that readers from Australia, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Israel and some Balkan countries also have been known to tune in and offer comments. How do I know this? It’s because my relatives told them about ttac and I happen to know what their screen names are.

      And besides, ttac is a Canadian site; last I checked Canada is a foreign country, independent of the US. We Americans are guests of ttac, just like all the other readers from other countries.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @HDC
        Amen,

        I have noticed there are some who blog on this site who consider the US the end all, be all of the globe.

        The US is highly influential, but it also adopts much of it’s current culture or modifies others’ ideals and beliefs.

        Sort of like ‘as American as Apple pie’. I really wonder if that statement originally had a different meaning. The Brits had apple pies well before the US even existed.

        Hamburger if you do a little research actually came from the vicinity of St Petersburg in Russia!

        Innovation isn’t invention. The US has been exceptionally innovative and creative. This has occurred because of the people from around the world that made the US it’s home. Not because of the name of a country. Canada, Australia and many other nations are just as inventive and innovative.

        But I don’t really think the US is more inventive than any average country.

        Our people is what makes a country, not the country itself. Sort of like being a brand fan, it blinds you from reality and truth.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Hell, if it wasn’t for the Portuguese wayfarers, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy King’s Hawaiian Bread!

          One entrepreneur in Hawaii took that particular family recipe in the seventies and built a baking empire on it.

          And am I glad he did! When I was stationed in Europe during the seventies, I baked my own Portuguese Sweet Round Bread, and it rarely turned out as consistently good as King’s does.

          But seriously, if VW brought this little Saveiro DoubleCab to the US, I bet it would sell!

          Americans like individuality and uniqueness but more often than not end up having to settle for the cookie cutter vehicle they prefer. Most recently, today’s Tacoma in its varying versions.

          BTW, if I ever find the time I hope to write the Social History of Pizza in America.

          You know, sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, apple pie, tacos, burritos, even mac&cheese may have been Americanized over the many years after America became the melting pot of the world.

          But pizza! Now there is something that has evolved with all cultures resident in America.

          My grandson (and his wife) brought us a couple of California pizzas when he came to visit us this weekend in his new 2014 Accord V6 EX-L.

          I never had an Indian Curry Chicken pizza before, but it wasn’t half bad! Neither was the pulled-pork pizza with pickled peppers, or my wife’s arugula-veggie four-cheese pizza. Damn tasty!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC,
            I do think when we human’s inhabit other planets and galaxies the most common food exported all around the universe will be pizza.

            It sounds very American ;)

            By the way, I’ve been to that PF Chang’s, what crap. Chinese???? I don’t on what planet.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, Just like the variety in American taste for cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes and scooters, there is room for a variety of tastes in food.

            In America, even Chinese food has been Americanized. And it sells! I doubt any Chinese would eat it.

            And that’s why I say that this little VW would probably sell well in many parts of America.

            I emailed Marcelo’s article to my poker partner buddy earlier this morning and he said it reminded him of his 1964 El Camino, and a Dodge Rampage he once owned.

            He drove that little Rampage trucklet until it actually fell apart before switching to an S-10 ExtCab 4.3L, which had issues.

            So what does he drive now? A 10-yo Tacoma!

            He said he’d like to buy a Saveiro because for him it would be the ideal all-around personal vehicle to replace that old Tacoma.

            Keep in mind, he also owns an Avalon for the wife as a grocery-getter, and an Excursion for their long-distance travels together.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            Not ‘Americanised’, industrialised.

            There is much crap industrialised chain restaurants around the world.

            Some of it is okay. But I’ve been to Chinese, Indian, Thai even some good Mexican joints in the States.

            The best of food is generally from the small operators, not the chain restaurants.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    hey kojoteblau, please put in youtube “auto al dia test” if you want and can see a great review/test of many cars of mercosur market. is in spanish but the video is very informative.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Marcelo,
    Thank you for the valid counterpoint.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I find it interesting that the markets where these little FWD trucks are popular are also those which offer the maximum choice for their natural predators: FWD microvans like the Doblo, Caddy and Transit Connect.

    I would think that anyone wishing real utility in a small FWD platform would opt for the vans over these trucklets, thus relegating the trucklets to mostly playthings. Google image searching shows very few examples of the trucklets in small business or municipal utility roles.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t know why, but people do like their trucks. Google Fiat Fiorino. Based off the old Uno and now the new one, that car is a cracking van. Sells tons here and you can’t throw a stone without hitting one. And I agree they are better for business propositions than any small truck (for most applications). Thing is, come the weekend, you can’t go out in your Fiorino car-van. You can in your Strada car-truck. Maybe part of the reason why?

