By on March 5, 2013

Even though Ford Ranger is dearly missed, Ford is claiming that Ranger customers are content with upgrading to an F-150 with one of Ford’s V6 powerplants – and they’re hardly alone in opting for the smaller powerplant.

Automotive News reports that the V6 powered F-150 has achieved a majority

F-150s equipped with V-6 engines, rather than V-8s, accounted for 53 percent of the 2012 sales total, a rate that exceeded Ford’s expectations.

The revival of the Ford Ranger has gotten plenty of attention this week, after an article by TTAC alum Justin Berkowitz shed light on the possibility of a compact, unibody pickup slotting below the F-Series. Whether or not this truck even comes to the USA is another matter.

What’s most compelling is the shift to a V6 engine in a segment where anything less than a V8 was seen as an emasculating choice. Even Ford was apparently caught out by the strong demand for the V6 engines. One source tells us that Ford initially expected a take rate of 15 percent for the Ecoboost, and hustled to meet demand when the real take rate ended up at around 40 percent or more.

Even though GM has downplayed the V6 option on their upcoming Silverado and Sierra trucks, Ram has been relentless in touting the new Pentastar V6 on the new Ram 1500. It will be interesting to get the data on Pentastar take rates once the redesigned Ram has had a full year of sales. The Ecoboost has the “urination contest” advantage of having two turbochargers and a lot more torque than competitive V6 and V8 engines, which may take some of the sting out of not having the two extra cylinders. Lest we forget that the emotional factor is frequently in play when choosing any car, and full-size trucks are no exception. The base 3.7L may be the prudent choice if fuel efficiency and saving money are the priorities – but as its minimal take rate demonstrates, the macho factor is still what’s important.

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137 Comments on “QOTD: Are V6 Powered Full-Size Trucks Hitting Critical Mass?...”


  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I owned a 2007 Ranger 4×4 with the 4.0L V6 and a 5-spd. My fuel economy was much worse in that than it is in my 2011 Ecoboost Crewcab 4×4.

    We bought a larger travel trailer and the Ranger couldn’t haul it comfortably, so we got the new truck. The fuel economy was an unexpected bonus.

    That’s not to say that if a new Ranger was offered with an upgraded powertrain that I wouldn’t want it. I really liked my old truck and the fact that I could easily access the bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I owned a 1996 Ranger XLT short-bed, standard cab, 4 cyl/5 spd w/A/C for 6 years.

      Loved the thing. Patience is a virtue when accelerating with the A/C on, though, especially carrying any type of load, but the fuel economy rewards you greatly, plus the truck felt very light and was a joy to drive – at least until my back couldn’t take it any more…

      I drove a V6 Ranger a few times, and they felt like lead sleds – awful driving dynamics, like trying to run wearing shoes three sizes too big!

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Zackman,

        I had a Ranger just like yours, but I think mine was a98 or 99. Just for you to see how our surroundings color our perceptions, this PU was the car I had with the worst fuel economy ever. I regularly got less than 5km/l in the city. Also the inurance more than doubled in the 3 yrs I had it. Finally, I had enough of thatand also had enough of the good-for-a-PU-but-bad-for-a-car driving dynamics. It was quite a relief to get back in a car.

        I think it worked the I-wanna-be-a-cowboy out of me.

    • 0 avatar
      dabradler

      Here is what I don’t get. Everybody loves the Ford Ranger, so you take the top of the line drivetrain 4.0L V6 and put it into a live rear axle sports car, all of a sudden everybody thinks it’s the worst thing ever.

      For about 10k you can get a 4.0L v6 mustang that will comfortably beat a BRZ from a street start, drift like a champ in limited traction conditions, lots of low end torque so it always feels punchy around town.

      The mustang 4.0L V6 is the best Ford ranger they have ever built. So what if I barely get 20mpg…

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        So the best Ranger is the one that takes away everything that is good about it, the utility. My ranger is absolutely horrible to drive, but chugs along and hauls everything I throw in it. Just what I want is all the downfalls, without the practicality.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You expect a pickup truck to drive like an agricultural implement; it makes that up in utility.

        A sports car that drives like an agricultural implement is just a failure.

        • 0 avatar
          dabradler

          If people didn’t actually like the power delivery of truck drive-trains, I’m pretty sure we’d see a lot more wagons on the road instead of SUVs…

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    There has been plenty of talk about a smaller “F-100″ in the F-series lineup. It’s been discussed before, but the 3.7 is not long for this world. Almost finalized prototypes for the 2015 F-series left Rouge last week and should be on the track in Dearborn or on the streets of Metro Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      “2015 F-series left Rouge last week and should be on the track in Dearborn or on the streets of Metro Detroit”
      Wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      If they did something about the size of the 97-02 F-150 and ride height, I would be interested. It could work very well. Sell the current size F-150 for the urban cowboys. Hell they could even carpet the bed like on the SSR. I think that would be perfect. Then sell the F-100 for people who want a usable work truck where they can comfortably reach the bed.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    “Americans quote horsepower and drive torque.” This quote is what I often heard. I thought that the statement was pretty accurate.

    The EcoBoost allows Americans to do both. A test drive would seal the deal with a lot of buyers. A co-worker’s father bought an F150 and loved the “power” of the EcoBoost. He loved it so much that when they purchased a new Escape, there was no doubt as to what their engine option would be.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I just got back from Los Angeles where I had a rented Ecoboost Escape. I *loved* the drivetrain. It was sneaky quick and felt strong all across the rev band. It was smoother than the turbo 4 in my sister’s 328. What I *hated* was the godawful torque steer, the worst I’ve ever experienced.

