Having long been dominated by the Tacoma, the midsize truck market is for new players to enter the arena. New trucks such as the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon twins, including their much-anticipated Duramax diesel variants, along with the Ford Ranger (expected to debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto show in January) should take a bite out of Tacoma sales. Ram, however, is not planning a midsize contender, according to Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of the brand. The last midsize offering from Ram (Dodge at the time) was the Dakota, which bid farewell in 2011.
Perhaps Ram is waiting to see how the segment plays out over the next year or so, but Hegbloom doesn’t see midsize trucks offering buyers the value they need to over fullsize pickups. He believes a midsize must deliver on price and fuel economy but currently they are not able to. Hegbloom states,
“If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you’re going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35,” Hegbloom said. “You’re also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you’re going to raise the price.”
A diesel-powered midsize truck is one option to increase fuel economy… we are looking forward to testing the Colorado/Canyon Duramax when it becomes available to us to see what kind of real-world MPG numbers they can achieve. Another route would be to provide turbocharged engines with less displacement. It all comes back to cost, though. The biggest benefit to midsize trucks at the moment is their size. They are easier to maneuver through a crowded parking lot and leave room to walk around in most garages. But with their decreased towing and hauling capabilities and prices that easily climb to the mid to upper-30s does it make sense to get one over a fullsize?
The next big question is: is there possibility of a compact pickup truck for Ram? Something like the Fiat Toro?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Watch the 100 mile highway MPG loop with the 2016 Tacoma with the trailer in tow.