More Proof That We Need Coupe-Utes In The USA

Illustration for article titled More Proof That We Need Coupe-Utes In The USA
Graphic: Chevy Mexico, Wisconsin DOT
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

A Wisconsin driver decided to haul his Polaris snowmobile atop his Toyota Corolla, as recently reported by our friends at The Drive. Clearly, this driver wants to be able to haul his skimobile every now and again, but since he knows the value of a small, practical car like the Corolla, he may not be keen on getting something as big and cumbersome as the new F-250. There is a solution to your woes, Wisconsin.

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To be fair, some manner of proper road etiquette was observed: Hi-vis ratchet straps held the Polaris firmly enough to pass the “shake” test, and some marker rope warned fellow motorists of cargo width and overhang. But the guy could use a little something more. Just a little bit.

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If, like said driver, you want a jack-of-all trades, something small and car-based that has a cargo bed, you don’t have to scour your local Craigslist for a sweet Chevy El Camino. There is, ahem, another way. It’s time to bring in the Latin American-market coupe-utilities! This whole snafu could have been avoided altogether if we car buyers in the U.S. could get our hands on utes like the badass Chevy Tornado, the Ram 700 (which is a rebadged Fiat Strada) or the venerable Volkswagen Saveiro.

We’ve already begun to bring similar mighty little autos into the States. If you want to bring it back to a beloved marque, recall that Subaru blessed us with the Baja for the 2003-06 model years.

And modern commercial fleets are rife with compact panel vans like the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 Cargo Compact and Ram ProMaster City. These little vans are made to navigate narrow streets in densely populated cities much more adeptly than their larger stablemates such as the Ram ProMaster or Nissan’s NV Cargo Van, which is based on and borrows from the Titan chassis.

Those larger vans make an excellent base on which to build your dream van-life vehicles, but the coupe-utes take a more practical approach to cargo hauling. Just think of how much effort it took to hoist that Polaris precariously onto that Corolla — which, by the way, is not just any old base-model, but a DX. Why would you risk doing any damage to your deluxe, well-appointed, compact sedan when you could easily push that skimobile up a low-height ramp and into the bed of this modern wonder:

Illustration for article titled More Proof That We Need Coupe-Utes In The USA
Photo: General Motors de México S. de R. L. de C.V.
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Or, this:

Illustration for article titled More Proof That We Need Coupe-Utes In The USA
Photo: Volkswagen de México, S.A. de C.V.
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Of course, that Polaris may not fit completely within the bed of your ute. It might exceed the bed length of either the Tornado or Saveiro, but an open tailgate is still a lot safer and more appropriate than ratchet-strapping your motor sled to the roof of your car.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

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DISCUSSION

anavriniv
Zaphod's Heart of Gold

or, ya know, a trailer. Because price and utility.

I love the thought of a little truck but I wouldn’t buy one. I can haul nearly as much in my hatchback and anything bigger I have an actual(ish) truck. This guy is rocking a 20 year old corolla, I doubt he’s in the market for a tiny new truck and if he were I’m guessing a mid-00s ranger is the fit.

Automakers clearly see no market for these types of vehicles in the US, and for good reason. I’m here for it but not, like here here for it in reality