There will soon be a great, yawning chasm in the mid-size truck arena when Ford kills the Ranger pickup later this year (even though it is still selling remarkably well.) It seems like American automakers want to push consumers into full-size trucks, even as gas prices continue to climb. But a small, fuel-efficient pickup with optional performance packages could be just what the market needs right now.
While it may seem strange to suggest that the Holden Ute, an Australian performance icon, could be this small, fuel-efficient pickup. At least that is what Mark Reuss, Holden’s former managing director, tells Drive.com.au.
High gas prices are causing many consumers to reconsider the types of cars they drive. Here in America though, the pickup is more tool than transportation. The stresses and hardships owners put these trucks through means not just any vehicle can step up to the plate and expect to stand-in for a full-size pickup. Many truck owners, however, have more truck than they need, because the options outside of the full-size market are so spare. Reuss goes on to say how many tradesmen he knows make due with the smaller, more efficient Ute rather than go for a full-size vehicle because gas costs $5 a gallon down under. With the V6 engine package and six-speed manual transmission, the Ute can get up around 24 MPG, which ain’t too shabby.
Sure, Chevy already has the Colorado with a fuel-efficient five-cylinder engine option, but there are signs that the Colorado may be next on the chopping block as GM recently unveiled a Holden version of the Colorado for sale overseas, but not in America. The Ute is due for an overhaul in 2014, which means it wouldn’t make it stateside until then. We don’t really care what excuse GM uses to bring the Holden Ute to America though; we just know we want it.