      As a former serial Ranger owner, I really don’t buy the argument that the F-150 is a viable replacement. The new F-150 is way too large. I swear I’ve seen smaller ocean liners. When I was looking for my first Ranger, I also test-drove an F-150 (this was in ’96). It felt way too big and, as we know, it’s just gotten worse with each new revision.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Critical Mass? It depends on who’s buying F-150s now. Are they traditional 4 cylinder and V6 buyers from the (dying) mid-size class of trucks like Rangers, Colorados, 4Runners or Pathfinders? Have they ever owned a V8? Are they traditional buyers of mid-size cars like Mustangs, Chargers, Camrys or even (dare I say) Lexus or BMW ?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Interesting that this debate has made it to ttac since it has been raging on PUTC for years.

      I am not going to modify my behavior and buy a V6-powered full-size truck in the future. It’s not in my DNA/RNA. I started with a six-cylinder truck with three on the tree, from way back when Eisenhower was president, but I’m never going back there.

      After I purchased my first new Silverado truck with a V8 and automatic way back in 1988, I was hooked. There’s nothing like having a slow-turning, stump pulling V8 under the hood. Everything else is just make-believe and/or a wannabe.

      I’m also not a fan of diesel in anything less than a Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner or Volvo 18-wheeler tractor.

      And since the trend towards V6 powered half-ton rated trucks is pretty much driven by the EPA, DOT and mandated new CAFE standards, my next new truck may just be a 3/4 ton or 1-ton pickup truck with the largest available V8 under the hood.

      That was the trend in America in the past. If something became too small or downsized, you stepped up and bought something larger. That’s why SUVs and trucks sell so well in America. Americans love large. Americans love big V8s. And Americans will buy what they love.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Fleet sales will be the true determinant. Those are mostly cold, clear-eyed financial decisions, based on the actual cost per mile. Early adopters will probably regret closed-end leases, as I’m sure no one expected a market penetration of 40%, so residual values were undoubtedly very conservative. This is just another manifestation of the changing of the guard. We of a certain age would have never considered a full-sized V6 pickup, while my youngest could care less how many cylinders, so long as it accomplished the task at hand. There is a certain purity to their attitudes, because they have been raised by us Boomers- probably the most selfish demographic extant. They’re actually smarter than us, and their success will be in spite of us, not because of us. This is worthy of a Gladwell analysis.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      But during the time back in the day when you wouldn’t consider anything other than a V8, that V8 put out less power and torque than some modern 4 cylinders.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “…that V8 put out less power and torque than some modern 4 cylinders.”

        Is there any naturally aspirated 4-cylinder that makes over 200 lb-ft of torque? Even the Olds 260 made 205.

        • 0 avatar
          redbeard

          ’89-91 Porsche 944S2 had a 3.0L I-4 rated at 207 ft-lbs normally aspirated.

          Currently, GM has their Vortec 2900 I-4 pushing 190 ft-lbs in several trucks and SUV-shaped-minivans.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I didn’t say naturally aspirated. We are debating the V6 EcoBoost here. They are getting close naturally aspirated though.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        In 1977, Dodge’s lowest power V8 put out 245 ft/lbs at 1,600 rpm. Any 4 cylinder that can compete with that figure is going to be a very complicated device, whether it be a common rail diesel or a high boost turbo gas engine. It certainly goes beyond the amount of torque a Nissan, GM, or Toyota 4 cylinder gas pickup can produce.

        • 0 avatar
          redbeard

          My 1990 Volvo has a 8 valve, 4-banger that is blown to about 300 ft-lbs. I don’t think it’s very complicated or high boost. Modern 4-cylinders are even better.

          What is high boost?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            He said modern. I don’t think your car would pass today’s emissions requirements for new cars or has anything to do with current pickup offerings anywhere in the world. I doubt it would have decent long term prospects when operating at an 8,600 lb GVW either.

          • 0 avatar
            redbeard

            The point is, today, even some 4-cylinders are routinely available with higher output than popular V8s of yore. It shouldn’t be too difficult to accept that 6-cylinders can be comfortably accepted as the new norm.

            My specific car is able to pass modern emissions tests to renew registration (unlike the Pontiac Firebird I sold to a kid from a non-emissions county in favor of the Volvo). I will have to wait and see about the long-term prospects, since it has only recently passed the 200,000 mile factory break-in period.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            1990 emissions standards are not the same as 2013 standards, but maybe you really don’t know that your car isn’t held accountable to current standards. Which US market pickup has a 4 cylinder engine that puts out at least 245 ft/lbs of torque at 1,600 rpm? I’d like to buy one.

          • 0 avatar
            redbeard

            Maybe you really don’t know that in my state, all cars produced after 1974 are held to the same, current emissions standards regardless of year of manufacture.

            “Which US market pickup has a 4 cylinder engine that puts out at least 245 ft/lbs of torque at 1,600 rpm? I’d like to buy one.” You can get an Ecoboost 2.0L (270 lb·ft (366 N·m) at 1750–4500 rpm) in a Ford Explorer, so if you are motivated enough, I’m sure you could have that same motor fit to an F-150.

            The point is still, today, even some 4-cylinders are routinely available with higher output than popular V8s of yore. It shouldn’t be too difficult to accept that 6-cylinders can be comfortably accepted as the new norm.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          “In 1977, Dodge’s lowest power V8 put out 245 ft/lbs at 1,600 rpm.”

