Tag: pickups

By on April 15, 2019

Image: VW

You’ve seen this vehicle on these digital pages before, but Volkswagen now plans to bring its Brazil-bound Tarok unibody pickup to the United States … if only for an appearance at the New York Auto Show.

Yes, the Tarok’s role this week and next is to give U.S. consumers a come-hither look and whisper, “See anything you like, boys? You let me know.” In this case, “me” means VW brass, who have a decision to make. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2019

Yes, the ZR2 is far from a base truck. But based on a suggestion from the peanut gallery  (*waves at PrincipalDan*) we thought it would be a good idea to see if a “base” off-roader is a healthier bet than upgrading to the full meal deal.

In fact, calling the ZR2 a base truck – with its DSSV dampers and other gonzo off-road kit – seems like heresy to your author. Jumping a Colorado ZR2 at 40 mph over an obstacle on a trophy truck track proves just how capable the thing is.

(How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter, then.)

Chevy has, however, added another layer onto the ZR2 cake. Called the Bison, is its extra gear worth the cash? Or are gearheads better off with a “base” ZR2 and spending the money on mods of their own? Let’s see.

(Read More…)

By on April 2, 2019

Image: FCA

Twitter — or as I like to call it, the unintellectual dark web — regularly tosses out scorching takes like “too many people drive pickups” and other gold-plated nuggets for the online punditry to seize upon. Maybe there’s some truth to them.

But until government apparatchiks start barring dealership doors, saying, “Hey! You there — you with the cash that you worked hard to earn. Don’t you dare purchase this pricey domestic product for your own (completely legal) use!” we’ll continue buying them. Meanwhile, a good many people will look at the state of their finances, take a gander at rising ATPs in that segment, and decide on something else.

Are you a truck owner with a mind to downsize? (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2019

It used to be that, if you were a “Ford Truck Man,” that’s all you drove. In fact, this author and his friends used to frequently quote the Toby Keith classic anytime someone exhibited an overabundance of brand loyalty. The borderline hysterical ad includes a scene with Keith hitchhiking through the desert, refusing rides from anything that lacks a blue oval on the grille. Hyperbolic for sure, but it kind of felt like that’s how people shopped for trucks back then.

Plenty of people still shop for a new pickups in this manner but, according to a recent survey, buyers are becoming increasingly less loyal as truck prices continue to climb.  (Read More…)

By on March 14, 2019

With both Ram and GMC showcasing multifunctional tailgates this past year, versatile pickup configurations appear to be the segment’s hot new trend for 2019.

It’s a trend that’s likely to continue, and American EV manufacturer Rivian has something even more ambitious in the early stages of development. According to a patent published the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month, the company has worked up a set of designs showing a pickup (presumably the R1T) equipped with reconfigurable bed modules. By using a flatbed configuration as the base setup, Rivian can simply tack on different modules to transform the rear for whatever job its owner needs it for.  (Read More…)

By on February 23, 2019

Focusing primarily on the U.S. market sometimes leads to a skewed view of what the average global consumer demands in their driveway, but not always. Broader trends don’t respect geographical boundaries; interest in light trucks doesn’t stop at the border.

As American buyers increasingly demand more additions to their high-riding vehicle buffet, the same call can be heard in other markets. And, just as Americans took home more electric vehicles (thanks, Tesla) in 2018, the segment recorded significant growth in places you’ve never visited.

However, the world still loves the Ford F-150. No change there.

Let’s take a global peek at last year’s buying decisions. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2019

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2.7L Turbo

With full-sized pickups replacing luxury vehicles for many Americans, fancy crew or double cab trucks have become so popular, General Motors didn’t even bother introducing a standard cab variant of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at launch. Hopefully, you weren’t one of the poor schmucks who ended up being laughed out of their local Chevy dealership over the holidays while on a noble quest to bring home a new, reasonably priced pickup from the current model year.

Assuming you weren’t, or were and didn’t purchase from a rival manufacturer, we bring good tidings. Standard cab Silverados should start appearing on dealer lots relatively soon.  (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2018

2018 Ford F-150 - Image: Ford

Much has been made of the impact of two hurricanes, Harvey and Florence, and the two storms’ impact on September vehicles sales in the United States. Harvey swamped the Houston-Galveston area in August 2017, leading to an uptick in vehicles sales the following month, while Florence menaced a broad area of the U.S. Southeast for days in September 2018.

For Ford especially, these storms are the stated reason for the vaunted F-Series line of pickups suffering its first year-over-year sales drop in 16 months. If you can forgive April 2017, when the F-Series failed to clear the previous year’s bar by 117 units, that winning stretch can be lengthened to 23 months. Was Mother Nature truly to blame? (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Ram pickup, the current batch has a grotesque number of special edition models to choose from. There’s the 2019 Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition, 2019 Ram HD Harvest Edition, 2018 Ram Southfork, 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten, 2018 Ram Harvest, and 2018 Ram Sport Hydro Blue.

