By on March 29, 2018

VW

So, who’s excited about the mere possibility of purchasing a German pickup in the relatively near future? Let’s see a show of hands.

Volkswagen says it will build the Atlas Tanoak (pronounced “tan-oke” — unless you’re German, apparently) if the American buying public plays nice. If head office feels good vibes from the concept vehicle’s appearance at the New York International Auto Show, there’ll be a relatively butch-looking new unibody pickup tossed into the midsize market.

Will you be one of the showroom denizens kicking the tires on a Tanoak? While the production version, if built, contains plenty of unknowns — price, payload, practicality — there’s plenty to go on from Wednesday’s unveiling. Maybe a rundown of its would-be rivals is in order.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say the only version of the Tanoak offered is a crew cab, all-wheel-drive, V6-powered model. The concept contains an eight-speed automatic, so an autobox becomes part of our template, too. Interestingly, its bed length (tailgate up) is 64.1 inches, the longest (by a hair) of a group containing the similar Honda Ridgeline and short-bed versions of the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma.

Because we’re not used to its presence, as well as the fact that it’s not yet on the market (and Ford hasn’t created a build and price tool), the Ford Ranger won’t appear in this piece.

Of the short-box, six-cylinder, crew cab models here, the Colorado’s 1,548-pound payload just barely tops the Ridgeline’s 1,465-pound rating. The Frontier’s 1,340-pound rating pushes the Tacoma’s (1,175 lbs) to last place. We suspect this rating isn’t top of mind for those looking at smaller trucks, considering there’s deals, deals, deals to be had on 2018 Rams.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel

In terms of price, the Ridgeline’s the dearest — but only by a pocketful. The unibody Ridgeline Sport AWD tips the financial scales at $36,265 after delivery, just a tick above the Tacoma SR5 4×4 V6’s all-in price of $36,110. The Colorado WT 4WD V6 crew cab’s $32,495 price trails the two imports, but it’s the ancient-but-cheap Frontier S V6 Crew Cab that’s the bargain of the bunch. The decade-old model still delivers big sales numbers for Nissan, and with good reason — outfitted like the others, the Frontier rings in at $30,065, all told.

Once the Ranger arrives, an even tougher market awaits any truck bearing the VW badge. So, how does the Tanoak get noticed? Will it be payload and towing? Overall refinement? Looks? Price? Euro snobbery? If you’re in the market for a midsize, what does the Tanoak have to do to raise your interest enough to even consider a purchase?

[Images: Volkswagen, General Motors]

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98 Comments on “QOTD: What Would It Take to Get You Into a Volkswagen Pickup?...”


  • avatar
    iNeon

    More lighting elements.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    If a production Tanoak looks that good, I will definitely consider it against the Jeep Scrambler and Ford Ranger. It has some additional practicality with that pass through from the bed to the cab. It looks fantastic as well.

    I’ve always like the Ridgeline from a utility point of view, the trunk in the bed is a fantastic idea, but the looks are just horrible. VW has at least figured out that we want our trucks to be good looking.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Some type of firearm trained on me.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That, or a new job in construction, in which case I’m not buying a VW as a work truck.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      This. This concept looks like the worst of all worlds. Midsize crossover-based which implies two things: overpriced and inherently less appealing to me than the “real” BOF entrants. Neither here nor there. Either give me a cheapo unibody FWD trucklet with low bed sides and good MPG (and a stick shift), or bring over the Amarok with a diesel and stick that can go head to head with the other BOF midsizers.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The Amarok with it’s “off road” version is let down by the fact it doesn’t have a low range.

        As I wrote much further down, the US is forced to get a lesser product which will most likely be more expensive because of socialist import tariffs. The consumer pays for this.

        Also, the current Amarok must be due for a major refresh or overhaul. I’m wonder how many of the design ques from this will be transferred to the Amarok.

        In all honesty the Tanoak looks good, but is a waste as VW already have a vehicle to fill this segment, sort of like the Tacoma-Hilux. But, as I’ve always mentioned US Socialism ie, different regulations and high tariffs are the reason.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I’ve heard that lack of low range discussed in a South African offroad comparison of some popular global midsizer crew-cabs. It is curious they chose to omit such a seemingly standard and obvious feature in the transfer case.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            gtem,
            As the Amarok stands it can conquer some hard ground. But it just doesn’t have that edge when needed. A winch would be needed a lot

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Sub-600

      As a former VW owner. My advice would be take the bullet.

