By on November 9, 2009

One of the originals (courtesy:manxsr.com)

Ford’s announcement today that the new global Ranger won’t be coming to the US sure seems like a head-scratcher. Though Automotive News [sub] quotes Ford’s Alan Mulally as saying the Ford Ka won’t be sold stateside because “our view is that Fiesta is about the smallest vehicle that we think will be a real success in the United States,” there’s no similar reason given for the absence of a modern compact pickup from Ford’s lineup. Or anyone else’s lineup, for that matter. The Canyon/Colorado are going out of production since the Shreveport, LA, plant is part of Old GM liquidation Corp. The Dodge, er, make that Ram Dakota will die next year according to the new plans at Chrysler. The Tacoma is no longer properly compact, and Volkswagen’s Brazilian “Robust” won’t be coming here either. Hell, even the latter-day El Camino was stillborn. But if my flu-addled memory serves me correctly, didn’t compact pickups help pull the US market out of one of its last great downturns? Why is it that nobody is giving this segment the time of day?

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58 Comments on “Ask the Best and Brightest: Whatever Happened to Compact Pickups...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    What happened was the same thing that happened to the full size trucks. An arms race of size and capability. Of course, fewer and fewer people buy todays “compact” trucks because they are so large and so expensive you are better served getting the real thing.

  • avatar

    I owned a 1970 Datsun truck and I know what happened to compact trucks in my world. The cabs don’t fit full-size people. It was my last shrunk- in- the-wash truck.  

  • avatar
    SV

    dwford’s right really. IIRC a decently equipped Tacoma or Frontier (crew cab, 4WD) rarely comes in much below 30 grand. And for that price you can get a full-size V8 truck that’s much more capable, even if it’s only an extended cab. Though I was surprised by how roomy the F-150 and Tundra extended cabs were, so even that’s not a big sacrifice.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    If Ford is going to keep producing the old/current Ranger, then I’m not sure we need the global version.    It’s still a pretty good truck.   IMO it’s about the right size.   I can see getting a bit smaller, but not back to the size of the truck in the picture.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    The magic words are “bloat” and “feature creep”.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    However fondly people may remember their beloved mini pick ups, the reality was they were cramped (as Jim Sutherland notes), noisy, rode like ox carts and were surprisingly flimsy.  And you think Chinese cars are embarrassingly fragile in crash tests?   (A friend had a late 70s Toyota pickup that was backed into by a Ford Festiva.  The Festiva was fine but the front of the Toyota got mangled pretty good.)
     
    Add in the features that modern buyers expect plus the crashworthiness that would be mandated and a small pickup will cost and weigh almost as much as a base full size truck.  The market for such a vehicle probably isn’t really all that  big anyway.

  • avatar
    Accords

    1. I cant imagine buying more than Id need…
    2. Then again, I don’t think I could imagine saying that the Ranger.. who’s platform predates 95% of all Ford vehicles currently sold is actually a decent vehicle.
    3. But I also believe.. the biggest reason for producing larger thicker, taller trucks is primarily a penis race.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Why is it that nobody is giving this segment the time of day?

    Two words: Chicken Tax.  It doesn’t make sense to import them, and the margins are probably too low to bother building them here or to justify a substantial R&D investment.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    This here’s the YSM*; we don’ need no gol-durn-ding-blast commie pinko compact toy trucks! Real men drive real trucks! Haw haw haw! aHyuck! >>scratch scratch<<
     
     
    *-Yoonaad’d States o’ Mairca

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Couple things: The mileage bump isn’t there anymore. Back in the day, compact pickups could get 25-30 on the highway (and 40+ from a diesel), while the full-size bombers could barely muster half that. The post-Plaza appreciation of the yen shut off the flow of imported pickups in the early ’90s, which broke the link with the rest of the global market. For a long time, the domestics dumped the stripper full-sizes on the market to maintain sales volume, at low enough prices to undercut the compact market. Finally, full-size pickups (and SUVs) became primary vehicles for many buyers, which meant they no longer needed to keep a compact around for stuff that was too bulky to fit in an ’87 Taurus.

  • avatar
    Forty2

    Last time I drove a “compact” truck was my 1979 Toyota HiLux, til I drove a 2010 Frontier last month. What a huge, wallowy pig. Yes, the old mini-trucks were cramped, noisy, and rode like a stagecoach, but they definitely filled a niche and sold pretty well.
    I’m sure VW USA will recoil from making a good decision and reject the Robust truck. The Mahindra is a start but it’s hideous and overpriced.

