Just after Thanksgiving, the Nissan Stories USA blog posted a heritage collection spotlight on the Nissan Gobi compact truck concept. While this could just be a “remember when” post, we almost have to wonder if it’s also a “what if” post.
With the compact truck segment starting to heat up, and the Titan dying a slow death, could Nissan be testing the waters on potential interest? If it is, Imma vote yes.
So, let’s dig into what the Nissan Gobi was, and what it could be.
Revealed way back in 1990, this compact truck was a two-door model with a bubble-like design. It had a small footprint, low-sided bed walls and a low ride height. Inside, it had a driver-focused cockpit and kitschy features like a removable glovebox that could double as a backpack.
Though this truck was more of a design exercise than anything else, if you take out the quirky shape and color scheme, you have the makings of something that has potential.
Should Nissan decide to redirect its focus and take a second look at the compact truck segment, a potential future Gobi could look a lot like the new Nissan Frontier and be built on the Rogue platform. Power it with the 201-horsepower, 3-cylinder engine, and you’ll have something that is competitive with both the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Price a base model around $25k and then trick out a top-tier trim with the available high-tech gadgets seen on the Rogue (think wireless Apple CarPlay and 360-degree camera), and you’ll give Santa Cruz and Maverick a run for their money.
I like playing the “what if” game. Considering there are only two compact trucks on the market right now and Ford can’t build enough Mavericks (they’ve already closed order books for 2023!), Nissan has a real opportunity here. Design the truck look rugged like the Maverick, but make a lot of the lux-level features you see on the Santa Cruz available, and you could have a winning combination.
What do you think? Comment below: Is there room for a Nissan compact truck in the market? What should it look like and what features should it have?
I think this is a great idea. Bring it on!