The Truth About Cars » Small Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:10:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Small Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Courier http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-ford-courier/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-ford-courier/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941073 After the ’79 Chevy LUV Junkyard Find we saw yesterday, it seems appropriate to follow up with another Malaise Era Japanese small pickup with Detroit badging. I found this Ford-badged Mazda B1800 just a couple of rows away from the LUV. It’s three years older and much rougher than the Chevy (Isuzu). Vehicles mostly don’t […]

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18 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAfter the ’79 Chevy LUV Junkyard Find we saw yesterday, it seems appropriate to follow up with another Malaise Era Japanese small pickup with Detroit badging. I found this Ford-badged Mazda B1800 just a couple of rows away from the LUV. It’s three years older and much rougher than the Chevy (Isuzu).


17 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVehicles mostly don’t rust much in the Denver area, thanks to the single-digit humidity, but this one appears to have spent some time in the Midwest.
01 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs is often the case with junked vehicles, all sorts of stuff belonging to the previous owner was still inside. Here’s a notebook with records of fuel and oil purchases stretching back to the mid-1980s. Check out the sub-dollar-per-gallon prices of February 1986; while this era’s crash in oil prices was a boon for me as I delivered pizzas in my 351W-powered Mercury Cyclone, it was also the primary cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as the sales death of little trucks like this one.
03 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinReally cheap new-vehicle buyers in the 1970s didn’t want to spend several hundred bucks for a factory AM radio— yes, audio gear was expensive back then, even before the vehicle manufacturers’ markups— so they got the “radio delete” package and then added a relatively cheap aftermarket rig like this Philco.


Imagine Johnnie Taylor buzzing tinnily out of that dash-mounted whizzer cone!
06 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe driver’s door is hanging by a thread. This truck gave its all.
11 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe hubcaps stayed with it to the end, though.

01 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Capsule Review: 2015 VW Saveiro CD Highline (Double Cab – Brazilian Market) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/capsule-review-2015-vw-saveiro-cd-highline-double-cab-brazilian-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/capsule-review-2015-vw-saveiro-cd-highline-double-cab-brazilian-market/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 17:36:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904225 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 […]

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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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Chart Of The Day: Why Colorado Sales Expectations Are Low http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-colorado-sales-expectations-low/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-colorado-sales-expectations-low/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:50:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=884561 It’s difficult to possess anything other than low U.S. sales expectations for GM’s new pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, even before you know the exact prices, or the prices people actually pay for new Silverados. Toyota Tacoma volume, prior to this year, was perking up, but not nearly to the level it […]

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Small and midsize pickup truck sales chart
It’s difficult to possess anything other than low U.S. sales expectations for GM’s new pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, even before you know the exact prices, or the prices people actually pay for new Silverados.

Toyota Tacoma volume, prior to this year, was perking up, but not nearly to the level it was at in 2006. Similar statements can be made regarding the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. Numerous other pickup trucks have disappeared, and remaining competitors haven’t been able to take advantage of those disappearances.

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Cramped So-Called King Cab Dooms ’79 Datsun Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/cramped-so-called-king-cab-dooms-79-datsun-pickup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/cramped-so-called-king-cab-dooms-79-datsun-pickup/#comments Wed, 22 Dec 2010 20:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=378189 I’ve been seeing quite a few junked Datsun pickups in recent years, and most of them have featured the King Cab option. To those of you accustomed to 21st-century pickups with four doors and luxurious back seats, the few additional cubic centimeters of the Datsun 720’s King Cab must seem a cruel joke. Sure, you […]

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I’ve been seeing quite a few junked Datsun pickups in recent years, and most of them have featured the King Cab option. To those of you accustomed to 21st-century pickups with four doors and luxurious back seats, the few additional cubic centimeters of the Datsun 720’s King Cab must seem a cruel joke.

Sure, you could fit more toolboxes and stuff out of the weather, but what about leg room? Cup holders? The small Toyota trucks of the era seem to be evading The Crusher much better than their Nissan contemporaries, no doubt because every plumber in North America wants the same Hilux-grade reliability that warlords and strongmen throughout the world demand from their trucks.

The good old L20 engine held together just about as well as the Toyota R, but the iconic profile of a Hilux sporting a 23mm cannon mounted in the bed and a couple dozen 14-year-old “soldiers” hanging off the tailgate helps keep depreciation from reaching scrap level. Thus, little Toyota trucks live, little Datsun trucks die.

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