  • avatar
    a5ehren

    I’d probably get it over a Ridgeline if I were in the market for a truck, but I don’t think I’ll ever seriously consider it for what I need.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Why do I think a VW pickup would come up short in the toughness department? And why do I think other important elements would be lost in the translation from American English to German?

  • avatar
    mikedt

    With the Ridgeline, at least Honda has their reliability reputation to help sell it. How VW plans on selling a truck, in any significant number, that is similar in price to Detroit’s offerings is beyond me. I know there are VW fans out there but they’re probably GTI fans, not truck fans.

  • avatar
    Syke

    My deciding question would be: Can I fit a Harley smaller than a Road King in the back with the tailgate down? If I can, I’d be interested. If not, no way. My current minivan does everything a pickup can do better, except haul a motorcycle, or dirt.

    By comparison, my previous S-10 and Ranger (both 2WD club cabs) handled the bikes nicely.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      If the question had been “What would it take to get you into a VW van?”, I’d have said as long as they bring one over that fits in our garage like an Odyssey/Sienna and is not a re-badged FCA product.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      My first pickup was a regular-cab long-bed ’96 Ranger with a V6 and a 5-speed. The bed, at 7′ 6″ was just a bit too short for a sheet of plywood, but my Yamaha FJ1200 fit in it just fine.

      My current pickup is a 2015 Tacoma with a 6′ bed, 4WD, four and a manual. My 650 Ninja fits with the tailgate closed if I load it at a slight angle.

      I neither need nor want a back seat an four doors. A club cab is fine. But the market says otherwise and to accommodate those extra doors and seats, the bed shrinks to five feet for the compact trucks.

      My lease is up in September and I have no idea what to get next. I really don’t want a four-door RAM 1500 or F-150, It’s too damned big. But that seems to be where the lease deals are so I may have no real choice.

      Next week, I’m off the the NYIAS to see what there is to offer.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I’m primarily a commercial buyer. The promise of the Ranger, the reality of the GM mid-sized trucks and my strong local dealers will keep me from straying too far. My local VW dealer choices are pretty much the nail in VW’s Teutonic truck coffin.

    VW’s dealer network will likely be more difficult to train for the truck market than Nissan’s. Wolfsburg’s throttling of North America’s marketing decisions over the last 30 years has hog-tied their sales. VWNA has been late to the party (or no-shows) in so many areas that I’ve lost count. Prime example recently: An AWD wagon. The Golf Alltrack should have been battling Subaru and Volvo for years.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Nothing. If I am buying another pickup, its not going to be a unibody VW. Might as well go with a BOF F150 XL or Silverado.

    The nearest comparison to the VW that I can think of is the new Ridgeline, and the Ridgeline is miserable in all the wrong places. I cant imagine the VW being any better if it follows the same unibody design.

  • avatar
    sensiblebuyer

    The demise of every other truck manufacturer on the planet

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    For it to be the size of the Caddy (adjusted for inflation) and the price of my ’17 Golf. So, it would need to be Golf-sized and priced similar to a Golf. I don’t need a full-size truck and the mid-size trucks are only 7/8th scale of their larger siblings in terms of size and price.

    Having recently had a Ram Crew Cab 2wd for a week as a rental ($10/day rate, “Colorado or Similar”!), I don’t want to live with one everyday and that’s about what I’d buy when it comes to trucks (2wd CC).

    I have no desire for a Ridgeline either. Too much new, not a fan of the styling (though I prefer the blocky 1st gen to the new one).

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    A 10-year, 120k warranty with a guaranteed loaner car.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This.

      But honestly nothing will help since the wife has already sworn off all VeeDub purchases based on past experience.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Amen to past experiences. Those have the most weight in the decision-making process.

        No amount of pandering articles in blogs and subliminal advertising on social media are going to bring buyers to VW, unless they were predisposed VW enthusiasts to begin with.

        Today’s car buyer often is a lot smarter, well-read and better prepared to buy than at any time in automotive history.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do love those taillights, I don’t know if they’ll make it into production.

    If I was going to buy a midsize truck I’d likely buy a “long bed” model to have the truck be as useful as possible. That would likely steer me toward the Colorado/Canyon because I can get one with crew cab and 7 ft bed.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “Colorado/Canyon because I can get one with crew cab and 7 ft bed.”

      Is this a real thing?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Damn it’s not 7 ft (just checked online) it’s 6 ft 2 in at the floor, that is 14 more inches than the standard bed at a shade over 5 ft.

