By on October 12, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

U.S. sales of midsize pickup trucks jumped 54 percent in September 2016 to nearly 40,000 units.

While massive year-over-year increases in pickup truck sales can often be attributed to commensurate increases in incentives, as seen with the Ram P/U’s victory over the Chevrolet Silverado in September, midsize pickup truck buyers are willing to pay big bucks.

Average transaction prices in the Toyota Tacoma-controlled midsize pickup truck segment last month, according to Kelley Blue Book, rose 6 percent compared with September 2015. That was by far the biggest increase for any segment in average transaction prices.

These are hardly the sub-$20,000 antiquated Ford Rangers of 2010.

On average, consumers were buying $32,350 midsize pickup trucks in September 2016.

Led by the surging Toyota Tacoma, every member of the five-truck category posted noteworthy year-over-year sales improvements, including the Honda Ridgeline’s astounding 165,800-percent uptick.*

As full-size pickup sales grew just 1 percent in September, a modest 1,784-unit year-over-year improvement, four automakers produced 14,076 additional midsize pickup sales.

The 39,969-unit September result marked the eighth consecutive month in which Americans registered more than 30,000 midsize pickups.

After claiming just 12 percent of the overall pickup truck market in September 2015 — and only 14 percent in calendar year 2015 — midsize pickup truck market share soared to 17.3 percent in September 2016; 16.8 percent so far this year.

Only in August, when midsize pickup truck share jumped to 17.9 percent, has the sub-segment garnered a greater chunk of the overall pickup truck market this year.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

The sudden rise in midsize pickup share is all the more impressive when one considers the dearth of available nameplates. True, a decade ago, during peak Ridgeline, small/midsize pickup truck share was a loftier 21 percent. But a bundle of niche players, such as the Mitsubishi Raider, Mazda B-Series, and Isuzu i-Series, were at that time joined by the five nameplates that still exist and high-volume competitors from Dodge and Ford.

Dodge was consistently selling substantially more than 100,000 Dakotas per year prior to 2006’s harsh decline.

Ford Motor Company, which had grown accustomed to selling 300,000 Rangers per year, was entering a phase in which the nameplate wouldn’t crack the 100,000-sales mark. But the Ranger, like the Dakota, remained a major player in the small/midsize pickup truck market in 2006.

After letting the Ranger go — not in the sense of allowing it to run free, but in the manner of not getting a shower and changing out of pajama bottoms in the morning — Ford determined that remaining Ranger customers were purely interested in a cheap vehicle. “It was often times only a purchase because it was an expensive Ford product, not as a pickup,” a Ford spokesperson said in 2010.

“We’re investing in F-Series because the small truck segment has steadily shrunk from almost 8 percent of total industry sales in 1994 to 1.9 percent of industry sales in 2012,” Ford’s Jackie DiMarco told Reddit in 2013, failing to point out that the automaker’s own neglect of the segment played a role in the segment’s decline.

USA midsize pickup truck market share

But the game in which a new Ford Ranger would play is conducted on a whole ‘nuther field. Although CAFE requirements pose a challenge for midsize trucks, Automotive News reported last year, the F-150’s move upmarket has opened a gap in Ford’s lineup for a less costly product.

“We think we could sell a compact truck that’s more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight more miles per gallon than a full-size truck, is $5,000 or $6,000 less, and that we could build in the U.S. to avoid the tariff on imported trucks,” Ford’s Doug Scott told Automotive News last year.

To what degree that strategy has changed, with the average light-duty full-size ATP up to around $38,000 and the midsize truck market quickly transforming, will be made known after Ford reveals its real plans for the Wayne, Michigan, factory.

Whether Ford can engineer a Ranger that much more efficient than the F-150 remains to be seen. But current evidence suggests Ford doesn’t need to worry too much about bringing the Ranger to market with affordability as its main selling point. Midsize truck buyers do not want a full-size truck, and the next Ford Ranger to land in North America won’t be a full-size truck.

That fact alone should be more than enough for Ford to find tens of thousands of paying customers.

* The Ridgeline wasn’t on sale at this time last year, during the hiatus between the first and second-generation Honda pickups.

[Images: Toyota, Honda, TTAC]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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173 Comments on “More and More Consumers Paying Big Bucks For Smaller Trucks...”