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Oh, absolutely, if I were 20 again I’d jump at the chance to have a Saveiro or Strada. Purely for fun.

        And speaking of Fiorinos, that’s the vehicle I most hope Sergio can get imported to the States and sold as a Dodge or Ram. It pushes all my 60-year old’s buttons. Crazy useful, garage friendly, nice and tall.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @petezeiss – one can make the same argument for larger vans as the best business choice over pickups especially in an urban environment.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have to make a comment about DM’s comment about full size trucks being the last vehicles to have plastic floors, roll down windows, and vinyl seats. Those items are rapidly disappearing from most trucks and for the most part if you want those you will have to order them. As for manual roll down windows the 2015 Colorado/Canyon will come standard with electric windows. Today’s pickup is less of a utility and work truck and more of a sport and recreational vehicle sold in a luxury form. If you want a full size rear wheel drive luxury car or SUV with a V-8 and an open bed buy a full size truck. Today’s trucks are more luxury and utility is an afterthought. The new fuel standards will make pickups lighter, smaller, with less V-8s, and more expensive. For most people a smaller front wheel drive truck like this VW or Strada would meet their needs for runs to Home Depot or to get rid of stuff.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Jeff S – No, they’re the last cars you can a get V8/4wd at base trim. Or a twin turbo V6 if that’s what you like, but without tons of forced gadgetry. That’s a huge selling feature.

    But fullsize pickup OEMs are just as likely to absorb the costs of present/future mpg related tech, especially on base trucks. Except for diesels. Yes there’s a place for tiny, compact/fwd pickups in the US, just not a very big one.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @DM–Yes they are the last vehicles you can get in base trim but not for long. Why sell base trim when you can sell loaded up versions and make more money. Have you recently tried to buy a base work truck of any kind? Dealers don’t want to bother with them and it is easier for the manufacturer just to offer full loaded versions. As you said about compact stripped down trucks the same applies to full size pickups or any base trim vehicles. Handymen and those who use a truck for dirty work tell me for the most part they either have to special order a base truck or buy a late model used one. You might find one base model in white that is advertised as a price leader to get traffic into the showroom. As I recall you call those who buy compact base model trucks cheapskates which would also apply to full size base model trucks. The closest vehicle you can get to a base model is a subcompact car and even some of those like the Mitsubishi Mirage have standard electric windows and locks. Not trying to argue with you but most dealers would much rather up sell and option out a vehicle and sell on credit. I don’t agree with this but this is the way things are. It is like going into a store and trying to get a cheap appliance with basic features, for a little more you can get a digital clock and a timer and how about a stainless steel front.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Every major metropolitan market has one dealer that caters to the commercial and fleet buyer. There it’s hard to find a truck or van that isn’t a white stripper model, you just don’t know about it because they don’t market to you.

  • avatar
    Dan

    First, the work truck hasn’t gone anywhere. There aren’t as many of them, because leaving out the upholstery and door motors now amounts to something like 5% of the cost of the truck which only makes sense if you’re a fleet manager. But declaring it a one-of loss leader that can’t actually be purchased is a load of crap. I’ve never been to a dealer without a row of them in the back and cars.com lists tens of thousands.

    Second, loaded is relative. Even pretending those XL trucks don’t exist, a base XLT, Express, SR5, etc. is hardly a Lexus. Amenity wise you’re at, approximately, a new Corolla. Manual cloth seats, manual AC, no Ipad in the dash, etc.

    Compare that to the $10,000+ of luxury crap you’re required to buy if you want a big engine and AWD in a car lately.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Dan – I rarely see dealers stock base trucks other than to legally advertise low prices. When I see a row of base trucks in the back they are fleet purchases waiting to be picked up.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Dan–Not too many dealers where I live stock work trucks in any numbers, maybe 1 or 2 but not rows of them. I doubt that any truck is a loss leader but why sell an item with a lower profit margin when you can sell at a larger profit margin. As you said it is not much more to add electric windows and cloth seats so why bother with manual windows and vinyl. Yes you can order the work truck but a dealer will do their best to persuade you that you should buy more. Dealers want to turn their inventory over and they have more profit on the well optioned vehicles. I know of a few dealers around where I live that will not even order a work truck for anyone.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – Drive around the neighbourhoods of those dealers. Most dealers rent empty lots for overstock. They put up a high fence, no signage. They don’t want to display rows and rows of duplicates on their main lots, for obvious reasons.

