Remember Mahindra pickups? The compact, diesel engined trucks that were going to take the U.S. by storm? First there was the lawsuit against Mahindra by importer Global Vehicles, who alleged that the Indian manufacturer was dragging their heels on EPA and DOT certification. Mahindra followed up by revoking Global Vehicle’s distributor status; that particular soap opera is ongoing, so Mahindra currently lacks a U.S. distributor. It turns out that’s a good thing, since the EPA just slapped a fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city and 21 mpg highway on the Mahindra TR40 Crew Cab pickup. That’s a far cry from Mahindra’s claims of 30 mpg highway, and it’s about on par with a base model Ford F-150 with a 3.7 liter V6 gasoline engine (which gets 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway). So much for diesels being more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts.
So if fuel economy isn’t a selling point of the Mahindra trucks, is towing capacity is worth mentioning? Not really, since the four-banger diesel Mahindras are only rated to tow (or haul) 5,000 pounds. That leaves size (the Mahindras are smaller than other trucks on the market) and price (too early to say, but safe to assume below Toyota and Nissan) as Mahindra’s only selling points. As Mitsubishi and Isuzu found out, it’s tough to sell compact pickups in the U.S. market on price alone, so I’d be very surprised if Mahindra pickups actually do make it to the U.S. market.