By on October 14, 2010

OK, we get it. Ford’s all-new global Ranger is “90 percent of an F-150″ and it would make as much sense to sell it here as it would for Toyota to sell the Hilux alongside Tacomas and Tundras. We may not completely buy the argument that Fiesta, Focus and F-150 make for an adequate replacement to a true compact pickup in the US, but having starved that segment for so long, it’s understandable that Ford would now leave it to die. After all, nobody’s offered a truly new compact pickup for so long, it’s almost impossible to say whether the consumers or manufacturers killed off the once-burgeoning segment of efficient, utilitarian trucks.

With Mahindra struggling to offer its diesel pickups to American dealers, we aren’t holding out much hope of anything compact pickup-related changing anytime soon. Sure, there are whispers of a GM compact pickup in development (and some promising talk from Nissan), but that’s strictly in “wild ass rumor” territory. Meanwhile, VW is trying to apeal to more American consumers, doesn’t have a full-size truck lineup to cannibalize, and yet refuses to send its Amarok stateside. If any of the automakers is going to take a risk on compact (preferably diesel) pickups, Volkswagen seems like the one to do it. Alternatively, Mazda has its own version of the new Ranger and no full-sizers to cannibalize. Someone step up here!

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

69 Comments on “Ranger Regrets...”


  • avatar
    Russycle

    I don’t get it.  In the 80′s, everybody sold compact pick ups.  There were even pickups based on Volkswagen Rabbits and Dodge Omnis.  My boss bought an Isuzu pickup because it was the cheapest vehicle in their lineup…it’s a lot cheaper to build a steel bed than installing a back seat, doors, carpeting, hatch, etc.  I can’t believe there’s no market for a small, cheap pickup in this country.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Agreed. Dumbdumbdumb. People that would have bought an F150 might buy the new Ranger instead if available, but so what? You would also get a lot of customers into that Ranger that would never have considered an F150, but would take a smaller truck, like a Frontier or a Tacoma. Ford is missing the boat here, bigtime.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      The probably dropped the Ranger specifically because they were afraid people would buy it and pass over the new F-150.  Didn’t want sales to canabalized.

  • avatar

    The Ranger still sells pretty well (3815 units in September 2010, up 85.9% over last September, and only about 1,000 units, or 2.4%, down year to date), and Ford has given it a stay of execution before.  Maybe they’ll do it again.  If not, well, my B-series should be good for another ten years, and in ten years maybe I’ll find a gently-used Ranger to go another decade.  Surely in the next twenty years there’ll be a new small pickup, right?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    much sense to sell it here as it would for Toyota to sell the Hilux alongside Tacomas
     
    I have seen both the Hilux (assembled locally) and Tacoma (imported by individuals) here and the difference I’ve found is the front end the rear tailamps. Both look like rubbish inside, although the Tacoma had some nice chrome here and there. I wouldn’t sigh for any of them.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Amen to this one. Compact trucks started becoming not so compact about the same time SUVs became the range. Since so many SUVs at the time were based on the pickups, the only way to grow the S-10 Blazer  was to also grow the S-10 pickup. Same deal with Toyota and their 4Runner and Nissan and their Pathfinder.
     
    I’m perhaps a little too far over to the side on this, but I would take a car-based, unit body pickup with a 1000 lb capacity and front wheel drive. Okay, AWD on the FWD setup. I really don’t need any more than that.

  • avatar
    86er

    After all, nobody’s offered a truly new compact pickup for so long, it’s almost impossible to say whether the consumers or manufacturers killed off the once-burgeoning segment of efficient, utilitarian trucks.

