The Wuling Zhengtu has a cool fold-down bed.
The small pickup truck market is about to be revived in the US thanks to the upcoming debut of the Ford Maverick. It'll have the segment all to itself in our neck of the woods for the time being, but don't be surprised to see GM and Ram respond in kind eventually. In other parts of the globe, small, cheap trucks have never lost popularity, especially in South American and Asian markets. And one of General Motor's Chinese brands has just revealed its first-ever small truck - and it's incredibly cheap (but US standards).
Meet the Wuling Zhengtu, a multi-purpose truck priced from RMB 58,800, or about $9,033. The Dual Cab model is also darn cheap beginning at $9,650 (RMB 62,800).
The Zhengtu measures at 201 inches long and a 78.74-inch cargo bed. To compare, the midsize Chevy Colorado Crew Cab is 212.7 inches long and has a 74-inch bed. The Dual Cab comes in at 224.9 inches and a 62-inch bed. But the Zhengtu has something no other American truck has, including the Colorado: fold-down bedsides. Quite obviously, this makes loading and unloading much easier tasks. Engineers strengthened the panels by an additional 20 percent thanks to reinforced internal beams that also offer cargo protection.
The truck's overall styling is aimed at younger buyers with active lifestyles. The front end features a chrome-plated grille that visually connects the headlights. Ride comfort was a priority with Wuling claiming the Zhengtu has the same noise, vibration, and harshness standards as a regular passenger car.
Front seat passengers will find three big knobs for HVAC function and, above them, a standard 8-inch touchscreen navigation screen that can also be controlled with voice commands. Power comes from a 1.5-liter gasoline engine rated at 99 horsepower. Apparently, that output is good enough for most Chinese truck customers. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are also standard. Nothing was mentioned in the press release about the gearbox, but the single interior image clearly shows a manual.
To be clear, there's zero chance the Zhengtu or anything else from Wuling will be sold in the US. But we are digging those fold-down bedsides. Hint-hint, GM.