Diesel Compact Pickup coming to US

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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Here's an interesting story for the gearheads....it's been floating around for a couple years but it seems they are serious about actually bringing these vehicles to market (unlike all the other light truck manufacturers who have promised a diesel for years and keep shelving them).

Indian tractor and truck manufacturer Mahindra is planning to sell a compact pickup (and eventually an SUV) in the US starting in early 2010 featuring a 2.2L common rail diesel engine with a six-speed auto. The payload and towing numbers look good, as does the promised 30mpg highway...and while pricing is not official people are saying $20-$22k.

I've always thought the biggest problem with compact pickups in the US was the lack of a diesel - the gasoline engines are either too underpowered or too thirsty. If I was in the market for a new truck and these were available I would take a long hard look at one of the 4WD standard cab models. It looks solid.

People may scoff at buying a truck from India but then again most people laughed at Hyundai when they showed up a while back....and they are doing pretty darn well here now, and making some very nice cars.

In slightly related news, I've finally started seeing Ford Transit Connects in my neighborhood, which made me think I had been beamed over to Europe for a minute. I think it's a smart move to bring them here but with 25mpg they are crying out for a diesel, even if they are more economical than an Econoline Van for instance...
 

Ttownbeast

macrumors 65816
May 10, 2009
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We already had a diesel compact pickup in the 70's that got 35 MPG and hauled a half ton, the Chevy LUV--the 4 cyl diesel engine or the 1800cc gasoline version were options with either a 4 speed manual or a turbo 200 automatic. After 1982 the model was renamed the S-10 (the origional S-10 lines were as near compact as the LUV and used the same kind of engine blocks from Isuzu) and until around '85(I think not certain about the year here) you could get the same engines even opting to drop in a Buick V6 before the S-10 design moved to a larger body with the same hauling capacity.
 

Tilpots

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Apr 19, 2006
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The truck looks alright. I'm a big fan of Toyota's and really wish they would offer Diesel models here in the US. What's our problem with diesel???
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
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Maybe 10 years ago...
I think there are regulations in USA that are at least at tough as Euro 6. And Euro 6 is not coming out until 2014.

There are only a couple of cars that already meet the foreseen Euro 6.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2006
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A lot of sedans and larger consumer trucks have been diesel over the years in the US so I'm not sure why small to mid-size trucks like the Tacoma's are never offered in Diesel.
 

Signal-11

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
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A lot of sedans and larger consumer trucks have been diesel over the years in the US so I'm not sure why small to mid-size trucks like the Tacoma's are never offered in Diesel.
That's just it though. Americans won't buy oil burning full sized, half ton pickups. Hell, most 3/4 ton (2500s/F-250SDs) are gasoline powered. What makes anyone think that Americans will buy compact diesel P/Us?
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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As long as you aren't put off by the smaller size (and I see it as a positive advantage), you'll see that this truck gives you the best of both worlds - you can haul and tow and go off-road and still see fuel economy in the high 20s low 30s.
 

jknight8907

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2004
799
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Hudson Valley NY
That's just it though. Americans won't buy oil burning full sized, half ton pickups. Hell, most 3/4 ton (2500s/F-250SDs) are gasoline powered. What makes anyone think that Americans will buy compact diesel P/Us?
I disagree. Take a look at the used 3/4-ton and up market. Especially in the case of the F-250, you are hard pressed to find a gas one. Diesel seems to rule in that market.
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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Suffice to say, a diesel engine makes excellent sense in a light pickup. The only reason we haven't gotten one here yet is a combination of laziness on the part of the manufacturers, misinformation and bad memories from the 80's, and (until recently) a lack of ultra-low sulfur fuels.
 

Hayduke60

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Mar 2, 2009
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Depending on how they market it, it could take off. I don't see the younger generation buying into one. But I could see just about everyone else being interested. A stripped down version would make a great little work truck. I'd consider a bare bones extra cab model...if they had a 6 foot bed.
 

