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2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup

2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup

Fiat prepares a truck smaller than the Toro, but it’s not coming to the U.S.

The 2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup is an upcoming utility vehicle based on the Mobi, a city car that the Italian firm produces exclusively for the South American market. Just like the Mobi, this small pickup truck will be produced in Brasil and sold in South America only. Heavily related to the Fiat Fiorino, it will replace the Strada, a small pickup related to the Fiat Palio. The Strada is sold in Mexico as the Ram 700. The Mobi Pickup, which might have a different name when it arrives, will be Fiat’s second truck in showrooms after the Toro. Spotted testing in early 2020, the Mobi Pickup will probably break cover later in 2020, most likely at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in November.

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2017 Fiat Fullback Cross

2017 Fiat Fullback Cross

A special edition Fullback arrives at Geneva

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is launching a special edition version of its new-for-2016 Fiat Fullback pickup. Now entering its second year in production, this mid-size, body-on-frame pickup arrives at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in Fiat’s “Cross” trim. The truck comes with several new exterior add-ons designed to appeal to lifestyle customs that want something more stylish. The Cross version is available with the four-door Double Cab configuration.

But before we dive into what makes the Fiat Fullback Cross edition different, let’s get reacquainted with the truck.

The Fiat Fullback should look familiar. That’s because it’s a rebadged Mitsubishi L200. FCA is also using the fifth-generation L200 as its new Ram 1200 pickup, sold in global markets outside North America. But that’s beside the point.

The Fullback uses Mitsubishi’s powertrain, too. The Fullback Cross comes with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. This common-rail engine produces 180 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Customers can opt for a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. In either case, the Fullback’s top speed is 111 mph. Fiat elected to display an automatic-equipped Fullback at Geneva. 4WD is optional, of course, and includes a two-speed, electronically controlled transfer case from Torsen. It includes both 4WD High and 4WD Low range gears. An electronically operated locking rear differential is also standard with the 4WD system.

Electronic control and traction systems abound. They include ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, Trailer Stability Assist, and Lane Departure Warning. Other safety systems include seven airbags, three-point seatbelts, and a front crumple zone. Cruise control is also standard.

Inside the cabin, the Fullback comes with leather seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, automatic dual zone climate controls, and a seven-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The system includes Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a CD/MP3 player, satellite navigation, and a backup camera. The driver rides in comfort with a six-way power-operated seat.

With that covered, let’s jump into what makes the Fullback Cross unique.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat Fullback Cross.

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FCA Design Boss Says Fiat Toro Not Coming to U.S.

FCA Design Boss Says Fiat Toro Not Coming to U.S.

Ralph Gilles “cleared something up” from his speech at Chicago Auto Show

The Fiat Toro, a mid-size lifestyle pickup sold in Latin America, looks like a promising competitor to the Honda Ridgeline. Only it isn’t coming to the U.S. That news comes directly from FCA’s design boss, Ralph Gilles, and his Twitter feed. Gilles tweeted Wednesday that FCA has no plans on selling the unibody pickup in the U.S.

Gilles’ tweet said, “I must clear something up from this morning #MAMA I meant I love the new 2017 #Fiat Toro sold in Latin America, no plans to sell it in the U.S.”

As he stated, the tweet was meant to clear the air after his speech at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, which led many to believe the Fiat Toro would have a future in North America. “You’re going to be seeing more from fiat on the truck side, especially,” Gilles said at the auto show.

This is disappointing news for the mid-size truck segment. Currently the Honda Ridgeline is the only unibody offering. It competes with several body-on-frame trucks, including the ever-popular Toyota Tacoma. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon also make up a large portion of market share.

What’s more, the mid-size truck segment isn’t slowing down. Ford recently made headlines with confirmation of the mid-size Ranger pickup’s return for the 2019 model year, along with the Bronco SUV, which will share the Ranger’s underpinnings. Then, of course, Jeep is set to debut its new 2018 Wrangler and its pickup variant.

For whatever reason, FCA doesn’t seem inclined to enter the market. Perhaps FCA bean counters are worried the Fiat Toro would compete too closely against the Jeep Wrangler pickup. Perhaps FCA simply couldn’t meet demand with the U.S. joining the customer base.

Then again, Gilles could have spoken too early about FCA’s plans to debut the Toro for U.S. consumption, having then to cover his tracks with pacifying statements regarding FCA’s lack of plans for a U.S.-sold Toro.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear many are passionate about the Fiat Toro and its potential launch in American dealerships.

Continue reading for more information.

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The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The nitty-gritty on the 70-plus vehicles at TAWA’s Truck Rodeo

By now you’ve probably read how the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned the Truck of Texas and that the 2017 Nissan Armada won the SUV of Texas. But the Super Duty and Armada were far from the only winners at this year’s Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

More than 70 journalists and social media influencers descended upon the 1,623-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas to test approximately 71 pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles in TAWA’s annual event.

A total of 17 categories grouped the vehicles with their competition, ranging from compact crossovers and full-size SUVs to Off-Road pickups. Other categories included best connectivity, best technology, and best powertrain.

Keep reading for the full results.

Continue reading for more information.

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2016 Fiat Fullback

2016 Fiat Fullback

Not counting Fiat Chrysler Auto’s Ram division, Fiat has been absent from the truck market. That’s all changing, however, as the Italian automaker is jumping head-first into the global midsize pickup market via a partnership with Mitsubishi. Yep, Fiat now has a badge-engineered version of the Mitsu Triton pickup.

Called the Fullback in reference to the critical position in both Rugby and American Football, the truck is designed to squarely compete with the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara NP300, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado. Its intended market is EMEA region, otherwise known as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Fiat is predicting its Fullback will find decent success in that market as there were 675,000 midsize, “medium-duty” pickups sold in there in 2014 alone. Though the final sales numbers for 2015 are still out, there is great potential the market will be even hungrier for these style trucks in 2016.