        But yes it does exist and my local GMC dealer always has a few in stock. Always 4×4 and always with the tow package.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          That makes more sense. They look awkwardly proportioned to me though. I really don’t get the upper trims of the Colorado/Canyon, the price just becomes in now way palatable. I test drove a diesel Z71 CC and was very impressed with how it drove, but for $41k list… I’m heading straight to a crewcab half ton.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Depends on what they’ll sell for and what your priorities are.

            Where I’m living right now I’d have to park a full-size on the street whereas a mid-size would fit next to my wife’s vehicle. That’s a consideration for me, I’m not as comfortable with it on the street. Too likely to get sideswiped. GMCs SLE trim is enough for me, I don’t need no SLT or Denali. (SLT is turning into “Denali-lite” FWIW.)

            But yes, if I really wanted a truck there isn’t a small truck with a significant enough price difference other than the gap between Frontier and Titan in ATP.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          The VW version of a tow package is a AAA card.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Volkswagen’s version of a tow package is a Triple A Card.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    The theoretical buyer for this kind of vehicle is kind of a mystery to me. It has to be someone who wants a car/crossover in every aspect except the ability to haul dirty things, but can’t or won’t get a small trailer for that purpose. I don’t think it’s about image – these unibody trucks don’t look “butch” enough to satisfy whatever fantasies drive your average commuter to buy a platinum F-?50 for $60-90k instead of any of the other options that kind of money would get you, and whatever percentage of *those* buyers actually tow a big boat or RV wouldn’t be served by a little trucklet. It’s not economics, as full-size trucks aren’t that much more expensive, and the fuel economy gap is pretty small now, too. The only thing left is the smaller footprint of these “midsize” offerings, but that’s about it, and they’re still quite a bit larger than the old Ranger class. So you’re left with whatever subgroup of a subgroup that would choose a VW over a Honda, and that just can’t be a very large number.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Well, ascii, you’re close. Personally, I like the looks of this thing over all BUT the Colorado and the new Ranger for mid-sized. But this thing is sized more like the Silverado, if you do a little research. It’s simply too big. The person you’re talking about is a DIY homeowner who wants an easy driver yet wants to carry those dirty or smelly things outside rather than in. Such people are also not likely to have or want a “big boat” (almost any pickup can pull up to a 22′ runabout easily enough) or RV (they’re more likely to pull a pop-up or a teardrop than a large travel trailer.)

      You’re right that full sized trucks aren’t that much more expensive but they are also gross overkill in size for what most of these homeowners really want and/or need. If I buy something that long and wide, then I’m buying a ’59 Impala or El Camino than I am a seven-foot-tall pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Sure, but the point about the trailer remains. A crossover or minivan can pull a small open trailer for dirty and smelly things, or a smaller camper, plus be more fuel efficient and space efficient inside for the 95% of the time that such things aren’t being carried.

        A 25% smaller truck would actually fare even worse in such a comparison since it’s likely to have a super cramped rear seat. If the manufacturers actually made regular cab midsizers with a long bed, that’s one thing. At least then it’s a unique proposition compared to the crossover. But a unibody crew cab with a 5 foot bed just seems like taking an SUV and making it worse.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “A crossover or minivan can pull a small open trailer for dirty and smelly things,…”

          —- True, but my HOA doesn’t allow a trailer of ANY sort kept on the individual properties and I refuse to use a publicly-accessible “overflow” parking area for a camper or boat. I’m forced to to use paid storage for any ‘towables’ and really can’t see paying storage fees AND going out of my way to grab it just to go to the nursery or home store for oversized and/or stinky loads. Pickup trucks offer a convenience that no other type of vehicle provides but I sure as heck don’t need a full-sized truck to carry what my old Ranger carries easily.

