Automobile-based utes: The small pickups thriving abroad

As soon as upon a time, not that way back, abroad fans forged wanting eyes in the direction of our car-based utes with passenger automobile driving dynamics, the pliability of an open tray, and the provision of turbocharged six-cylinder and lairy V8 engines.

Whereas the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore utes nonetheless traverse the roads of our large brown land, they’re each out of manufacturing, and now Australians look enviously to the remainder of the world.

Within the USA, the “life-style pickup” section may very well be the brand new craze with the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz each on account of go on sale in 2021.

South of the border, car-based utes account for round 5 per cent of all gross sales in Latin America. These automobiles are both primarily based on entry-level hatchbacks, or bigger crossover-based fashions.

Right here’s a taster of what the remainder of the world is obtainable in the case of car-based utilities.

UPDATE, 11/06/2021 2:14pm – It’s been an enormous week in car-based utes. We’ve up to date our story, and introduced it to the house web page.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
Automobile-based utes: The small pickups thriving abroad 9

Honda Ridgeline

Engine: 3.5-litre V6 with 210kW and 355Nm
Payload capability: 655kg to 700kg
Dimensions: 5.33m lengthy, 2.0m large, 1.80m tall, 3.18m wheelbase
Worth: From US$33,900 ($48,800)

Sized to compete with the likes of the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Ranger, the Honda Ridgeline doesn’t have a body-on-frame setup like its nearest rivals. As a substitute, it’s primarily based on the eight-seat Pilot crossover.

Certainly the Ridgeline shares many physique panels with its crossover brother ahead of the B-pillar. In comparison with the Pilot, the Ridgeline has an extended wheelbase and a strengthened body.

The primary-generation Ridgeline had a unique physique and largely distinctive underpinnings, however barely troubled the scorers when it got here to gross sales.

This time across the firm is shifting round 33,000 models per yr, which is a drop within the ocean in comparison with the segment-leading Tacoma and its 248,000 gross sales in 2019.

The Ridgeline was just lately up to date with revised front-end styling and the choice of wheel arch protections to provide it a bit extra visible differentiation from the Pilot.


Ford Maverick

Payload capability: 680kg
Dimensions: 5.07m lengthy, 1.84m large, 1.75m tall, 3.08m wheelbase
Worth: From US$19,995 ($25,800)

Whereas the Maverick has grabbed a number of headlines for its sub-EcoSport entry-level mannequin with metal wheels, we suspect most consumers will gravitate in the direction of the US$22,280 ($28,750) mid-spec XLT.

With such sharp pricing, the corporate is even hoping to lure consumers away from the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Primarily based on the Bronco Sport and Escape, the Maverick has blocky upright styling that hyperlinks it to the ever-popular F-150.

Below the bonnet is a 143kW 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain with front-wheel drive and a CVT is commonplace.

For these glad to sacrifice gas financial system for extra punch, there’s a 186kW/373Nm 2.0-litre turbo accessible with both front- or all-wheel drive.


Hyundai Santa Cruz

Payload capability: As much as 793kg
Dimensions: 4.97m lengthy, 1.91m large, 1.69m tall, 3.01m wheelbase
Worth: TBA

Primarily based on the Tucson, the Santa Cruz seems much like its crossover sibling, however its exterior is completely distinctive.

The inside is a straight raise from the Tucson, so the top-spec fashions have 10.25-inch devices and a ten.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. There are detachable bins below the rear seats for a little bit of lined storage.

There are two engines on supply: a 142kW/244Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder with an eight-speed auto, and a 205kW/420Nm 2.5-litre turbo with an eight-speed dual-clutch.

Entrance-wheel drive is commonplace, however all-wheel drive is offered.

Towing potential varies relying on the drivetrain, with the front-wheel drive 2.5-litre rated at round 1590kg, whereas the all-wheel drive 2.5-litre turbo can haul as much as 2270kg.

As a consequence of go on sale in the course of the northern summer season of 2021, the gross sales success or in any other case of the Santa Cruz will rely so much on its pricing, which Hyundai has but to disclose.

Given its premium-ish inside, it should seemingly be north of the sharply priced Maverick.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
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Fiat Strada (second technology)

Payload capability: 720kg (single cab), 650kg (twin cab)
Dimensions: 4.47m lengthy, 1.73m large, 1.61m tall, 2.74m wheelbase

Launched this yr in Brazil, the second-generation Strada is predicated on the newer Argo hatch as an alternative of the traditional Palio.

Whereas the brand new Strada seems so much bigger than the first-generation mannequin, it’s solely barely longer than the unique. It’s a good bit taller and wider than the first-generation Strada, although.