The Fullback will be offered in several different configurations with three engine choices delivering a total of five different power outputs. Both 2WD and 4WD version are offered. Single, Extended, and Double cab styles, along with three cargo bed lengths give customers the ability to configure the truck the way they want.

Fiat should have the Fullback ready for delivery by Fall 2016. Price, though unconfirmed, should be on par with the Mitsubishi Triton.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Fiat Fullback.

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2016 Fiat Fullback

2016 Fiat Fullback

Not counting Fiat Chrysler Auto’s Ram division, Fiat has been absent from the truck market. That’s all changing, however, as the Italian automaker is jumping head-first into the global midsize pickup market via a partnership with Mitsubishi. Yep, Fiat now has a badge-engineered version of the Mitsu Triton pickup.

Called the Fullback in reference to the critical position in both Rugby and American Football, the truck is designed to squarely compete with the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara NP300, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado. Its intended market is EMEA region, otherwise known as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Fiat is predicting its Fullback will find decent success in that market as there were 675,000 midsize, “medium-duty” pickups sold in there in 2014 alone. Though the final sales numbers for 2015 are still out, there is great potential the market will be even hungrier for these style trucks in 2016.

The Fullback will be offered in several different configurations with three engine choices delivering a total of five different power outputs. Both 2WD and 4WD version are offered. Single, Extended, and Double cab styles, along with three cargo bed lengths give customers the ability to configure the truck the way they want.

Fiat should have the Fullback ready for delivery by Fall 2016. Price, though unconfirmed, should be on par with the Mitsubishi Triton.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Fiat Fullback.

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2017 Fiat Toro

2017 Fiat Toro

The list of global pickups that aren’t available in the U.S. grows ever longer thanks to Fiat. The Brazilian arm of the automaker has released this photo of the compact truck, but with only a few savory details.

Called the Toro, the pickup will ride on Fiat’s Small wide 4x4 platform also found under the Jeep Renegade. The Toro will be much larger than the cute-‘ute, however, measuring 26 inches longer. Its size is still compact, especially when compared to the Chevrolet Colorado. The Fiat is a full 20 inches shorter than a Colorado Extended Cab.

Like most trucks, the Toro will give customers a wide range of configurations to choose from, including three trim levels, both 2WD and 4WD configurations, and two engine choices, including a turbodiesel.

Fiat says the Toro will have the luxury car-like features with seating for five. A payload rating of 2,204 pounds allows owners to haul a decent amount of cargo, though the Toro’s unibody construction keeps it from competing with the global Colorado and Ford Ranger.

The Toro is expected to make its full debut by the end of 2015 with sales starting in the early parts of 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Fiat Toro.

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2017 Fiat Toro

2017 Fiat Toro

The list of global pickups that aren’t available in the U.S. grows ever longer thanks to Fiat. The Brazilian arm of the automaker has released this photo of the compact truck, but with only a few savory details.

Called the Toro, the pickup will ride on Fiat’s Small wide 4x4 platform also found under the Jeep Renegade. The Toro will be much larger than the cute-‘ute, however, measuring 26 inches longer. Its size is still compact, especially when compared to the Chevrolet Colorado. The Fiat is a full 20 inches shorter than a Colorado Extended Cab.

Like most trucks, the Toro will give customers a wide range of configurations to choose from, including three trim levels, both 2WD and 4WD configurations, and two engine choices, including a turbodiesel.

Fiat says the Toro will have the luxury car-like features with seating for five. A payload rating of 2,204 pounds allows owners to haul a decent amount of cargo, though the Toro’s unibody construction keeps it from competing with the global Colorado and Ford Ranger.

The Toro is expected to make its full debut by the end of 2015 with sales starting in the early parts of 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Fiat Toro.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Fiat Chrysler Must Buy Back 500K Ram Trucks From Customers

Fiat Chrysler Must Buy Back 500K Ram Trucks From Customers

Security holes in its Uconnect software isn’t Fiat Chrysler’s only issue these days; the automaker has agreed to orders from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to repurchase nearly 500,000 Ram pickup trucks due to major safety concerns. The buyback could cost the automaker billions on top of the $90 million fine from the NHTSA for failing to address these and other safety concerns in a timely fashion.

The safety issues with the Ram pickup line reportedly stem from defective steering and suspension components that could fail, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The effected trucks include certain Ram 1500 models from 2009 to 2012, the 2008 Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4WD, and the Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 Heavy Duty with 4WD from 2008 through 2012. On a smaller scale, FCA is also including the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango, along with the 2009 through 2011 Dodge Dakota in the buyback.

Vehicles will be repurchased at fair market value from customers who choose to participate in the buyback and the necessary repairs completed. FCA can then resell the vehicles. The NHTSA will be monitoring FCA’s progress with the buyback and has the option of issuing another $15 million fine if more violations happen. The oversight will continue for three years by an independent monitor.

Included in the NHTSA’s investigation is FCA’s installation of trailer hitches onto more than 1 million Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee SUVs that have their fuel tanks placed between the rear bumper and solid rear axle. At least 75 deaths have been reported due to fire-related rear-end crashes with the two vehicles. The hitches are said to protect the fuel tank from rupturing in such collisions. In total, the fine against FCA covers 23 separate recalls that the NHTSA says were not dealt with on schedule.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Fiat/Ram Pickup

2017 Fiat/Ram Pickup

It appears Fiat is developing a midsize pickup truck that slots above its compact Strada pickup. The news comes as our spy photographer captured these shots during a recent cold-weather test session. What’s more, it’s very likely Ram is in the mix, helping its Italian brother develop a strong competitor against the global Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Hilux.

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