Updated Montana uses the Agile platform

Updated Montana uses the Agile platform

Car-derived pick-ups constitute quite an interesting segment here in Brazil. Indeed, sales this year are likely to exceed 200,000 units or 7% of the total car and light commercials market. The segment is contested by five automakers and model ranges include single, extended and double cabs.

Compact pick-up buyers are diverse. It’s quite hard for automakers to classify their customers but, on average it's estimated that 80% are for mixed use, just 10% for cargo hauling and 10% purely for leisure. In mixed use, its believed that at least half value good looks, decent ride and handling when unloaded and plenty of room for sports gear.

In this context, the Chevrolet Montana was overdue for renewal. The new pick up, a redesign of a model first launched in 2003 based on the second generation Brazilian Corsa, now used the newer Agile line’s architecture and cabin forward section.

GM claims a 1,670lb payload, a mere 35 lb over the recently launched, 206-based Hoggar. As for volume, the Montana needs to get rid of the standard bed liner to defeat - by just 1 cu ft (41.6 vs 40.6) the newer competition from Peugeot, whose bed liner is optional.

Some might think the new Montana more attractive than the Agile. Examples of neat design include the fixed windows in the rear pillars and the tiny roof bubble included more for styling reasons than aerodynamics.

Even the side steps were resized. The load bed’s rear gate is lower now, improving interior rear view mirror visibility.

Inside, the passenger seat back can be completely folded down to make a table. Room behind the seats is limited to 5.8 cu ft  but the automaker claims 25 storage slots.

GM justifies not offering an extended cab version by saying it does not want the Montana to steal sales form its larger S-10 medium size pickup line.

Retail prices range from R$32,000 (US$19,000) to R$44,000 ($26,000). The automaker forecasts a 15% sales boost but will fall short of moving up from third place behind Fiat's Strada and VW's Saveiro.