All-New Chevy Montana Debuts in Brazil, Still Not Good Enough for Canada

With demand for the Ford Maverick being so strong and the Hyundai Santa Cruz providing a sporty alternative, will other manufacturers come up with their own small pickup in the foreseeable future? That seems pretty unlikely.

Ram hasn’t even brought back a midsize model yet, while GM is focusing on the launch of its next-generation 2023 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which will arrive in dealerships in the spring.

Just a few days ago, the bow-tie brand introduced a redesigned Montana pickup for the Brazilian market, but if you’re wondering whether it would be a good fit here, we’re sorry to tell you it clearly wouldn’t.

Photo: General Motors

An SUV in Pickup’s Clothing

The new Chevrolet Montana admittedly looks nice with sharp lines, thin LED headlights and some stylish alloy wheels, but don’t be fooled: it’s much smaller than a Maverick at 4.72 metres long (-35 cm) and about 1.8 metres wide (-5 cm).

Bed length is not specified, which says a lot. The company prefers to insist on cargo volume (874 litres, or about the same as a Chevrolet Equinox) and versatility. On that note, the so-called Multi-Flex bed (not to be confused with the six-position tailgate on the Chevrolet Silverado) can be equipped with over 20 different accessories such as rails, hooks, shelves, partitions and more, not to mention a waterproof tonneau cover.

Photo: General Motors

The cabin is pretty small despite what the exterior suggests, and it looks and feels more like an SUV’s than a conventional pickup’s. An eight-inch infotainment display is included along with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot and more. There’s no storage compartment under the rear bench, however.

Photo: General Motors

Timid Power

Brazilians might be fine with 133 horsepower, but the Chevrolet Montana’s turbocharged 1.2-litre triple-cylinder engine just wouldn’t cut it in North America. To be clear, it’s the same mill you’ll find in the Trailblazer and upcoming 2024 Trax. On the flip side, we like the six-speed transmission (manual or automatic) instead of a CVT.

By the way, Chevrolet has a model called S-10 Max in Mexico that slots just below the Colorado, but this clone of the Maxus T60 from China isn’t really more attractive or suitable for pickup buyers up north. Simply put, the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz won’t face direct competition from American automakers for a long time.

Watch: 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid Review

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