On more than one occasion, we’ve heard pickup truck fanatics express their dissatisfaction with the state of the compact pickup truck segment in the U.S. and Canada: today’s offerings are either too big, too expensive, or too inefficient. That’s why – being the ultimate GM fans that we are – GM’s next-generation small pickup trucks are of great importance and interest to us.
The going rumor these days has it that GM’s next-gen compact trucks will return to their condensed roots. This means that we should expect something along the lines of a Chevy S10 (GMC S-15). These vehicles will most likely be considerably different that the present-day orado/Sierra counterparts, delivering less capability, conspicuously better gas mileage, and a starting price of roughly $15,000 (or even less).
But the ultimate question, however, is whether these new compact trucks should stick with the proven body-on-frame (BOF) design (like the present-day Colorado) or switch to a unibody architecture (like the Honda Ridgeline).
While BOF vehicles are tougher and very inexpensive to produce, the architecture may have passed its prime, especially considering tougher CAFE standards and changing consumer demands. But sharing a platform with an existing GM car or crossover (think: Chevrolet Equinox, Cruze, or Aveo – for example), would definitely result in decreased costs and greater economies of scale, but may compromise utility (ruggedness, power, and payload/towing ratings).
In fact, GM may even end up splitting the development of its compact trucks into two different vehicles: a unibody model for North America and a body-on-frame version for the rest of the world. The former would herald a completely new product while the latter would see the continuous development of the current Colorado/Canyon platform.
So, what do you think GM should do with its next-gen compact trucks? Should they remain BOF or switch to a car-based architecture? Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments.