By on June 3, 2016

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak exterior beauty shot, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

Over the last two or three decades, the American full-size pickup truck has morphed into something thoroughly and completely different. What was once utilitarian and practical is now imposing, luxurious.

Is it possible that the truest successor of the original F-Series is currently sold in Europe with a five-cylinder diesel engine?

I tested the new Ford Ranger to find out.

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak in the city, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

Until now, I haven’t paid the Ranger much attention. Like most people in Europe, I considered it a wannabe. In the past, it was a little Japanese truck (a re-badged Mazda B-Fighter) that played American dress-up as it unsuccessfully competed against the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara and Isuzu D-Max.

Reasons to take the Ranger seriously were few. It was never cool like its big American counterparts, and the practical value of large (by our standards) pickups in Europe is limited. So it was to my great surprise when, after an up-close encounter with the first reviewed example, the new Ranger revealed itself to be larger than expected.

While the pre-facelift model masked its massive size with a smooth, aerodynamic front end, the new truck’s blunt nose reminds you that this is no longer a tiny Japanese truck.

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak in the city, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

I still didn’t realize the sheer size of the thing until I parked it in front of a grocery store and found I could barely fit it between the lines. That’s strange, I thought. I frequented the same supermarket with a Lincoln Town Car, and I even parked a Suburban in the same lot once or twice. The Ranger seemed at least as unwieldy as the Town Car, and almost on par with Suburban.

Upon arriving home, I looked up the Ranger’s dimensions, and indeed the Ranger Crew Cab with 5-foot bed is almost identical in size to the ’04 Ford F-150. That’s not only big for Europe; that’s big for anywhere — except the last decade in America.

However, the Ranger’s girth is the only thing that mimics any of its bigger brothers from the last 30 years. Our test unit, in just-above-base XLT trim, was powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with a six-speed manual. While power is sufficient and engine noise isn’t terrible, its transmission is a farm equipment time capsule from the 1950s; it took me two or three tries to find a way to shift into sixth. The Ranger’s suspension bobbed over road imperfections, and its interior, while spacious, resembles that of a work van.

Ford Ranger 3.2 TDCI Wildtrak Dash, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

If you know of a way to use a four-cylinder-powered crew-cab truck with a 5-foot bed as a work vehicle, this will serve you well. It’s easily one of the better pickups on the European market (I still can’t get rid of horrible memories of driving a Nissan Navara). With dubious utility of small pickups and prevalence of vans in Europe, though, I expect most of the Rangers sold here will serve partly as status symbols, or a more affordable (especially in running costs) way of getting a piece of American lifestyle. In that sense,  the four-cylinder XLT won’t cut it in that department. I would rather buy a five-year old Ram 1500 Hemi with an LPG conversion than drive this.

I needed another Ranger. And luckily, I found one.

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak seat badge, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

The next truck was a top-of-the-line Ranger Wildtrak. It only comes in crew cab with a 5-foot bed, and you can have it with 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing a mighty 200 horsepower. Also, you can have it with an automatic (although ours was a six-speed manual). Ford offers the less fancy Limited trim for those looking to save some coin. It lacks the Wildtrak’s standard roof rack, navigation, rear camera, 18-inch wheels and ambient interior lights (everything save the ambient lights is available as an option on the Limited), but it’s available in a more workmanlike Supercab version with a 6-foot bed. The longest 7-foot-6-inch bed is solely available on the poverty spec XL.

The fancy trim and bigger engine turn the Ranger into something else altogether. What began as a spartan and utilitarian work truck is now closer to the current crop of American full-size pickups. The interior, with leather/cloth mix upholstery, may not be as nice as an F-150 Platinum or Ram Laramie Longhorn, but it certainly feels nice — maybe even a bit luxurious. Add the new tech — from fancy dash with analog speedometer in the middle, multi-functional LCDs on both sides, and touchscreen infotainment with navigation and rear camera — and the Ranger resembles a modern “lifestyle” SUV much more than a work vehicle.

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak exterior beauty shot, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

And it’s not just a work truck with a fancy interior, either. While the smaller four-cylinder is certainly powerful enough in European traffic, an American driver would probably consider it slow, especially with a loaded bed or trailer in tow. The 3.2-litre five is not only powerful enough to satisfy American expectations, but also much smoother and with a rather interesting growl. In a way, it resembles the old 302 V8 (a very little bit).

That the Wildtrak looks nicer, drives faster and sounds better than the poverty spec XL or nearly welfare XLT is no surprise. But there were other, less expected differences. The gearshift of the six-speed manual is much more precise with the diesel; all the gears slide into place nice and smooth, unlike the four-cylinder’s ‘box. Even the suspension seems to have changed for the better, with more stability and much less bobbing and weaving.

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak rear 3/4 view, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

With its smaller dimensions, high ground clearance, and locking diffs, the Wildtrak feels much more off-road capable than a traditional full-size truck. I lacked time, opportunity and (most of all) skill to really push it to its limits, but I’m sure it would serve better than most big pickups that in rough terrain.

Verdict

The new Ranger is no wannabe anymore. It’s almost American in size, and — at least in upscale versions — it’s also shed its work-truck image. It has the style and the luxury of U.S. full-size trucks, with dimensions more acceptable to non-U.S. customers and to real off-road use. With the 3.2-litre diesel, it may even be acceptable for the American market as it is, although I expect the hypothetical Stateside-bound version of the Ranger to get a gasoline option as well. Maybe the 2.7 Ecoboost?

The biggest problem facing the Ranger’s future in America is the same as with the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon: price. As tested, the Wildtrak costs around $40,000 without VAT, which puts it head-to-head with F-Series. On the other hand, if Colorado can succeed, so could and should Ranger.

While I didn’t have an opportunity for direct comparison, it seems more than capable to serve as a smaller, less unwieldy alternative to a full-size pickup.

[Images: Radek Beneš]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

173 Comments on “Ford Ranger 3.2 TDCI Wildtrak Review – An F-150 from Another Universe...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    Nice looking truck, I bet Ford will sell a decent amount of them whenever it does arrive at North American dealers again.

    I assume the diesel will be offered since the smaller GM trucks will have it as an option. Only time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Well, the PowerStroke version of the I-5 Diesel already exists in our market (in the Transit), no reason it wouldn’t make it into the U.S.-market Ranger (and, presumably, the Bronco it will spawn).

      If it wasn’t already U.S. compliant, I wouldn’t be so sure.

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        You are correct about the 3.2 PowerStroke in the Transit. I had an 800-mile day in our Transit yesterday. The 3.2 and the 6-spd. automatic is a sweet powertrain combination. (This is coming from a die-hard third pedal guy) The engine and transmission “talk” better than any I have ever driven. I can tool around town at 1,200 rpm and the engine does not miss a beat. It is more than enough power.

        The 3.2l 5-cylinder is a bit thirsty in the Transit. I was hoping for low-20s for mpg. It only delivers 17-19, but it just turned 10K yesterday. I’m hoping that it soon loosens up and economy picks up. A Ranger with a 4-cylinder might be a better choice for economy for that type of truck. I understand that Ford has a new 4-cylinder diesel in the wings.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I heard that the Transit’s 3.2 is certified under alternative (slightly looser) standards for “Medium duty passenger vehicles” (8500-10000 lbs GVWR) which the Ranger wouldn’t qualify for.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          You know, I believe you’re right, Jim. The diesel is only avalible in the Transit 250 and 350. Perhaps further modification could be done to use the engine in the Ranger/Bronco.