  • avatar
    Detroit Todd

    For a long time, the domestics dumped the stripper full-sizes on the market to maintain sales volume

    I think that’s it, and they continue to do it.  That, and with advances in fuel economy, the big trucks aren’t as thirsty as they used to be. 

    Americans are convinced that vehicle size is a measure of comfort, value and safety.  If you are really truck shopping to do trucky stuff, and you can get a stripper Silverado for less than a loaded Colorado, why wouldn’t you get the Silverado?  Better to have more truck at less price.

    It’s also the reason why I don’t think the Fiesta will sell that great, unless there is a sizable difference between the Fiesta and the Focus on both price and fuel economy. 

  • avatar
    jjdaddyo

    It’s all about gas prices and fleet age. People have adjusted to $2.50 gas, and they bought so many new trucks between 00 and 07 that they are just standing pat right now (aided by a healthy dose of paranoia about where the economy is going and the fact that their mortgages are probably underwater)
    If the Mahindra does well and is not a rust-bucket death trap, and gas prices continue their creep upward, once people are ready to trade in their 10 year old truck, they will look seriously at smaller. Of course, the big manufacturers will have missed the wave at that point, again.

  • avatar
    Hognose

    The Hilux is still available all over — it’s the standard of the world, but won’t pass US crash standards. That’s why the non-small Dakota is toast also, I suspect, and it will be the death of the Ranger too.
    It probably wouldn’t pay Toyota to build a Hilux to US standards, because you can’t count on the US standards not to change any time some crooked congressman wants to shake a company down.
    A Ford dealer tells me that their plans are to sell Transit Connects to replace the thousands of small, economical Rangers they now sell as work trucks. Rotsa ruck with that. (It’s a decent truck, but 1. It’s not an open pickup, 2. it has fiddly doors, 3. it won’t adapt to all the stuff we carry in Rangers, 4. the mileage is a tad worse than Ranger, and 5. it’s $4-5k more street price. That’s 25% more money for less capability, for the 4-cyl pickup buyer (it’s a great deal for a work-van guy who’s willing to pay more than a full-size price for a 2/3 scale van, and make it back on gas burn).
    Opening for Mahindra, if they’re still coming. I’d rather a crappy Indian truck than a crappy American one that costs twice as much to run. Meanwhile, the Ranger’s still ticking over. I expected to get a new one when it expired. I suppose I’ll have to hunt for the right used one when the time comes.
    Pity no one is really serving this market in the USA.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I think the Transit Connect could very well eat up a lot of the Ranger’s target audience.  In this area, the main business uses of the ranger are lawn services, pool services, parts runners, and (with a cap) locksmiths and other mobile tradesmen.  The Transit Connect can do all of those jobs just as well if not better (no potential for rain in the bed/cargo-area means less worry of corrosion from fertilizer and chemicals, no need to buy a cap for the mobile tradesmen, and you can still fit multiple big tires and parts boxes in the Transit Connect’s cargo area).  The fuel economy is also better than the Ranger’s (last I checked 22/25 is better than the 19/24 an automatic ranger gets.  Yes, the manual ranger gets a bit more, but at least from my experience, the sales of automatic rangers are about 10 to 15 times that of the stick shifts).  Not sure what you mean by fiddly doors, they seem solid enough in my experience.  You do have a point with the price, as you can get a new ’09 Ranger right now for less than $14K street price, while a base Transit Connect will still likely end up over $20K..
      As far as the lack of compact pickups overall… the only people we have who shop specifically for Rangers are those whose garage won’t fit an F-150 or those for whom fuel economy is a major deciding factor.  With the Ecoboost engines coming to the F150s soon, the fuel economy argument may fall by the wayside too.
       
       

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Honda tried at least.

  • avatar
    210delray

    My ’98 Frontier is the perfect size for me.  It’s a regular cab short bed with a 4-cylinder and 5-speed manual.  Overall mileage is 26 mpg.  It’s been extremely reliable, and I’d like to see if it can outlast my former ’80 Volvo 240 (21 years & 245K miles).