          Gear multiplication. That old Dodge was a 3-speed, versus the 8-speed with the current V6. The number that matters is torque at the axle.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The number of gears is not a measure of torque multiplication in low gear.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            You scurrilous rascal, you made me go to Allpar.

            Anyway, the Torqueflite in the ’77 Dodge had a 1st gear of 2.45 x 245 ftlb at 1600 rpm = 600.25 ftlb to the axle.

            The 8-speed Pentastar Ram has a 4.71 1st gear x 200 ftlb at 1600 rpm = 942 ftlb to the axle.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          @ redbeard,

          In other words, you really don’t know anything about emissions controls. There is no way that a 1974 or 1990 car would be in compliance with current regulations regarding emissions. The absolute emissions standards have changed. Evaporative emissions standards have been added and tightened. Cold start emissions standards have been imposed and ratcheted up over the years. Making old cars comply with current standards would generally make cars illegal after only a few years, since we have a full time bureaucracy justifying their expense by imposing new standards continuously.

          The Ford Explorer is not a truck. It is an old Volvo, which I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised you don’t actually know that much about after all.

  • avatar
    MrFixit1599

    I really don’t understand why this is so shocking. Ford used the old 300 inline 6 for 20 years or so in the full size Fords, so it’s not like this is unprecedented.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      And a wonderful engine it was, a modern straight six with heaps of low- end torque would be a big hit. Unfortunately it seems Ford has put all of their eggs in the Ecoboost basket.

      • 0 avatar
        BUBS SOLO

        well that basket is overflowing with “heaps of low- end torque”.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          Indeed, right up until the minute the turbo seizes.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            I have never heard of a Turbo seizing. Usually the seals leak, or the bearings go bad. Catastrophic failure usually results in turbine pieces being shot into the intake or exhaust. They still spin right up to before that point.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Are we talking about early 80s Chrysler turbos or modern ones? What you and redmondjp are describing regarding turbos is from a different decade.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Any turbo will fail the same way. Obviously today’s turbos are way more reliable and catastrophic failure is very rare. The oil seals are usually as big as a problem gets. Large amounts of smoke from the exhaust the only noticeable symptom. However, on poorly maintained vehicles, turbos will still fail catastrophically sending turbine pieces into the intake and exhaust. They do not seize.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Yes, and the jury is still out on long-term reliability. Turbos add importance to the proper choice and maintenance of engine oil, not to mention needing cooling and spool-down before hot shutoff for maximum life.

        I’m still concerned with the ecoboost water-slugging problem that is well-discussed on internet forums: driving at low-boost conditions for a long period of time, with humid outdoor air at moderate temps, causes moisture to condense and build up inside the intercooler. If the throttle is then suddenly opened (as one would do in order to pass), all of that liquid is swept right into the intake, causing multiple cylinder misfires and possibly even hydrolock. You are asking for power and you get none, which can in some cases be a serious safety issue.

        Ford’s solution of partially blocking off airflow to the intercooler (making it effectively smaller and less efficient) along with undetermined software modifications, comes across to me as a band-aid fix (hmmm, Alan Mulally, now Ford, then Boeing, Boeing 787 battery box, similar band-aid fix being proposed, coincidence?). Time will tell.

        • 0 avatar
          01 ZX3

          Traditional turbo cool off is not required as coolant is flowed through the turbo after you turn the engine off.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Paint me skeptical (as usual).

          Whether it’s Ford or ANY other manufacturer installing smaller, forced induction motors into HEAVY (by relative and absolute measurements) vehicles…

          …people claiming that the engineers and fabricators were able to resolve all reliability, durability & cooling related issues with new technology and by using new unobtanium materials (in vehicles inherently and necessarily built to a specific mass market price point) are going to need something approaching a 5 year (or greater) timeline to vindicate such claims.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I really couldn’t give a #%#^ how good fuel economy gets on full-size pickups as long as they stay this freaking HUGE.

    A current F-150 won’t fit in my carport; won’t fit in my driveway without blocking the car in the carport; won’t fit in half the parking spaces in town; and feels like you’re driving a coal barge. I don’t want a giant truck with good FE. I want a SMALLER truck.

    • 0 avatar
      jgcaulder

      Haha. I had a 1988 F-150 and parked next to a newer F-150 and it made my truck look like a Ranger. It’s amazing how large these things are now.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      A full size car, truck, or ‘anything’ isn’t aimed at every buyer, but the current F-150′s nose grew by about 7″ for aerodynamics. Remember how flat the front end used to be?

      The regular cab F-150 also grew by approx 7″ from the steering wheel to the back window for the sake of comfort and behind the seat volume/storage. The seating on the old trucks was straight up and not so comfortable. Much like the regular cab Ranger is/was now.

      The bigger size is what actual buyers asked and I’m one of them. Of course the tiny 15″ wheels are history, but the width of F-150s and full size remain the same. Same with the beds obviously.

      The high sides of the bed have the advantage of hiding/swallowing more cargo if not more stylish.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        First, length matters when you’re trying to park, not just width. I don’t particularly care why it’s there, I just know the vehicle is too damn big for anyone who lives and drives in a city.

        Second, I want a Ranger, not a F-150, because I don’t want a 79″ wide truck. I don’t appreciate that Ford is telling me a 79″ wide truck is my only option.

        Third, those high bed sides make it impossible to put small cargo in the truck without opening the tailgate, which is just dumb.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          For a million plus annual full-size pickup buyers, they absolutely hit the mark. But as we’re learning, you can’t please everyone.

          People talk about what they wish to buy, but the crew cab Rangers known as the Sport Trac (Explorer badge) couldn’t be given away.

