It used to be you could buy a little pickup truck from most of the Japanese manufacturers, as well as imported ones from the big three. These trucks were simple, honest work vehicles, and provided thousands of gardeners, independent pool cleaning service entrepreneurs, and mailbox baseball-playing teens with economical, no-frills transportation. But these days, they’re all gone.
Sure, Ford still sells the octogenarian Ranger, and the Colorado can be found on Chevy dealers’ lots, but both of those, as well as the Toyota and Nissan tracks have become twice as large and ten times as feature laden.
And every time one of these trucks gets redesigned – understanding that will never happen in the Ranger’s case – they jump both in size and fitment of luxury accoutrements, pushing them farther out from the needs of those pool men and mailbox-whacking teens. Ford has re-envisioned their entry into this market with the neat but not a pick up Transit Connect. That van may may make creepy junior high stalkers a little more fashionable, but it does nothing for people who need to move a 15-foot tall palm tree someplace.
While neither the Americans, nor the Japanese seem interested in building a mini-truck that emulates the attractions of old, there is a truck that has been rumored to be coming to America that comes close. The Mahindra Appalachian is supposedly Tacoma-sized, and powered by a Bosch-designed 2.2-litre diesel four. At $22,000, it ain’t cheap, and it’s also still bigger than the Couriers and LUVs of old, but it’s a start.
So, do you think there’s much of a market for small trucks anymore? And if they built them again, would you want to buy one? What would be your ideal small pick up?