Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Can't Touch This #1

As a car buff, I enjoy writing about them from time to time. Elsewhere in the world there are vehicles—that are not sold in the USA—but which would be perfect here.

Let me introduce you to the Dacia Duster.

Dacia is a Romanian car company owned by Renault.

Trivia: Renault owns a controlling interest in Nissan and Renault's platforms underpin much of Nissan's product line.

Back to the Duster. 

It’s a crossover/SUV roughly the size of a Nissan Rogue or Ford Escape. 

Because Nissan has that segment of the market, there is no reason to import the Duster.

Now let me introduce you to the Duster Oroch.

The Duster is marketed as a Dacia in Europe and as a Renault elsewhere.

The Duster has just been turned into a trucklet named Oroch and I think it’s pure genius.

I’m sure some bugger outers with balls bigger than their brains will sneer, scoff, and mutter as they return to their Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn 4x4 longbed diesel dually and the attendant payments on a $70K pickup.

One of the advantages of crossovers and SUVs is the availability of AWD (all-wheel drive) or 4WD (four-wheel drive).

One of the disadvantages of crossovers and SUVs is that if you have a messy load, you run the risk of damaging the interior of your vehicle.

The Oroch to the rescue.

A few months ago, I seriously considered getting a pickup.

I looked at the F150 but couldn’t stomach paying $33K for a truck with rubber floor mats.

I looked at the Chevy Colorado—another non-bargain—and was not impressed with its MPG. It wasn’t significantly better than a full-sized pickup.

A car-based pickup would be all I really need.

And no, a Honda Ridgeline is out of the question. It is as expensive as a full-sized pickup, but sized smaller and without any real MPG advantage.

The Oroch would have significantly better MPG because it’s based on the Duster, which is distantly related to the Nissan Juke.

With people wanting pickups and with automakers facing stiffer CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) requirements, I think crossover pickups will arrive.

I don’t think that small truck-based pickups like the Chevy Luv, Ford Courier, Datsun 520/620/720, and Toyota Hilux of the 70s and 80s because that would require a huge gamble.

Pulling a small pickup off a crossover platform is a snap.

I’d buy an Oroch it does all I need a pickup to do.

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