          For me the 25% smaller truck (old import sized) would be nearly ideal, adding only 15″ behind the front seat in an extended cab rather than going for a full, 30″ second row and keeping an up-to 5000# towing limit. I don’t need a 7-foot bed (I believe my Ranger has a 6″ bed and a regular cab) and my only issues with my current rig is the underpowered engine (stock 112 hp) and no extended cab. I do want to upgrade to newer tech and more power but I certainly don’t need a Road Whale™ of a current mid-sized or larger truck. The very things that you claim make the concept worse are the very things I and many, MANY, CUV owners want in a small truck.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          For what it’s worth I have no where safe to store a trailer (small urban lot with limited off-street parking) unless I paid monthly to have it stored in a gated facility, at which point the hassle and recurring cost would make renting just as effective (or ineffective). Having a cheap old truck that I can street park, and it just so happens to get pretty decent MPG for commuting in, has been working out well.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        I’m certainly not arguing that the “half ton” class isn’t gross overkill for most of the people who buy them. And they’re definitely big, but most of that comes from the fact that the average buyer wants four doors, generous legroom, a high seating position, and a bed that is still big enough to hold more than a car or SUV can carry, all of which takes space, which is why these midsize trucks aren’t that much smaller. My argument is that truck buyers fall into one of two categories: people who want image, and people who need capacity. I’m particularly skeptical of the unibody offerings, because they don’t really seem to fall into either camp. This one might be better-looking in person, but the Ridgeline has always looked like somebody took a sawzall to a Pilot, so if this isn’t any better, it’s just a less reliable version of the slowest-selling truck on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      igve2shtz

      I am the theoretical buyer for this type of vehicle. I am mid-thirties and need to fit two car seats. I’ve owned an 86 Toyota 2wd pickup, a 1996 Ranger, and currently a 2008 F-150 Crew Cab 6.5′ bed. I can count on two hands how often I’ve towed anything, or loaded up over 1000 pounds in my 16 years of driving.

      I am looking for a truck that priortizes comfort over capabilities. It needs to handle my honey do list, and still drive me over 1000 miles for my next work meeting without rattling my teeth out.

      I am looking for a truck just like me. The quiet guy who sat in the back of the class, always did my work, never caused a fuss, and was the smartest person in the room. No bragging required.

      This type of truck is meant for me. It does not pretend to be anything it isn’t. It is the truck version of a cheap Civic. While a Civic screams “I’m commuting!”, the RL/Tanoak screams “I’m a sensible, khakis wearing family man who knows my personal limits buy still enjoys some other fun things too”.

      I am not predisposed to an archaic thought process that somehow can only muster “bigger is better” or “trucks have frames”. I can’t guarantee I’ll buy one, but I can guarantee that I’ll consider it, without any preconceived notions. I for one am rooting for the Ridgeline and Tanoak.

      On a side note: I 100% agree that a car+trailer combination would do everything I ask for (and more). Here, my emotional side comes out, and says no – I’d still rather a unibody truck over a trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      smartascii,
      The reality is probably 50% of fullsize pickup buyers would get away with this VW and not notice any handicap in their lifestyle.

      Most buy pickups as a status symbol. Many use “I might need this capability one day”. I have a friend from States in Australia at the moment he owns a 3500 diesel Ram. I asked him what he has it for. He told me he has 5 acres and needs it. I asked what for, he said to tow a tractor and stuff. I asked how long have you owned it? He stated “7 years”. I then asked how many tractors have you towed he said “none, but I might need it”.

      He’s a really nice guy, but his choice is his choice. People who buy pickups gotta start being honest in why they buy them. Many pickup owners lie to cover and justify the fact they have over bought big time.

      Like me, I have a pickup because I can.

      I break pickup buyers into three broad groupings.
      1. The image dudes. This is broken down into the d!ck challenged “hey look at me bro, I have a fncking big truck, I’m tough and my d!ck is bigger than yours”. You then have the milder middle class success story (perceived) “hey, I can afford to run a truck and own this large McMansion”.

      2. The real truck user which make up less than 25%. The real business person. The one how uses his truck to cart sh!t around and not buy a Ford Platinum as a tax write off business truck as these are not real truck guys.

      3. The smallest group. The real off roaders and fishing people, beach goers. The ones who like the outdoors and use their vehicles for outdoors and not the impression of “hey, look at me I’m an outdoorsy dude with my truck.”

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I have never understood the appeal of unibody trucks. If you want car like ride quality, buy a car. If you need a truck often, this one won’t do anything resembling real work for you. If you need a light duty truck with an open bed only occasionally, rent one, or tow an open trailer behind your SUV or minivan. It’s not like this or the Ridgeline even offers much in the way of cost savings over a domestic 1/2 ton that does everything better except unloaded ride quality.

    To answer the question, nothing short of a $9,999 base price would get me to gamble on this thing. I’ve been burned by VW in the past and I just can’t get over how little this offers me in terms of utility.

    • 0 avatar
      daviel

      I agree. I like the Chevy Colorado. When it’s pickup time, the Colorado is for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      My mom has a Subaru Baja, lives on a cramped cul de sac, and neither of us can back a trailer to save our lives.