          @equipmentjunkie, I’ve been interested in making a pickup out of a Transit 250 chassis cab with the diesel, using an aluminum “Ute” bed, which is a drop-side flatbed. With the very light bed instead of a van body, perhaps it would return 20-25 mpg, unloaded of course. I appreciate your feedback on how well the I-5 and the 6 speed work together, that makes what I envision even more desirable.

          I too prefer a proper 3 pedal manual, but with my physical issues, having an automatic in a daily driver is best. A few years ago, I owned nothing but vehicles equipped with manuals (Ford Tempo GLS and an Isuzu Trooper). I really miss having a manual, but I don’t miss the pain it caused when I had no alternative.

          • 0 avatar
            EquipmentJunkie

            Already done, JohnTaurus. It is exactly what we did with ours with the help of a 10-ft aluminum bed from M. H. Eby. You may soon begin to see the same thing at some Home Depot stores. Eby’s supply aluminum beds for Home Depot Transit trucks. I saw one the other week.

            Our cab & chassis Transit 250 delivers the most usable bed length with a payload of around 3,700-lbs. in a 9,000-lbs. GVW chassis. It looks a bit dorky, but it is a joy to drive. The drop sides are extremely handy. The Transit chassis fit the bill for our need of bed space and payload of 2,400-lbs. No 3/4-ton pickup could do that without sacrificing bed length and truck maneuverability. A 1-ton truck would require DOT compliance which we wanted to avoid the hassles of weigh stations, log books, and shorter travel days.

            While our 1st generation Sprinter handles a bit better and has better seats, the Transit is so nice to run. All the other employees rave about it. The 3.2 & automatic work very well together. I could learn to like automatics if all of them worked like this one. Manual mode is the best I’ve ever experienced.

            The truck does attract attention. I was at a traffic light a few months ago and a driver in front of me in a late-’90s F250 leaned out of his window, contorted around to face me to give me an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Was that you?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Ha no, I would’ve asked you to pull over so I could talk to you and check it out.
            :) My dad does have a late 90s F-250 that I have driven a bit. But I now live in Florida, like 8-10 hours away from him, so you’d catch me in my Indigo Blue 1995 Taurus exclusively these days.

            Anyway, I really appreciate the feedback. I know there is a company in western Washington that does those aluminum drop-side flatbeds, I find them so utilitarian and useful, can’t wait to have one.

            I saw the crew cab Transit trucks (Google images) that are in Europe, I guess that bodystyle would certainly cut into F-Series sales on this side of the pond, but I liked it a lot. I do want a unique truck with a smaller-than-V-8 Diesel, the Transit fits the bill nicely. Not to mention, I’m a Ford guy lol. I don’t think I could stand to look at one of those Ram ProMaster things, the Transit is downright good looking compared to it.

            I suppose I will get an XL model since I prefer the steel wheels (again, functional and utilitarian work for me). Any color, except “fleet special” white, please.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      I don’t know…. The explorer sport trac didn’t seem to sell all that well and it was way less goofy looking with a less wimpy engine…

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        TIL a 4.0L V6 making 160 HP/225 TQ and a 4.6L V8 making 292/315 are “less wimpy” than a 3.2L I5 making 185/350.

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        I tend to agree with you on the sales numbers, but fast-forward a few years and the prices for used Sport Tracs now tell me that there is a very loyal buying group out there.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Ford could have made a Ranger Crew Cab, but built the Explorer Sport Trac instead, because it sold with a higher profit margin. Too bad.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I think the last major investment the Ranger got (apart from regulatory compliance changes) was the rear-opening doors for the Supercab. After that it was just milk it for all it was worth until they could justify killing it.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The first-gen Sport Trac _was_ the crew cab Ranger we never got. Same frame, same mechanicals, same 126″ WB as the SuperCab Ranger, both came in XLT.

          The second-gen was a mid-size pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          They made Ranger Crew Cabs. Latin America Market only. “Double Cab.”

          I had the pleasure of riding around in one back in my younger Dearborn days.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Hence the “we never got [them]”–in the U.S. I’ve seen those double cab Rangers; they look just as good as any S-10, Frontier, or Tacoma crew cab of the time. Wonder why we never got them.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Crash tests (FMVSS), from what I was told. Now whether they green lit the body design knowing it wouldn’t pass FMVSS or not, I don’t know. I imagine they knew before they implemented the tooling as prototype builds before tool kick off surely caught it.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Also want to add: it looked very crude. The interior and exterior looked like a mediocre livery hack job. I wasn’t too impressed with the interior leg room, either. It was very functional but it would have been panned by every journalist alive, even if they cleaned up the body construction and interior trim.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            My remembrance was from an first-gen Sport Trac review (Car and Driver?) that said that Ford’s reasoning was that they made more money off of Sport Tracs than they would have off of 4-door Rangers.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        The Sport Trac sold well enough to justify a second generation, and besides, the Ranger would be offered in more than just a crew cab/short bed configuration most likely.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      brettc,
      It’s a pity you guys will not have the Ranger based BT50. They are virtually the same, but cheaper.

      The 3.2 diesel is sold here in Australia with Ad Blue and they now are required to be EuroVI compliant.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Brettc,
      The Ranger is the only pickup here in Australia challenging the dominance of Toyota’s Hilux.

      The Colorado here is so-so in sales. This should give you and idea on how good the Ranger has done.

      Ford have been holding off on the Ranger in the US as the Ranger could of been imported from Sth Africa.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Pretty much guaranteed, that it will follow the Colorado example. As far as chassis rigidity is concerned, it will not have a cab chassis variant, you get in the Overseas Ranger, No, 3100lb payload. Will be very similar to the US Colorado in spec

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        3,100 lbs payload on a midsize would be ridiculous in a developed nation. This isn’t SE Asia, Africa, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          You can get the chassis cab in Europe, are you calling Europe less developed ?
          Besides the Ranger and others are vastly better in Europe and outside NA than US Pickups with their paltry payloads

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Besides common sense, our “payload” rules won’t allow 3,000+ lbs on a midsize pickup “chassis”, especially since regular cabs are gone, so subtract for a “king cab”, extra cab, etc, *weight*, and subtract for the bed, flatbed, box weight, since you’re talking raw/gross cab-chassis GVWR, in a land, markets with not quite the liability, tort laws, the US lives with.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            There is nothing ” commonsense” about US Pickup regulations. Paltry payload is laughable, no wonder you cannot give them away outside NA What safety regulations? Last time I looked most USPickups failed the basic safety requirements for Eurocap?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes US “payload” regulations are tough on pickups, others might say “realistic”, but maxing out Aussie “payload rated” pickups can be down right scary, as some Aussie journalists, testing pickups in the OZ market, found out. The pickup’s payload “ratings” weren’t even “maxed out” either.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What you don’t realize, NCAP rates vehicles for the year (standards) they were *launched* in. A Ram tested today, would only have to live up to ’09 standards. “Five Stars” are possible for Ram. Same with the Frontier, Tacoma, and Tundra. Five Stars could await them too.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Now that you mention it, OZ pickup/Ute testers were pretty well spooked, running them at 80% payload capacity. One said, “the rear end was STEERING the front”, on one of the trucks, although some “Utes” did better than others.

