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It's hard to understand how Indian truck/SUV maker Mahindra could miss its fuel economy goal by one-third. Mahindra's supposed U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles of Marietta, Ga. (which has been embroiled in an opera of lawsuits, name-calling and musical chairs management concerning its deal with the Indian manufacturer), has had an oft-stated goal of 30 mpg highway fuel economy for the clean diesel truck.
According to FuelEconomy.gov, however, the four-wheel-drive Mahindra TR40 crew-cab pickup with a four-cylinder diesel engine and automatic transmission has been rated by the EPA at only 19 mpg city/21 mpg highway. By comparison, the 4x4 2011 Dodge Dakota with a 3.7 liter V6 engine is rated at 14/18. The TR40's miserable highway mileage doesn't even match the Ford F-150 3.7 liter 4x2, which is rated at 16 city/23 highway. The 4x4 Ford Ranger, like the aforementioned Dodge, is rated at 14 city/18 highway. Mahindra's compact pickup truck offers a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and a payload of 2,765 pounds.
Mahindra and GV had been counting on the fuel economy angle to get on truck buyers' radar. But the current differential between the Mahindra TR40 diesel truck's mileage and that of the gas-powered competition is unlikely to turn heads or create headlines. Global Vehicles told PickupTrucks.com: "Good fuel economy will be an important part of the truck's appeal, and we're eager to see the fuel economy for all of the models, especially the two-door, two-wheel-drive model, which Mahindra told us to expect would achieve close to 30 mpg."
It's hard to imagine Mahindra squeezing out nine additional highway miles per gallon just by stripping out the 4-wheel-drive system.
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Mahindra TR40 pickup only good for 19/21 mpg? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Feb 2011