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Jalopnik: Mahindra Diesel Pickup Truck, Reviewed [New Cars]

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The Indian Mahindra Diesel pickups are among the most highly anticipated imports around these parts. The small, cheap pickup fits the bill but what's it like to drive? PickupTrucks.com's Mike Levine takes the Mahindra "Pik-Up" for a spin.

According to Levin, who drove two pre-production models similar but not identical to what the U.S. will get, the truck was shockingly competent compared to what he expected.

We drove the Pik-Up unloaded on a loop that took us around Atlanta's suburban and rural roads and the Georgia 400 tollway. What most impressed was the Pik-Up's driving manners. Mahindra's pickups are naturally set up to carry those crazy-heavy payloads in developing countries, so we expected a joltingly stiff ride, but the version we drove has surprisingly good road feel. The steering isn't numb or loose, but is reasonably solid. When we turned corners or changed lanes at highway speeds there was very little body roll or handling slop. The truck goes where it's directed with minimal fuss. As much as we beat up on the interior, there weren't any noticeable shakes or rattles, though the small cabin had louder than average wind noise. Overall, ride quality and noise, vibration and harshness is very competitive with current U.S. midsize pickups, if not superior to some. Shocking, we know, but it's true. This is a truck that could function as a daily driver as well as a workhorse.

See more photos and details at PickupTrucks.com.

500x_Mahindra_Truck.jpgSpecial thanks to Mike Levine for the photos
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Other than the hideous grill, it looks like the new century's Chevy LUV has arrived.

Thats not really a good thing.

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That's by far the biggest ...ummm... C-pillar in a pickup since the 'small window' Chevys of the '50s.

Retro where no one asked for retro... where no one wants to go with retro. 1975. Yay.

And what's with the rear axle placement ?? Looks like a 5-6 foot bed design was stretched to an 8-ft for the U.S. market without making an appropriate chassis. Wonder how many concrete blocks it'll take to tip (ala the subaru brat-thingy) ?? :wink:

Doesn't even have full-length sill plates.

Wonder what the rot-out rate of this thing will be ?

Wonder what the off-lot depreciation will be ?

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Painfully ugly, but I think we do need a true compact pickup in our market again.

Just not this one.

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My dream worktruck has arrived, and it's not from GM, Ford, or any established North American brand. It has exactly what I want, which is an economical diesel engine in a small pickup, and the quality sounds decent as well.

Who cares about looks? It's a truck. As long as it lets me haul my mower and blower one day, a furnace the next, and then a trip to the dump, then I'd be a happy customer. Depreciation is of no concern to me either, because... it's a truck.

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My dream worktruck has arrived, and it's not from GM, Ford, or any established North American brand. It has exactly what I want, which is an economical diesel engine in a small pickup, and the quality sounds decent as well.

Who cares about looks? It's a truck. As long as it lets me haul my mower and blower one day, a furnace the next, and then a trip to the dump, then I'd be a happy customer. Depreciation is of no concern to me either, because... it's a truck.

What's this? Common sense and not import bashing on C&G? You're on the wrong site bub. :P

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^ Isn't that how the Yugo became so successful ?? tongue.gif

Actually, even with the bad PR and quality control problems, Yugos were becoming successful. Yugo's downfall was the Yugoslavian War.

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Makes the Ranger look modern. This thing looks really old and really cheap.

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It's ugly and cheap looking, but if it does what it's designed to do, and does it reliably, then I say kudos to Mahindra for filling a gap in the US market that no one else is filling.

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It's ugly and cheap looking, but if it does what it's designed to do, and does it reliably...

Which is what pickups used to be all about.

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From the pics, the doors look really short, shorter than doors on a 4dr SUV. Looks like it would uncomfortable for American sized people to get in and out.

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^ So pickups no longer 'do what they're designed to do, and reliably' ???

Pickups have become, primarily, the replacement for the large American sedan/station wagon with all the bells and whistles that one might expect on an over complicated German sedan.

Oh sure, you can get work truck versions, but you can't really get anything that gets decent mileage or is small but still useful.

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Exactly, there's no back to basics small truck besides the Ranger, which still isn't cheap, and no one offers a diesel in anything smaller than a HD truck.

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