    I say the same thing about large American cars.  At this point, it’s speculative.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I would think this would be a perfect niche for a company like Kia or Hyundai to exploit.
    Build a cheap, barebones pickup based on your smallest econobox, and sell it for between $8k-$10k.  Most people who want a small pickup truck don’t tow anything, they just want the functionality of the bed.
    I think there would be a line going out the door to buy them.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      Well of course there would be a line going out the door since even a regular cab 2 wheel drive small truck hasn’t sold for that price in well over a decade ! Even the base Hyundai and Kia go for a couple grand more than 10K , unless they expect to sell a car with no AC in this day and age . Can’t expect a car maker to sell a vehicle like that for what would most certainly be a loss . As far as the Ranger goes the base Tacoma goes for 16.4K , base Frontier with standard extended cab 17.75K , and the base regular cab Ranger which is has less interior room than the Tacoma or Frontier sells for 17.9 K. No wonder no one is buying it when you can get more truck for less money elsewhere !

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Absolutely.  I own an F150 cause it was so cheap used (12K) but sure had a lot of life left in it.  Honestly 90% of what I do could have been filled by something like you describe.  Heck a KIA Rio “El Camino” with say 10 to 20% better carrying capacity than the wagon model, would have worked perfectly.  And I know that back when that car was selling for about 10K new, there’s no way a “pickup” model would have been more expensive to build.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      I’ve seen new Hyundai and Kia models go for between $8,000-$10,000 (My local paper has brand new Hyundai Accents for under $8,000.)
      I would argue you could make a stripped down pickup for even less.  A bare bones, small pick up under $10k is definitely doable, and it would attract a lot of buyers who normally wouldn’t go near a 3 door hatchback.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      Most of those sale prices on advertised cars in the paper are for a single stripper model with just one vin number if you read the fine print and sometimes after a down payment of a few thousand. But say for the sake of argument such a vehicle could be built – with no a/c , power anything , or keyless entry it would be a tough sale in today’s market where everyone is basically spoiled . Especially since the payload would be in the 500 pound range without going to a body on frame configuration . Might as well just buy a trailer to hook up to the car loaded with options for the few times you need hauling capability .

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Bottom line, the Koreans can currently retail a new car for well under $10k, and I think they could make a small pickup for even cheaper.
       
      If you’ve ever been in an older Toyota pickup, it’s usually bare bones, and they have a cult following.  Not everyone needs a big pickup truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      A cult is a small group and that’s not enough to tool up to make something in numbers that would only sell to a few even if they could meet that price point . From what I read about Kia their reliability is crap anyway . I see the same thing on motorcycle boards too – if only they would bring the new Kawasaki W800 here when the similar W650 was sold here for 2 years and hardly anyone  bought it . Vehicles are not built or imported to sell in small ‘cult’ numbers , that’s just the way of the world today .

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Zombo,
      I’m not even sure what you’re arguing about now.
      My point with the “cult” following is to show that even stripped down basic transportation can have a devoted following.  I’m not really sure what your point about real life “cults” is all about, I’m using it as a common expression meaning “devoted”, as in “people really like them”.
      Toyota’s early pickups were a smashing sales success, and was a big reason they were able to gain such a strong foothold in the American market.  People wanted a small basic pickup for cheap, and Toyota sold millions of them.  It was hardly a small, niche market.
      Hyundai has Toyata-like quality, and Kia finished better than GM, Chrysler, and Ford according to Consumer Reports:
      http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/who-makes-the-best-cars/overview/
       

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      What I’m saying is that you are drastically over estimating the number of people who want a tiny cheapo stripper pickup . Base model Rangers sold for about 10K  a decade ago , if there was such a huge market for them they would’ve sold like hotcakes – they did not . A few people on an internet message board who may or may not (cheapskates as a rule wait to buy used no matter how cheap a vehicle is when new ) buy such a vehicle will not get it into production .