          I’m not sure what Eurocap is, but no doubt, if US pickups would fail the regulations, it’s from varying specification, not from being sub par, in any way.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            US Pickups, fail basic safety requirements. No matter who has done the testing , they fail in the US and outside it. You accept that is part of the risk of driving a US Pickup, except the Ford 150, finally got a 5 out of 5 this year

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So a Tundra fails with less than “5 stars”, but so do a lot of Euro cars in the EU. The BMW Z4 gets just “3 stars”, so what happens then? It gets banished?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s just backwoods. A car buyer sees a “5 Stars” ’16 Skoda, not knowing it was judged by ’10 standards! Yes “standards” are always getting tougher, except cars are only held to the “standards” for when they were first launched..

            Crazy, right??

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Vojta Dobes,
      Thanks for the article photos bring many memories, good ones of Central Europe

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I expect to see this in next season’s batch of Acorn and ITV telly dramas. After the penguins.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      US Pickups get maxed out with Paltry payloads and they become very scary to drive. No wonder they avoid them outside NA

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Nice try. Next comment thread up from mine. Is there someone who could help you with this?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          “Nice try. Next comment thread up from mine. Is there someone who could help you with this?”
          A raving psychotic? No want someone who has at least some idea what they are talking about, Then again you could be the person above, that is what he does when frustrated start a new alias.Must be lonely being an IT Guy

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It honestly looks rather cramped inside. The old Ranger/B-Series wasn’t particularly spacious, but this seems problematically car-like, especially with that massive console

  • avatar
    Shiv91

    “Over the last two or three decades, the American full-size pickup truck has morphed into something thoroughly and completely different. What was once utilitarian and practical is now imposing, luxurious.”

    CAFE.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t think CAFE is blameless here, but the trend started way back in the 90s.

      Really the bigger factors are consumer tastes (modern crew cab truck is to big sedan as modern large CUV is to mminivan) and auto makers realizing they could get huge margins on fancy trucks and SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        This.

        Big BOF American 4-door sedans never died, they’ve just grown and lost their trunk lids. No more robust example of vox populi exists.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Japanese proved to the American consumer that the domestic cars weren’t particularly well made.

        The Germans proved to the American consumer that the domestic luxury cars weren’t particularly luxurious.

        That left Detroit with trucks.

        The other decisive factor was Bob Lutz and his penchant for irritating people. When he ended up being exiled to Ford’s truck division (which at the time was the career equivalent of Siberia), he decided to put himself on the map by shaking things up. Developing an SUV with women as a prime target market was not only one of his smarter business decisions but it transformed the market.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          The German cars that took the luxury crown from Detroit weren’t particularly luxurious. They weren’t packed with gadgets, or effectively air-conditioned, or effortlessly powerful, or lay-across-the-backseat roomy. What they were was authentic. If you saw wood in a Mercedes, it was wood. If you saw a vinyl top on one, it was a convertible. You didn’t see wire hubcaps, or fake landau bars, or fake dashboard instruments, or fake chrome ornamentation. Today it’s the Germans who sell over-styled gadget laden gin palaces with fake engine noises, chrome medallions and pointless excess to people whose lips move when they read. It will be interesting to see who offers virtue in transportation next.

          • 0 avatar
            NN

            I really liked your comment re: authenticity, but I realized when I got to the end my lips were moving as I was reading it.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            “over-styled gadget laden gin palaces with fake engine noises, chrome medallions and pointless excess to people whose lips move when they read.”

            If anything, that’s the garish, over-the-top ridiculously spec’d, overstyled, massive (for few reasons other than appearances – as in massive vertical much more than massive horizontal), chrome dipped, MACK INTERNATIONAL Front End, 5′ step up (with power foot boards) into cabin, KING LARIAT PLATINUM RANCH RAM DENALI Z91 GIANT CHROME OR BLACKED OIT LETTERS & BADGES EVERYWHERE BRODOZER – with a 3 1/2 foot (useable) bed.

            American pickups are past the point of ridiculousness by any measure now, and are to the point where the additional garish, hideous, brodozerness is reducing real-world capability (at great additional expense) if anything.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @DW: As long as the RCLB 4×2 stripper model half-ton pickup exists and is sold, regardless of who buys it, your last paragraph is invalid.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            DW, if it makes you feel any better, when you toss an empty aluminum can outside of your window at roughly 55 mph, the grotesquely elevated bed / character line is such that the open bed acts as a floating garbage can for said empty aluminum can.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Pch101,
          Even then the US truck makers (and UAW) needed protection in the form of the Chicken Tax.

          Imagine the pickups you guys would now have without the chicken tax!

          The US would have the most fantastic range on the planet.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            1st you forget most US sold pickups are non union. The US already has “the most fantastic range on the planet”, except for a few missing, unsafe and gross polluting pickups from all over, and of dubious quality.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        CAFE doesn’t dictate fashion. Fullsize sedans/coupes/wagons started falling out of favor in the late ’60s, a few years before CAFE came about. The same is true about classic muscle cars.

        Because the “pickup” also has wide commercial, utilitarian uses, it’s an *excuse* to have a big engine sedan/coupe/wagon/muscle, even “luxury” without the associated stigma.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          a big part of the reason is that buyers don’t have to care about CAFE. if gas is cheap, they’ll buy all of the vehicle they think they can afford. If they buy too many, then the *manufacturer* gets fined.

          it’s basically the most pants-on-head stupid way to do it, which is probably why our government chose that method.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            JimZ,
            The best way to manage a countries vehicle fuel usage is to use tax to increase the price.

            This would modify behaviour.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “The best way…” No, that’s the European way. We’re not Europe, and hopefully never will be.

            They ended up with mostly crappy/dirty little diesels, thanks to their systems of taxation, and all the related health problems, cancers, death, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Have to agree and when fuel prices start to skyrocket, there will be a made scramble to get a much more effective method

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When/if fuel prices “skyrocket”, CAFE for the hibernate, and the “problem” takes care of itself. Except there’s only so much CAFE can do, when fuel prices are low and BTSRs gotta have their Hellcats.

            And midsize pickups have hardly been the fuel savings *method*, ever since compact pickup (buyers) went away.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “What was once utilitarian and practical is now imposing, luxurious.”

      … And impractical.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You can still get a RCLB 4×2 work truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Not to mention vehicle prices have gone up in general. For someone who needs truck capabilities, just not 24/7, it’s an easy choice to take a loaded up pickup over a stripper pickup and stripper sedan.

          Any gas savings is nullified by the costs of ownership + maintenance of the second vehicle, not to mention today’s crop of 1500 trucks are pretty efficient.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “You can still get a RCLB 4×2 work truck.”

          Not easily, doc. My local Ford dealership has nothing on the lot with 2 doors or below XLT Lariat edition.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Order.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            1. If someone wants it, they can get it. My local Ford dealer has no regular cab F-150s, but does have two new Super Duty XLT regular cabs.

            2. XLT Lariat hasn’t been a trim level since sometime in the ’80s. It’s either XLT or Lariat.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            2. XLT Lariat hasn’t been a trim level since sometime in the ’80s. It’s either XLT or Lariat.

            — You’re right. I was remembering my ’90 F-150 when Lariat was the higher end XLT, otherwise identical.

