In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- GM won’t sell the Chevy Montana pickup in the United States?
- Disappointed with my new Honda HR-V.
- Where is my Fiat 500 electric!?
The first question comes from a GM fan regarding the Chevy Montana pickup.
Q: (Via: AskNathan@TFLcar.com) Explain why the Chevy Montana pick up utility truck isn’t coming to the USA!
The Chevy Montana would be in a perfect position to take on the Maverick and Santa Cruz! Please explain it to me like I’m a 5 year old cause I can’t find a logical reason why not! I know it’s not as powerful and it doesn’t have a 4×4 system. But it would be super cheap and it can haul as much as the others.
My family has only owned GM cars and trucks. Lately it kind of feels like they are pushing us to look at other competitors and that super upsets me. Look it is super simple! Just build the Montana on the same line as the Chevy Trax. Make it cheaper than a Maverick and you will have a winner. I promise you it won’t hurt Colorado sales!
A: Hi Wendall. I’m afraid the Chevrolet Nova Montana was never meant to come to the United States.
For those of you who don’t know, the Chevy Montana he’s referring to just began production in Brazil. It’s front-wheel drive (FWD) only, and packs a 1.2-liter turbo three-cylinder that makes 133 horsepower, and lb-ft of torque. A six speed manual and automatic are offered, but there’s no mention of any all-wheel drive (AWD) system anytime soon.
The Chevy Montana is a much smaller, narrower pickup than the Maverick and Santa Cruz. It’s about 10 inches shorter than the Hyundai, and about 14 inches shorter than the Ford. Despite this, insiders place the payload at about 1,500 pounds, which is competitive. It also has a unique bed storage system that is modular.
Base prices hover around the equivalent of $26,000; however, that’s simply based on the Brazilian market’s totals. A locally built, mass-produced pickup like this could undercut the Maverick’s base price of $22,000, if it ever came here. And that’s the rub.
Despite production delays slowing the sales of both the Maverick and Santa Cruz, they are extremely popular. Sales are expected to increase over the next few years as larger pickup prices increase. Rumors of equivalent pickups built by Toyota and Stellantis are pickup up steam. Still, GM does not appear to be interested in producing the Montana here.
One other curious note: recently Chevrolet showed a select few a concept of a small electric pickup. This may be the direction GM will go regarding smaller-than midsize pickups in the future.
The next question comes from a fan who is disappointed in their new Honda HR-V.
Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter) Hi Nathan. Over the years, we have enjoyed your videos and blogs.
My husband and I love your guile and honesty. Thanks for making us laugh so much!
I recently bought a new Honda HR-V to replace my 2017 HR-V, and I am a little disappointed to be honest. Other than more comfort, it’s pretty bland. Like sugar free vanilla yogurt bland. I saw your video and agree that it handles well, especially in Seattle traffic. The frown on my face comes from it being less exciting than anything else I have driven.
Even my old HR-V seemed to have more personality than this new one. I’m fortunate to have leased it, so I will be done with it by 2025. I want to replace it with something more enjoyable and engaging to drive.
Can you help a girl out?
– Susan LLP
A: I’m sorry you’re disappointed.
Honda’s recent batch of new crossovers have been hot and cold, in my book. I love the new Passport and Tommy lauds the new Pilot, but the HR-V and CR-V are different. You’re right, the HR-V is kind of boring, and lacks power. I still like the way it handles, but it lacks personality.
There are a few crossovers that give you a lot more fun-per-dollar, and my favorite is the Mazda CX-30. Now, even if you don’t get the fire-breathing turbo, and settle for the regular 191 hp, four-cylinder engine, it’s still a hoot. If you drop some additional coin for the (up to) 250 hp turbo, you won’t be disappointed. It’s as fun as many sport wagons.
The Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona and Toyota RAV4 are pretty good, but the Mazda handles better. If you’re looking for better comfort (the Mazda is pretty small inside) check out the RAV4. For fun, I would not recommend the Toyota Corolla Cross, as it’s similar to your HR-V.
The last question comes from a reader who wants to know when we’re getting the next Fiat 500e.
Q: (ask@TFLcar.com): Where is the Fiat 500e, and what was that *&$! at the L.A. auto show?
Anger! Don’t show off a car, say we’re getting one, but not that one at a car show! I refer to the Fiat 500e that was on display at the LAAS! What the hell Fiat? When are we getting our own EV 500?
– Zigo JJ
A: Yup, it’s a head scratcher.
We are expecting the new Fiat 500e to hit U.S. showrooms sometime in 2024. There are no details about the specifications, pricing or performance. Hell, we don’t even know if it will look like the ones we saw at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. All we know is that Fiat seems to be serious about bringing them here.
I, for one, am excited to see what they are all about!