          Rangers were great and I hope you had a chance to own one new, but profits for mid-size, especially regular cabs, was/is too thin. Cheapskates loved them (too much) though.

          • 0 avatar
            moedaman

            “For a million plus annual full-size pickup buyers, they absolutely hit the mark. But as we’re learning, you can’t please everyone.”

            Modern full-size pick-up buyers don’t have any other option though. Every full-size truck is huge and bloated. There used to be plenty of six cylinder trucks back in the 50′s and 60′s and they had no problem doing most jobs. Off course you didn’t need a step ladder to get in one though.

            Years ago at the Woodward Dream Cruise, my kids were shocked to see that 50/60′s pick-ups, unlike 50/60′s cars, were smaller than they are today.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            Those million sales are protected sales. Any market that relies on protection and/or subsidisation isn’t a true measure of the market.

            Like India saying we don’t want other vehicles because look at the amount of Suzuki’s we sell annually.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The only “protectionism” full-size experience is their complete awesomeness, bb… That and Big 3 OEMs listening to buyer’s wishes. I mean except for stuff like auto/self parallel parkers and whatnot.

            There will always be whiners and complainers no matter what and it’s a fair assessment that they aren’t in the market for a smaller full-size anyways. Mid-sizers are smaller full-size and have been out there for a while with not too many takers. Except for bottom feeding, base stripper buying cheapskates, as always.

            The very bottom of the truck market is wide open with almost no competition for any OEMs that want it.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “First, length matters when you’re trying to park, not just width. ”

          That’s what she said.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Add me to the list of buyers for a SMALLER truck with Ecoboost or a baby diesel. I bought a Dakota Quad Cab back in ’02 with the 4.7l V8 to replace my 4.0l V6 Ranger Splash. Sorry but the old Ford V6 struggled when towing, however the Dodge V8 handles my rig with no problems, getting the same 12-13 mpg that the Ford V6 got. My Dakota fits in my 2 car garage alongside my boat. The F-150? forget… I don’t even think it would fit in my driveway!

      If the increase in size is related to aero (as a few have indicated) then WHY are these new trucks so HIGH off the ground? Extra ground clearance = more drag. These trucks needs to be down-sided in every dimension. When you need a ladder to reach items in the bed then something is wrong.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Derek, how does this statement:

    “On the bright side, the V8 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the Ecoboost’s popularity, a majority of F-150 buyers opt for the V8,”

    that you made the other day square with this quote you include in this piece today:

    “F-150s equipped with V-6 engines, rather than V-8s, accounted for 53 percent of the 2012 sales total, a rate that exceeded Ford’s expectations.”

    I’m a little unclear on the math.

    • 0 avatar

      My mistake. A majority of F-Series trucks are sold with the V8 (including the 6.2 on the F-250 and such). However the data I got from on the F-150 shows that the V6 actually has a slight edge. Of the V6s most of that is EB, with the 3.7 making up the rest. I’ll have to correct the earlier story. In any case, the V8s still account for 47 percent of F-150 sales, hardly an insignificant number.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Have bought several hundred company pickup trucks over the last 20- 30 years, all I6 and V6 equipped. They are more than adequate for our use which includes snowplowing. Will not consider a Ford eco-boost until long term reliability is known. The risk of high maintenance costs, early failure and excessive downtime is too high.

    Our big problem with current full-size pickups is their huge size. They’re difficult maneuver and park in urban settings. Need a ladder to load them. The regular cab 1995 Chevrolet Sierra with the 6.5-foot bed was ideal for us: 117.5-inch wheelbase, 194.1 inches long.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Congrats Gardiner. You have won the unofficial TTAC Comment Of The Week.

      Everyone who has scrolled down to this award ceremony, Please look up and read Gardiner’s thoughts on the pickup issue.

      As a guy who lives in a nice little town between civilization and Deliverance, I can tell you that the lack of bed accessibility for the current full-sized trucks is by far the most complained about issue for those folks who have to climb in, secure property, and then jump right out again.

      This is why I keep a 39 year old Chevy truck. I want the space AND the real world practicality.

      I think I may have to get a picture out in the next week or so that explains exactly what I’m talking about. In essence, if you can’t reach over and grab what you need without having to climb in the damn thing, then that truck is not designed to be a functional tool for light-duty work.

      It may be better for towing and for hauling certain large loads. It may even be n times better if you are longing for showmanship. But in terms of real world use for most folks who actually do work out of their trucks, the current full-sized trucks are far too large, high and bulky.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Full-size trucks became passenger vehicles about a decade ago. These days, you buy a mid-size if you want something useful, and those will be the size of 1960-2000 full-size trucks in another generation or two.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Say what you will about modern full size trucks being huge, but they are much more efficient and aerodynamic than their predecessors, not to mention faster.

    A C/K with the 5.0L was a turd, a new Silverado can run rings around it and get 21mpg on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Efficiency and aerodynamics don’t help you parallel park on a city street.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Mandalorian
      Where I live we have an approx speed limit of 85mph. When overtaking a roadtrain (a road train is a truck with 3.5 trailers) I will reach speeds normally of up to 110mph.

      This is in a 3.2 diesel BT50, this vehicle is the sister to the Global Ranger.

      Sitting on 85mph I get about or just over 20mpg. Driving at 60mph I get over 30mpg. The vehicle weighs about 4 700lbs, can carry over 2 500lbs in the back and tow about 7 800lbs.