            The point is that except for a semi-local FCA dealer, “work” trucks are almost impossible to come by around here.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Drzhivago138,
          I do think the US pickup market and the makeup of pickups is vastly different then what it was a few decades ago.

          Pickups nowadays are mainly cars, 75% of them. So, if carlike pickups are the bulk of the vehicles, then I would say during the design phase cars is foremost in the designer minds.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Can I just ask, why do you start every (other) sentence with “do”? You can just say, “I think the US pickup market etc.” and it’ll mean the same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Where do you get the “75% of them are mainly cars”? Almost half are strictly, official “Fleet Sales”, and you’ve gotta be hardcore “fleet” to even qualify, meaning buying at least 10 pickups at a time, or in the current calendar year, or have 10 or more “commercial vehicles” in current operation, *proof required, may included forklifts, backhoes, etc.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Still anticipating the Bronco/Ranger on our shores.

    The Canyon and Colorado are doing just fine in my part of the country, I’m sure the Ford Dealers are pinning for something in that category.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I also want a new Ranger, but if this is what they bring, I’ll stick with my old one.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The interior looks better-executed than the Canyorado. No silly membrane switches on the steering wheel that’ll bust through the top like an Atari 5200 joystick’s boot, and the dash avoids the Tonka-toy look of the current F-150 while also not looking like the “me too,” slightly overwrought affair from the Fiesta/Focus/Fusion/Escape/C-Max.

      (Just realized: do all of the NADM Fords share firewalls or common componentry in that area? Because I don’t think I could tell just by looking at the dash alone, WHAT car I’m in without looking around for other cues. They at least all look identical!)

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        They’re not identical, but they do look very similar, and IIRC the same steering wheel is used in the Focus, C-Max, Escape, and Transit Connect (all C-segment cars).

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I didn’t think that all the parts were identical, but yes, they look alike! Each manufacturer has consistent interfaces across their line, but the way I pictured things for a few minutes after the realization hit as I was writing that post, it’d be like having the dash from an LTD in a Pinto! (Certainly many pieces from the various Fox-bodies could interchange, viz. the 1980-1982 T-Bird and 84-ish LTD, the Fairmont, Granada and Mustang of the same era, and probably some later ones, like the Taurus after its first interior refresh and “aero” T-Bird.)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If you’ve stuffed a Suburban into a Euro parking space, the Ranger should be no problem. Counting the mirrors, the Ranger is as wide as the Suburban’s body. And of course the current F-150 is no wider than the Suburban.

    Current fullsize pickups are only longer and taller than the classic fullsize pickup, going back to the mid ’60s. They’re the same width, and maybe a full inch narrower.

    Note the F-150 and Suburban are too big for US parking spaces in big cities and coastal communities. My mirrors cross the line into the spaces on either side.

    Most of the differences are just perception. Europeans need just as much elbowroom to park compact cars.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I happened to see a global Ranger (4×4 crew cab) parked, and pulled up next to it in my 2011 (North American) Ranger 4×4 supercab. Just eyeballed it, but it seemed like they were within an inch or two in width and overall length, but the global truck was significantly taller with more ground clearance. Plus, the fact that it was a crew cab and had much higher door sills and bed sides just made it *look* a lot larger than it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You are correct. Current midsize trucks are only slightly wider than their compact predecessors, have only a few inches more wheelbase and length, but look much larger because they’re significantly taller, especially in the bed.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Current midsize trucks are about a foot longer than the smaller trucks from ~15 yrs ago.

          This Ranger is ~11″ longer than the 2003 Ranger I own. The modern Chevy CO is 213″-225″ long, while the ’04 was 193″-207″. The S10 was even shorter.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Those were all compact trucks. It’s like comparing a Focus to a Fusion.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            It’s comparing what was available then & now. If you wanted a non-fullsize truck, that’s what you got because that’s what was there. Today, if you want a non-fullsize truck, it’s what you get because it’s what’s there.

            Changing the name of the size doesn’t change the fact that the ‘small’ trucks you used to be able to buy don’t exist anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            it’s only 6″ longer than my 2011 Supercab. So are you really shocked that a crew cab truck is a bit longer than an older supercab?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Drzhivago138,
          The compact predecessors were actually around 5′ wide and 5.5m long. This was the maximum size allowed for the orignal compacts to fit into the Japanese regualtions. The original compact pickups were NOT for the US market, it’s just the US loved them because of their pricing and flexibility. These new midsizers are a tad over 6′ wide. This is a huge difference.

          The compact truck sizes changed when the US started production of the vehicles due to the effects of the Chicken Tax stopping imports.

          Remember the 720 Datsun/Nissan? That was the last of the Japanese Nissans. The D20, which replaced the 720 was designed in San Diego by Nissan USA.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            When I say “compact predecessors,” I mean the pickups of the ’80s and ’90s that were all around 66-70″ wide, not the minitrucks of the ’70s that were 62″ wide.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Doc, the ‘small’ trucks of the ’80s and ’90s around 66″-70″ wide were advertised even then as “Mid-Sized” simply BECAUSE they were larger than the compacts yet very obviously smaller than full-sized trucks. There was only one ‘class’ of compact predecessors and they were all based on Japanese models.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I saw a current Ranger and 2003 F150 stopped at Traffic lights, they appeared to be identical

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      A few years ago I was living in a neighborhood that had been developed in the 1950s and the large majority of the houses dated from that time period. One car garages, largely under 2000 square feet… a neighbor had a F350 4×4 Powerstroke with the FX4 package. Parked in his own driveway he would fold the mirrors in for more space around the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The most common F150 today is 239.5″. The standard modern garage is 240″. A friend has both, and he was able to fit it in once, but he will never do it again.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          239.5″? Where are you getting that? Official website says the SuperCrew/5.5′ bed model (most common) is 231.5″.

          Not that you aren’t right about F-150s being a bit of a squeeze in some garages.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Most F-150s are 19.3 ft long with most garages 24 ft deep. The minimum allowable garage is 20 ft deep, although I’ve never seen one in person. Probably a condo in a senior’s only.

          http://www.ehow.com/info_10068499_average-garage-sizes.html

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            Huh? Around here (North Texas), two-car garages are usually 20′ x 20′, with 16′ x 7′ garage door. I would kill for a 24′ deep garage, but the only way I’ll get one around here is with a custom home, specifying an oversized garage. My 2013 Tacoma DCLB will just barely fit in my garage, and that’s only if I pull it all the way in to the back wall. Of course then I can’t walk in front of it (a real pain if it’s raining).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I bet I know the place. Certain tracts of houses have streets so narrow, only one car can get through at at time, any time there’s cars parked at the curbs, and there always is. Every family has at least 5.5 cars, and only 4 spots for them, if the garage isn’t packed with junk.

            I mean if there’s an oncoming car, you or they, have to duck into a driveway. And it’s as if everyone there, has to have a boat and an RV, mandatory like.

            Never mind garage dimensions, what about the lack of backyard? It’s inhuman if you asked me..

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            DM, I have a neighbor with an extended-cab F-350. When backed into his parking space, his front bumper overhangs the gutter at the edge of the road while his back bumper overhangs the sidewalk, narrowing the walkway to where two people cannot walk abreast. Now imagine a crew cab in the same space.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Exactly! Condos don’t leave room for 20+ ft vehicles. Crew cab, Super Dutys, break some sort of condo covenant. Hey they’re condos.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    “Over the last two or three decades, the American full-size pickup truck has morphed into something thoroughly and completely different. What was once utilitarian and practical is now imposing, luxurious.”