We figured the Ram Rebel TRX would be the next model to become an official special edition vehicle, but Fiat Chrysler threw us a curveball, indicating that the (probably) Hellcat-powered pickup won’t be available until next year. That leaves FCA with a small window in which to cram yet another limited variant of the Ram.

It’s called the 2018 Ram Power Wagon Mojave Sand and it’s really not so much a special edition as it is a new paint scheme. However, since FCA plans on restricting production to 1,500 units through the remainder of this year, we suppose it qualifies as much as the Sport Hydro Blue — which is limited to just 2,000 units.  (Read More…)

By on September 13, 2018

More than a million, actually. A recall of 1,015,918 Silverado and Sierra pickups, plus their full-size SUV cousins, was issued yesterday by folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This recall affects machines from the 2015 model year. They are being summoned to repair centers thanks to electrical and software issues that could play havoc with the power steering system.

(Read More…)

By on August 21, 2018

Ford hasn’t confirmed the Raptor Ranger for the United States and it has really started burning everyone’s biscuit. The same is likely true in Canada — except for Quebec, where they would assumedly prefer the croissant. However, the collective annoyance doesn’t stem from fears that the middle-weight Raptor won’t make it to North America, as there’s already too much evidence to the contrary. Everybody just wants Ford to stop playing hard-to-get and cough up the details on their new pickup.

Using the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany as a launching platform, Ford unveiled the Euro-spec Ranger Raptor to the public on Tuesday. While we’re still a little confused by the industry’s growing fascination with debuting new models alongside car-related video games, it is of little consequence. We don’t mind hearing about how it will be in the new Forza Horizon 4 as long as we get to hear some technical details.  (Read More…)

By on July 3, 2018

Midsize trucks - Images: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM

A sea of green greets execs at major automakers this morning, providing a feeling of relief not unlike that of a weary travelling viewing the flight board at JFK where all flights read “On Time.” Come to think of it, that example is surely one of fiction. Anyway…

Unsurprisingly, light trucks and SUVs are the main reason for industry gains, driven by insatiable consumer thirst for tall wagons and vehicles with a pickup bed. This is a familiar refrain in an industry that is up nearly two percent so far this year.

(Read More…)

By on April 20, 2018

Hyundai santa cruz concept

Remember that Santa Cruz Concept pickup that miraculously appeared at the 2015 North American International Auto Show? Well, according to Hyundai, it’s still earmarked for future production, but the brand has really dragged its feet on its development.

Despite a warm welcome from the automotive media, the Santa Cruz hit a major speed bump when former CEO Dave Zuchowski left Hyundai Motor America. At the time, Zuchowski was pushing hard for more SUVs and especially the pickup truck, but sliding domestic deliveries forced home office to oust him from his position. Tragically, Hyundai’s preponderance of cars is probably the largest factor contributing to lackluster U.S. sales — something Dave seemed to understand.

Hyundai continued its pursuit of SUVs and crossovers without him, but the pickup was lost in the mix. Originally planned for a 2018 release, development of the Santa Cruz stagnated. Now, the automaker says it intends to get things back on track.  (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2018

2017 Nissan Frontier King Cab - Image: Nissan

With an extra selling day compared to the March that came before it, last month saw U.S. new vehicle buyers continue doing what they’ve done for years. By that, we mean snap up trucks and SUVs like it’s going out of style. (There’s no indication it’s going out of style.)

According to figures from Autodata, truck and SUV sales rose 16.3 percent in the U.S., year over year, while traditional passenger cars continued to fade from the minds of new vehicle buyers. That segment declined 9.2 percent, year over year.

Monthly sales figures can be fickle, which is apparently the reason for General Motors’ switch to quarterly sales reports starting next month, but we prefer receiving data more often. And last month’s data paints a very different picture than February’s. Leaving SUVs aside, which pickups soared in March? (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2018

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept - Image: Hyundai

The United States and South Korea reached a free trade agreement on Monday that spared the Asian country from punitive steel tariffs, assuming Seoul keeps an eye on just how much steel it sends to American buyers.

A quota on Korean steel exports means the country can only sell 70 percent of its recent average (2015-2017) to the U.S., though it is hardly Korea’s largest export market. The deal, reached “in principle” ahead of both countries’ meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jung UN, will also see South Korea raise the limit for U.S.-made vehicles that needn’t conform to local safety standards from 25,000 to 50,000.

It’s good news for the Trump administration, but not everyone’s thrilled. Hyundai’s union is hopping mad that a steep tariff on Korean-built pickups — which was set to expire in 2021 under the previous agreement — was just renewed for another 20 years.  (Read More…)

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