      I don’t mind your full size trucks. When working in the US last year I had a F-250 Super Duty and that was fun, I loved the torque of the diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Mandalorian, Imagine how good a truck sized like the old ones but with modern technology would be.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    My grandfather has a 2001 Ranger with the 4.0 sohc and 5 speed auto. Yes, the fuel economy is pretty abysmal, but the truck has no shortage of power. Without a full payload, I’d go so far as to say its overpowered. While the improved mileage of the F150s would be appreciated, their size would keep them from ever being able to replace the ranger in our family. There are things that we can do with the Ranger because of its maneuverability that we would never be able to do with a larger truck. It has been a great sturdy dependable little truck and is going strong at 95k miles.

    I think the wildcard in all of this is the diesel V6 going in the ram. Yes enthusiasts on the forums will salivate but will it sell? I sure hope so. I’m sure it’ll kick the ecoboost’s ass in terms of gas mileage (considering that the GC with the same engine is supposed to get low 20s/high 20s city/highway. The big question is how much…I think the payoff on fuel mileage alone will be close, but when you factor in the lower maintenance of a diesel, that should tip the balance in its favor, at least with commercial buyers. I know that’s a main reason we went from gas to diesel ambulances years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      It won’t make a difference if the Ram Diesel costs a huge amount more than the gas. To make any impact, they have to be priced close and not like 2500/3500 trucks with diesel engines costing $8k-10k more.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The VM diesel in the Ram will likely be around 3k more than the gas V8. Some will find it worth it, some won’t. What will matter to me is how it performs in the truck. I don’t mind crappy mileage in my truck if it performs well and doesn’t leave me wanting.

        Also, a believe until this model year, you couldn’t even get a gas engine in the Ram 3500, 6.7L Cummins or nothing. I think you can order a 5.7L in them now, with a truck version of the 6.4L in the works.

  • avatar
    dts187

    Anecdotal but:

    A contact at another local oil and gas company told me that they ordered 5 ecoboost F150′s and 3 were returned within a few months to be replaced with V8′s. 2 had multiple engine/turbo issues which left the drivers stranded on several occasions and the other’s transmission ate itself to pieces.

    The 3 trucks with issues saw daily off-road/gear hauling duty. The two that are doing fine are supervisors’ trucks which do more office to office driving with only the occasional trip off-road.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Mr. Ford, I’m sorry but as a Ford fan I am NOT content. I love my 2000 Ranger and would love to have another with a brand new design but with the same size/dimensions but with updated engineering.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “(hmmm, Alan Mulally, now Ford, then Boeing, Boeing 787 battery box, similar band-aid fix being proposed, coincidence?)”

    Is this Oliver Stone?

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself ;<)

      But now that I think about it, the better comparison to the flaming Boeing Battery Box is the first Ford diesel pickup equipped with a DPF that would regenerate at idle.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I’m not convinced on their reliability yet, Ford can’t even make a front end component (or find a supplier for) that will last more then 80k miles, and now were trusting them with turbos, and at that 2?

    I did test drive one, it had good power but it just didn’t seem to want to shift right. my 8.1 with the allison did much better with power and shifting, was also more comfortable.

    The size and dimensions are spot on, why anyone would find something against that is beyond common mindset.

    What I’m looking forward to is this diesel in the ram, if that lives up to it’s expectations then we got something goin on.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “The size and dimensions are spot on.”

      Unless you have a parking space that’s 3 feet shorter than one of these monstrosities, or ever have to parallel park anywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Never paralleled park other than during drivers training a very long time ago. Don’t plan to start lol.

        I can fit my 28ft boat into either garages and still have plenty of room to go behind and in front of as well as park a car beside, Not everyone lives in apartments. Catering to the minority doesn’t pay the bills.

        Length and width greatly enhance the towing abilities, as far as stopping, not having the trailer swing the truck around, and by having the added weight.

        And to add to all this, ford does in fact have options for people that don’t want a long truck, get a single cab shortbed.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Wow another PU owner that uses it for towing and also lives in a home. I knew I couldn’t be the only one on this sight!….LOL

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Regular cab short bed is still 213 inches long.

          That’s almost two feet longer than my Pontiac G8, a full-size RWD car with a huge rear seat and trunk (which fits fine in my parking spot and parallel parks without too many problems).

          I’m not asking Ford to stop making its trucks on steroids for those who find them useful. I’m saying that given the place I live a modern full-size truck is absolutely useless to me, where something the size of a Ranger is perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I liked the basic dimensions of the 1997 F-150 short bed regular cab. Ford made the back glass of the cab further back to allow the seat to be less upright while keeping the correct cab to bed proportions for regular cab short bed. From 2005 to present, the larger cab and taller bed are disproportionally large for regular cab short bed. Maybe Ford needs a separate F-100 regular cab traditional proportion pickup to go with the “mine is bigger” extended cab F-150.

  • avatar
    BeyondBelief

    For those lamenting the lack of maneuverability of today’s larger trucks I offer one word: Quadrasteer.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I don’t forsee that coming back anytime soon lol…

      But seriously if you can’t figure out how to manuever a truck theres a good chance you shouldn’t be driving anything bigger than a moped.

      sideview mirrors = besties

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        It’s often not a matter of figuring out how to maneuver it.

        A new extended-cab pickup won’t fit in many garages (either because of being too long, or too high), and won’t fit in many urban parking spots. It doesn’t matter how good you are at maneuvering it if the truck is simply bigger than the available space that it has to fit in.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          What Brian P said.

          My carport is about 200 inches long. A short-bed extended-cab F-150 is 231 inches long! And it’s 79 inches wide, where a Ranger was close to 70. Those are not dimensions that work pretty much anywhere in the city.