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      I would argue that the Rangers DID sell like hotcakes a decade ago, and that was in a crowded market.  All the major car companies had a small pickup to sell, so competition was much greater.  I was also in the market for a Ranger at that time, and remember being able to buy a stripped down one for around $8,000.
      The situation now is the small pickup truck market has been largely abandoned because automakers wanted to go after the full-size market because it had much greater profit margins, leaving a vacuum.  We’re also in an era where gas prices are much higher than a decade ago, and look likely to skyrocket. I think consumers would flock to a pickup that could get 30 mpg.  If you don’t think there’s a demand for such a small pickup, fine, but the reasons you’re throwing out, that it’s impossible to build such a vehicle for under $10k, that small pickups were never big sellers, and that Hyundai and Kia don’t make a quality vehicle, are bogus.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      Don’t try to  twist around what I said . I never claimed Hyundai was unreliable and the fact that Kia is can be found right here on this site (link below) . And I never said that there wasn’t a demand for small trucks , just the base model stripper versions of those trucks . You have zero proof that these types sold in large numbers in recent years , in fact the huge number of 4wd used small trucks compared to the tiny number of used base model 2wd models for sale prove quite the opposite . You even admit the profit margin on such a vehicle is small , so why would even the Koreans build something with such a minuscule profit margin ? Maybe the Chinese with their slave labor and cheap manufacturing process can come up with what you want at that low price point , but I wouldn’t count on them being reliable .
       
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/02/hammer-time-kiametrics/

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      And I never said that there wasn’t a demand for small trucks , just the base model stripper versions of those trucks.
       
      You’re correct in saying that, and I don’t have any evidence other than anecdotal, to prove you wrong.  I would argue that stripped down basic trucks sell based on the economy and the overall income levels of the area that the dealer is located in.  I am in New Mexico (a state that usually comes in 49th, just ahead of Mississippi, in many wealth metrics) dealers here sell almost a 50/50 mix of luxury trucks and stripped 2wd base models.  As you look around at used trucks, old Rangers, VW fwd trucks, S10s, Dakotas, ect all of them beaten with in an inch of their lives and starting life as fairly base versions.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Twist around your words, here are some of your brilliant quotes:
      “a regular cab 2 wheel drive small truck hasn’t sold for that price in well over a decade ! Even the base Hyundai and Kia go for a couple grand more than 10K”
      no, actually base kia and Hyundai’s don’t start at $12k, open up a paper, I’ve seen new ones for under $8k.  And you absolutely could buy a stripped down new pickup for $10k a decade ago
      “Kia their reliability is crap anyway”
      According to Consumer Reports, their quality is far better than the Big 3
      “if there was such a huge market for them they would’ve sold like hotcakes – they did not”
      small pickups were a huge seller, the Ford Ranger sold millions over the years, far more than they sold of Mustangs during the same period

       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      A compact, stripper pickup would be a big seller, but that’s the problem.  It would take sales away from the more lucrative trucks and SUVs.  That’s why the big mainstream manufacturers dropped them, they want customers to “step up” in the product line.
      Kia/Hyundai could make an El Camino/Ranchero type vehicle at that price point easily, it would be a great idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      This conversation is pointless since you’ve offered no proof for your outlandish claims other than you say so . I’ll leave you now to your fantasy world of unicorns , sub 8k  brand new cars and trucks , and Kias with Honda like reliability .

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      You’re the one making baseless claims, I’ve backed up everything I’ve said.
      My original point was, “somebody should fill the vacuum and offer an $8k-$10k pickup”  You said that was absolutely impossible.  Right now dealers are selling new Hyundai’s for under $8,000.  Please prove me wrong. I don’t think my range is too far off the mark.  A pickup under $10,000 is very doable.
      You then said okay they can make them, but Kia makes crappy cars anyway, so the quality would be junk.   My point was, they make better vehicles than the Big 3 according to Consumer Reports.  Where is your proof otherwise that modern Kia’s are crap?  If Kia is crap, what does that say about the other brands that ranked beneath Kia?
      I don’t think my assertions were crazy at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      The Hyundai dealer near me has new 2010 Accents for something like $7,800.
       
      Take the back seat out, minus the roof, put some leaf springs in the back, and you could probably make one for even cheaper.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Sad, so sad that there are no compact pickups anymore. My money is just sitting in the bank waiting for a Dakota sized turbo diesel pickup to come along, till then I keep my current ’02 V8 Dakota for towing, getting all of 13 mpg in the process.

  • avatar
    aspade

    A regular cab Tacoma is a modern, compact pickup.
     
    And all four of them are sitting in the back corner of the lot waiting for the fleet manager to get a call because the buying public has said with their wallets they want the 4×4 double cab with power everything and a big motor.
     
    Just like manual transmissions and European wagons.  Popularity among forum posters who don’t actually buy new cars ain’t worth much.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Maybe the trucks won’t get any smaller because waste lines haven’t gotten in smaller in the US.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I need (want) a modern version of the original Toyota straight axle 4×4 (’79-85). Maybe the Koreans can pull it off. Oh yeah put a small diesel in it too

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Wow…it’s terrible.
     
    It looks as if they just copied the Frontier…and that interior…what a mess.  Thank God we will not be subject to seeing this on our roads.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    It looks like an F-150 with all the “American macho” baked out of it.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I don’t think its a coincidence that it looks so much like the Hilux. Same goes for many of the compact trucks from China to Mitsubishi, that all look like the Hilux.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    There is already precedent for such a situation…  consider the american convertable maket … everybody left the market for half a decade before it was re-discovered by the Chrysler K-car… then everybody was back-in with at least 1 vehicle…  if one OEM gets back into a segment and demonstrates success, every oem will at least study options for leveraging compact p/u’s in foreign markets.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    We’d have a Ranger if the stripped F-150 wasn’t so good and so cheap.  There’s no cost or packaging reasons that rationalize the Ranger (or anything like it) here.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Yes there is.  People like me who absolutely do not want a full-sized pickup because of the physical size of those suckers anymore.  While I can easily justify a pickup for daily use, I don’t need the capabilities of a modern full-size, and do not want to have to drive around in that much sheet metal.  I like small.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Oh, I don’t know; Ask the Taliban or any other two-bit insurgent group whether they would like a nice, large American pickup truck instead of all the Toyota mini-trucks you see everywhere but here!

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      @Syke
       
      Apparently there aren’t enough people like you.  Heck, I like a small vehicle myself, but given that gas is fairly cheap, were I in the market for a pickup, I’d probably fall into the “may as well get the F-150″ camp.
       
      The only other restriction, really, is physical space, and there’s very few places in North America that an F-150 cannot fit but a Ranger can, and for those environments the Transit Connect is the preferred choice for most.
       
      @Zackman
       
      I agree with you, but we don’t exactly have an insurgent-ridden desert or tundra in North America.  If we did, I’m sure that prospective McVeighs would be lines up twenty-deep to buy Rangers.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      psarhjinian;

      Are you sure? It appears we’re very close to it down in southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California with all the drug gangs and all. Not a pleasant thought, and I hope it doesn’t come true.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    It doesn’t look like the new overseas Ranger will have a single cab version.

    While the current Ranger gets decent gas mileage for a US built truck – the big advantage over a full-size F Series is getting into tight parking spaces within the inner city.

    Some of our parking garages here have some ridiculously short and narrow spaces.

  • avatar
    DPerkins

    I would like a modern version of my S-10 SS.  Regular cab, short box (RCSB), nice handling, good on gas.  Good enough for trips to Home Depot and the local landscaper.   Ranger comes close, but dealers refuse to stock them (RCSB) and in Canada you can’t get the options on it that you can in the U.S..  Rats.

    Ah well, we have 3 S-10s in the family, all refusing to die, so well just keep waiting….