      Of course they’d rather sell you a loaded truck, but in the end can’t turn away sales of stripper trucks to industry and dedicated cheapskates and bottom feeders like me.

      I’m all about the base stripper truck with the V8/4wd. And that’s exactly the truck “Joe’s Roofing” wants too. They usually don’t have time to order a truck, once their old one inhales a valve. Dealers must stock plenty of these, even if they’re not stacked deep on the front line.

      Appliance stores work the same way. I let them know I’m an absolute cheapskate/bottom feeder, and they show me to the “scratch and dents” way in the back. You have to let them know what they’re dealing with, right upfront. Up to 50% off list with minor dents/scratches.

      Yes I would buy pickups with some damage, if priced right. But I’ll buy the base stripper trucks with all rebates, and go shopping at the junk yard. Factory power windows/locks, rear slider, 20″ FX4 wheels, wheel-lip and other molding not common on base trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – nice try.
        I know where all of the overflow lots are in my town.

        They are full of what is sitting on the lot.

        The only time I see a ton of plain jane trucks sitting around is right at the start of reforestation season, construction season, and/or fire suppression season.

        Rental companies and dealers ramp up for the short term lease and rental season.

        Dealerships floor plan inventory. They aren’t going to keep stuff around that won’t sell in less than 90 days. A lot full of plain jane trucks will collect dust and interest payments.

        Our dealers service a huge rural area. The Ford dealer has over 200 F150’s on the lot and only a few are plain Jane’s.
        The FCA dealer has several lots and they have that amount if not more.
        The GM dealer doesn’t have much on inventory which reflects the malaise GM is in.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Lou_BC – You’re repeating what I said. Dealers don’t need to stock many base trucks. They don’t vary much and 2 will usually do. Vanilla White and V8/4wd. If you want it in Forest Mist Green, you’d better start ordering it. Dealers don’t care if you don’t like appliance colors on base trucks. Take it or $hove it.

          But tell me you would buy a Rabbit-like truck *new*… Without even 4wd? For when you’re snowbirding it to So Cal? Or retire to Florida??? You’d still get it used.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            I’m sure in Winnepeg you can get the data to support your pathetic arguments.

            Jeff S, accidently thought you live in LA, odd that;)

            Are you just a boring old troll, or what?

            Maybe another trip to Spain where that F-150 pickup market is hot you should go.

            Lou, just ignore him, he only is out for a troll under this DiM name at the moment. Once this name is flogged to death, he’ll use one of his other names.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – stop childishly putting words in my mouth.

            These little trucks do have 4×4 as an option.

            Just to clarify, I won’t buy any truck regardless of size in 4×2 configuration.

            You are correct, only one or two base trucks is all they need.
            They cover the “starting as low as” BS in advertising and they reel in the cheapskate. Then upsell – “It only costs an extra 18 dollars a month (for 120 months).

            In your earlier post you implied that they had a stash of cheapo specials hiding in storage lots.

            Interesting spin.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Who’s being childish? Hoser

            If it comes in 4wd too, why didn’t you at least compare that to the hard loaded, dolled up Ram?

            How much does the Saveiro’s payload drop from 4wd?

            But I didn’t say they don’t have a stash of base strippers, hiding down the street. Why would a dealer have duplicates of ANYTHING on display? Doesn’t that tell the customer, they don’t need to act fast, and the dealer is at a huge disadvantage when they have 20+ of the exact truck you’re looking for?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou BC–Agree, if you do see more than 1 or 2 base trucks unless they are ordered for a fleet and they are usually white–that is why they are on the very back of the lot. Any base vehicle whether it is car, truck, or crossover does not have the profit margin of the highest trim well optioned version. It is like anything else the salesperson will have a price leader to get you in and then up sell you. This is just like H H Gregg or Best Buy they will sell you the advertised price leader but they will try to up sell and usually if you want the price leader get there early because the inventory is much lower on those items. I can’t be too critical because if it was my business I would want to maximize my profits. What is considered a stripped down vehicle today would be considered a well optioned vehicle not that long ago. You will not find too many vehicles today that are new that don’t have air, power steering, power brakes, electric windows, electric locks, key fob, cloth seats, carpet, AM FM radio with USB port, inter mitt wipers, and soon rear back up cameras. I full expect that some type of navigation with touch screen will be included as standard equipment in the near future because so many of the top trim levels include those options along with blue tooth. I do think that full size half ton trucks will be the last hold out but not for very much longer. Just too much profit in those optional items and it lowers the cost to the manufacturer to include them because less variance means more efficiency and lower per unit costs when you order large quantities of items such as electric switches and motors.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @DM–Maybe where you live, California would be a bigger market but where I live you can drive around the lots with not too many restrictions even in Cincinnati. If you drive to Columbus or Cleveland then you will find a few more base trucks on the lot but not a lot unless they are a fleet order. My handyman had to order a new F-250 base crew cab with a Power Stroke and he had to go to Northern Indiana to get one. He couldn’t get a local dealer to order one and this was a base truck in white. Southern California is much different and a much larger market. Also you are not going to get too many deals on a base truck unless it is the previous year and has been sitting on the lot awhile. Load the truck up and the deals abound.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – It’s all relative. If you live in the middle of Nowheres, don’t expect to see rows and rows of ANYTHING…