  • avatar
    mikein541

    Let’s see here … $32350 for a mid-size truck … I just looked at an
    F350 XL 4wd supercab (gas engine) which has everything a reasonable person
    could want (except satellite radio and a big-screen center stack, and I
    don’t want that need that), and the price was … $35,900. I’m sure
    the manufacturers are not losing money in either case. But only $3500
    to get a real truck vs. a toy truck?

    • 0 avatar
      Jonathan H.

      My company bought my 2015 Tundra Limited for $37k. I looked at a Tacoma on the lot when I was getting it serviced the other day and it had a sticker north of 40k. I couldn’t believe my eyes. No way I’d pick the Tacoma over my truck.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      The current crop of midsize trucks are very capable and comfy, what makes them “toy” trucks?

      It’s a shame that the domestics didn’t apply the very good development work they did on their fulsize trucks through the 90s and 2000s to the smaller pickups; and instead chose to just let those age and die.

      Keeping the Ranger, S-10, and Dakota modern and competitive would have probably been more efficient than ceding this market entirely and then rebuilding from scratch.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @bikegoesbaa
        A projected increase in fuel prices will drive the growth of this segment. Death of the Midsize Truck segment as predicted by a few here, is way of the mark.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        bikegoesbaa – agree. Letting the segment languish with outdated products is part of the reason why the market imploded. You can’t sell trucks of any kind unless you offer up to date packages with 4 doors and comfort for 4-5 passengers.

        It was easy for Ford to decide that only cheapskates bought Rangers because that is the main reason why they sold at the end of their lifespan.

        Fuel prices are helping big truck sales but anyone thinking small trucks are much better on fuel aren’t very familiar with the market. People want smaller trucks that have the amenities of their bigger brothers.

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      Lots of homeowners who don’t necessarily need a truck everyday for work, still need truck for various projects, remodeling, hobbies, etc. These homeowners largely work in places that may not have parking spaces designed for F-350s. I know my workplace doesn’t. The other thing you’ll see, most new houses don’t have driveways long enough to accomodate F-350.

      Also, if someone is going to be using truck as daily driver, i’d much rather have midsize truck that has all comforts available, than some monstrosity with vinyl seats and missing carpets.

    • 0 avatar
      kogashiwa

      The “mid-size” trucks are also 95% the size as well as 95% the price.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I just looked at an
      F350 XL 4wd supercab (gas engine) which has everything a reasonable person
      could want (except satellite radio and a big-screen center stack, and I
      don’t want that need that), and the price was … $35,900.”

      EVERYTHING a reasonable person could want? What about, simply put, a smaller footprint? How about a tighter turning radius? What about even better fuel economy?

      The F-350 is HUGE! That Supercab can’t be parked just anywhere. That Supercab can’t do a U-turn just anywhere. It’s great for people who NEED the size in a working truck, but for those not hauling or towing excessive weights, they simply don’t NEED the size. Where I live, less than 50% of all pickup trucks I see carry anything more than air in the bed and when that bed is covered by a locked-down tonneau, well, it’s not being used for anything such a rig is designed to accomplish.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        It’s almost like most Americans live in places where space isn’t an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        How do you know that if it is covered by a locked down Tonneau Cover it isn’t being used for something such a rig is designed to acomplish? Some people put those on so they can keep what ever they have in the bed locked, covered and out of sight.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “The F-350 is HUGE! That Supercab can’t be parked just anywhere. That Supercab can’t do a U-turn just anywhere.”

        – Just put aftermarket bumpers and nerf bars and then parking is no longer an issue.

        U-turns?

        – 10 ply tires hold up really well to climbing over curbs. Same goes for that extra beefy suspension. Oh, my previous point applies here too.

        “well, it’s not being used for anything such a rig is designed to accomplish.”

        – When is the last time you saw a Jeep Wrangler covered in mud and bush scratches?

        You don’t want a big truck……… they do!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “When is the last time you saw a Jeep Wrangler covered in mud and bush scratches?”

          Far more frequently than you might imagine. My own has been ‘out there’ often enough that I know I need more than most automotive AWD systems can handle. My problem is I need a truck bed on it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – I live in an area where the primary source of entertainment is the outdoors. I rarely ever see Jeeps used as intended. The point *is*, many vehicles aren’t used for their primary design purpose.