  • avatar
    mjz

    Stupid move. I still miss my Chevy S-10, one of my all time favorite vehicles. Drove some of the big pick-ups, but they were just too damned big. It still amazes me how many vehicles we are denied here in North America, supposedly the car capital of the world. That’s right GM, I’m looking at you and the Cruze hatchback we won’t be getting.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Out here in Washington state I STILL see a lot of rangers, both old and new on the roads every day (for starters, they simply DON’T rust out here unless out at the coast all the time) and I drive one myself, a ’92 extended cab STX ranger with the 4.0L V6, 2WD with 5spd.
     
    It’s been a fantastic truck, reasonably good on gas, peppy, reliable, currently has 229,808 or some such miles on the clock and still runs strong.
     
    I’ve had it nearly 5 years and it’s only stranded me twice in that time, both time had to do wht the clutch hydraulics, first the master cylinder (2006) and the slave in 2009, other than consumables, new exhaust and tires, it’s been trouble free.
     
    Personally, I don’t find it too small as trucks go and it CAN haul crap when called upon and has a towing package on it as well and yes, my best friend borrowed it with his trailer hitched to it to haul yard waste to the dump/recycling center once and it did just fine thank you very much and he was surprised it still had grunt for the high miles it has. But living in the city and parking on the street every night, I DO wish it were a bit shorter to enable me to slip it into tiny parking spots when coming home so I often have to run around the block several times before I can find a spot. That said, occasional balky shifter not withstanding, I often find myself parking in spots barely longer than the truck itself without too much trouble. :-)
     
    I also remember when these trucks first came out back in 1982, along with the S10/S15 trucks from GM and even though I am looking to get back into a hatchback for m next car, I’d love to buy another Ranger or whatever is of a similar size truck again if I truly needed a truck but not needed a full sized truck. BTW, my best friend owns a 2002 crew cab F-150 Lauriat and it gets better mileage than the Toyotas with V6 and he has the V8 in his.
     

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Seems like the new Ranger is just a reskined Explorer Sport Trac that didn’t exactly set the trucking world on fire. Liked the V8 option and if it had a longer bed I would’ve bought one instead of the F-150.

  • avatar
    ott

    What I’d like to know is why Ford designed the Ranger to be “90% of an F150″ in the first place? Why not differentiate the two a bit more and go after both the fullsize and minitruck markets? Ford, are you listening?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Ford designed the Ranger to be “90% of an F150

      Toyota already did this with the T-100. Looking back, that may have been the ideal size. I remember the short-bed, standard cab Chevys, Fords and Dodges before they became bloated with the 1973 models, and they were the perfect size, even models with the 8′ bed. Much easier to drive, much simpler, too. Wish they would return to that size now, but as a Canadian air force physical training manual said right on the cover, referring to getting in good physical shape: “Wishing is not good enough!”

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    I bought a Ford Ranger XL 2.3 DOHC/5spd new in 2002, and it’s the same exact truck as what Ford sells now, except for the gauge cluster and the grill.  The optional engine is the 4L boat anchor that was a sorry POS the day it was cast.   The Chevy and GMC twins are a bit more modern, but they are junk, as most reliability surveys will attest.  Everything else offered in the ways of “compact” pickups are just the full sized underpinnings with a very slightly smaller exterior, hardly worth manufacturing.
    Honda had the right idea with the Ridgeline and Subaru the Outback pickup, but the problem was they saw the ‘requirement” for two row seating.  Actually, offering a basic front bench and optional extended cab for gear only would suffice.  Base it on their small FWD compacts, make AWD standard, and sell it for around 15K nicely equipped.  Take my word for it; they would sell as a good second car.

    • 0 avatar
      PickupMan

      +1.
      My biggest beef with my recently sold 1999 Ranger was the thirsty, noisy engine. Put a modern mill in it, and Ford just might give the Tacoma a challenge.

