Ask Nathan: Tiny Chevy Pickup for the U.S, A “Cheap” Gladiator And The Most Inexpensive Side-By-Side?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Do you think we’ll get a tiny Chevy pickup?
  • I want a “CHEAP” Gladiator! 
  • What is the most inexpensive side-by-side? 

The first question comes from a viewer who wants to know if there will be a tiny Chevy pickup that will slot under the Colorado. 

This tiny Chevy pickup is the Chevrolet Montana, which is sold in other markets and is based on a car’s platform. [Photo: Chevrolet]

Q:  Hi Nathan! I own a 2015 Honda Ridgeline and I just love it!

I saw that you guys are covering the Ford Maverick small pickup and wondered if there would be a tiny Chevy pickup in our future?  It looks like Ram will have the Dakota soon and it could be a unibody vehicle like my Ridgeline. If they do it and Ford does it like you guys said, then what about Chevy? 

Am I being too far fetched for this idea? Honda has proven this concept to be moderately popular but you still have to pay a lot of money for a Ridgeline. I was hoping that they would build a discount one that would under cut the midsize trucks but that’s a no go. 

I think Hyundai is building one too. 


— Bret BB88 


A: Hi there! There are some minor rumors about a tiny Chevy pickup.

But it’s nothing as substantial as Ford and Ram’s leaks. 

The images you are seeing are from the old Chevrolet Montana. It is a car-based pickup that is sold overseas and in South America. AKA the Chevrolet Tornado in Mexico and Chevrolet Utility in Africa, the current Chevrolet Montana is pretty small. It weighs under 2,700 lbs, has a front-wheel drive architecture and is built for emerging markets. Not ours. 

We won’t see this exact model here as it conforms to a platform built for countries that don’t have to contend with our rules. “GEM, short for Global Emerging Markets, is an upcoming General Motors vehicle architecture designed to support entry-level passenger cars and crossover utility vehicles for developing markets.” – – GM Authority 

It is still an impressive little thing. When properly equipped, it has a maximum payload of over 1,600 lbs and it can tow 

At 177-inches, it’s just a hair longer than a Chevrolet Cruze hatchback. That’s a lot smaller than any Chevy Colorado. It’s nearly three-feet shorter than your Ridgeline. Tow ratings are hard to find, but I suspect it would severely struggle with anything over 3,000 lbs. 

While GM is working on an all-electric truck (GMC Hummer) which may slot in around the same size as their Colorado/Canyon, they haven’t indicated any other models. That could change. 

As you said, Ford and FCA appear to be working on unibody/partial-unibody platforms for small pickup utility vehicles. Both companies could be building something that competes with your Ridgeline, or something a bit smaller like the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz. I feel that the Ford (Maverick, Courier… or whatever) will slot into a smaller bracket than the Ridgeline. 

GM is keeping an eye on Honda and Hyundai 

General Motors is well aware of what their competitors plan. It could be, in just a few years, Ford, FCA, Honda and Hyundai will have crossover pickups in our market. GM could want a piece of that pie. The idea of a tiny Chevy pickup utility vehicle isn’t that far fetched.

I have no doubt that GM is keeping a close eye on the market to see if they should develop a vehicle like this for North America. At the same time, they need to see where the trends may go. Right now, trucks are leading the trends – big time. 

— N

Speaking of the Maverick (which may be based on the new Ford Bronco Sport)…

The next question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) who wants a CHEAP (Jeep) Gladiator. 

Q: Is now the time for me to buy a cheap Gladiator? 

I see some online pricing that is closer to my budget. But I want to get the base model at or under $30,000 out the door. You think that’s possible? 

— Jell67

A: Hi!

Thanks for the great question! 

Right now, along with nearly every automaker, Jeep is pushing discounts for their products, which includes the Jeep Gladiator. They call the program  “Employee Pricing+” and it gives the shopper employee pricing, longer lower financing numbers and more.


According to the current rates on Jeep’s website, a $33,545 base model Gladiator is now $31,482. Now, when I went online to configure an absolute base model, with nothing on it, my (online) MSRP was $32,977. That price is after the $1,495 destination charge. Not too shabby. Still, that’s not quite the price you were looking for – right?

Now this is the absolute base, sure. It come standard with a V6, six-speed manual, four-wheel drive, a 3.73 rear axle and 245/75R17 all-season tires. Modifications could wait until your budget catches up.

The good news is, this model could be priced even lower if there is excess inventory. You should be able to wheel and deal to get something in your price range. 

To be honest, after seeing these prices, I’m beginning to rethink my future pickup truck choices! 

— N

The last question comes from a fan who wants the least expensive (new) side-by-side.

Q: Hi Roman and Nathan! I want to get into off-roading the inexpensive way!

What is the least expensive side-by-side you can buy new? I want a new one because I don’t know mechanics and I can’t work on one so I need a factory warranty. Do you guys know?
— Adam S.

A: Thanks for the email! 

That is a perfect question for our newest website and YouTube channel, TFLoffroad and 

My brief findings found the Polaris Ace 500 for $6,999 and Kawasaki Mule : $7,299. You may be able to get extended warranties on used models or dealership warranties as well. Resale value for most ATVs are poor, so you might want to think about a compromise. 

Check out this TFLoffroad article for more! 



Speaking of off-road!