      These arguments always grossly undervalue the convenience of being able to just walk out the door and have the open bed parked there at any time.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Nothing. I already have three that suit me.

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    If it was built in Tennessee and its MPGs are at least as good as the Ridgeline, then I would consider it. Then I would whine about why Hyundai hasn’t released the Santa Cruz yet and then buy the new Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Good news, CE. Very probably will be built in Tennessee (it would be built on the same line as the Atlas) while the economy is expected to be similar.

      And yes, I’m still puzzled why Hyundai hasn’t started building the Santa Cruz in Alabama yet.

      I also have to admit I may be replacing my ’97 Ranger with a new Ranger within about 2 years.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    It’s gonna take the Amarok or a similar BOF rwd based one with formidable off road capabilities. In other words, a REAL truck, not some fwd based minivan mutant. As it sits, the Amarok is perfect for this market, I don’t see why VW would want to slug it out at the bottom with that loser ridgeline. The elephant in the room will be the Jeep Scrambler. My one gripe there (and it’s HUGE) is the apparent lack of Hemi power.

    FWIW, im not 100% against all car based pickups: Subaru’s Brat and Baja were wierd and cool little rigs that offered some utility with the fun. Chryslers 024-based Scampage twins and VW’s own rabbit pickup have an appeal that doesn’t scrub off. But the Honda approach of modifying a bland appliance grade minivan into a pickup with stunted capability has ‘FAIL’ written all over it.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    A VW pickup must have a stick before I’d be remotely interested in it. The VW badge itself has negative brand equity to me.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    What would it take? Being a full 25% smaller than listed.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Have you searched the ‘net for a Piaggio/Vespa Ape?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Have you searched the ‘net for a Piaggio/Vespa Ape?”

        —- Have you searched for a MODERN Mitsubishi Mighty Max? How about a MODERN Ford Courier? Chevy LUV? These things are no less than 25% smaller than the modern full-sized pickup truck and we have dozens of compact CUVs that could easily be turned into compact pickup trucks. How about the Fiat Strada? The Strada itself is sold in Mexico as the Ram 700. How about the Chevy Tornado? Both of these are currently-existent vehicles that would only need to be modified for US (and global) safety standards and be the ideal size for SO MANY current CUV owners.

        Your sarcasm, therefore, falls flat.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    What would it take to get me in a VW pickup? A good cheap offer for a Splitty, Loaf, or Vanagon pickup. (Fat chance.)

    That said, if I were in the market for an SUV, there’d be absolutely nothing wrong with it having a load bed. I don’t feel the need for body-on-frame, longitudinal engine, or RWD-based-ness — seems like snobbery to me. The Atlas Tanoak could probably do more in every respect — towing, offroading, hauling — than I’d ever ask of it.

    I’d still prefer the Amarok, though, just for its more utilitarian looks. Luckily, I don’t have a choice — no Atlases in Europe, and although I do like its looks, I think that’s a good thing.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    As a Gen 1 and Gen 2 Ridgeline owner and 2014 and 2015 RAM 1500 owner, I have an opinion. On top of that my wife drives a 2011 VW Tiguan and I’ve owned 2 other VWs and a 2006 Audi.

    The benefits on a unibody truck I’m well acquainted with. Ride, handling and real world, very little difference when towing loads under 5,000 lbs. In fact, when hooking up my 4,500 lb boat and trailer, the RAM squatted 1.25 inches. A G2 Ridgeline, 1.5 inches…Payload capacity? Not that far apart…

    So, I’m all for unibody pickups. Still, I’m not sure it makes sense for VW to produce. Even if Honda opened up Ridgeline production (hampered by the need to make Odysseys and Pilots at the same AL plant), Honda would sell 40-50K at most per year. I’m not sure the tooling and development costs would justify the amount of units VW would sell.

    Even though current VW reliability is a BIG step up from the early 2000s, there is still a stigma. However, the current 6 year/72k bumper-to-bumper would take a lot of that out of the equation.

    I’d definitely be interested but not sure I’d ever choose it over a Ridgeline when you factor in ‘can’t live without it’ things like the Ridgeline’s InBed trunk and proven platform and drive train.

    Add in the better refinement of current body-on-frame midsizers and full size trucks and even with the great MQB platform, VW would have a tough go to move more than 2,000 units a month.

