With every year that passes, the big, gas eating North American Pickups are starting to fade due to their high costs of ownership. A more efficient alternative to these vehicles, could be the compact pickup trucks which are usually based on small passenger cars.
The Montana (also known as the Tornado) is part of this class and is sold by Chevrolet on the South American and other emergent markets. The vehicle is basically a two door ute which is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Agile hatchback.
It’s clearly not as capable as its full sized siblings, but it has the same hard worker character as any other utility vehicle. The latest generation was launched in 2011 and the vehicle can deal with a maximum load of up to 734 kg.
Power comes from a 1.8L MPFI, 4-cilynder engine and pricing starts at $18,720 for the entry-level version.
Isuzu and GM work together from a pretty long time and one the models than was born from this relationship is the H-Series truck.
The H Series is built on the same chassis as the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick. Isuzu’s truck is available as a medium duty Class 6, 7, and 8 truck. The H Series is also available in various GVW which range from 25,950 to 54,600 lbs.
Similarly with its siblings from GM, the H-Series also comes with both regular and crew cabs, but unlike its brothers it’s equipped with its own inline-6 turbodiesel engines.
Unlike other oversized pickup trucks, the GMC Topkick had a pretty long life span. The vehicle is basically a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Kodiak and was sold until 2009.
The Topkick pickup was a medium duty truck designed to be able to deal with those loads that were too heavy for a conventional pickup truck and its 6.6 liter V8 unit can tow up to 16.000 pounds.
The vehicle was modified in 2003, when it received a series of new features, some exterior changes and upgraded technologies. The new truck came with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and had a starting price of $55.000.
The Chevrolet Kodiak shared the same designed and technologies with the GMC Topkick and Isuzu H-Series and was commercialized between 1980 and 2009. The vehicle was designed as a medium duty truck used for utilitarian and commercial purposes.
The last generation was launched in 2003 and it was built on the new platform G-Platform.
The new model came with a bigger cab and was offered with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. Power comes from a 6.6-liter, 300-horsepower Duramax diesel V-8 and the base two wheel drive Kodiak starts at about $55,000.
The Chevrolet Kodiak has a maximum towing capacity of 16.000 pounds, plus the additional 5,500 lb. it can carry at the back.
The Hino Dutro (also known as the 300) is basically Toyota Dyna’s twin and both models share the same platforms. The standard cab Dutro is built on the U300 Platform, while the wide cab uses the U400 platform.
The vehicle is pretty flexible and it can be configured in a wide range of body configurations.
Unlike the Dyna, the Dutro is sold in Australia, Canada Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and some countries in Latin America.
The previous generation was sold between 2005 and 2010 and came with a sharper style, a series of modern features and a stronger engine. Equipped with a 3.0 liter engine, the old Dutro had a maximum payload capacity of up to 1.5 tonnes.
The Toyota Hiace was launched for the first time in 1967 and since then has been available in a wide range of body styles, being perfectly suited for various commercial applications.
The fifth generation was launched in 2004 and is offered as a wide long-wheelbase wagon, wide super-long-wheelbase high-roof "Grand Cabin", long-wheelbase van, long-wheelbase high-roof van and a wide super-long-wheelbase high-roof van.
One of the most significant interior upgrades made to the new model was the dash mounted gear knob.
Power comes from a range of four cylinder DOHC engines combined with manual or automatic transmissions. The Australian and Asian versions of the Hiace come with a different exterior design and unique technical specifications than the European models.
The Nissan Frontier started its life back in 1997 when it came as a replacement for the old D21 Nissan Hardbody Truck.
The first generation of the Frontier (also known as the Navara) was designed as a small pickup truck which doesn’t offer the same towing abilities as a full sized pickup, but it comes with a better fuel consumption and a high level of versatility.
While the new generation Frontier can be considered a medium sized pickup, the 1997 model came with smaller dimensions and weaker engines being considered part of the small class of pickups.
The first generation Nissan Frontier wasn’t as muscular as the current model, but it was still a solid choice if you were seeking for a trustful and versatile working vehicle.
The 1997 Frontier was offered with various engines option and body styles included regular and Extended cabs. In 2000 there was also introduced a double cab version that was a worldwide premiere for a compact pickup.
The previous generation Ford Falcon RTV (Rugged Terrain Vehicle) ute sold between 2003 and 2008. It was designed as a working vehicle which offers a perfect compromise between comfort and utility. The old Falcon ute was available only with 2WD configuration, but this small impediment never stop it to attack the rugged terrains with poise. To be suited for off road driving, the old Falcon RTV Ute received a high ground clearance and a full locking rear differential.
The 2003 Falcon had a starting price of $30,615 and was offered with a choice of three engines which developed 182kW, 156kW and 220kW.
The Suzuki Every is a micro van available in both commercial an passenger versions. The model was originally called the Carry, but after a while it was renamed the Every.
The Every is available with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and received a series of upgrades in 2007. Unlike other boxy Japanese models, the Suzuki Every isn’t sold only in its home market and it can be found in many other regions.
The vehicle is basically a rebadged version of the Mazda Scrum and it shares the same engines and technologies with its twin. Power comes from a 660 cc engine which is mated on either three of four speed automatic transmissions.
The Mazda Scrum is a micro van which shares the same design and underpinnings with the Suzuki Every. The vehicle is offered in both commercial and passenger versions and comes with a spacious interior combined with compact exterior dimensions.
The micro vans market is still looked with suspicious eye by the European buyers, but in the Asian countries, these small and practical vehicles are much appreciated as they offer a good mix between utility and efficiency.
The Mazda Scrum has a long history behind it and the latest upgrades were made in 2007 when the vehicle received a modern exterior design combined with a new interior and a set of technical tweaks.
The new Scrum van continues to be powered by the old 660 cc DOHC engine and it’s offered with both 2WD and 4WD configurations.