      Except corn fields. But it doesn’t take nearly as many stripper trucks to stock, even if a dealer is selling equal amounts.

      2 plain Vanilla White stripper pickups is all you need to start every day with.

      And yes base stripper trucks still get plenty of rebates. You just have to make a few more calls.

      But it can easily take 5, 6, 7 dozens of the multi-cab, mid level to loaded pickups, to barely scratch the surface of rest of pickup truck buyers needs/demands/wishes, on a daily basis.

      Too many combinations exist. Colors, trims, options, packages, aftermarket treatments (lifted, big wheels/tire, brush guards, nerf bars, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Then your guy was looking at the wrong dealer, if you had said base crew cab with a gas engine, yeah you’d have to go to Indiana for that.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If there ever is to be another true compact truck something like this would be it. It would be more cost effective to develop a compact truck off of an existing compact van or car frame (front wheel drive). I don’t know if the US market will ever see this but it would meet the needs of most who need a truck for light duty. I don’t see the Chicken Tax going away anytime soon and the truck makers have little incentive to introduce a smaller truck. Possibly the Chinese who will eventually enter the US market. Again it goes to what I said that the manufacturers and dealers want to sell the top high trim vehicles and it would take a manufacturer that is new to our market. The days of simple and inexpensive trucks are rapidly disappearing.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Denver Mike–Cincinnati is not exactly no where but it isn’t California just like the rest of the country isn’t California. Most Americans would consider California like a foreign country. Dealers don’t have a lot of incentive to push basic trucks especially since many are buying the full size crew cabs well optioned in place of a full size rear wheel sedan and suv which have become rare and more expensive. Dealers don’t care who they sell to as long as their profits are maximized which is something that you have said about the base model stripper compact and midsize sedans. It will take a while but the work truck has become much less base. My grand father bought farm trucks that had manual transmissions, no air, no radio, no power steering, no power brakes, with just a heater. Try to buy any vehicle like that new today? What was optional has become standard and the trend will be more so. As for power windows and locks get ready for this to become standard equipment in all trucks as GM is making it standard in the 2015 Colorado/Canyon which saves GM money in the long run. You mentioned all the variations of trucks the more equipment you make standard the less variation. How many work trucks come without air, power steering, power brakes, and auto trans? Not too many. You can get a manual as an option in the HD Ram or the midsize Tacoma and Frontier still come with manuals as standard equipment. Frontier is the only truck you can buy standard without air and how much longer will that be true. Too much variation cost money so it is much more cost effective to make as much standard as possible. Less profit margin means less off the sticker. If you want a real bargain buy a full loaded truck that has been sitting on the lot for almost a year. Ask me I bought one and it was not too much effort to get 10k off of one of those but could not get anywhere close to that off of its more basic version.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – Lots of standard equipment on fullsize too, but multiply 3 cabs, by 2 beds, by 12 colors, by 7 axles, by 4 engines, 4wd or no, tow pkg? Payload pkg? Sunroof? Power slider? Nav? Never mind the rest. There’s almost endless combinations. This means too many have to be ordered and too many have to sit on the lot for months.