    I love reading stuff like this because it its just plain wrong. If you take any GM fullsize truck going back to the 70’s and compare its length and width with the same box/cab configuration you’ll find they’re basically the same measurements as today’s Silverado. I’m not as knowledgeable about Fords but I’m willing to bet the same is true. Today’s trucks tend to sit up higher which which combined with the crew cab proliferation may lead to a perception of bigger trucks; however its not founded in reality. I think trucks also look larger because of how much smaller cars have gotten as well. Back when b-bodies and panthers were more common a truck wouldn’t have seemed as big in comparison. I can see how it may look like trucks have gotten bigger; but there little factual evidence to back the claim up. That global Ranger is not the same size as say a GMT400 Silverado.

    You can still get your utilitarian and practical in the base trims; its just that now you can take those two things and add luxuriousness to them.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      All full-size trucks now are the same width they’ve been since the early ’60s–they can’t get any wider than 80″.

      GM’s RCLB models are roughly the same wheelbase (though with more front overhang) as they’ve always been, although Ford, Ram, and Toyota have lengthened theirs so that they fit on the same frame as their extended and crew cab models (Ford actually shortened their regular cab 4″ for 2015).

      All extended and crew cab models are essentially the same dimensions as when they were introduced in the ’70s (Ford/Dodge), ’80s (GM), ’90s, or ’00s (everybody). The only significant dimensional change occured in 2004, when Ford lengthened their regular and SuperCab models 6″ to compete with Dodge’s Quad Cab, in 2007, when Toyota made the Tundra an F-150-sized pickup instead of a Dakota-sized pickup, and in 2009, when Ford lengthened the SuperCrew 6″ to match the SuperCab.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I would presume that the average full-size truck is larger because the ratio of crew and extended cab versions is much higher than what it was. That’s representative of the fact that more of them are being used primarily as passenger cars.

  • avatar
    RS

    These new ‘small’ trucks are just too far away from what made small trucks attractive in the first place. Too tall is the biggest problem. Another is the tall prices, which will effectively cap sales.

    Ford should upgrade the Transit Connect to a small V6 or the 2.0L Turbo which would give it decent towing. Small Vans/minivans offer far more utility and flexibility than these tall trucks with small boxes.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      RS,
      Here in Australia our pricing for midsize pickups are cheaper than what you guys are paying in the US for equivalents.

      For a midspec diesel 4×4 dual cab, we are paying around $32k for a midsizer. We even have a Cummins powered midsize 4×4, with leather etc selling for around $27k US.

      I do believe the problem with the US midsize pickup is it must be made in the US which inflates prices and makes them less competitive with a full size.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The Tacoma is hecho en Mexico and still expensive as hell. Labour is obviously a small part of the equation. Give examples of your price quotes, starting with pickups Aussies actually buy, like Toyota and Ford.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Shy of something like an H1, most fullsize trucks and BOF SUVs have essentially maxed out the width package for their footprints. As mentioned above, they’ve instead grown in length (heightwise, most 4×4 versions are at the top of their envelope, too).

    This truck with the 2.7TT in it would be a rocket. Boost comes on early and moves the aluminum trucks with authority – although I’d wager this Ranger, in 4×4 four-door guise, isn’t *too* far off what the F150’s curb weight is.

  • avatar

    So happy to see the Ranger on the way back. And this looks nice.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Upon arriving home, I looked up the Ranger’s dimensions, and indeed the Ranger Crew Cab with 5-foot bed is almost identical in size to the ’04 Ford F-150. That’s not only big for Europe; that’s big for anywhere — except the last decade in America.”

    And people keep trying to tell me today’s mid-sized trucks are smaller than yesterday’s full-sized trucks. Riiiiiiiiiight!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Um, they are.

      Ranger T6:
      OAL: 211″
      WB: 127″
      H: 71.5″
      W: 72.8″

      2004 F-150:
      OAL: 229.8″ (SuperCrew was 223.8″ because it wasn’t lengthened until 2009)
      WB: 145″ (SuperCrew was 139″)
      H: 75.3″
      W: 78.9″

      Dimensionally, the T6 Ranger is 80% the size of the 2004 F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        A: He didn’t say, “’04 F-150 SuperCrew”
        B: 4″ height isn’t that much different when compared to a true mid-sized pickup like the ’97 or earlier models that stood 60″ tall or less.
        C: 73″ is still notably wider than 66″ of said ’97 Ranger.
        D: Even the ’04 F-150 was wider than the ’90 F-150, which was, not counting mirrors, just at 72″.

        I remember when a small pickup meant 15′ L x 5’W x 5’H. Now you can’t even get CLOSE to that!

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          A: No he didn’t, but we’ve gotta compare apples to apples. Crew cab/short bed to crew cab/short bed. The SuperCab/6.5′ and reg cab/8′ bed models were actually longer from 2004-08.

          D: Where are you getting 72″ for the width of the ’90 F-150? I’m looking at an ’88 brochure, and it says interior width is 70″. It doesn’t have an exterior number, but only one inch on either side doesn’t seem possible. Edmunds and other sites are saying the ’90 was 79″ wide. A brochure for the ’95 F-Series (same body as the ’87 and the ’80) in Norway of all places says the “største bredde” (overall width) of the pickup was 201 cm, or 79″.
          (http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/ford/95f/bilder/2.jpg)

          C: Similarly, Wikipedia (I know, take it with a grain of salt) and Edmunds say the ’97 Ranger was 69″ wide, not 66″.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            ” Edmunds and other sites are saying the ’90 was 79″ wide.”

            Including or not including mirrors? As for interior width of 70″? I am 69″ tall and I could not lie flat on that bench seat. Makes me wonder if they were measuring at the widest possible point, where the glass of the windows ran just inside of the outer skin of the truck. Even so, my ’97 Ranger is clearly narrower in width from that ’90 F-150, as well as lower and shorter despite being “regular cab, long bed (though not 8′ bed). The new so-called mid-sized trucks make my Ranger look like a midget.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Not including mirrors. Width measurements, unless otherwise specified, never include mirrors, because until the late ’80s, anything besides a driver’s side mirror was optional.

            I remember just being able to lie flat on the bench seat of an ’86 F-350, and I’m probably 69″ with boots on, but there’s almost certainly more interior padding taking up space going from an ’86 to an ’87, or a ’91 to a ’92.

            And your Ranger is definitely smaller in every dimension than any F-150, no question about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “And your Ranger is definitely smaller in every dimension than any F-150, no question about it.”

            Which emphasizes my point about the new mid-sized trucks… They’re not. They are so close to matching old full-size numbers as to make no difference while the new full-size trucks are between 5%-10% larger than that. You can poke numbers around all you want but if you really get down to digging, the new full sizers may be roughly 5% larger than old (albeit 20% heavier) while the mid-sized trucks are now 5% smaller and about the old weight (maybe plus 5%.)

            What people who really want a smaller truck are looking for is something no larger than the ’80s mid-sized and some have flat told me they want something in the old compact size… meaning original Japanese trucks we used to see here. The suggestion of that little Kawasaki (and Polaris and Honda and John Deere, etc.) thing is invalid because it is not legal for use on certain highways.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Jeepers, Vulpy… just empty out a bunch of those big cans of diced tomatoes, hammer ’em flat and build your own Luv II already.