            Somehow, that is only a bad thing around here when it related to pickups.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think ’tis a great time to reintroduce the Ranger. There are plenty of fans, the name is still recognizable, and all the shop-fleet customers with worn out Rangers who don’t want a Transit are ready to buy.

    I think it’ll smash Frontier sales down, as well as many of the GM twins. I don’t put the Ridgeline in the same category. It’s larger, more lifestyle-y, and more luxurious than the other things in the pie chart and the Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @CoreyDL
      Current Global Ranger is 95% the size of a full size. A Ranger weighs 4,900lb the same as a 2.7 Ecoboost F150.
      Better to call it a F100. I cannot see a really small Pickup being viable

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      CoreyDL – if one looks at the Colorado/Canyon and compare them to the Sierra/Silverado there isn’t much of a sales advantage when offering product to fleets. Fleets aren’t going to trade their old Ranger’s on a new Ranger. The old ones were 4 banger reg cab trucks. I’m betting Ford won’t offer a regular cab and the price of the extended cab will be close to that of a Regular cab F150.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I think it’ll smash Frontier sales down, as well as many of the GM twins. I don’t put the Ridgeline in the same category. It’s larger, more lifestyle-y, and more luxurious than the other things in the pie chart and the Ranger.”

      If, as Ford suggests, their new Ranger is truly smaller… smaller than the current C-twins in particular… it will probably blow away the current mid-sized market as well simply because, with the exception of the Frontier, the others have grown to old-school full size while Ford clearly stated they would be much closer to their 2010 Ranger’s size. It’s still not where I would want it (I would prefer the ’97 extended cab) but it would at least be a strong contender for my next purchase despite my feelings about Ford in general.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “If, as Ford suggests, their new Ranger is truly smaller… smaller than the current C-twins in particular…”

        Where did Ford suggest that it would be smaller than the Colorado/Canyon or Tacoma? The T6 Ranger is the same size as the global Colorado, and there’s no good reason for the next Ranger to be any smaller than that. If it were significantly smaller, it would have to meet more stringent MPG targets, which are difficult to do while remaining a BOF RWD /truck/.

        “the others have grown to old-school full size”

        No, they haven’t. A new Colorado is still smaller than any comparable full-size dating back to the early ’60s.

        “while Ford clearly stated they would be much closer to their 2010 Ranger’s size”

        Where did they state that? (Not that it wouldn’t be close–a new Ranger has a 1″ longer WB than the 2011 version with the same sized bed, wider cab, and larger front clip.)

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Being RWD and/or BOF doesn’t affect CAFE. When you are making a true truck with real weight capacity being BOF make it easier to be lighter than trying to unibody it like a Ridgeline. Compare the weight of the Ridgeline to that of the more capable Colorado.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Vulpine
        2010 Ranger size is as big as the Twins

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          If so, then it will clearly be too big for my wants and needs. I don’t like settling for what’s available when something that fits my wants and needs may be just around the corner. I settled for an F-150… once. It proved too unwieldy and I sold it after only putting 3,000 miles on it in four years. My ’97 Ranger already has 4,000 miles on it in just one year.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The global Ranger is 8″ longer (with a 1″ longer WB) and 3.5″ wider than the old compact Ranger. Meanwhile, it’s still 21″ shorter (with an 18″ shorter WB) and 6″ narrower than an F-150. How is that “too big”?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Make up your mind, Doc. Is the new Ranger 90% the size of an F-150 or the same size as the OLD Ranger? It can’t be both.

            And remember: Compare like for like. Don’t try putting a reg-cab F-150 next to a crew-cab Ranger; that’s a specious argument that simply doesn’t hold water.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            When did I explictly use the terms “the same size as the old Ranger” or “90% the size of an F-150”? All I do is spout off measurements. And yes, all those specs /are/ comparing like for like. I got them from this graphic:

            http://cars.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e20147e39be5d5970b-pi

            Yes, it’s the previous model F-150, but the current one has the same dimensions. And a SuperCab/6′ bed T6 Ranger is the same size as a Double Cab/5′ bed model.