  • avatar
    zznalg

    I drive a 2010 Tacoma since it is at least smaller than the American ful-sizers. But it is still way too large. I’m in the camp that would never consider a full-size pickup since I simply won’t drive something that big.
    But there MAY be a compact pickup on the American horizon. I’m surprised that nobody mentioned it yet. Jeep has reportedly announced that they intend to bring a Wrangler based pickup to market. Word from LeftLaneNews is that it may be similar to the Gladiator concept of a few years back. That was a great looking vehicle. Put a turbo-diesel with high MPG in that and I’ll be in line.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I’m pretty sure there is an import tax that confounds the compact PU market in the US.  But that doesn’t explain why the domestics offer so little, nor why the ‘imports’ don’t manufacture something innovative (by US standards) in US/NAFTA.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Toyota has manufactured its pickups in the US for many years now. Plenty of companies sell into the US market out of Mexican factories. The “chicken tax” isn’t what is keeping compact pickups off the US market.
       

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    I have been watching that new show “Terriers” on FX. The two main characters drive around in an old Ford Courier pick-up. I wish you could still get something like that in America. Closest you can come is a reg. cab tacoma or (for now) a ranger.
     
    I hope nissan’s comments are true. My favorite vehicle I spent a lot of time driving was my Dad’s 1987 hardbody reg. cab 4×4.
    I have no use for a fullsize truck. They are just way too massive and they would never fit in my garage.

  • avatar
    Banger

    I and the rest of the good folks at Ranger Power Sports mourn this day. We’d love this updated, modern Ranger. We’d especially love the short-throw manual transmission and Duratorq diesel engines with monstrous torque ratings and great fuel economy.
     
    Over at PickupTrucks.com, their article said something to this effect:

     
    “The [Australian] Ranger has sold 10,925 units in 2010, and since 2007 about 52,000 Rangers have been sold.”
     
    ‘In the past few years, we have averaged around 75,000 Rangers sales annually [in the United States], with year-to-date sales of 43,000 through the end of September,’ said Derek Kuzak, Ford group vice president of product development, when we asked about why the new Ranger isn’t coming to the U.S.”
     
    A commenter summed up my position perfectly:
     
    “So let me see if I understand. Ford has sold more Rangers in the US in one year (of the ancient model, mind you) than it has in Australia in four years, but the US doesn’t get the new one. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
     
    Meanwhile, Ford is telling us that its 3.7 liter V6 will only muster 23 mpg highway in the newest F-150. This is the replacement you want to sell me when I’m ready to trade off my 2.3 liter, 30 mpg Ranger, Ford? Oh, that’s right, you expect me to haul mulch, gravel and two rock band’s worth of music equipment in a Fiesta five-door hatch. (I realize the Transit Connect would handle the music gear, but you’ll not see me shoveling stinky mulch or punishing gravel into the stowage compartment on that vanlet.)
     
    Wake up and get out of your “bigger is better” mentality when it comes to trucks, Ford. In fact, this warning goes for GM and Dodge, as well. Remember how the Japanese got the jump start that later helped them kick your butts because they had small, fun to drive, fuel-efficient cars in the ’70s when the fuel crises hit, while all you had were emissions-strangled, craptacular land barges? Mark my words, the same is going to happen to you in the pickup truck market if you don’t wise up and offer a full range which INCLUDES small trucks. Fuel prices are still volatile, and the economy is still in the tank (reports of the “end of the recession” notwithstanding.) The market is ripe for Nissan to relaunch the Hardbody and eat your lunch when (not if) those fuel prices are back in $4 to $6 per gallon territory.