  • avatar
    BoogerROTN

    The only people that are going to buy this are those that are looking to do something quirky. It’s like the Atlas: Why buy it when there are better choices for the same (or less) money from manufacturers with better reputations and larger dealer networks? The only reason is that a particular buyer feels the need to signal other drivers that they are “different.” Most likely,those truck buyers are already in a Ridgeline.

    As for me, I wouldn’t buy a VW truck because:

    1) One local VW dealer in a metropolitan area of 750,000 people.

    2) No history (reliability reputation) of truck manufacturing in the US and Canada.

    3) What will surely be higher pricing in a suddenly saturated segment.

    4) Towing capacity.

    5) Bed volume.

    I don’t hate VW, but as usual, they are late to the game in product development and they just don’t offer anything special or better than what is already out there.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    How about a name that doesn’t sound weird and unpronounceable?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      How is “tan oak” weird and unpronounceable?

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        As two words uttered in a furniture store they’re fine.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          So putting them together as one word makes it weird and unpronounceable?

          • 0 avatar
            EquipmentJunkie

            Several years ago, a discussion about small SUVs was happening in the lunchroom at work. A co-worker blurted out that he and his wife saw the commercial for the new Volkswagen “Tommy-gon”. He was dead serious about the pronunciation…and looked confused when he was corrected with the real name of the Tiguan SUV.

            VW does themselves no favors by adding name confusion to the mix. Why couldn’t VW name it after town in the Western US like every other truckmaker? It’s a truck! At least cater to the truck market. Ridgeline is a good name. So is Tundra, Cheyenne, Cherokee, or Tucson. A case could be made that “Rough and Ready” would be just as good a name as Tanoak.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    Nothing VW could do would get me in one, or for that matter into any VW. Highly overrated junk IMHO.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I gave up on pickups when I left Texas for California. So actually nothing will get me in a truck again, VW or otherwise.

  • avatar
    TW5

    How are midsize trucks marketed: Active lifestyle vehicles, covered in kayaks, bicycles, tents, skis, driving on backroads and puddle jumping.

    How are midsize trucks built: Lumbering fullsize with 1500lb payload, 4,000lb+ curb weight and relatively poor fuel economy. Crew Cab Colorado is bigger, heavier, longer and has more power, more torque, higher payload and more towing capacity than my 1st Gen SR5 Access Cab Tundra. That’s not progress. It’s just confused engineering and segment dysplasia.

    Obviously, there is an opportunity to build a real lifestyle truck. Unibody, RWD/AWD, 3300-3500lbs with decent fuel economy. Unfortunately, the Atlas is MQB FWD/AWD, and it weighs two metric tons. Don’t bother, VW. Honda already humiliated itself building a similar product.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “If you’re in the market for a midsize, what does the Tanoak have to do to raise your interest enough to even consider a purchase?”

    Frankly, there’s little it can do. The spectrum of intended use for midsize trucks is already covered very well by the current offerings. Civilized DD with occasional modest hauling/towing needs? The Ridgeline has that locked down. Recreational off-roader? VW won’t out-Taco the Tacoma. Serious offroader? ZR2. General 4×4 for hauling and towing? Colorado. Not sure where a VW fits in here.

  • avatar
    turf3

    It looks to me like 99% of the times one would use the tiny vestigial bed, you could have used an SUV instead and kept your cargo out of the weather. I really cannot see why anyone would buy a four door pickup truck with a 4 foot bed, except to satisfy some self-image requirement.

    I sure wish someone would build a pickup truck about the size and height of a 1963 Chevy truck, available with a 6 foot and an 8 foot bed, and a pickup truck about the size and height of the old Toyota truck, available with a 5 and a 7 foot bed.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    If they brought back that rabit pickup from the 80’s……..i would buy it. anything else other than a golf or a used phaeton…..i have no interest from VW.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    A German V8.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Nothing will place me into a Nazi-derived car. Although I like angular style of those VWs, and the fact that now they all(most?) tuned for regular gasoline

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      slavuta: But you’re presumably OK with those ancient Axis (Japanese) friends, who fought on the same side? (as if blaming VW for Hitler makes any sense – about like blaming the cotton plant for slavery in the South). Even Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer, as if that should matter today. Most of us have European ancestry, some of whom oppressed the Native Americans – so therefore we’re evil, no matter what?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Heh. My own dad was the exact opposite of slavuta; refused to drive anything Japanese (Pearl Harbor) but would frequently drive VW Beetles (“they didn’t attack without warning.”) He lived that war and never knew how it all got started (and didn’t want to know.)

