• Mar 17th 2008 at 3:53PM
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When Kia debuts the next-generation mid-sized Sorento SUV in a couple of years, the South Korean brand is expected to migrate to a front-wheel-drive unibody platform. That would make the Sorento like many of its competitors in this size class such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Ford Edge. It now appears that, like Honda did with the Pilot and Ridgeline, Kia is planning to spawn a unibody pickup truck off the new Sorento platform, as well. The Kia pickup could debut around 2011 and be built alongside the new Sorento at Kia's new assembly plant in West Point, GA.
So far the Ridgeline hasn't exactly been a roaring success, but with gas prices climbing and stricter fuel economy standards coming, smaller and lighter pickup trucks of this type may finally start to gain some traction. Ford seems content allowing the Ranger to whither away, but a new truck derived from a next-generation Edge could provide a viable alternative.

[Source: PickupTruck.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "A new truck derived from a next-generation Edge could provide a viable alternative."

      The Edge gets 19 mpg. A 4-cyl Escape gets 22 mpg. A RAV-4 gets 24 mpg.

      "Kia is planning to spawn a unibody pickup truck off the new Sorento platform, as well."

      The Sorento currently gets 18 mpg. I don't know how well the unibody would do, but it would have to do a lot better.

      All of these new trucks look terrible, from the Ridgeline to the A-BAT to the Baja. The only reason I (and a lot of other people) really have for a truck is because I want a truck's looks. I want a truck, but I'm also willing to admit I don't need one. I don't need any more than 3000 lb towing capacity, a four-foot bed and five seats. You car companies are still giving me way more truck than I need with these concepts. Build something like the Toyota A-BAT, only without the expensive hybrid powertrain and goofy looks.

      I want the truck to look like this: http://luigiianrepublic.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/please_make_this_toyota_ii.png It's on my website, I include it here only to show you what I want my truck to look like.

      It should get fuel economy like the Toyota RAV-4. It should be able to carry five people and a load of cargo in the back. At times, it should be able to tow a 1500-lb camper trailer. It doesn't need to do anything else.

      Chevy, your Colorado is close to what I want. If you make your 4-cylinder crew cab Colorado with 2wd get 22 mpg overall (20/26 mpg EPA city/highway), I might actually buy it. I'm willing to pay up to $22,000 or even a bit higher for this low-grade vehicle if you can make it reliable. I'm even willing to deal with a crappy interior if I can run it 200,000 miles. I'm willing to deal with a lot. But it has to get that mileage number, or higher. That's the fuel economy of my current car, +1 mpg. If you can build it, there will be parades in the streets. So build it already. I'm getting impatient writing all this pablum just trying to find a poser truck.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Hey, thanks! I looked it up on GIS. Gotta admit, pretty little pickup. If it's got a reasonable price and it gets good mileage when it comes out, (and naturally if it's safe), that's what I'd like my next truck to look like.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There is a truck that looks almost exactly like your drawing and has many of the features you ask for. It's the Tata Xenon, built in India and on sale in South Africa, Italy, Spain and soon in South America. I've seen it on several search engines, and it looks way better than the Mahindra Appalachian. I understand Tata wants to sell cars here in the States within the next 2-3 years, so your wish may come true sooner than you expect.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "So far the Ridgeline hasn't exactly been a roaring success, but with gas prices climbing and stricter fuel economy standards coming..."

      ... a minivan based truck look alike that gets the same 15mpg as a V8 Silverado that can do real work seems more attractive by the day doesn't it?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I has a similar reaction when i read that paragraph. What exactly is a Ridgeline smaller than: an Avalanche? That "thing" has to be one of the biggest wastes of sheetmetal in the auto industry today.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "So far the Ridgeline hasn't exactly been a roaring success..." Because it's hideous.

        I think the idea of a unibody pickup can work for some people, but why did Subaru, Honda, and Kia all go with really odd-ball fugly designs?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "but with gas prices climbing and stricter fuel economy standards coming..."

        You make the assumption that a unibody design gets better mileage. This is clearly not the case with the Ridgeline.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I admit, that truck is pretty spiffy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford already has the Escape with 4wd and the option of hybrid. Couldn't that be the platform for a small pick-up? The concept works for me. I hate to see the primative Ranger disappear.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes! Thank you Kia.

      I have been long in the market for a low cost compact pickup (anything cheaper than the current Toyota Tacoma). I will take mine with a 2.0 inline 4 with 5 speed manual or a 4 cylinder turbo diesel with also a 5 speed manual.

      Just to save the arguments yet to come. I don't care if you can get an F-150 or any other full size pickups for a few dollars more. The main point why I (and people also like me) desire a compact pickup is because of it's small footprint and savings in gas. I am not looking to tow a suburban or a ton of concrete cinder blocks to a construction site. I want a simple small footprint 4 door pickup truck that will be used as a daily driver with the ability to haul some things from Ikea or large items from Best Buy.

      I don't think I have the patience to wait for the Chinese manufacturers or Indian manufacturers to introduce their trucks to the US market.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I drive a 2002 Tacoma 2.4 liter 5 spd and I love it! I know in Asia, my father drives a Hi-lux with a diesel engine that gets awesome gas mileage (25mpg mixed). If gas prices keep going up, who can really afford a full size V8 truck? If someone would make a good compact pickup that gets high 20's-low30's MPG, it would sell like hotcakes. Am I dreaming?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford still has the Ranger. Everyone forgets about it. Older design still a great truck.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, what exactly is so bad about the Ranger? In 1998 it got a real front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering; in 2001 it got a real V6 engine. It has a 6'1" bed, and according to CR, it rides and handles okay. Aside from a crew cab body style and a working back seat (filled in by the overpriced Explorer Sport Trac), what more does the world want?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Front looks good. It'll sell great if it looks like this.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Kia has a "Body On Frame" truck platform.
      Kia does not have a "unibody" truck platform.

      Kia's Georgia plant is supposed to build "Body On Frame" Sorento and pickup truck.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have to agree that the Ridgeline is butt-ugly
      • 7 Years Ago
      Its True.
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