Mahindra Markets Value-Priced Diesel Power
A company known as Mahindra will begin selling small diesel trucks in the U.S. market in the next few months (PickupTrucks.com reports February 2010). The very first models have yet to be named, but Mahindra has released some data and some photos that give us enough information to start forming an opinion.
First, here’s what we know:
- Mahindra will be offering two door and four door versions of a yet-to-be-named pickup similar in size to a Toyota Tacoma.
- Fuel economy will be good – “20-40% better” than comparable gas motors. On the low side, a Mahindra diesel will get 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. On the high side, a Mahindra two door might get as much as 30 mpg on the highway.
- The technology will be advanced. Mahindra has years of international experience building diesel engines, and they’re promising a 6-speed automatic transmission as a standard feature. High-tech for a mid-sized pickup.
- Mahindra promises the trucks will have power – the two door will have a payload rating of approximately 2,500 lbs…which is hefty considering the Tundra reg. cab work truck maxes out at about 2,100 lbs.
- The truck will be ‘value priced’ – less than $30k for a mid-sized diesel pickup that can haul a couple thousand pounds while getting great mileage.
Sounds like a winner…but we have questions:
What about quality? This truck was expected to debut a few months ago, but Mahindra delayed the truck to make certain they had time to address some quality concerns. Mahindra is offering an excellent warranty on these new trucks (4 years, 60k miles bumper-t0-bumper), but is that going to be enough?
Tell me about resale value. If I buy one of these Mahindra trucks and I don’t like it, did I throw away my money? Until Mahindra develops a reputation stateside, there’s a lot of risk involved in buying one of these trucks.
Tell me about safety. Crash test standards in the USA are tough – so tough that most manufacturers new to the marketplace struggle to achieve decent safety ratings the first time around. Is this pickup going to get 4 or 5 stars – because that’s what it’s going to take to be competitive.
Will I want to be seen in one? The pictures are interesting – sort of a cross between a Jeep and a Hilux – but until I see one of these things in person it’s hard to say if they’ll pass the “will chicks dig me in this thing” test.
What do you think – is this new truck going to be a success?
Filed Under: Auto News