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        vehic1,

        I don’t blame VW for Hitler. I blame VW for VW. A nazi-organized company, lead by super-nazi Porsche, used prisoner labor with goal to exhaust them to the death-camp condition.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I use to hear that comment 30 years ago when I drove old Beetles from old soldiers. “I’m sorry I bought this car from someone in Orinda” was about all I could say.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        My dad would drive ONLY Detroit 3 cars during his lifetime. To own a Cadillac was his lifelong ambition and his Sedan de Ville 8-6-4 his biggest regret.

        Although he was born Portuguese he came to the US in 1945 to become a citizen and he never liked what Germany had been during WWII. Wouldn’t buy anything German with his money.

        He always thought that Japan made funny looking, unreliable cars and motorcycles.

        Had he lived beyond 1985 he would have seen how the US opened up to Japanese and German goods, to what it is today.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          highdesertcat,
          I think you’ll find many Germans didn’t like the Nazi regime either. Hitler took the government over with only 20% of the vote.

          Even your mate Donnie Dump became POTUS with less than half the vote and with a lot of help from Vlad the Thug and Facebook.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Full disclosure here, I’m half German from my German mom.

            My wife is full blooded German, born in the USA. Her dad was the son of one of the rocket scientists brought to Ft Bliss/WSMR in 1945.

            So, yes, many Germans did not like the Nazi regime either but were forced to obey or be punished, publicly chastised.

            My wife’s dad was forced to join the Hitler Youth at age 14 or 15. It was join or be shunned.

            I never thought Trump could be elected. The media said so, over and over. People made fun of him, laughed at his name. Howled at his speeches.

            I missed most of it because we were in Germany, Holland, Portugal for ~ 6 months.

            Imagine MY surprise to learn from ZDF that Trump was elected!!! Then AFN also broadcast it, and WOW!

            Surprise, surprise.

            Well, we better enjoy it because I doubt it will last. Trump is having to fight his own GOP, the ‘crats, the swamp AND the Deep State, all trying to undermine him.

            Elections have consequences.

            I can put up with anything politically because we’re out of the country much of the year anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      From the Japanese perspective, slavuta, they should shoot down every Boeing product that crosses their airspace. After all, Boeings were used to nuke their cities.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Japanese started the war. And by matter of chance they didn’t kill our civilians, which they would do given a chance. We on the other hand were not much better. We killed many more thousands of them by burning their cities and people in them alive, then by nukes. So called “historians” relentlessly repeating that we had no chance but drop those. This is not truth. Russians declared war on Japan and we would not have to alone take down the empire and carry the entire burden of defeating it. And we wanted to demonstrate something to Russians. But Stalin wasn’t worry much. He simply occupied eastern europe with one of the goals to shoot down bombers before they reach motherland. I would say Japan vs US is 50/50 badness. So, give some, take some.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          No, the Japanese didn’t start the war, Germany did. The Japanese attack on Hawaii only brought the US into active participation in the war (vs only supplying the Allied countries.) The US to that point, had been trying to remain ‘neutral’ with those Americans wanting to get involved “volunteering” for combat roles through other countries.

          This isn’t to refute any of the rest of what you said; I agree that the US did things at least some of us are ashamed of today but may have been the only legitimate choice at the time if we wanted to avoid excessive casualties in a physical invasion. I believe Iwo Jima offers a realistic perspective of what a landing on Japanese soil would have meant.

          • 0 avatar
            turf3

            Depends on what you want to consider the beginning of the war. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and you could argue that the Pacific War part of WW2 was merely a continuation of that. Two years before Hitler came to power and five years before the Spanish Civil War.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It was a regional conflict at that point and cannot be considered “World War”. On the other hand, Nazi Germany went out of its way to overrun numerous countries in the course of a Blitzkrieg lasting roughly a year before British troops were driven out of mainland Europe and in which most of northern Africa became involved as well. Had Japan left well enough alone and focused on their attacks on the Asian mainland, the US would probably never have fired a shot (officially) in that war other than to protect its own shores. The Spanish Civil War was Germany’s practice in perfecting their Blitzkrieg and air war tactics.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Vulpine,

            you’re thinking WWII. Well, this is general name for multiple wars that occurred during period from Sept 1 1939 to Japanese surrender. It consisted of multiple smaller wars. Japan-US war. Germany-France war. Germany-USSR war. USSR-Finland war, and many more wars, in Europe, Africa and Asia.