          Ford has put a big sign up at each of its truck dealers that says “CITY DWELLERS NOT WELCOME – SUBURBANITES AND RURAL ONLY.”

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            That’s a foot longer than my old Panther and less than an inch wider. What was it someone was saying the other day about Panthers just being trucks that are lower to the ground and enclosed in the back?

            That said, it’s probably much easier to parallel park because of the shorter wheelbase.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t know why you’re complaining about size and still looking at super cab. The old ’80s super cab F-150 still would be too long for your carport by about 17 inches. There’s only about 14 inches difference between old and current.

            If you can’t deal with 7 extra inches, front and rear (of old vs current regular cabs), you’d likely have difficulty parking a Camry at 189 total inches.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Because extended cabs are useful and, if attached to *compact* pickups, can be done in reasonable length. A Ranger extended cab is 203 inches long, which isn’t horrible.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Ranger line-up was perfect for too many and so have the different generations of F-150s, to say the least. It sounds like you’re a Ford fan since you’re not necessarily into the remaining, still living mid-size, but exactly how many Rangers or F-150s (old or recent) have you owned? What about Rangers? See that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Everyone has an opinion, but Ford has to listen primarily to what past or current owners love or hate about the F-150 before or above anyone else.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          My full size ’04 crew cab GMC 4X4 easily fit into the garages of all three homes that I’ve owned since I’ve had it. They don’t make a garage door lower than 7′ that I’m aware of and any stock 1/2 ton will fit under that. If your garage isn’t at least 24′ deep, tear it down and build it right,……LOL

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            You obviously haven’t seen the sizes of urban construction garages in the greater Seattle area then. Even the $800K homes with 3-car garages typically use three individual 7′ wide doors.

            The 79″ wide truck, even with the mirrors folded in, simply won’t fit in it. Even if it did, one wouldn’t be able to open the door very far on one side once inside anyways!

            The Ranger (I know a few people that have owned one in the city) was the perfect size for cities – big enough to be useful, but small enough to park & maneuver.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Minimum garage door openings are 8 ft wide in North America.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            On of my garages has a your basic 7′ high single stall doors. Again my truck easily fits into it. Even my 8′ wide snowmobile trailer fits. It’s a bitch to back it in, but it fits.

            And your wrong, I have family in University Place south of Tacoma so I have seen garages in the greater Seattle area.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Carlson Fan,

            send me your email and I’ll send you a picture of the garages down the street from me (2 miles from Microsoft HQ). No way are they 8′ wide (I think they use really thick trim on the inside of the door opening which cuts down 2-3″ per side). I have seen more than one owner with a full-sized truck parked just outside the door. I walked by and it was clear as to why – the truck would not fit through the door opening.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      A friend had a quadrasteer truck and it was great! I didn’t know it had it until I did a lane change, and I knew something was very different than my 2000 Sierra

      They priced it insanely and killed any chance of it succeeding. Too bad.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This article on the Ford Ranger illustrates how protected the US vehicle market is.

    I will set the record straight, I don’t want to see the demise of full size pickups, I rather like them, they do have a place. Mid sizers if available like we recieve in Australia would compliment full size pickups in the US. I think if competitive mid sizers like the T6 Ranger (and the rest) were available pickups would represent a larger portion of vehicle sales in the US.

    To the anti mid sizer advocates, how can that be un-American.

    The problem appears to be the Big 3 require protection for the full size trucks as they are the Big 3′s bread winners. Without them almost all US vehicles would be based on imported designs and/or the Big 3 would have definetely gone broke by now.

    The Big 3 can’t allow any form of competition, that’s why the current breed of mid sizers currently sold in the US are generations old, and uncompetitive.

    The protection and trade barriers for full size pickups is quite involved. Not only is the chicken tax in place, but CAFE/EPA and design regs makes it harder for the mid sizers to compete.

    A classic example of design regulation issues is the length of time it’s taking to release the Chev Colorado. How hard can it be? The vehicle is already designed.

    I ashame that the US can’t enjoy these vehicles like we do. I own a 2012 Mazda BT50, based on the new T6 Ranger. The vehicle is great to own.

    Not everyone in the US wants a full size, but why does the US only have 3 world quality mid sizers, actually the 3rd world has better mid sizers.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The full sizers are just so darn cheap here, Ford feels that very few would opt for the T6 Ranger at a higher cost than many low end F-150s.

      I tend to agree with them. The T6 Ranger would be a “lifestyle” vehicle here and wouldn’t fullfill the volume left by the old one due to the increased cost.

      Commercial customers who need a pickup will gladly take a 3.7L F-150 that returns around the same fuel economy as a 4.0L Ranger. The painters and delivery customers have a myriad of vans to choose from with Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @danio3834
        Don’t try and convert currencies when determining how much a vehicle will cost in the US.

        Doing this fails to take into account many variables that impact costs in a country.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I didn’t do it, Ford did. I got it straight from Farley.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @danio3834
            We sell the Navara here and it has a 2.5 diesel, the diesel and V6 used to be the same price.

            A base model Navara 4×4 dual cab ie it only has power window, A/C, CD/MP3, vinyl floor, cloth seats has a recommended retail of about $42 000AUD or $43-44 000US.

            What is the price of a Frontier 4×4 dual cab base model in the US?

            I do think this will make the information you were given appear distorted.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Al, you’re comparing Nissans to Fords. And now you’re bringing the unaccounted evidence to the table.

            I heard it straight from a Ford executive who is directly responsible for studying such things. I don’t know how it could be any less distorted.