            Thanks for answering my question, BTW.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Zhivago, you are wasting your time.

  • avatar

    How about an aluminum, 4000 lb ranger with a 2.0 ecoboost for $25,000?

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’m listening… The major reason I got my Dakota back in 2002 was SIZE. If it fits in my garage then I’m interested. My boat is only 16 foot / 2000lbs so I don’t need a massive engine. However I had a Ranger many years ago with the 4.0 V6 and it struggled to handle the load. My Dodge with the 4.7 V8 is perfect. I’d bet the torque from the Ecoboost would likely be enough. I’d love a diesel, but a strong turbo that runs on regular sounds great. The only current drawback on my Dakota is the gas mileage, it gets about 12 mpg towing. I don’t daily the Dak it just does weekend duty.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      That’s what is also known as a regular cab F-150 XL, but with a 3.5L.

      • 0 avatar
        andyinatl

        What if one needs to take more than himself and a dog to the lake?

        • 0 avatar
          Higheriq

          That’s what the open box in the back is for. And believe it or not, some of us have no wife, no kids, and no dog (the ideal situation :) )

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Bingo. My Dak is a Quad Cab. Granted its not living room sized in there, but I found its perfect for me, a buddy and one kid plus a cooler, all inside nice and dry. Also the short bed is just fine, I just put the tailgate down when I need to haul something sizeable.

          In addition its more then just the length, the width of the full sizers means you can’t open the doors once its inside the garage, especially with my boat alongside.

          Honestly my Dak is PERFECT sized, if I could swap in a modern engine I’d keep it forever.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        My 2004 F-150, reg cab, long bed feels like a compact pick up when the late model behemoths pull up next to me at a light. I love my “little” long bed pick up.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          “Behemoths”? That’s a rather odd word choice, considering a new F-150 has essentially the same dimensions in width and length as a 2004.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – keep preachin’ it brother.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I have found the cross upon which I shall die!

          • 0 avatar
            56BelAire

            Dr Z,
            I respectfully argue it is not a poor choice of words. There is a lot more to a trucks size than length and width.

            I can easily work over the bed sides of my ’04 grabbing tool boxes, Depot pails full of stuff and gas cans. I cannot do that in any full size 2016-7 pickup. The bed sides are much higher.
            My ’04 has a Hood that slopes front and the front corners are rounded off, the new trucks are big boxy and chunky and the top of the fenders and hood is much higher than my ’04. I can easily wash my windshield and wax my hood standing on the ground….impossible on a new one.
            Now the tire size. Mine has 16s and most newer trucks have much larger tires, 18s, 20s, 24s and higher and higher. Not to mention many of the yahoos who buy these “behemoths” swap out and get even larger wheels and then install lift kits.
            When I am sitting at a light, my head height is sometimes literally at mid-door, bumper height of the “monster trucks”…..and there are tons of them all over Utah.
            I guess the “dicks” that drive them are compensating for the lack of length between their legs with the size of their pickup

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I agree with BelAire here; though my point of comparison is a 1990 F-150 which even as a long-bed standard cab looked tiny when sitting next to a modern full size and honestly looked almost exactly the same size as a new Colorado when I first considered trading for something newer. Even that 1990 model was too big to be comfortable driving on some of the local roads–especially some of the roads I drive on weekly in southern Pennsylvania. My Ranger is simply easier to maneuver and safely meet others when driving on those roads.

            And yes, being able to reach in over the sides of the bed to grab things I’m carrying is much easier and more convenient than having to literally climb into the bed for the same purpose. Yes, I do agree it also makes it easier for someone to pilfer some ‘thing’ out of the bed, but if you only carry large or heavy items, that ‘pilfering’ becomes decidedly more difficult and gives you time to abort their efforts. After all, not everybody can simply snatch a 30# bucket of plaster or a 25# folding ladder out of the bed in two seconds.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That last sentence was completely unneccessary, yet people always bring it up. Why the fixation?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Because big trucks have become a status symbol with fewer than half sold ever used for the purposes they were designed.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            [Citation needed], and that doesn’t actually answer the question. Was it necessary to bring it up? Did people make crass jokes at other people when cars were 20 feet long with a 10 foot wheelbase?