            Japan attacked US because of the sanctions we imposed on them and then Hitler made mistake declaring war against US. People mistakenly think that Perl Harbor attack untight Roosevelt’s hands to go to war in Europe but this is not truth. Its the speed of developments that make it look like that. Japanese attack Dec 7 1941, Hitler declaring war Dec 11 1941. Its the second event that Roosevelt needed.

            And then again, Russias were ready to dedicate lots of troops against Japan but US didn’t want that. For 3 reasons really, and one, Truman wanted to show the new weapon. He didn’t know that Stalin already had many blueprints from the Manhattan project.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      slavuta,
      How about FCA? Fiat? Italian and Mussolini? The Axis during WWII.

      So, is Chrysler/Ram/Dodge apart of the Nazi regime?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        In order to keep alliance with Germany Mussolini succumbed to antisemitic measures in about 15 years later. Don’t mix Italian fascism and nazism. But you see, it wasn’t a popular measure among Italians, even fascist party itself. And in the end Italians just killed their boss. But in Germany it was a different story.

        Now, Fiat was never associated with fascists, let alone nazis; while VW is child of nazi regime by all parameters. If after the war they would abolish VW name and dissociate themselves and just become different company with different ownership, I wouldn’t oppose to buy one. To me, this is not Germany, this is VW the issue

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Did you know that VW has 37 storage sites across the USA where they store those diesels they bought back?

          VW is the issue, and because VW made such a faux pas with their diesel-gate, a lot of bitter people are dragging in the worst they can think of dating back to pre-WWII.

          So the question is valid. Can we forgive and forget?

          Well, maybe.

          And that remains to be seen.

          (I won’t be buying any VW products based on past ownership experience with a new 1982 Quantum-POS.)

  • avatar
    vehic1

    steve65: +1. I haven’t had a truck since 1995, and it was a small Nissan – but it was super-handy for just jumping in and hauling brush, mulch, firewood, furniture, even groceries on most days. No fiddling with hooking up and backing trailers, etc. True, I wasn’t hauling boulders from a local quarry, or the space shuttle.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    This will sell quite well. Most people who have full-size trucks don’t use them as a truck anyway. I find most CUVs to be pretty useless as ‘utility” vehicles so again, this doesn’t lose any points. It has the snob appeal of being German, which is very important to a lot of people, and the snob appeal of not being the kind of truck blue-collar folks drive. Who doesn’t go out in the world every day and see something and think, “Why do people like that crap?”

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    It would take profound brain damage for me to buy this. My GTI plus a utility trailer do everything I would possibly need a truck for, but better and cheaper.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I like the look and size of this ute.

    What the VW egineers need to look at is;

    1. Chassis- can this vehicle manage a bullbar with a winch? Will a winch in operation damage the front structure?

    2. Low range tx case- the Amarok apparently is suppoed to do well with it’s slightly lower 1st gear off road according to motoring journos. In real life the Amarok tends to struggle when the going gets tough. Will it be offered with locking diffs?

    3. Suspension- will the Tanoak offer enough approach, ramp over, departure angle. Will the assend be IRS? Will there be sufficient wheel travel and articulation for off road use and the ability to add 2″ of USABLE lift?

    4. Will it come with a V6 diesel? Gas engines are nice, but diesels are great for open road and off road.

    I think some comments are interesting, especially those spewing on about BOF. The only real advantage of BOF is if you want a tray back (flatbed).

    Why not just allow imported Amaroks into the US. All this does is increase the cost for the US to have a VW pickup.

    VW is re-inventing the wheel here.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    There are two things that would get me into a vehicle like this, assuming I buy anything at all:

    1) Toyota/Honda like reliability ratings. I’m a jilted former VW owner, and my VW was the worst ownership experience I’ve had by an order of magnitude (and also one of my favorite cars to drive). Remember that the Ridgeline exists. I test drove the new Ridgeline, and I loved it. VW has to beat the Ridgeline on the full suite of attributes which matter to American buyers — and we don’t like to be stranded.

    2) Electric drivetrain. I’m willing to give VW another chance if they engineer the parts that broke and/or required expensive maintenance (transmission and engine) out of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Never trust VW.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Speaking as a current GTI owner – a very, very large crowbar.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    For me, it would be sufficient legroom, a 10/100 warranty, and an out the door price $5k less than a comparable Colorado.

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