            Ford did their homework on the new Ranger and after carefully considering the truck buying habits in the US and Canada (very unique compared to the rest of the world) they found that there wasn’t a business case for it here.

            Of course there’s the small truck fanbase who will cry conspiracy and plead that it isn’t true. But even they won’t buy one. Ford is in the business of making money, and if there was good chance of making money selling that truck here, they would do it. But it’s not worth the investment. End of story.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      How are full-size trucks “protected”? And how did Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu and others slide in before retreating back to the ocean in this “protected” truck market?

      Aren’t the Tundra and Titan also supposedly “protected”? And shouldn’t they be selling much, much better with such a “protected” market?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DenverMike
        Are we becoming a troll again? Really.

        Don’t worry others on this site will agree with me.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          There you go again… Whenever anyone asks you to explain something you have no answer for, your answer is always accusations of “trolling”. If you don’t have a reasonable answer for a reasonable question, just say so or quit.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            We have debated this, you and me.

            You refuse to believe that the way CAFE/EPA, vehicle design regulations and the chicken tax have worked against the the midsize market.

            Midsizers would have a larger market in the US but the above regulations are designed to thwart midsizers to protect your 1/2 ton pickups. You, in the US are left with very inadequate and dated mid sizers, because of the regulations.

            1/2 ton pickups are the bread and butter of Detroit. It has to be protected.

            Bertel Schmitt made a comment a month or so ago regarding the Chicken Tax etc.

            Got your trolling buzz:)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            How exactly does the EPA/CAFE prevent mid-size trucks from being competitive against full-size? Mid-size are a good idea in concept, but in their execution, they end up costing a bit more with a bit less capacity if not style. The EPA and CAFE have zero input on those highly critical things. The rest are just wives tales about conspiracies.

            The bottom line is it’s the unmistakable attributes of full-size trucks that protect their interests, not some governmental body. Get real.

            Bertel Schmitt has a very worldly view about the Chicken Tax which is a bit of a myth nowadays. I did have some questions for him, but got no response.

        • 0 avatar
          Truckducken

          Al,
          I don’t think it’s necessary to resort to conspiracy theories to explain the full vs. midsize PU market in the States. It’s pure and simple economies of scale. With the massive sales volume of Big 3 pickups, it’s possible to sell them at darn near the same price as slower selling midsize trucks, and make more money doing it. I’m not a fan of the result, but it’s the market reality here. If you owned a car company, you’d do the same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Truckducken
            Who talking conspiracy? Government controls and regulations exist in all countries, even trade barriers.

            Why don’t you google all about the regulations and controls I just mentioned.

            I’m not going to explain it here, just pop over to PUTC and have a look at some of my historical comments I made, I’m sure you’ll find the answers you want:)

            Nice try:)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’ll just find more of the same on PUTC. Lots of theories about the US gov. stepping in and preventing mid-size trucks from being relevant or competitive with full-size, but certainly nothing to backup his claims. It’s no different than here.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The internet tells me Nissan still makes the Titan, but reality tells me they don’t sell any.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s the same reason the Frontier has dismal sales. They don’t make a regular cabs at all. Otherwise Nissan trucks are just as good as Toyotas if not better.

          Nissan wisely sidestepped the very bottom of the market and there’s obviously not much else (for them). Unless your a Big 3 full-size truck OEM, of course.

          But since OEMs don’t give a break down of regular cabs vs extra/super/access/ or crew/double cabs, this speaks volumes of who’s buying and what.

          We already knew OEM aren’t thrilled about satisfying the base stripper buying cheapskates of the market. This is what killed the mid-size market and Ranger. Good bye forever, Orkin..

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I agree. Ford will still capture the Orkin market well with the Transit Connect and base F-150, they won’t be left wanting.

            When the Titan started out, they had a full line including strippers, but as you stated gravitated away from that end.

            The Frontier fullfills the needs of most Nissan truck buyers, but the Titan was maybe only remotely competitive for the first couple model years. The quality really wasn’t there on that truck and those first time Nissan full size buyers mostly went back where they came from.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Mike Levine, Ford’s communications/blogger, stated 23% of displaced Ranger buyers stepped up to F-150s so it’s likely half or Ranger sales were just there to cannibalize the F-150.

            Orkin is now Toyota’s problem.

            worktruckonline.com/Channel/Vehicle-Research/News/Story/2012/09/Orkin-Announces-Replacement-for-Ford-Ranger.aspx

  • avatar
    jaje

    I think there’s quite a leap in logic here with the title: QOTD: Are V6 Powered Full-Size Trucks Hitting Critical Mass?

    V6 is usually understood to mean normally aspirated v6 (no forced induction). From reading the article the N/A v6 still has very low sales – and understandably as 1/2 trucks are heavy and require a big engine to move them. What is muddying the waters is the Ecoboost in the F150 which gives you the power of a v8 (as well as its thirst) but it is considered a “v6″ for various measurements. Adding forced induction to an engine really changes its character and levels of power (often to the next n/a engine size up – thus a v8).

    • 0 avatar
      its me Dave

      “Ford is claiming that Ranger customers are content with upgrading to an F-150″

      Well, yeah sure. Spend 20 years bloating the heck out the Ranger until it’s within a couple inches of an F-series and you’ll get that kind of survey response.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        When did the Ranger grow? The new one’s proportions seemed to be the same as my ’95 which where the same as the 80s trucks. I think the Ranger was the only vehicle that hasn’t grown.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          You’re right, Dave is out of his mind. The only major differences between the body/chassis 2011 Ranger and a 1991 is they finally ditched the twin I bean front suspension in 1998.