      This is what makes smaller trucks hard to compete with fullsize variation and customization. Smaller trucks have more the “take it or leave it” strategy.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @DM–Just looked at the new Colorado/Canyon on cars.com. Colorado only comes with a black interior and about 7 colors only. Canyon comes with 7 colors but on the higher trim offers a cocoa colored interior. 4 different trim levels apiece and the top two models offer a choice of a 5 or 6 ft. bed. This is what I mean about more standardization. Ford F-150 has the most variations but even then they standardize a lot of features. I don’t think they will have that much trouble with the profitability of the Colorado/Canyon in that they have limited options within each trim level and there is not that much variation. They can sell a lower volume and still do well. I do see standard equipment in most trucks in the future include power windows and locks and some type of hands free blue tooth along with mandated backup cameras. Dealers around my area are not that motivated to sell base work trucks. One guy that does work for me was going to order one through the company he works for because he could get what he wanted without all the extras. He did find a 2000 crew cab Ford with the older Power Stroke 4×4 with a 140k miles with a tow package for 13k that was a trade in and well maintained (it was red). He bought it so he did not have to wait to order a new truck because his old one had been totaled. That is why I made the comments about work trucks because he is one of many that I have talked to that told me it is not that easy to buy a base work truck. Most of these guys drive the wheels off their trucks because they are work trucks and they are a tool not a toy. Many of the trucks that are owned by suburbanites are the loaded crew cabs and they are seldom used like a truck unless it is to tow their boats and haul their jet skies or dirt bikes they usually trade before or shortly after their last loan payment. Many also want 4 wheel drive for the snow and going off road. I have a 4 wheel drive for the snow because I travel in winter for work (winter is my busy time). We sometimes get a fair amount of snow and it can take a while to clear it. Four wheel drive and all wheel drive are in great demand because of winter and most people don’t really consider the price, they just buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – There’s a fine line between maximizing dealer, OEM profits with ‘limited variations’ and P!$$!NG off the consumer. If I want a tach, but they force cruise and power seats, I’m not satisfied. If I want power windows/locks, but I’m forced infotainment, touch screen and other junk, I may walk.

      But if my dealer doesn’t want to sell me a base stripper, they’re $TUP!D. I know they can’t spend all day with a fleet or other cheapskate. But there’s easy money for them, if they want it. I don’t want a test drive, I know exactly what I want and what I’ll pay. 30 minutes of back and forth, and I’m off to F&I.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I want a truck-based small truck, not a car-based one. Something that can get banged up and comfortably carry half a ton of stuff along with two people, but fits in the same space as a normal car. I have a narrow garage and live in a city where parking in small spots is common, so the smaller size is worth more to me than additional capability I won’t use or a BroDozer image. Toyota had the formula exactly right until they introduced the bloated Tacoma.

    On an unrelated note, this is the ugliest TTAC comments thread I’ve seen in a while. We’re here to talk about cars, not to hate gay people or city people.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Denver Mike–Your dealer might order you a stripper but then it depends on what is considered a stripper by you and what is considered a stripper by the dealer and manufacturer. Electric windows and locks have become standard on most vehicles and in the near future display screens might be. Looking at the Colorado/Canyon again a power driver’s seat is standard with a manual adjustable seat. The only thing I can think of that might change the manufacturers minds if they have a large decrease in sales and they get feedback from the customers in large enough numbers to say no they don’t want these items as standard. Personally I don’t like the fact that most trucks only offer an automatic because I prefer manuals but there would have to be enough people that would say we didn’t buy your product because it didn’t offer a manual. Maybe that is why Ram is offering a manual in their HDs. I do think it is important that the customer gives the dealer and the manufacturer feedback instead of just getting disgusted and not buying the product. One example that I can think of where a manufacture reversed a decision was the midsize 4 door GM sedans in 1978 had fixed rear passenger windows with a little vent window that opened. It took GM several years to change that but there was a large backlash from customers who wanted rear passenger windows that would open for obvious reasons. I doubt we will ever see manual transmission brown station wagons which is a topic discussed on this website but feedback is important. I don’t think it is good to force power windows on anyone but that seems to be a trend. I guess cheap electric motors and switches from China makes it more attractive to the manufacturers along with standardizing more things to have less variance on the assembly line. I would not like black interiors forced on me which the Colorado/Canyon is doing and hopefully they will get that feedback (grey is bad enough but at least it is not as hot in the summer and it doesn’t show the dirt and lint as bad). I do see a continual trend to force more stuff on cars and trucks that was optional as standard equipment.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    My only question (and I’m sure it’s already been heavily commented on by the ‘usual suspects) is when will this style of truck come to the US? You might be surprised just how many people would buy them in the extended cab version.

    Oh, and since I just returned from a short one-week jaunt to the south of Tennessee, I was rather surprised to note that 1 in 4 pickup trucks I saw while down there were S-10s, Rangers, the OLD Toyota (pre Tacoma) and even a few ‘Hardbody’ Nissans. All in remarkably clean condition.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–I see many old S-10, Rangers, Nissans, and pre Tacomas around where I live in very good condition. There was an older man around where I live that had a dark red single cab pre-Tacoma vintage early 90’s that sold his truck that he has had since new. Guess how long it took him to sell it? Less than day. It was in good shape and I see it still around with a new owner driving it.


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