The brand new mannequin is offered with both two- and four-door our bodies. There are two four-cylinder engines accessible: a 63kW/122Nm 1.4-litre, and a 77kW/134Nm 1.3-litre.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
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Fiat Toro/Ram 1000

Payload capability: 1000kg
Dimensions: 4.92m lengthy, 1.84m large, 1.76m tall, 2.99m wheelbase

At nearly 5 metres lengthy, the Fiat Toro is a number of sizes bigger than the Strada. In reality, it’s across the identical measurement because the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick, the latter of which it would face up in opposition to in Latin America.

Below the pores and skin, the Toro has underpinnings derived from the Jeep Compass.

Launched in 2016, the Toro was facelifted this yr with a fair bolder face and an improved inside with both a 8.4-inch or portrait-oriented 10.1-inch touchscreen show.

Accessible solely as a dual-cab mannequin, engine choices embrace a 1.8-litre with 102kW, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 125kW, and a turbocharged flex-fuel mill with 136kW.

In some Latin American markets the Toro is offered because the Ram 1000. Just like the smaller 700, the one adjustments from the Fiat model are the badges.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
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Renault Duster Oroch

Payload capability: 680kg
Dimensions: 4.70m lengthy, 1.82m large, 1.69m tall, 2.83m wheelbase

Launched in 2016, the Oroch is predicated on the first-generation Dacia Duster crossover. In comparison with SUV, the Oroch has a wheelbase that’s round 150mm longer and a physique that’s 385mm bigger.

Motivation comes from both a 1.6-litre with 87kW and 159Nm, or a 2.0-litre with 105kW and 198Nm.

The Oroch is simply accessible in Latin America, and is offered completely with a dual-cab physique. There was discuss of bringing it to Australia, however worth and security issues rapidly quashed any plans Renault might have had.


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Automobile-based utes: The small pickups thriving abroad 13

Volkswagen Saveiro

Payload capability: As much as 712kg
Dimensions: 4.49m lengthy, 1.71m large, 1.5m tall, 2.75m wheelbase

Launched in 2009, the Saveiro is predicated on the up to date Gol hatch (3.8m lengthy) and sedan (4.23m lengthy).

Just like the Gol, the Saveiro was given a significant facelift in 2016 to convey the styling into line with Volkswagen’s different fashions. This included a brand new dashboard design and an infotainment system appropriate with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Two physique kinds are provided: a two-seat “cabina easy”, and an prolonged cab mannequin with two doorways and 5 seats.

Energy comes from a 1.6-litre engine rated at 75kW.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
Automobile-based utes: The small pickups thriving abroad 14

Chevrolet Montana

Dimensions: 4.51m lengthy, 1.7m large, 1.58m tall, 2.67m wheelbase
Payload capability: 734kg

The unique Montana was primarily a third-generation Opel Corsa — offered in Australia because the Holden Barina — with a stretched wheelbase and a tray out the again.

For the second technology, which was launched in 2010, the Montana took the Agile hatch as its place to begin.

Whereas the Montana and Twister names conjure up wide-open areas and excessive velocities, the small ute makes do with a 1.8-litre engine rated at 78kW.

In contrast to its direct opponents, the Montana is simply accessible with a single cab physique.


Car-based utes: The small pickups thriving overseas
Automobile-based utes: The small pickups thriving abroad 15

Fiat Strada/Ram 700 (first technology, discontinued)

Payload capability: 650kg to 700kg
Dimensions: 4.41m lengthy, 1.66m large, 1.56m tall, 2.72m wheelbase

Since we first printed this text in 2020, the first-generation Strada has been put out to pasture, with the brand new mannequin totally taking its position because the entry-level ute in Latin America.

Launched in 1996, the Strada is a ute primarily based on the Palio hatch and Siena sedan offered in creating markets.

The Strada is considerably larger than its donor automobiles. It’s 4.4m lengthy – in comparison with 3.7m for the Palio hatch and 4.1m for the wagon. It additionally has a stretched wheelbase.

The primary-generation Strada was facelifted and up to date a number of instances, most importantly in 2009 when it gained a heavily-updated exterior and a brand new prolonged cab model with a reverse-hinged door on the passenger aspect.

Choices below the bonnet embrace a 1.4-litre engine with 64kW, and a 1.6-litre mill with 85kW.

It’s offered in Mexico below the Ram model, however lacks any of the styling options of the a lot bigger 1500 mannequin.


Do any of those car-based utes tickle your fancy? Which wish to see grace Australian dealerships? Tell us within the feedback part beneath.

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