          Even now, you can go to a Ford dealer and buy a brand new Ranger that will give you much the same experience as that 1991 being traded in. And that’s who they sold them to, the same demo who traded their “other car” a 1993 Grand Marquis for the last of the Panthers.

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Wrong. I can’t recall the MY, but Ford added a couple of inches to the cab behind the door to give a bit more seat room to the standard cab only.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Wrong. I can’t recall the MY, but Ford added a couple of inches to the cab behind the door to give a bit more seat room to the standard cab only.”

            Hardly “model bloat” as it applies to every other vehicle from the last 20 years.

          • 0 avatar
            its me Dave

            Well, I thought it was a pretty fine opinion. That is, until it was subjected to factual information. (I stand corrected.)

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      My old man had a base 2012 V6 F150, I was pretty impressed with the V6/A6 powertrain combination. The mileage ended up worse than the GT500 the few weeks I used it as a daily driver but otherwise it did the job dutifullly even towing an 18 foot boat.

      Admittedly I’m not a truck guy but I think I could get alot of use out of a truck like that.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “V6 is usually understood to mean normally aspirated v6 (no forced induction).”

      That’s new to me.

  • avatar
    RS

    The Ranger was never given a chance. Sales would have been much better if they applied driveline updates when they were available. The 4.0L should have been dropped when the 3.5L came out in 2006/2008. Even the 3.0 Duratec would have been a better option than the 4.0L or the 3.0L Vulcan.

    Ford also seemed to offer the Ranger for as long as they could and still get away with easily applied regulation updates, but it was to the point that a new design would be needed to make further updates economical. By that time, all their poor driveline decisions made sales pitiful and it was an easy call to cancel it.

    If Ford does bring a small truck again, it probably doesn’t have to be an ‘on frame’ design and could be based off of the Fusion or Escape or Transit Connect chassis.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    A smaller unibody pickup, eh? It probably won’t have any of the durability/simplicity that made the Ranger work for so many years, but as long as it isn’t the next Honda Ridgeline, it’s alright with me…

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Unibody simply won’t sell, the Ridgeline is proof of that, and for good reason, one such reason to buy trucks beyond the obvious is to get away from the uniframe, much easier to repair and maintain a BoF

      • 0 avatar
        Gardiner Westbound

        I agree. Pickups are almost bulletproof because they are built on a rigid steel frame and beefy suspension with the body fitted on top. They’re much stronger than frameless car construction. I wouldn’t look at a unibody pickup truck.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Unibodies work just fine in work truck applications as long as you don’t plan on doing any serious work using them (especially serious towing), in which case you’re going to regret your purchase very much so.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Everywhere else Pickups are body on frame as they do real work. The Ridgeline would not be appreciated.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The Ranger never really fit into that “serious work/hauling” category anyway.

            A pickup Transit Connect isn’t a terrilbe idea. In fact, I’d almost blame the Connect for the ultimate death of the Ranger. It better fulfills the needs of most Ranger buyers.

            The Transit Connect is pretty basic and easy to work on as well. All legacy components in that thing.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Even the Ridgeline has a ladder frame onto which the uni-body is placed just for the added strength needed for towing. From what I hear this works quite well.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Even though GM has downplayed the V6 option on their upcoming Silverado and Sierra trucks…”

    Just wait until GM de-bores it and creates the 3800 Series IV to replace the 3.6L.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I like the fact that GM went back to the old 4.3L formula for the new 4.3L V6 truck motor. Just hack off 2 cylinders from the V8. Worked well for GM and Chrysler with their truck V6s that were generally really reliable.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    If you read around on the net, the strength of the Ecoboost doesn’t seem to be it’s fuel economy, which is on par with a small V8, but more the performance due to the turbo-charging. If the reliability is there over the long run, it will probably continue to be a success for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      That’s a big if, most pickups owners take for granted an easy 200-300k miles with little problems, when those turbos start getting old, it’s gonna create an image problem for them. Whereas that NA V8 is gonna be looking mighty pretty, not to mention the V6 is working at max capacity and the V8 has a lot of potential to be unlocked.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Well, its hard to beat a smaller truck for all around usefulness. But when I had a choice between a left over stripped Ranger 18K or a New stripped F150 21.5K, 3.7L, the choice was easy for me. Could (shoulda?) bought a bottom of the line Nissan Frontier, for about the same money, but it would have had much less power and barely better mileage.

    Yeah, it is pretty ungainly. Sorry to hear the 3.7L is going away. Its very easily the strongest feature of the truck.

    Whatever you do, if you happen to have a serviceable small truck, don’t trade it in!

  • avatar
    01 ZX3

    The compact truck is like the proverbial diesel, manual wagon here. Neither of them sell well here and looking at the growing sales of CUVs in other parts of the world, other regions are adopting our nation’s taste in cars.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Actually CUV’s are not a big deal in other parts of the world. Pickups are growing rapidly in Asia, South America, South Africa/Africa and Australasia.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @01 ZX3
      In the US dieselcar sales in the first half of 2012 increased by 28%.

      I think an increasing expotential sales curve will develop with the sales of diesel for some time.

      The US is a potentially large market all forms of light diesels.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @danio3834
    The Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara are almost the same prices for similary spec’d vehicles here.

    What I’m trying to point out to you is the price of a Navara here and a similar vehicle in the US. I’m not comparing vehicles.

    Our top end Navara is over $64 000USD a little more than a top of the line Ford Ranger.

    End of story????

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/159027/2012-nissan-navara-on-sale/

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Anybody plow snow with these, other than a residential driveway?


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