Pickup trucks have come a long way over the years. From the early models which originated in Australia, to modern options which provide plenty of benefits to the average user, here’s a look at just how far they’ve come over the last 30 years:
According to one Australian museum, a farmer wrote to the boss of Ford Australia in 1932 requesting the construction of a two-in-one car and truck. The result was a vehicle with a front cab and an open rear cargo bed, known as the utility vehicle (or ‘Ute’ as it’s still called in Australia).
The versatility of a vehicle that could be used for both work and leisure or family purposes, was clearly always part of the pickup trucks appeal, but early models were hardly paragons of comfort and luxury. You could still load the family in for church on a Sunday, but the basic functionality of the average pickup meant it established its reputation as a more or less straightforward workhorse.
Pickups are still frequently used for work purposes, but over the past decades they’ve evolved into a more complete vision of the dual purpose vehicle. Modern pickups have the rugged durability, cargo space and power, making them invaluable for a wide range of businesses (they’re still particularly popular in the agricultural and building sectors), but they now also have the comfort and luxury to properly serve as leisure and family run-arounds.
Standard pickup trucks started off with a front bench seat, but the double cab pick up truck with individual seats is becoming increasingly more commonplace. Not only that, but the specs of models like Great Wall’s Steed S or Steed SE, demonstrate how many of these features are enhanced even further. In these particular models, you’ll find that individual seats are heated and kitted out in full leather upholstery for added comfort.
Other high-end features fitted as standard include 16″ alloy wheels, Alpine CD/USB/RDS Radio, Bluetooth connectivity and electric windows throughout. All models are designed to meet European safety standards too and as well as their tough exteriors, all Steed S models are fitted with twin airbags, an anti-lock braking system and electronic brake force distribution for added protection. There’s also a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser, with keyless entry for complete peace of mind.
If you want to put your modern pickup to work, it has the endurance and capabilities to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. More recent innovations have brought it into line with more traditional leisure vehicles however, making it a truly versatile drive with plenty of attractive features.