            You’d get the same crash worthiness as the original and no OEM will ever revisit that for the USDM.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Aside from the fact that the L.U.V. was really a pretty good little truck AS a truck, it was reasonably economical too. Two different businesses I worked for in the mid ’80s to early ’90s owned LUVs, one of them a diesel which I drove to Atlanta usually a couple times per month to deliver/pick up airplane propellors for overhaul. The other was a gasser used to pick up and deliver home electronics (up to and including those big, heavy rear-projection televisions so popular in the ’90s.) Both proved economical and durable under the workload they were given. And both of them had a bed floor low enough to make loading/unloading those heavy items easy…compared to full-sized pickups even then.

            Again, the simple fact is that such huge trucks are not needed by everybody, yet too many want to believe everybody should want them nonetheless. Especially when given today’s prices on trucks, shouldn’t you think something smaller and more economical is a good idea?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You’d have to be well under 5′ tall to lay comfortably on an F-150 bench seat. It’s barely 59 inches between door panel, armrests. F-150s are 96 inches counting the standard, non telescoping mirrors, 79″ for the outer body minus the door thickness, door panels, and of course the arm rests.

            Luckily the F-150s seats, split bench included, recline almost flat.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            As was proven before, with numbers: The mid-sized Ranger is 80% the size of the F-150, and the compact Ranger was 74%. Similar figures exist comparing the midsize Colorado, the compact first-gen Colorado, and the full-size Silverado. That’s all. Comparing weight numbers isn’t really conducive to anything, because weight has gone up in every vehicle segment across the board. I’m not the one to whom you should be complaining about weight.

            Certainly there are some people who want to go back to the old compact-sized pickups, but the manufacturers would rather listen to the larger crowd who wants a mid-size pickup. That’s usually what happens in capitalism.

            Bringing up the Kawasaki Mule was meant in jest, as a parody of the argument from practicality, and you obviously took it too seriously.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Certainly there are some people who want to go back to the old compact-sized pickups, but the manufacturers would rather listen to the larger crowd who wants a mid-size pickup. That’s usually what happens in capitalism.”
            — Which means that when the Hyundai Santa Cruz takes off because it’s so much smaller, GM and the others will finally realize they missed the boat… AGAIN. They they’ll come across with a “Me Too” vehicle they’ve already had for sale in South America for years.

            “Bringing up the Kawasaki Mule was meant in jest, as a parody of the argument from practicality, and you obviously took it too seriously.”
            — You may have meant it as parody, but it is also a traditional tool of professional debate to take the argument to the ridiculous in order to distract your opponent. The problem is, in some countries your idea would be perfectly valid as exemplified by the kei trucks in Asia. They do serve their purpose but they’re useless in almost all aspects of US industry except as on-property gofers. (I used to drive a Cushman 3-wheeler all around the Combustion Engineering plant in Chattanooga, TN back when it was building nuclear reactors and boiler vessels for new power plants. Small, agile and great for carrying light loads right to the vessel under construction, indoors or out.)

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @DM: Ford.com lists the F-150’s hip room (which I think is the number being discussed?) as 62.5″. All F-Series pickups have been 79″ wide since at least 1973, if not 1961.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Hip room doesn’t include armrests. I got 59.25 inches from sittinginmygarage.com. Even without a pillows at both ends, your head and feet would interfere with the armrests.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        And as heavy or heavier than some current F150’s

  • avatar
    madman2k

    The 2.7L EB would be appropriate for the Ranger. It’s like a not-much-lighter, just condensed version of the F150.

    I just bought a leftover new 2015 crew cab RWD F150 with that engine earlier this week. It’s great. I’ve been taking it easy until the motor gets broken in, only one burnout.

    The more I read about the truck and that engine in particular, the more I wanted one and the less satisfied I was with my old car so I traded it in.

    The one I took home for the night but didn’t end up buying was similarly configured and I got indicated 28.1 MPG on a roughly 50 mile drive. That one had about 850 miles so it was more broken in.

    The wife’s 3-row will have to wait, LOL

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      From what I’ve read, your RWD F150 is actually lighter than the incoming, 4×4 Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “The 2.7L EB would be appropriate for the Ranger.”

      Would love to stick one of those under the hood of MY Ranger… but it would cost more than the truck is worth, despite being extraordinarily low mileage at less than 25K.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        To me, the 2.7 EB is a replacement for the old 4.6 Triton–that is, the 3.5 EB is a counterpart to the 5.0, which replaced the 5.4, and the 2.7 is “one below” the 3.5. So the 2.7 replaces the 4.6, which replaced the 302. And a 302 Ranger is no slouch.

  • avatar
    redav

    (Sigh)

    The interwebs says its OAL is 211″, and that’s too long for a ‘small’ truck. And being that large with a sub-6 ft bed? What’s the point? The old ranger was ~200″ OAL & had a 6 ft bed. Why is it that such old & out-of-date vehicles are actually better than new ones?

    Looking at its profile, there’s a lot of real estate wasted up front, probably to fit a 5 cylinder longitudinally. If they’re going to do that, just go to a V6 and cut out the extra length. And there’s a lot of wasted space in the cabin, too. With everything being a crew cab, it’s basically an SUV with exterior trunk. Trucks exist for their beds; it’s their raison detre. I really wish people would stop buying them for their full-size second rows.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “Stop liking what I don’t like! How dare anyone use a truck for anything besides hauling in the bed!”

      Modern pickups are built for towing (a trailer), holding passengers, and hauling (in the bed). Old pickups are built mostly for hauling, with some towing.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Yes, stop liking stuff that’s less practical and thus displacing what is more practical. If reasonably sized, practical, real trucks were still available, I wouldn’t care what others like. But they aren’t, and they aren’t because of what other people like. So how can those reasonably sized, practical, real trucks start to exist again without people stopping to like their SUVs with impractical beds?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Since when is any automotive purchase solely about practicality? You don’t need that Ranger–get a Kawasaki Mule. You don’t need that house–live in a shed. As long as humans can get something more than their most basic necessities, they will. An argument from practicality holds no water.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Try reading. The argument isn’t about practicality; the argument is about what’s available being distorted.

            The fact is, sheds are sold. You can buy new ones. I can’t buy a new small pickup. Housing is a terrible example because small, non-luxury, non-wasteful houses are still built. (They have to meet codes for insulation, utilities, etc., but that corresponds to safety in cars, like crash worthiness, not size.)

            Oh, and a Kawasaki mule has a top speed of 45 mph and doesn’t pass crash standards, so no it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of a truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            So buy a RCSB F-150, or a Transit Connect. You say the argument isn’t about practicality, yet you’re the one who brought it up in the first place.

            You’re correct that you can’t buy a new compact pickup. To meet CAFE standards, any new compact pickup would have to be FWD/AWD unibody (think a Transit Connect with the back cut out). Some people wouldn’t mind this, others have a problem with it.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Try reading. The argument isn’t about practicality; the argument is about what’s available being distorted.”

            “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” also applies to the free market.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            (facepalm)

            The F-150 is too big in any version. I thought that was clear by saying that today’s midsize trucks are too big. Also, I haven’t seen a short cab F150 on a lot in a very long time. Again, what people want distorts what’s available.