  • avatar
    Feds

    This makes Sergio look like a genius. If Fiat can launch the Wrangler p-up on time it’ll be a high margin item for them.

    With the Ridgeline showing strength, I wonder if Fiat can 1-2 punch in this segment with the Wrangler pickup at the high end and the Toro at the low end.

    Heck, the Toro looks like it’s on the Cherokee platform. You could have 2 Jeep pickups on offer.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Two observations on this:
    1. As someone who has been saying they should bring back smaller pickups on here for a couple years now, and heard so many people tell me why I was wrong and was never going to happen, I have to say Ha! Ne-ner ne-ner ne-ner.

    2. I do love hove some of the B&B will ignore reality and substitute their own when the data doesn’t support their prejudices.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      “Smaller” is a relative term when it comes to these trucks. Yes, they are smaller than a F-150/Silverado/Tundra/Titan. But when compared to something like the Ranger of yore, I’d hardly call the new batch of smaller trucks “small.” I don’t see a return to something the size of either the Ranger or S-10 as the market has spoken rather loudly on what folks want when they buy trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Jimal – we won’t see 70’s era sized small trucks again. Even globally, the “small” trucks have grown in size.

        The market needed new products and we now have that. I believe that the growth/boom in the CUV market has pulled up the small truck with it (to a certain degree).

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Lou, plenty of properly small trucks globally (or at least in the Americas except US and Canada), but they’re all FWD. A Chevrolet Tornado is pretty much the exact same size as an Isuzu P’up.

          Not that I’d even remotely claim there’s any real market for them, but they’re neat.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “we won’t see 70’s era sized small trucks again. Even globally, the “small” trucks have grown in size.”

          I would suggest we wait and see what the market says about the Santa Cruz and the Toro before we draw any definitive conclusions. I’ll grant that the Subaru Baja wasn’t very popular, but it also came during an era when Subaru itself was suffering from poor reliability and, like the Chevy Avalanche, just a little too soon to the market for what they were. Today, a Baja might realize more sales, especially if it came across as a separate design and not just a ‘topless wagon’.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Vulpine – “Santa Cruz and the Toro”

            They have to show up for sale before the market gets to decide.

            But I’m sure focus groups and corporate bean counters will decide well before the 0.0001 % of the population gets the chance to buy one.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lou_BC: Hyundai has all but publicly announced the rig as an ’18 model (expect that in an upcoming auto show) and the Toro has been undergoing testing at FCA’s shops in the US. Either could be here in less than a year, maybe both. The Hyundai is the more likely ‘first mover’ but I wouldn’t put the Fiat far behind, probably wearing a Ram badge. Meanwhile, the Wrangler truck is a given… also for next year.

            What SOME people have discovered is that focus groups don’t know what they want until it is shown to them.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Vulpine
            You may see different reactions in NA, but Hyundai Australia has come off the fence and said the new Santa Cruz is not a vehicle they want to bring to Australia

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yet that same type of vehicle is VERY popular in South and Central America and I believe would be reasonably popular in the US. I am personally extremely interested in the Fiat Toro.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Jimal
      Your not the only one who feels vindicated, Still the Frontier and Tacoma are ancient compared to the current new Global offerings, what would updated models and a fuel hike do to sales?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Nissan doesn’t sell that many trucks and doesn’t update them often because it isn’t worth it to invest heavily in the segment.

      Toyota has enjoyed some incremental increases that are, in terms of unit count, positive but not earth-shattering.

      If you compare YTD 2016 with two years prior, you see that three out of four additional sales among the Tundra/Frontier/GM twins went to GM. Which is a good indication that the demand is pentup, not that the segment as a whole is ripe with opportunity.