  • avatar
    slance66

    For what it’s worth, it’s a good looking truck.  If they sold it, I’d consider it.  The F150 would consume too much garage space and too much gas, and is a burden in the day to day task of parking in a modern parking space.  The Tacoma still sells, and given the preference for the American models among US truck buyers, this could take a lot of Tacoma sales.  Would it cannibalize F150 sales, no doubt.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    When gasoline gets suitably expensive, we’ll see compact pickups again.  That said, the new 3.7 engine in the now-surplus chassis and major components of the SportTrac (itself F150 derived) would have made for a cheap base to engineer a significant upgrade. It’s not like the Ranger had set the bar very high for refinement, and I say that lovingly as the owner of an ultra-reliable 2000 model Vulcan-equipped Supercab 2wd with a 5-speed, air, cruise, and nothing else. People who need to project some deficient aspect of their personality are going to go for the bigger trucks until they can’t afford them. The rest of us utilitarian folks aren’t going to care about the image. I have just enough truck to do the jobs I got it to do. It tows a few times a year and schleps my gear the rest of the time.
     
    The trouble I find these days is there are NO new trucks that do what I need them to do, and that is have access to the contents of your bed without having to climb up into it. Bedrails on even the 2×4 models have grown so high that one can barely see into the bed, much less reach in.
     
    Something else to keep in mind, besides the economy of scale inherent in the capacity to churn out over a half million fullsize light duty trucks each year, is that Ford is EXTREMELY invested in maintaining its sales lead with the F-series. Renaming the Ranger the F100 might have helped, but it wouldn’t have made the truck any cheaper to build. Much as I hate to admit it, because I’d love to get another Ford compact truck, but Ford is probably right given the realities of the current market. Let’s see what happens, though, when gas is over $4 a gallon again.

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    I’m probably part of the reason the Ranger is going.  The Ranger is probably the perfect truck for me but no way am I paying more than a few grand for a pickup truck that would be my third vehicle.  I looked at Rangers at the Ford dealer and they were willing to deal but even at discounts I can’t justify spending that kind of scratch on a work truck.  So as a result only seriously looked at used and that doesn’t keep the factories going.  After a long search, I just bought a 1998 Toyota Tacoma for less than $3K to replace my worn out 1987 Dodge Dakota that served me for 12 years.  The only capability I sacrificed over a new or slightly used Ranger is towing, I figure my wife’s Explorer can continue to do that duty when it’s needed.
    My biggest complaint with modern full sized trucks, which I’m surprised not to have seen here yet, is the relatively small (and high!) bed.  I don’t think there’s a single modern light duty truck with the bed space of my late, great, 1987 Dakota.   And while I’m a fairly tall guy (6’2″) I don’t want to have to reach up so high to access the bed of a pickup truck.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Hmmm… I have been driving a 1997 Ford Ranger all day today.
     
    The only potential justification for this truck’s existence is if Ford decides to offer a more efficient engine… which they won’t.
    This is a 17 year old vehicle. Simple? Yes. Cheap to keep? Yes. A strong consideration at the $15k+ price level? Not at all.
    Yes there have been upgrades and various types of handling packages over the years. But as a new vehicle it just doesn’t work. Ford is doing the right thing for now. Perhaps if you throw in the Fiesta’s engine and gas marches back to the $4/gallon mark, it may bump the 80k mark in sales.
    But if it weren’t for fleet sales, this model would have died back in 2008. There is no economic justification for the Ranger other than potential volatility in gas prices. Otherwise it’s just not a viable new vehicle given what Ford already has in the pipeline for the F-150.
     

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      I agree the Ranger has been soldiering away using the same basic body style since 1993.
       
      However, the drive train has seen some upgrades. The current Mazda 2.3 16 valve four pot makes 150 HP and delivers 27 mpg.  Ford switched to full independent front suspension, with rack and pinion steering in 98.  The cast iron 4.0 is an anachronism, but it makes better torque at low rpms.  While not as economical as the Mazda 4 cyl. – the 3.5 or 3.7 Duratec would be a nice upgrade.
       
      The Tacoma meanwhile has seen fresh body changes in 96 and 05.  05 brought the yucko over-sized styling and the cheapening of the rear bed materials.
       
