Auto review: The hot new pickup from the company you’ve never heard of (2024)

Unless you follow the automotive industry, you’re probably not following all of the new start-up automakers springing up like crabgrass after heavy summer thunderstorms. And there are quite a few. Sure, you know Tesla, and maybe Polestar, Lucid or Rivian or Fisker. But there are others, like VinFast, Karma, Canoo and our subject today, Ineos Automotive.

Odds are unless you’re a diehard SUV enthusiast, you’ve probably never heard of Ineos Automotive, the automotive division of privately held Ineos, the world’s third-largest chemical company. It has $65 billion in annual sales, 25,000 employees, and 39 businesses in 31 countries. Ineos Automotive is the company’s newest division, founded in 2017 after the old-school Land Rover Defender went out of production.

What is Ineos Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s vision? Create a new old-school SUV along the lines of the Defender, and engineer it with the intention of lasting 30 years. The result is a new SUV dubbed the Ineos Grenadier Station Wagon, engineered with help from supplier Magna Steyr, which contract builds vehicles for other automakers, and BMW. Although Ineos is based in England, the vehicle is built in a former Mercedes-Benz in Hambach, France and is available online as well through 19 dealers nationwide, with more to come.

But the Station Wagon is just the initial salvo. Now comes the sequel, the 2025 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster pickup truck, one that uses the Station Wagon’s rigid box-section ladder frame chassis, although it’s a foot longer and shares its looks — at least up front. The overall profile defies aerodynamics, with a vertical boxiness that boldly proclaims its practicality. Its four-door cab offers room for five, while its, 61.5-inch-long and 63.7-inch-wide pick-up bed with a with 4-foot, two-inch-wide tailgate. The bed is fitted with four tie-down points; utility rails are optional. And, of course, there will be any number of aftermarket accessories, such as a 12,125-pound RED winch and a jerry can.

Like the Station Wagon, the Quartermaster pickup is powered a BMW turbocharged inline 3.0-liter six-cylinder gas engine funneling 282 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed ZF gearbox accompanied by a Tremac transfer case, Eaton differential lockers and Brembo brakes. You might have noticed that Ineos uses well-known parts, allowing for ease of repair if nowhere near an Ineos dealer. When it comes time to haul, you’ll find it has a 1,675-pound payload while being able to yank a 7,716-pound trailer.

And its capability goes far beyond most pickups, with 10.4 inches of ground clearance, a 35.5-degree approach angle, 26.2-degree breakover angle, a 22.6-degree departure angle and is able to ford 31.5 inches of water.

If there’s anything that’s clear, it’s that the Quartermaster is built for utility first, as its design is purely functional, like any great work tool. If you require proof, just check out its 0-62 mph time: 8.8 seconds. This is no Ford Lightning. But take this puppy off-road in some truly challenging surroundings, and you’ll find its sweet spot.

This rugged beastie comes alive once the sidewalk ends, and macadam, concrete, electricity and entitlement give way to rocks, streams, muck and mire. This is when it comes time to activate Off-Road mode, which shuts off the systems that prove annoying rather than useful when tackling the forest primeval. It kills the disables the engine stop-start system, parking sensors and seatbelt chime. Then it’s time to play in the mud, and the Quartermaster makes each move easy.

Given its added 21.4 inches of length, it calls for more care off-road, but the trade-off is a more refined ride than the shorter Station Wagon. Its recirculating ball steering and solid axle suspension is defiantly old school. But it’s so finely tuned and adroitly executed, you won’t miss quicker rack-and-pinion steering or an air suspension, both of which cab prove to be more fragile. Besides, off-road, the Quartermaster’s slower steering is exactly what you want to dial in the precise amount of change of direction. The trade-off comes on-road, when may not seem as precise you might like. But the ease of handling comes not just from proven technology, but also its constant feedback funneled to the driver, which allows the vehicle to respond with assurance. There’s a weighty self-confident nature to its feedback that’s funnels straight to the driver. It’s exquisitely effortless, and every bit as capable as the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. And it’s far more comfortable and well-built.

The heavy doors need a hefty shove and close with a reassuring thunk that once was the hallmark of German sedans — but no longer is. The cabin mimics that of the Grenadier Station Wagon, with ff-road switches located overhead and comfort controls located below its center screen, including the speedometer. In front of the driver is a small screen with idiot lights and off-road system reminders in order to allow you concentrate on off-roading. Material quality and assembly is outstanding — better than its many competitors. In fact, there’s little doubt as to its long-term viability. And that’s more than you can say of many automakers. Just ask Lordstown Motors.

That said, you will pay more for the Quartermaster than you would for a Station Wagon, thanks to the Chicken Tax, a 25% tariff on light trucks that’s included in the Quartermaster’s $86,900 starting price. But in this age of $98,845 GMC Hummer EV pickups, this no longer seems as shocking as it might have at one time. And the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster’s quality is well worth every penny.

2025 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

Base price: $86,900

Engine: Turbocharged BMW 3.0-liter six-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque: 281/331 pound-feet

EPA rating (combined city/highway): 14 mpg

Fuel required: 91 Octane

Length/Width/Height: 213/77/80 inches

Ground clearance: 10.4 inches

Wading depth: 31.5 inches

Payload capacity: 1,675 pounds

Towing capacity: 7,716 pounds

Auto review: The hot new pickup from the company you’ve never heard of (2024)
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