It’s not often I get excited about Indian automobiles, but the Mahindra TR40 diesel pickup seemed like everything I could want in a small truck, including power, towing capacity, and 30 mpg. Or so I thought.
The Big Three has all but abandoned the small truck market to Toyota and Nissan, leaving little Mahindra a chance to differentiate itself from the competition with a four-cylinder diesel engine that was supposed to get up to 30 mpg on the highway. That would put it far above any of the competition, while still offering a 5,000 pound towing capacity and about 2,700 pounds of hauling from a small four-cylinder engine. That was the promise at least.
Unfortunately, the Mahindra rollout has been delayed time and time again, with protracted litigation between Mahindra and Global Vehicles, which was supposed to distribute the little pickup to over 300 franchises across the country. That obviously hasn’t happened yet, and while a set sale date is nowhere in sight for the TR40, the EPA has managed to rate the Indian pickup at an unimpressive 19 city and 21 highway in crew cab configuration with 4×4.
Let’s not be too quick to judge though, because the crew cab/4×4 configuration is undoubtedly the heaviest, least fuel efficient of any of the models. Would a fleet operator making local deliveries need a crew cab or 4×4? Probably not. So I still have hopes that this little diesel truck can deliver decent gas mileage, but even I have to admit, this is a bit of a downer. Is it so much to ask for a high mileage diesel pickup?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.