It's funny how quickly changing tastes can make certain vehicles fade. Remember when compact trucks were all the rage? What happened? When did these trucks get so badly neglected?
Now it seems dealers can't give them away -- and that's even in the face of $4-a-gallon gas. Not fair. For about the same price as a topline compact truck, you can get a full-size, often with V-8 power and always with more towing capacity.
I just spent some time in the Isuzu i370, a close sibling to the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, yet with the badges of a company that is no longer a big player in the automotive scene. So, unfortunately for Isuzu, people aren't looking at compact trucks, and many don't consider Isuzu. And that's a shame -- the i-Series is much like the Colorado/Canyon, but adds a better warranty. What the Chevy, GMC, and Isuzu kin have to offer is a workable philosophy that hasn't changed much in the last 10 years: a fun-to-drive pickup with a small footprint (fits in any garage), decent fuel economy, and impressive versatility. Yeah, it's a little rough around the edges -- the engine's noisy, the cabin isn't whisper quiet and has few luxury touches, and it easily breaks loose in water on pavement -- but isn't that what a truck's supposed to be about? Now, if only automakers could get back to what else a compact truck is supposed to be -- inexpensive -- maybe that segment will start selling again.