In rural Mexico, of course, vehicles can live almost forever so we expect the Frontier will undergo several reincarnations, patches, repairs, paint jobs, and many more years of service before it lets out its final puddle of oil, somewhere under the Mexican sun, stripped of every useful part.
Our new pickup is a 2018 Chevy Colorado, which at first looks enormous but isn't really. Not compared to monsters like Nissan Titans or Ford 150's King Ranch, panting impatiently alongside you at a traffic light, their drivers sneering at your puny wheels.
In Mexico, a seemingly impregnable backwater of capitalism, there is no bargaining over the sticker price—indeed, no competition whatsoever among dealers—so you just go by whatever features catch your fancy.
In our case we wanted a four-wheel drive, in case we had to make another escape, and a touch screen with navigation, internet connections and other gizmos.
|Made in the U.S.A.|
Shopping for a vehicle also confirms the irreversible march of globalization. Pickups are assembled all over the world, from Argentina to Thailand, sometimes with bodies made one place and engines shipped in from three thousand miles away.
Even with our short spec list, our shopping soon became complicated. A Toyota Hilux 4x4 only comes with a diesel engine, and it's sold throughout most of the civilized world except the U.S. A Ford Ranger 4x4 also had a diesel version that was not sold in the U.S. Nissan Frontier came with a gasoline or diesel engine but had antiquated and clumsy electronics and a wheezy engine.
After some test drives, we zeroed in on a third consideration: The new pickup had to be serviceable in the U.S. in the event we drove it back home and some mechanical problem arose. That ruled out the Hilux and the Ford Ranger diesel.
At the last minute we tried the Chevy Colorado which is manufactured, YES!, forty miles outside St. Louis, Mo., as in the ol' U.S. of A.!
|The happy—and bashful—new owner.|
Then Stew was handed a celebratory cardboard frame for him to hold while having his picture taken. Most people would have been too embarrassed by the hoo-hah, but not Stew.
The inside of the truck was filled with balloons the cats back home enjoyed popping. Felix lovingly washed his new/old Frontier and got a pretty good shine on it. Stew tentatively fiddled with all the knobs on the dashboard, without bothering with instructions which are in Spanish anyway.
All and all, a good time was had by everyone.