A reader spotted this Volkswagen Amarok pickup at an Ann Arbor, Michigan dealership looking fresh out of the service department. He even confirmed it was a 2.0 TDI with a six-speed manual, making the burn that we can't buy it so much worse. Volkswagen occasionally brings non-US vehicles over to taunt journalists and the VW-lusting public, and this is one such vehicle. With Michigan manufacturer plates on the back, our reader reported it was identified as "an engineer's car." I want it, and I thought you might too. Hat tip to Jarett Hoffman! Truck Yeah The trucks are good! … [Read more...] about Diesel Manual VW Amarok Pickup Taunting Us At A Michigan Dealership
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Here in the US, we've got some pretty great pickups and 4WD vehicles to choose from. We've also got plenty of cool communities to go on off-road adventures with. But after a month of driving trucks around South America, I'm starting to think they do trucks even better. Here's why. So Many Brands To Pick From Here in the US, you can buy a Ford F-Series, Chevy/GMC, or a Ram. Or a Toyota or Nissan if you need to be the class clown. (Kidding, we all know the American-made Asian brand trucks are good.) In Argentina and Chile, I saw all of the above plus well-proportioned pickups from SsangYong, Mitsubishi, Tata, Mazda, Mahindra, and Volkswagen. Not to mention a few older offerings from GM and Ford I'd love to be pawing through on our own used car market right now: the Ford F-100 and Chevy C/10 each lasted into the 80's this far south of the border, and something about their short-cab, medium-bed configuration just feels so right. More Size Options Than You Knew Existed South America has … [Read more...] about Why South American Truck Culture Just Might Be Better Than Ours
Good Morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know. 1st Gear: It Could Be Amarok And Hilux Time In America Let’s start The Morning Shift off with some good news for a change instead of body counts and recalls. Over at Automotive News, Ryan Beene has a detailed story that reveals the chicken tax — America’s longstanding 25 percent tariff on imported pickups and commercial vans — could come to an end soon as part of new trade agreements. With the legislative pieces now in place, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are closer to becoming reality. The Pacific Rim deal seeks to create a 12-nation free-trade bloc encompassing some 40 percent of the world’s economy. The EU deal would lower trade barriers and seeks to align regulations between the U.S. and EU. Both would remove the chicken tax. … [Read more...] about Foreign Mini-Truck Lovers Rejoice! The Chicken Tax Could Die Soon
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Letters to Doug, your weekly source for letters that are written to Doug. For those of you who haven’t read one of these before, here’s how it works: a bunch of readers write in every week with an automotive-related letter, and I pick the very best one to respond to, while simultaneously ignoring all the rest. If you think this sounds like fun, please send me your own letter at [email protected], or by Tweeting me at @DougDeMuro. This week’s letter comes to us from a reader named Frederick, who writes: Mr. Doug DeMuro, I’ve got a question for you my friend. Other countries get extremely successful, and supposedly extremely awesome trucks like the Toyota Hilux or the newer Ford Ranger I just saw on Jalop. It seems like those kinds of trucks would do pretty well here. Why don’t we get them? Do the companies just want to stick with the American way of giant sizing everything? Stay fresh Frederick First … [Read more...] about Why Don’t We Get Small Trucks in America?
We love forbidden fruit, especially when that fruit is a diesel, manual, four-wheel drive small pickup truck not meant for the U.S. market, like the Volkswagen Amarok. Believe it or not, there’s one for sale in Pennsylvania right now, but you may not want to buy it. As you may well know, here in America there’s a stupid rule against importing non U.S.-spec vehicles that are younger than 25 years old. The Amarok in these pictures—sent by a reader named James, who spotted the truck in the parking lot of a traveling gun show—was first registered in 2015, so it’s clearly not a quarter of a century old. So why is it for sale stateside? After seeing these photos, I called the number on the for-sale sign, and found myself speaking with a soldier in the German military who’s stationed in the U.S. for training. The man, named Andreas, told me that because of what’s called a “SOFA Agreement,” German soldiers are allowed to bring their … [Read more...] about There’s An Awesome Volkswagen Amarok For Sale In The U.S. But You Probably Shouldn’t Buy It