We're picking up on the Pickups, as the latest research reveals a big swing towards 'lifestyle' buying
With the improvement in the economy and construction on the up again, there's been a revival of interest in the workhorse pickup. As it happens, key vehicles in the segment have been substantially revised in the last 18 months.
Most sales are in double cab formats, and market research shows a significant shift to include leisure lifestyle use, as these vehicles have become much more comfortable to drive and be driven in.
This has prompted Mercedes to be the first premium carmaker into the segment. Just two weeks ago the company unveiled its concept for the X-Class, a premium pickup developed with the aid of Nissan.
Some 1,350 pickups have been registered in Ireland so far this year.
Long-time top seller in the format is Toyota's Hilux (€29,250), smooth in running and in its latest form finished as well as any passenger car on the inside.
Nissan's Navara (€34,995) is the International Pickup 2016 winner, with a stronger chassis and new suspension as well as a stylish exterior.
Ford's Ranger (€28,150) has been significantly upgraded, with two engine options, which are said to have improved economy by up to 20pc.
Mitsubishi's L200 (€29,950) was completely changed last year and along with a more upmarket interior it gives more space for rear passengers. A classic in reputation.
The Isuzu D-MAX (€POA) is a name which symbolised rugged and trusted workhorse pickups for decades. That hasn't changed in its current iteration.
Volkswagen's Amarok (€37,450) is now promoting its 'Rock 'n' Road abilities as acknowledgement of the dual-use for pickups these days. A brand new V6 engine gives possibly the most grunt of any of its competitors.
Others in the frame include the Great Wall Steed (€28,329), and the SsangYong Korando Sport (€29,995), both suited to lighter work and leisure needs but quite capable of handling tough treatment.
Upcoming are the Renault Alaskan and the Fiat Fullback, as well as an as yet un-named pickup for Peugeot.