Hayduke60

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Mar 2, 2009
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Here in Colorado way more trucks, 3/4 ton and up, are diesel than are gas. Most of the half tons are gas though. You can't swing a lariat here without hitting at least one big Dodge Cummins turbo diesel or a Chevy Duramax or two Ford Powerstrokes.
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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And that is why I think this truck could be a hit...guys looking for a second smaller vehicle to complement their giant diesel pickup might go for this smaller one.

Or, people like me that would only require a light truck but want good fuel economy.
 

Tilpots

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Apr 19, 2006
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The Future of Diesel in the US: Analysis

Found this recent article on the subject from Popular Mechanics. It's claiming it's the higher upfront cost of diesel, cheap price of gasoline, strict EPA standards, and historical perceptions of diesel are all contributing factors. It's an interesting read.

Concerns over fuel economy and carbon-dioxide emissions have left many wondering why more cars with diesel engines aren't available in America. After all, diesel-engined cars are 20 to 40 percent more efficient, and they're cleaner than ever. Diesels are wildly popular in Europe, accounting for roughly 50 percent of the car market there. So why don't automakers simply bring the European cars here? It comes down to intrinsic differences between U.S. and European governmental policies, consumer demand and fuel prices. Here is a primer on the future of diesel in the United States.
By Larry Webster
Published on: September 10, 2009
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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Right now diesel costs the same as gas in my town. I think the article's points are valid, but are becoming less so as time goes on. We will become converts too eventually.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2006
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Right now diesel costs the same as gas in my town. I think the article's points are valid, but are becoming less so as time goes on. We will become converts too eventually.
Diesel and gas are right around the same price in my town, too. I hope we at least get the option of light diesel trucks in the very near future.

I drive a big gas guzzling SUV and when the engine finally dies in 10 years or so (*crosses fingers* it makes it that long) I'd seriously think about putting a diesel engine in it. It's a 1997 Lexus LX450. So the engines are available, I just wonder what the technology will be then.
 

jknight8907

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2004
799
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Hudson Valley NY
I disagree with your disagreement. Driving around TX and having recently shopped for an F-250, more are gasoline than not.
Of the ones on eBay right now, 42% are gas. Definitely not a landslide in either direction, nor a total-market indicator, but it does show that diesel is as popular if not more popular.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2006
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Lots of folks, OK maybe not lots, but some folks are turning these older trucks into bio-diesel engines. I don't know enough about to make an enlightened comment, but it seems pretty cool to be able to never fill up at a gas station again.
 

Lord Blackadder

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Original poster
May 7, 2004
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Of the ones on eBay right now, 42% are gas. Definitely not a landslide in either direction, nor a total-market indicator, but it does show that diesel is as popular if not more popular.
In a truck that size there is a big advantage in economy, just as with cars. I used to drive an F-350 when I was working in the field. It had a gas V8 and got 9mpg. NINE. I know a guy with a Dodge Ram 3500, a similar truck. But fitted with the diesel he gets 22mpg. That's a big savings.

Lots of folks, OK maybe not lots, but some folks are turning these older trucks into bio-diesel engines. I don't know enough about to make an enlightened comment, but it seems pretty cool to be able to never fill up at a gas station again.
The problem with biodiesel is that once everyone starts doing it it becomes uneconomical, because there isn't enough biodiesel to go around.
 

Hayduke60

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Mar 2, 2009
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When Mercedes owned Chrysler they put a 3.0 liter turbo diesel into the Grand Cherokees also.
 

Ttownbeast

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May 10, 2009
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Depending on how they market it, it could take off. I don't see the younger generation buying into one. But I could see just about everyone else being interested. A stripped down version would make a great little work truck. I'd consider a bare bones extra cab model...if they had a 6 foot bed.
A 6 foot bed is too short in length to haul a proper payload to me but its fine as a minimum. I always preferred the extended 8 foot bed it comes in real handy for hauling building materials (almost any standard materials for a construction project come in 8 foot lengths)--anything below six feet isn't really a truck either I see a lot of these ugly assed SUV things with tiny 4 foot beds running around the road that look like a mini cooper screwed a jeep and it makes me cringe a little bit because people buy these things thinking they are really a truck.