Honda’s all-new Ridgeline is one of the best selling trucks in North America for the 2017 year. It’s definitely at the very top of the segment because there are no rivals at all. The unibody construction and car-like driving dynamics along with unusual design and plenty of latest technologies made the vehicle popular.
However, the Japanese producer will have to share the piece of the cake very soon, because the Ridgeline is getting a few direct rivals during 2018. The first name is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Korean carmaker approved production of the pickup, so we should see it sometime next year. Still, even though it’s quite handsome and unusual, we highly doubt that the Santa Cruz will be able to match the Ridgeline because Hyundai is a total beginner. On the other hand, General Motors filed a trademark application for ‘Montana’ name, which means that there is the 2019 Chevrolet Montana is coming home very soon.
We think it’s going to come next year as the 2019 model because the carmaker already has offered the truck worldwide. They will probably introduce the U.S. model with a few exterior changes and lot of improvement under the hood.
The existing model features a 97-horsepower 1.4-liter flex fuel engine and a five-speed gearbox at the moment. Since we all know that this is not enough for U.S. truck buyers, the carmaker will have to fit something else under the hood. The engine doesn’t have to be big at all, but it has to be good enough to compete with the Ridgeline. GM has a new turbocharged four which should be able to develop up to 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and we think it’s the perfect option for the 2019 Chevy Montana. Aside it needs to find a way to fit the engine under the hood, the carmaker has to pair it with a suitable transmission, which should be the current 8-speed auto.
The job won’t be done there of course. Chevrolet’s future smallest pickup truck will have to have a far better interior and latest technologies inside, and that’s going to cost some extra money. Luckily for them, the overseas Montana pickup costs about $18K at the moment. This means that GM has more than $12K to make a proper U.S.-specs unibody truck, that’s going to be capable to outmatch the current Ridgeline.