       

  • avatar
    ronin

    Nah, Honda comes out with the neo-El Camino/ Ranchero Ridgeline, and everybody sneers at it.  Not a real pickup, quotha.  As though a comfy, light duty, roomy runabout might not be just the thing for some.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The Ridgeline has virtually no real-world commonality with a Ranchamino. It’s an oversized and over-tall SUV, with an open bad in place of the Wagon back.
       
      The closest thing recently to a El Cachero was the Subaru Baja, and it was hampered by an undersized bed. But it still provides most of the virtues of a mid-sized 4-seat sedan as a daily driver, but has the open bed for the occasional 1/2 yard of compost. Nobody has tried to sell a true car-based light pickup in the US for decades.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Ford’s all-new global Ranger is “90% of an F-150″ and it would make as much sense to sell it here as it would for Toyota bring the Hilux to sell alongside Tacomas and Tundras.

    Up till 2011, Ford’s Explorer has been ’90% of an Expedition’ and still managed to out sell it. Dramatically out selling the Expedition, every year they’ve both been in production. Between ’02 and ’06 by at least 2 to 1.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    This Ranger looks at least as tall as a modern F-150. Not so good. Ford should make a chassis cab model out of the Transit Connect like it does the E-series. It’d be just the thing for hauling parts while getting good mileage. No chicken tax without a bed, right?

  • avatar
    musiccitymafia

    Hmm … I’ll be surprised if there’s no regular cab and only extended/crew cabs. The global market must include a whole lot of places that want a bare-bones cheap truck. Why leave these customeres to Toyota? Did the much beloved courier come in anything but 2 door reg cab?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I suspect that the Transit Connect is also filling some of the needs once met by compact pickups.
     

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    Ford Rangers have been good “donor vehicles” to make electric also. Sturdy. Relatively lightweight. Space in the bed, or under the bed, for batteries. We are converting a 1992 Ford Ranger right now.
     
    Full-size pickups don’t work. Too heavy.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    I have been saying fo a while the small truck market is shrinking because no ones brining anything interesting to the table. After reading some comments on here about pricing I looked up base MSRP on some small pickups. Holy cow, last time I priced a new compact truck 10 years ago you could walk out the door of chevy or ford dealer with a reg cab 2wd stick and AC for 10 grand all day long (I had several friends that bought 99 s-10 this way) Now I’ thinking the pricing is a little out of wack.(considering my friend at the local nissan dealer tells me they sell at least 1 Versa a week as low as 11,000) Back in the day A base compact truck was about the same price as a base compact sedan (not sub compact)

  • avatar
    Banger

    On the Ford Ranger official Facebook page, Ford officials have let slip that the new global Ranger 4×4 Quad Cab measures in at 5359mm long, 1850mm wide, and 1815mm tall. That works out to 210 inches, 72.8 inches, and 71.5 inches for those of us still afraid of the metric system.
    Ford claims the Ranger is a 9/10ths F150? How? The 2010 F150 4×4 Quad Cab measured 243.7 inches long, 78.9 inches wide, and 74.3 inches tall. 210 is 86 percent of 243.7. In width and height, yes, the new Ranger is slightly more than 90 percent the size of the 2010 F150′s measurements. But in length, which is where the F150 gets its bed hauling capacity and legroom in the Quad Cab configuration, the Ranger is nearly a whole yard shorter. That’s pretty noticeable when you’re parking the truck or maneuvering in other tight quarters such as your garage.
    Let’s take a look at two other Fords for comparison’s sake: The Fusion and the Taurus. The Fusion stacks up at 190.6 inches long, 80.1 inches wide and 56.9 inches tall. The Taurus measures 202.9 inches long, 85.7 inches wide, and 60.7 inches tall. Once again, the biggest difference is length. The Fusion is fully 93 percent as long as the Taurus, 93.4 percent as wide as the Taurus, and 93.7 percent as tall as the Taurus. That full foot of missing length in the Fusion will make it easier to parallel park. But I guess we should discontinue it because it’s “9/10ths” of a Taurus.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States