  • avatar
    Extra Credit

    Compact trucks were destined for a great comeback, but then the SSR failed to meet sales targets.  Who could have seen that coming?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    There’s just no point. The larger trucks are nearly as efficient, about as cheap and much more capable. They’re not deathtraps, either, which is a plus.

    There’s a limit to how much a vehicle costs to make. You can push the envelope by leveraging economies of scale and/or producing high-margin trims and/or decontenting. You can do all three with the F-150, GMT-900s, Ram or Tundra, but you’re hard pressed to do anything but the latter with the small trucks. This closes the gap further: for a few thousand over the price of a stick-shift, four-cylinder Ranger, you can get a contractor-special F-150—and if you add a few options to the little Ford, the price will exceed the half-ton’s.** You have to really want the gutless little tin can that is the Ranger to make this work.

    The same situation plays out at GM, Chrysler and Toyota. It’s possible that a smaller player could make the compact truck market work for them in North America, but the product would have to have an incredible price advantage (eg, less than CA$9-12K) and would have to reconcile that price against the kind of features and build quality (or lack thereof) that the market is willing to accept. Right now, I can’t see anyone other than Piaggio (or someone else who makes bike/trucks), Mahindra & Mahindra or a Chinese make pulling it off.

    This is why the El Camino and Baja failed, and why the Ridgeline isn’t setting the world on fire: they aren’t as useful, nor are they cheap enough to compensate for their compromises.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that they pushed people into larger trucks. But the smaller trucks didn’t make sense because they were never updated. Instead of giving us a truck that had a nice small engine, did a bit of towing and mostly just had a bed, instead you now had to get a larger truck with poorer mileage, etc….
      I think they could revive this market cheaply with some car based SUV platform – just give it a bed and decontent the interior. For the light duty work these could be used for, it’d be great.
       
      @

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Maybe Ford thinks the Transit Connect is going to serve enough of the user base that a Ranger isn’t needed ???
     

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    like every segment it’s gone up in size
    where i am you can still buy Nissan D22 type trucks with the small-ish 2.5 liter four but they already weigh 3,400lb dry…
    like the accord and civic they’ve all put on a lot of weight and gone bloated
    besides does anyone want to drive a cramped 2/3 seat truck? the only people who buy them are blue collar tradesmen

  • avatar
    lw

    The US market isn’t poor enough.. yet…
    The market is FLOODED with lightly used full size trucks.  Millions of them, literally.
    Once we run these trucks into the ground and must buy something to get to Home Depot, the mini truck will come back in style with a vengeance.  It will be all folks can afford.
    Imagine a Subaru Brat like truck with a factory rig on the back that securely clamps 4×8 sheets of material over the roof.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      You can rent a pickup at Home Depot, or Zipcar, or a million other places. That’s not a rational argument for compact pickups.
      If the pickup market is really shifting back to those who actually need them, I would think more economical variants of the F150/Silverado class weighing under 4500 lbs. are a better bet than updated compacts. Imagine an Ecoboost diesel F150 2wd with 150hp, 300 lb. torque and combined 23 mpg — if that’s possible, then that’s the direction to go in.
       

  • avatar
    cory02

    Mahindra may well  have a gold mine on their hands as they will essentially have the category to themselves (and totally to themselves if you want a small truck with a diesel).

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    akatsuki:  I think they could revive this market cheaply with some car based SUV platform – just give it a bed and decontent the interior. For the light duty work these could be used for, it’d be great.

    Ahem — isn’t that what the El Camino was, basically?  I’d love to se it happen.  But every attempt to revive that sort of vehicle outside of Australia has failed.

  • avatar

    The small trucks aren’t small any more (though the Ranger is smaller), and if you put four wheel drive on them, they really don’t get any better gas mileage than a full sized.  In my neck, of the woods you want 4X4 on a daily driver.  When I can get a decently equipped F150 for the same price, and getting the same gas mileage, that’s not much of a contest.