      GM has a decent track record of introducing products that create a splash for a couple of years before fizzling out. I expect that to happen here.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Several points:
        What Nissan is selling is ancient, but there has been a dramatic uptake in the Frontier
        Toyota was already leading the segment, so increases would be incremental
        GM twins have validated their introduction, and are proving strong sellers
        New Ridgeline has proved to be popular, much more so then the new Titan and Titan XD which appear to have floundered in sales.
        Fuel Prices will start to go up and are normally an accelerator of the midsize market

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          High fuel prices hardly discourages fullsize pickup sales, nor encourages midsize pickup sales. Midsizers don’t get much better fuel economy. And not worth the downgrade if you’re used to, need or looking into fullsize.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “High fuel prices hardly discourages fullsize pickup sales,…”

            False. All you have to do is look at both occasions where the average fuel prices approached $4/gallon and suddenly full-sized pickups were getting traded in for mid-sized CUVs while new sales pretty much fell through the floor. Now that we’re used to $2.50 or less for regular, a jump to $3.50 would have full-sized trucks plummet while mid-sizers (smaller ones especially) would see a leap in sales due to perceived improvements in fuel economy. You’d probably see the big V8s fall through the floor in sales as only those who NEED the power would buy them.

            BUT…
            I personally don’t expect to see such a jump in fuel prices as long as electrics stand a chance at competing with the internal combustion engine (ICE). When Tesla released the Model S and its sales quickly started to dominate the luxury car market, other OEMs took notice and started announcing efforts to compete with Tesla in the BEV market. Those efforts are coming to fruition with the release of the Chevy Bolt this year. As a result, demand for gasoline is set to fall and the oil companies are doing their best to delay that fall as long as possible. They’re doing everything legally possible (and maybe a few illegal ones as well) to try and prevent the success of BEVs. If, as has been rumored, Tesla releases a fully-capable pickup truck that could conceivably out-class a half-ton ICE model, then ICE itself will notice a rapid and almost fatal fall from dominance. Already, one branch of the German government is demanding a complete ban on ICEVs by 2030.

            Yes, full sized trucks do still have their place; but that place is no longer in the hands of private owners who have never really needed a truck that size and has only used it as a status symbol. A new status symbol is coming and it won’t be full-sized.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When owners dumped/traded their fullsize pickups with rising fuel prices, sales of new fullsize pickups hardly suffered. Apparently most buyers of fullsize pickups aren’t really impacted by fuel prices, or just have to lump it. Think fleets, other work trucks, some with play/family duties, strictly family/multi kid haulers, or luxo pickups owned by the wealthy. Many times, quite simply, nothing else will do.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Hmmm…… So! The Colorado/Canyon is the Camaro of the truck world?

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Guys want a comfy SUV with the ability to put crap in the back, and all the SUVs have turned into chick cars… Ford should fire back up the explorer sporttrac with that 2.7TT V6. It was ahead of its time…

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Guys want a comfy SUV with the ability to put crap in the back, and all the SUVs have turned into chick cars… Ford should fire back up the explorer sporttrac with that 2.7TT V6. It was ahead of its time…”

      Ahead of its time, but poorly styled. They never did look good and I think that’s part of the reason the Subaru Baja failed as well. We’ve got to see how the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Fiat Toro (Ram 700?) perform to get a better idea of what sells and what doesn’t.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The surge in mid-size truck sales may have nothing to do with the sticker price. Many suburban folks who own trucks don’t just use them for weekend projects and recreation but also as daily drivers. With full size trucks growing every generation they have become a pain to deal with in urban traffic. From navigating parking lots to narrow streets their size is a hindrance and not an advantage.

    The new crop of mid-sizers is plenty big enough to meet the needs of most truck owners without having the hassle of unnecessary bulk.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      There wouldn’t be a good reason for fullsize pickups to get wider, in fact they’ve stayed about the same width for decades. Same with their length. More doors and less bed, perhaps. Yes they’re taller for bigger wheels/tires, but that also equals better visibility.

      If midsize pickups are grossly cannibalizing any particular segment, it’s gotta be midsize sedans/SUVs/CUVs, especially within the same brand.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If you’re not familiar with 2003 F-150s in real life, they’re about the same size as current F-150s, except with 16″ standard wheels and a little lower to the ground. Lower bed sides too. They’re not midsize in any way.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “If you’re not familiar with 2003 F-150s in real life, they’re about the same size as current F-150s, except with 16″ standard wheels and a little lower to the ground. Lower bed sides too. They’re not midsize in any way.”

          … Yet look and ‘feel’ smaller expressly because they ride lower and have lower bed sides, as one other poster already commented here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes they *feel* smaller but still take up the same road, space as new, which is a bigger concern than feel.

      • 0 avatar
        Longshift

        The regular cab standard bed full-size trucks have grown significantly in length and height compared to 20 years ago, especially the 2wd versions.