            The transit connect does not have a bed–the reason trucks exist. If it did, then I would say, sure, that would fit my needs. (I’ve actually suggested the idea of using the Flex platform to make a unibody truck like a Ridgeline.)

            Yes, I mentioned being practical. I also mentioned being reasonably sized and not wasting space. I could also mention economy and price. It’s mind-boggling how you have such difficulty understanding how details like these support a larger principle, which is smaller trucks have value, and that value includes practicality.

            Your nonsense about arguments for practicality hold no water because there will always be a different, smaller/cheaper option doesn’t eliminate the fact of that value. Essentially your argument boils down to: We don’t need new cars that sell for under $20k because there are used cars that can be bought for under $10k. Sure, but there’s also factors like warranty/reliability/longevity, cost of financing new versus used, ability to select options, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            ‘ “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” also applies to the free market.’

            Of course they do. That’s why I said I wish people (the many) who buy these vehicles would buy them based on other factors, like the bed, rather than passenger space.

            I wish the needs of the many were more in line with what they used to be and thus justify building small trucks again.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “An argument from practicality holds no water.”

            Actually it does when you retort with lines like, “You don’t need that Ranger–get a Kawasaki Mule.” That Mule might be practical on the farm, but it can’t run on the Interstate or even some State highways around the country. An extended-cab Ranger sized like the ’90s version is a near-perfect size for those who simply don’t need and don’t want a bloated Road Whale™. I owned a Mitsubishi Sport pickup in the ’80s and found it nearly ideal for my needs and wants… lacking only the extended cab. I now own a ’97 Ranger and find it nearly ideal for my needs and wants… lacking only a little power (2.3L I4) and the extended cab. I would be willing to sacrifice 15″ of bed length for the extended cab and would love to have about 40 more horses under the hood.

            I don’t need or want something that won’t fit into my off-street parking place to the extent that the front bumper is over the sidewalk and the tailgate extends a foot out into the roadway (I’d post pictures here of exactly what I see in my own neighborhood if I could.)

            I’m now waiting to see what FCA is about to bring us in the mid-sized department (and/or the Jeep Wrangler-based model) and the Hyundai Santa Cruz which is still reputed to come available for the ’17 model year last I read.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I bring up the Mule because although it’s definitely not road-legal, you don’t “need” to run on roads. In fact, why even have that? One doesn’t “need” any vehicle. Just walk everywhere, and pull a cart. And yet, people have vehicles. And more people want a mid-size pickup than a compact pickup (though I await the coming FWD trucklets with bated breath).

            Also, why is road whale capitalized and trademarked? Did I miss the style sheet?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Drzhivago138,
        But many are constrained and can’t do all at once. This is where the Ranger succeeds.

        It can carry a load, people and tow at once.

        As had been stated the US pickup has become a large car and most in the US expect a car like ride. This reduces the chances of having a “truck”.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @redav,

      If you want people to stop buying CCSB trucks for the full-size second row, alternatives must be offered. If I want a big second row like my Silverado’s I’m basically looking at Tahoes or Suburbans (and their Ford and GMC equivalents) both of which are significantly more expensive. Literally everything else is narrower, has less legroom, or both.

      I also can’t stand how people think their definition of practical is absolute. To you practical means small and economical. To me practical means spacious and capable.

      Also lol at the idea that truck exist solely for their beds. They, like any other product, exist because people buy them. Their purpose is whatever the customer decides it is. Hunters use them to get into the woods; fisherman use them to tow boats; families use them as a replacement for a big sedan; contractors use them to haul material in the bed; etc. I’ve used mine for all the things previously mentioned. There’s also a number of people (including myself) who would rather have a Suburban but the Silervado’s $12k cheaper price tag similarly equipped is hard to ignore.

      Face it, what you want just doesn’t have enough interest to merit a model. I’m in the same boat; I want a new full-size BOF RWD station wagon. I will most likely never get it. I don’t bitch at or denigrate the wagons we do get because they aren’t what I personally one. Most truck buyers want the fullsize CCSB truck. I’m one of them. I hope one day a manufacturer will take a risk and release a truck you will like; I just think its like my big wagon; a relic that isn’t coming back.

      BTW Merriam-Webster defines the term “practical” as follows
      : relating to what is real rather than to what is possible or imagined
      : likely to succeed and reasonable to do or use
      : appropriate or suited for actual use

      Practical just means something that can be actually used. Any full-size truck on today’s market is fully capable of doing what it says it can do making it practical by definition. Case closed.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        At Frylock: SPOT ON my friend, I couldn’t have said it better! People who complain because certain vehicles are popular just don’t get it: Ford, GM, Ram and (to a lesser extent) Toyota and Nissan would be fools to stop building profitable and popular full size trucks. If nobody needs them (which is a lie), then enough people WANT them to keep them selling so well.

        Nobody needs a Mustang or Miata or Corvette or Focus/Fiesta ST or a pile of other cars out there that aren’t basic transportation. They aren’t practical. They aren’t roomy. They aren’t economical (obviously some more so than others). Should they all end production?

        If you believe everyone should ONLY buy/drive what they “need” then you, my friend, are no car enthusiast and perhaps Consumer Reports would be a better use of your time than sites like this one. By the way, Mitsubishi has a car for you, but don’t worry, its only a Mirage.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    “…indeed the Ranger Crew Cab with 5-foot bed is almost identical in size to the ’04 Ford F-150.”

    Finally someone agrees with me – the current Global Ranger is TOO BIG.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Where did they explicitly use the term “too big”?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      except that’s already been disproven in these comments with actual, you know, dimensions.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      So, go buy w freshly restored Datsun 620 from circa 1976.

      Oh, too small? Slow? Uncomfortable? Unsafe?

      You only want what you can’t have. If the Ranger was as small as the old compacts, everyone would be complaining its crampt inside, it feels like a gnat when sitting in traffic, its this or that. Some folks can’t be satisfied.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Strangely people in Australia, now think , it is the optimum size. All things are relative. When they brought the Suburban to Australia in the late 1990’s, initial reaction,” that thing is HUGE” . Now it does not stand out, because you have a flotilla of large SUV’s running around

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice photos – Prague, I presume?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I don’t know what numbers you’re using, but the T6 Ranger is in no way “almost identical in size” to an ’04 F-150 of any config, except maybe a RCSB (126″ WB). It’s 80% the size. Compare that to an old compact Ranger, which was 74% of the size of the same F-150.

    The new one certainly feels larger than it is, with taller bedsides and a more pronounced rake.

  • avatar
    George B

    Looks too tall and not quite wide enough. The most basic utility test for any “American sized” truck is can it haul a 4ft x 8ft sheets of plywood or not. 48 inches between the wheel wells. The 1st generation Toyota Tundra just barely passed the plywood test. The Honda Ridgeline and any minivan can haul plywood too.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It’s (more or less) the same size as the Tacoma, Frontier, and (most importantly) the Colorado/Canyon. None of those have 48″ between the wheel wells, nor did their compact predecessors, the Pickup, Hardbody, or S-10/S-15/Sonoma.

      The Ridgeline, although it has midsize length, height, and wheelbase (130″), is based on the Pilot/Odyssey platform with a “full” width of 78″.