  • avatar

    If they turned the rear end of the HHR into a bed and called it a LUV I would buy one. Theoretically, that would get about 22/30 mpg, assuming they kept the same engine in it. Yes, full size trucks get better mileage than they once did, but I’ve yet to see one that gets 30 on the highway. And my Sierra sure as hell doesn’t get in the 20s in the city.
    With that said, if you’re selling an $18K base HHR-truck against an $19K base model Silverado, that’s a tough sell if the buyer isn’t concerned about gas mileage or parking a vehicle of that size. Perhaps you could strip out a few things for a “work truck” HHR and cut the cost a bit further, but I can still see that being a tough comparison.
    On the other hand, it’s not like you really ever saw that much advertising effort put into the Colorado/Ranger/etc lines in the last … oh, decade? If you told the story right and often enough, people would grasp and accept the practicality of a small truck. It’s just unlikely anyone’s going to take the risk to do such a thing … until someone like Mahindra jumps up and bites the big boys in the butt. Isn’t that how we got domestic compacts in the first place?

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Do you suppose there’s any possibility of reconfiguring the Transit Connect into a pickup?
    If you’re old as me, you might remember…
    Corvair van & pickup
    Dodge A100 van & pickup
    Econoline van & pickup
    So who says there can’t be a Transit Connect pickup?

  • avatar
    jconli1

    The biggest problem I can see with Mahindra is the lack of manual transmission in the US… if *anyone* is likely to prefer the endangered row-your-own gearbox, it would be small truck buyers, right?

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    where i am the manual Chinese, Indian and Malaysia trucks do well with primary producers where ‘fashion’ isn’t an issue
    the cheaper Japanese brand trucks are more inexpensive than a small hatchback but the problem is you lose a lot of convenience… 2 seats, poor safety levels, poor driveability and horrible ride… these are trucks after all
    in that light they aren’t that popular unless you use them for work

  • avatar
    shiney2

    This has everything to do with the “career manager”  type MBAs who have corrupted American business and only see the world through a rigid reliance on simplistic market data, short term self interest, and power point slides.

    Small truck sales declined for all the reasons mentioned in previous posts, but  it became a self fulfilling middle manager myth: No investment was made in smaller trucks – leading to data showing fewer sales – leading to less investment -leading to fewer sales – and so on.  Soon there were virtually no small trucks available, and lots of recently updated mid and full size trucks to compete against, and a firm conventional wisdom in place that the small truck  market no longer existed; heck, maybe it never did, and all those 80s Toyota’s and Nissan’s were nothing but a fluke, maybe even a mass hallucination!

    I remember quite clearly the industry scorn heaped on Mazda when the Miata was announced, after all, at that time everybody knew a low cost small two seat convertible would never ever sell, and it certainly could not make money.  Then when it became the darling of summer the other car companies were stepping all over themselves to get a two seat ‘vert on the market.

    My money says the same thing will happen the first time a reasonably modern small 4 cylinder truck hits the market.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Ford has no reason to use the better Ranger. The current model has no competitors, so they will just keep it chugging along untill somebody else steps up.

  • avatar

    Fullsize trucks are relatively cheap (esp. used ones) and plentiful. MBella also nailed it; what other small pickup can beat the Ranger on price? Certainly not the Ridgeline. Ford is in no hurry to fix what ain’t broke; they’ve got plenty of other problems.

    Here’s the truck solution most people can use: buy a trailer. I can load more on my 5′x10′ tilt bed trailer than any small pickup, and my Honda Fit tows it quite easily. Around here, there’s no tags, no taxes, and very little maintenance on a trailer, and my automotive penis has managed to suffer the withering stares of other motorists quite well.

  • avatar
    findude

    The category killer here would be a Prius light pick-up.  Use the same chassis with more robust suspension. Make it a two-seater with a little storage behind the front seats (think the original El Camino).  Make also a high-roof enclosed version with a rear hatch, and offer a nice cap with the pick-up version.

    Proven drive train, great mileage, etc. etc. If the timing is right they will own a market that is as obvious as the Miata market was (that is, not obvious and extremely profitable).

  • avatar
    charly

    eggsalad:
    Check the british ford site for Transit Chassis Cab. I think that that is a truck

  • avatar
    jeremie

    I have 94 nissan extended cab pickup. Unlike a standard cab the seats recline making it  more comfortable for longer trips. I use this truck for hauling and transportation on a regular basis. I’ve done more work with it then most people have done with their $40,000 pickup trucks and SUVs. When it dies I will be looking for a last gen Tacoma. To me it represents the pinnacle of  compact pickup design. The new Nissans and Toyotas are too large and two expensive( and the new Tacoma is hideous). I may be in the minority, but I would absolutely buy a new compact pickup if it were attractively styled and priced in the low 20′s.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    For me, it does not make sense to own a truck that can’t tow a proper boat.  I feel that even my Silverado 1500 is a bit light for towing my boat.  I had to install adjustable airbags to make it feel stable at speed.  It still feels like the boat is towing the truck sometimes… a little spooky.  I have no idea what I would use a Ranger for… maybe a 4 cylinder wheelbarrow for yard work?

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    I love my (small) 91 Dakota. I don’t know what happened. The Dakota got too big and costs about the same as a base full-size Ram.

    I want something small, stylish, and with the option of 170 hp four-cylinder or about a 250 hp V6. And stop taking away my manual transmission and rubber floor options damnit!

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    In the mean time, the used market will serve those wanting a smaller truck quite well. The smaller Tacomas, made until 2005 I believe, still touch $20k. I’ve often considered one, an extended cab 4×4 with a 2.7l. And I grew up with Fords.

    • 0 avatar
      jaybread

      I cover both ends of the pick up market, with a 98 Ranger 4×4 and an 08 F350 DRW 4×4.
      If you spend time shopping for trucks, doing test drives and using trucks for all sorts of activities, you learn a few things. (hopefully)
      One, it is obvious that Ford spends serious money improving the F150, which they should since it is the heart of the company. Without F-series trucks, Ford would not exist.
      Two, the Ranger platform really doesn’t have a direct competitor. Both the Tacoma and Frontier/Titan are larger, heavier and in the real world a lot more money.
      Even the Colorado went bigger along with the Dakota. So, Ford is essentially alone with the smaller Ranger, all their tooling is paid for, and they still sell well. Why drop a lot of money into changing a profitable line? As others have said, Ford has bigger issues to deal with right now.

      So, what happened to compact pick ups? They ran into US safety regs, and a market preference for larger vehicles in general. Also, FWIW, Rangers cost less and get better mpg’s than F150′s. The difference between the 2 isn’t trivial, it’s a big deal for a lot of people.

  • avatar
    Extra Credit

    There are many insightful and passionate responses in this thread.  Beyond encouraging any automaker to “take the risk” to rejuvenate this market, it would be helpful to better understand the “preference” for pick up trucks in North America.

    In my travels outside North America, I see work trucks that are generally covered or enclosed to protect cargo and equipment.  At least in my corner of North America, the vast majority of pick up trucks are purchased with open boxes that are then covered to protect cargo and equipment.  At what point will the “truckers” of the world unite and recognize that they are taking two different paths to the same solution?  More importantly, on which single path will they reach a consensus?

  • avatar

    I had a Mazda B2000 – brilliant vehicle. I’d love to see something similar offered.

  • avatar
    brettc

    My parents owned a ’91 Dodge Ram 50, which was the same as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max in the U.S. I drove that truck for a couple years in college. It wasn’t bad, but it was thirsty since it was a long box version with the 2.4 litre engine and an automagic. It was previously owned by the local gas company as a service vehicle, so it was fleet white. They now own a 2004 Ranger after owning an unreliable 1989 GMC 1500 for a little while. For people like them, compact trucks are still desirable.
    Even the Ranger is too big for me. I’d love to be able to buy a modern VW Rabbit truck with a TDI, but we know that’ll never happen. So for me I’ll probably get a hitch and a utility trailer at some point. There’s almost no choice for compact trucks these days, and I definitely don’t need a full size truck to haul some lumber or plywood. It’s too bad that the compact market has essentially been abandoned because very few people actually need full size trucks for daily use. But people buy them because it’s pretty much the only choice.  Our neighbour had a 1986 Mazda B2000 for years. He kept it until the bed rusted apart. It was a cool little truck. But I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again in North America.

  • avatar
    speedboatsteve1

    I waxed my 88 Mazda B2200 5mt short cab (rust free @ 70k miles) yesterday and hurricane remnants are blowing through today, oh well.
    There are a lot of true mini trucks (pre airbag) on the roads here in Georgia,  when I bought mine 3 years ago I had a lot of examples to choose from.
    I love my little truck, she costs nothing to insure/register, she gets about 38 mpg @50 mph/5th gear, her bed is incredibly accessible by modern standards, and she has proven robust and reliable and incredibly handy in spite of her age.
    She lacks power brakes, power steering, fuel injection, power locks/windows yet she has working, cold AC.
     
    My little truck feels more “honest” than any modern vehicle I have ever driven.  She is slow as can be and you feel all 2800 lbs through the wheel and the brakes want a healthy shove but all forces are proportional and feel “right” somehow.
    Her true beauty is under the hood, the electronics are minimal, plumbing is minimal, you can see and reach everything under there.
    I can’t wait to teach my nephew how to drive on her in a year as my mechanic quoted me $400 for a clutch replacement.
     
     
     
     

  • avatar

    I have always loved small pickups as long as I can fit in them. For the longest time the only one I fit in was the Tacoma, but it really felt more like sitting in a car (not a plus). Then Ford and Chevy figured out how to adjust the interior where my 6′ 3″ frame could fit. This was in the mid 90′s. Then everyone screwed it up by going to mid size and making the price difference minimal. I want a pickup for light towing and carrying items around smaller than a full size couch. Small pickups did that with an efficient 4 cylinder. A full-size will never match that fuel efficiency.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    These small pickups are the backbone of municipal service fleets.  Cheap, reliable, easy to fix.  Ford, Chevy, and Dodge will never sell less, in total, than what was sold in 2008.

    All three are in critical need of updated powertrains, suspensions, and safety numbers.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    I’ve owned 4 small trucks in the last 24 years:  An 85 Toyota 4×4, an 84 Mazda B2000 4×2, a 99 Ford Ranger Extended Cab 4×2, and a 2004 Toyota Tacoma 4×4. 
    What happened to small trucks?  Well, the biggest thing that happened was that things formerly thought of as luxuries became neccessities:  My first two small trucks had no power steering, no stereo, no AC, and vinyl covered bench seats.  The Toyota was a 4×4 that could return an honest 25mpg in mixed driving on its 4 cyl 22r engine, and the Mazda regularly exceeded 35mpg. 
    Of course, they were painfully slow by the standards of the day – by today’s standards (where a 0-60 time of more than 8 seconds is considered “slow”) they would be considered dangerous (although I don’t recall having any problems in any of them.)  Their sub-100hp engines would not even be considered acceptable in a compact car today, much less in a truck.  Furthermore, the paper-thin doors, lack of air bags, ABS, traction control, etc, would prevent them from even meeting modern safety standards. 
    My 6′ 1″ frame barely fit in the Toyota and Mazda.  The Ranger was much nicer, with its extended cab, air conditioning and 150hp 3.0l V-6 engine, it was much more pleasant to drive.  Of course, that came with a cost:  I rarely broke 20mpg on the Ranger, and the Tacoma, being a 4×4, did even worse. 
    The previous commenters are right:  When “small” trucks started requiring all the accoutrements of cars, they started getting “big” and once they became “big” it no longer made sense to get one, might as well just get a full size truck instead. 
    When I owned my Ranger I frequented several Ranger forums, and noted that those who owned 4x4s with the 4.0l V-6 seemed to average 12-15mpg – about the same as an F-150, maybe worse! 
    At that point, the only reason to prefer a mid-sized truck over a full size would be the lower initial cost.  After that, everything favors the full size as it’s bigger, more rugged, lasts longer, and will have a higher resale value. 
    As for the market for new or redesigned compact trucks, I don’t think it’s there.  First of all, as has been pointed out, the used market is flooded with cheap used trucks. 

    Second, there’s the old bugaboo of cognitive dissonance:  People might say “I sure would like to have a truck like I had back in the day” but as soon as they see that it’s got a bench seat, an AM radio, no air conditioning and manual crank windows, they’ll pass it by in favor of the more blinged-out mid-size truck, or for a cheaper (but still fully loaded) used full size. 

  • avatar
    Accords

    Hmmm
    2010 Ranger has 5 star side and front impact…
    Something tells me.. that as a GRANDFATHER to the Exploder that has those ratings.. that just cant be good.

  • avatar
    johnny s

    Well for me, I love my 2007 Chevy Colorado 5 cyl,4dr 4X4. Honestly runs smoother on the highway than any car I have ever driven, seats 4 or 5 comfortably and has an open bed plus an added towing package to the model I leased. My 4 year lease expires this month. There is NOTHING to beat it out there I see from all your comments, so I will keep it for a few more years and pay it off. I have never wanted a full-size pickup….couldn’t parallel-park the darn thing in town anyway. This great compact truck is my CAR and can haul too when needed, can’t beat it!!!!


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