The bond between Isuzu and GM continues to be pretty strong and the companies still share rebadged trucks and pickups between them. Even is the success of this business isn’t brilliant and Isuzu’s rebadged i-Series pickup didn’t managed to conquer a lot of hearts, the companies are ready to move one.
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet W-Series medium seems to share the same bad karma with the Chevrolet T-Series whose unsuccessful lead to its premature death in 2009.
With only two months after the N Series was launched in Japan, Chevrolet introduced the W Series in US but shortly after, in January 2009 the American company decided to wind-down its medium-duty truck operations.
The Chevrolet W Series was offered with both single and crew cab configurations in Class 3 (W3500), Class 4 (W4500), Class 5 (W5500), and class 5 (W5500) versions.
Volkswagen has designed and built the Saveiro especially for the South American market. The vehicle was developed with a pretty small budget so don’t expect to the same quality as the European Volkswagen products.
Though, the Saveiro keeps many Volkswagen traits which make it a highly desirable pickup, such as reliability and strong build quality.
The vehicle is offered in three trim levels namely the Saveiro, Saveiro Trooper and Saveiro Cross (or Cavalier). The Volkswagen Saveiro is also available in both single and extended cab configurations with maximum payloads of 715 kg and 700 kg respectively.
The Ford Courier is a small pickup truck sold on the South American and other emergent markets. The vehicle was designed as a compact utilitarian work horse and it’s based on the 1998 Ford Fiesta hatchback. The Ford Courier pickup has a load capacity of 1543 lb. and it’s powered by a 1.6 liter engine which develops 103 hp @ 5500 rpm.
The Ford Courier pickup competes against models like the Fiat Strada, Peugeot Hoggar and Chevrolet Montero. The truck is available only in single cab configuration and power is sent to the front wheels by means of a five speed manual gearbox.
The Courier name is also used by an Australian version of the F-150 pickup. But despite the name coincidence, the small South American Courier it’s totally different than the big Australian pickup.
The previous generation Chevrolet Montana (also known as the Tornado) was sold between 2004 and 2001 and was especially developed for the emergent markets, being mostly sold in the South America.
The small Montana offered the utility of a full-sized pickup and the comfort and maneuverability of regular a passenger car.
Given its utilitarian nature the 2004 Chevrolet Montana was also very efficient and its 30mpg on the highway attracted the interest of many buyers. The truck was also pretty practical and had a maximum payload capacity of 1600 pounds.
Under the 2004 Montana’s hood there is a 1.8-liter, inline-four-cylinder engine rated at 104 horsepower and 118 pounds-feet of torque.
General Motors has started to sell its T-Series trucks in 1998. The vehicles were based on the Isuzu’s F-Series medium duty range of trucks and shared the same design and technologies with their siblings.
The Chevrolet T-Series range consisted of three models namely the T6500, T7500 and T8500, all powered by a 7.8 liter Isuzu diesel engine. All Chevrolet T-Series trucks had a cab over engine configurations and were equipped with various Allison transmissions.
The Chevrolet T Series was sold until 2009 and came with GVM (gross vehicle mass) ratings between 24,350 lbs. to 39,000 lbs. and 4x4, 6x2 and 6x4 axle configurations.
Isuzu sold rebadged GM vehicles from some time now and one of the latest models launched by the company is the i-Series pickup which is based on the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The vehicle is available in both single and double cab versions with either 4x2 or 4x4 configurations.
The i-Series is far from being among the best choices you can find in this segment as both its materials and build quality are behind average. The engines are also a half step behind models like the Toyota or Nissan, but the price is smaller than most if its rivals.
Though the competitive price strategy wasn’t enough to boost Isuzu’s sales and its i-Series was always at the bottom of the sales charts.
Judging by the poor sales recorded by Isuzu on the US market, it’s possible that the i-Series could be the last passenger car sold on this market.
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.