      “Mini” vans have lengthened and widened over the past 30 years (mostly due to larger child seats) to the point where they’re now full-size, rather than midsize, vehicles.

      At any rate, the 4’x8′ plywood test is outdated and obsolete. The mean (or is it median?) length of all full-size truck beds, half-ton or HD, is 6.5′.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Disagree on the plywood test being obsolete. Are 4×8 sheets any smaller than they used to be?

        And if you are hanging drywall, it’s now typical to use either 10′ or 12′ long sheets (less taping). Those can both be carried in an 8′ bed with the tailgate down.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Obsolete in that 80%+ of pickup truck buyers, and 95%+ of mid-size pickup buyers, don’t regularly haul bulky construction materials in their bed.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If I had one takeaway from literally hundreds of B&B arguments about midsize pickup trucks it is this: Everyone has the right to decide what pickup size, power and construction is appropriate for everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            Yes! It seems the average US pickup person wants a large car, which is great.

            I know here it’s sort of similar. But most of our pickups are 4×4 diesel with 2WD generally used for business in base models.

            All pickups/utility vehicles are great alternatives for domestic use. Even vans and little buses.

            It’s horses for courses.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Drzhivago,
        Everytime I’m in the US I peer into the back of pickups. Guess what? They all have plywood in them, they all tow 10 000lb multi axle trailers, with 5 people onboard.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Peering into every pickup will get you arrested, or at least detained. It’s just a weird thing you do. Figure pickup owners don’t just leave stuff back there, or trailer hooked, in tow at all times, while they’re at the opera, mall, Disneyland, Statue of Liberty, or wherever it is you visit in the US.

          I try to get my pickup unload, unhooked, and washed, as soon as possible.

          Do you ever notice cars with the back seat empty? Look around. That’s most cars, most of the darn time. Should they all have 2-seaters at the most??

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      One of the reasons I love the 85 Ford Country Squire wagon. Fold the rear seat down, slide in plywood, close the tailgate and drive home. In terms of length, it’s a smaller footprint than the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Even the mid-size wagons of the ’70s could fit 4×8 building materials. In Detroit, “mid-size” just meant “full-size but shorter” until the ’78 A-bodies brought the width down to 72″.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    It would be worth getting one of these with the giant vinyl logo on the sides just so you could peel off the first ‘r’ and drive around with “ANGER” on the door of your truck.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    You know that TTAC is f*cked when a Ford Ranger gets 88 answereds.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    As the owner of a vehicle very similar to the one in this article I would state they are an awesome vehicle.

    I do read some of the comments with interest and entertainment.

    1. If any country receives the Ranger with the 2.7 EcoThirst it will be Australia. Australia’s love affair with V8s and V8 utes is about to end with the demise of the Falcon and Commodore utes.

    I don’t know how the Aussie V8 person/bogan will take to a wheezy turbo engine. Maybe the Coyote with an option for the Miami will be best for us.

    If any engine is used, I’d bet the 2.3 EcoThirst would be used instead of the 2.7 EcoThirst as these pickups are considerably lighter than even the aluminum wunder trux by Frod.

    As Vojta stated, the 3.2 sort of reminds him of driving a 302 ….. sort of, except it doesn’t have the top end. It probably has similar horsepower and more torque though. The 3.2 would out work and tow any 302, by a long margin using fuel at a significantly reduced rate.

    The 3.2 is a sweet engine, it’s not the most economical, but from the current crop of diesel pickups we have it produce lots of usable torque off idle for off roading (cubic inches come into play), something totally lacking in the 2.2 diesel Ranger Vojta tested. I have driven both and the turbo lag in the 2.2 was pathetic. Once up and running though the 2.2 does have “enough” for a working vehicle.

    Ford has finally fixed up the sh!tful shift of the MT82. This is good, I also hope Ford has increased the longevity of the gearbag from an average life of 30 000k until it’s first service at 240 000k.

    One day I will send in a photo of my BT50 as I had told Jack Baruth. But I still await the delivery of my TEXAS EDITION BADGE.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al from Oz
      That 2 litre Ecoboost was anemic. Too bad the Barra could not shorhorned into the Ranger, power would intially be better than the 3.5. Fuel economy would be on par

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The Barra is just way too long.

        I do believe the 2.7 would be nice, but will the world live with the abysmal FE from it?

        The 2.3 is an increased 2 litre, but the power and torque would suffice, again with poor EcoThirst FE. The Mustang also has the 2.3 that’s why it would be okay here. Spares.

        But, why would you buy a 2.7 EcoThirst if the 3.2 is available?

  • avatar
    derekson

    It seems bizarre that it has a badge on the fender with not just the engine size and name, but also the transmission type…?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This comment;
    “While the pre-facelift model masked its massive size with a smooth, aerodynamic front end, the new truck’s blunt nose reminds you that this is no longer a tiny Japanese truck.” Comment by Vojta.

    It’s an Aussie truck. Like most vehicles designed in Australia this day and age it is excellent and used in the global market.

    Australia has a long history of building pickups. Building the first pickup that was used as a basis for the beginning of the current Ford pickups in the US.

    It’s good to see Australia design a global pickup and not one suited for just one market. It shows how good Aussies are.

    So, as you full sized, small endowed, NA cousin’s of us Aussies will realise we even had a part of the US F Series heritage. The idea of comfort in a pickup. So, with your garish over the top, small d!ck grilled, lifted and whatever else DW has stated, don’t forget the Aussie and the GLOBAL effort and impact we have had on pickups. The US never had the same impact as us in the pickup/ute world. Jeep would be the most global influencing vehicle out of the US.

    Here’s a cut and paste and link, from Ford’s offical site supporting my views.

    “Not only was it an Australian invention, but the concept has been exported to the world, reinterpreted by other manufacturers and gained a legion of fans everywhere.

    The story of the first Ford ute is a key part of Ford’s rich heritage that has seen the development of such iconic vehicles as the F-Series.”

    From the horses mouth, Frod.

    https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/02/25/ford-celebrates-aussie-ute-s-80th-anniversary.html

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Sorry BAFO, Australia invented the term “Ute” and that’s all. A new word for “pickup”, 1st officially used by Studebaker, 1913 and went mainstream, global, household word, with the Model T Roadster Pickup and others, by the early 1920s

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickup_truck

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This Ranger would be a good midsize choice for Ford in the NA market. I would hope that if Ford does offer this Ranger that it would be offered in an extended cab as well as the crew cab. Even the looks of this truck would not need to be changed, it is nice as it is. What is good about this truck is that even though it has been redesigned the basic truck has been in the market for years and most of the bugs would have been worked out. This is a nice truck.

  • avatar
    FalconRTV

    This is not a Japanese pickup. It’s built in Thailand and was designed in Australia. There’s now also an off-road station wagon called “Everest”.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ToolGuy: Pretty sure the HMMWV uses an exoskeleton. :) Just kidding, it’s an aluminum body on a steel frame....
  • Hummer: No it’s not unibody, and it’s not a typical independent suspension either, using geared hubs and inboard...
  • jack4x: This may be the first and only time I find myself defending Land Rover, but the C3 Corvette and the Rolls...
  • Lie2me: Bingo!
  • -Nate: Pardon my ignorance but isn’t the HumVee also a unibody ? . I know it has independent suspension from...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Timothy Cain
  • Matthew Guy
  • Ronnie Schreiber
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth