One of the last things your author thought he’d be writing were the words “Hyundai pickup truck” as they relate to a real-world vehicle one can buy right off the showroom floor. Until this year, the only relationship we’ve had with such a vehicle is after a knackered old Elantra caught the business end of a Sawzall.
But build it they have, with Tim handing down his verdict after a First Drive earlier this month. As per usual on such events, all the testers were a top-rung model with the most expensive powertrain. But is that the way to go if you’re seeking a unibody trucklet for work and play?
“You’re going to see it of course in the 3 Series,” BMW’s Tom Baloga tells Inside Line, “and the 5 Series is a good possibility. If the performance [of such an engine] is sufficient in the X3, U.S. customers would likely accept it in the X5 as well.” The “it” he’s referring to is BMW’s two liter turbodiesel engine, which BMW hopes will soon make up 10 to 20 percent of its engine mix in the US. And the Bavarians aren’t bringing the diesel four over for mere miserly mileage alone. “We would be focusing to make sure we get the performance that people expect without squeezing every last mile per gallon out of it,” Baloga says. “I don’t think we would ever consciously look at [the VW Jetta TDI’s] numbers and say ‘we have to beat that.'”
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- MaintenanceCosts The worst of the malaise era. Engines with primitive emissions systems layered onto otherwise ancient technology, which managed to be unreliable, wimpy, and undriveable, all at once. Rust that was already starting on the showroom floor. Interior trim that makes a Cozy Coupe look sturdy. Packaging that gives you Civic interior space with Avalon exterior dimensions. Just a horrendous steaming pile all the way around.
- Bobbysirhan If anyone needs proof that automotive styling has reached an all-time low, it is that the Subaru WRX isn't being singled out as an abomination on the scale of a Pontiac Aztec or 1958 Lincoln Continental. These days it is almost expected for a new car to be hideous.
- MaintenanceCosts Compromised safety test results and minivans do not go well together.A shame as the looks are neat (the last interesting van) and the CVT/V6 powertrain is better than a lot of people give it credit for.
- Tassos Oh yeah! Great Catch! All my life I was looking for such an UTTER PIECE OF CRAP from the CRAPPY 70s and 80s, when ALL Cars were Crappy... at least all DOMESTIC cars were. Seriously?Maybe next time you will outdo yourself and dig up the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses the Second.
- SCE to AUX If Lexus badge-engineered a Camry in 1977, this is what you'd get.27 HP/liter - wow... my new 2.5T has 112 HP/liter and many engines are much higher. Malaise Era, indeed.GM died by a thousand cuts, and this car is definitely one of them - 100% mediocrity.