        1996 Chevrolet C 1500: 194.5” L x 76.8” W x 70.4” H

        2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: 206.5” L x 80.0” W x 74 H

        1996 Ford F-150: 197.1” L x 79.0” W x 70.8” H

        2016 Ford F-150: 209.3” L x 79.9” W x 75.2” H

        They have both grown about a foot in length and roughly four inches in height. The sides of the bed have also grown.

        The 1996 Chevy is practically in the mid-size category. The lower height of the ’96 Chevy, plus the lower bed walls make it very easy to load and unload things. Seventy inches in height is tall enough for a 2wd; they do not need any better visibility. I wish the RCSB full-sizers were still the same size that they were in the 90s.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The bench seats were hella uncomfortable on those pre ’00 pickups, and of course didn’t recline. That’s where fullsize regular-cab pickups grew, room behind the seat, thank god. But extended and crew cab weren’t stretched much. Except front-ends grew a few inches for improved drag coefficient. It was all for the better.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Longshift – safety and interior comfort dictated some growth in overall length but what about wheel base?

          A foot isn’t that much of an issue in something as big as a full sized pickup. My 1990 F250 had the rad pretty close to the bumper and grill. My 2010 has a huge gap.

          I’m not seeing a down side. My F150 SuperCrew gets around 28% better mpg than my 1990 F250. It also has 59% more power. The stock tires on my truck 275/65/18’s. The stock tires on my 1990 were 215/16.

          Get the tape measure out and compare a mid 90’s Ranger to a global one. They have grown too.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @ Longshift (I have no idea why this is up here and not down there):

            Yes, there were no crew cab half-tons in 1996, but had there been, they would’ve been exactly the same dimensions as an extended cab/short bed model (since they were from 2001 onward).

            Front overhang does affect parkability in garages, but not driveability on the open road. And like height (which, as I stated, is an invalid metric because of all the variations), it’s inherent that nearly all new vehicles in all segments have more front overhang than older ones.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          They /are/ the same size, essentially, if you compare extended cab models (crew cab/short beds are the same size). Regular cab models have gone through all sorts of stretchings and shrinkings over the years, so they’re not the best to use for any sort of technical comparison.

          Before the mid-’90s, only Dodge used a similar length frame (though different wheelbases) for its RCLB and ECSB models. Chevy and Ford had longer frames. A Chevy extended cab, in particular, is almost identical in dimension from 1988 up to today, only gaining any significant amount in front overhang (which is common across the board). Ford was the first to put its half-ton RCLB and ECSB on not only the same length frame, but also the same WB, in 1997. A 139″ WB on a RCLB was unheard of prior to this–because not only did it mean the cab was enlarged, but also that the axle had to be pushed back.

          http://lookatthecar.org/wp-content/uploads/parser/Ford-F-150-1996-7.jpeg

          http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x1/stinky_meatball/0601001702.jpg

          Toyota followed in 2000 (though they went the other way regarding axle placement, at least until 2007), Dodge in 2002, and Nissan appears to be doing the same on the 2017 Titan regular cab. GM pickups have always been a different length between RC and EC/CC models, which enables them to maintain a better-looking (IMO) axle placement on 8′ beds.

          However, this lengthening of regular cabs to fit extended cab frames kinda came back to bite Ford in the but-tocks. In 2004, Ford lengthened the SuperCab 6″ to better compete with Dodge’s newly enlarged Quad Cab (SuperCrews would follow in 2009), and they lengthened the regular cabs too. A 145″ WB on a regular cab pickup looks a bit odd, even with that little door Ford used from 2004-08 (from 2009-14, they just made the door longer). Dare I say it, it was /too much/ space for a single row of seats. Normally, one could expect 4-6″ of behind-the-seat storage space in a regular cab. But the 2004-14 Ford cabs had about 8″ of space behind the seat:

          http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/47886886.jpg

          Ford apparently thought (or heard from customers) that this was actually too much, so for the 2015 models, they shortened the regular cab 4″ to sit on a 141″ (long bed) or 122″ (short bed) wheelbase.

          Ram, Toyota, and Nissan remain the only ones to use the same looooong wheelbase on all 3 “standard-length” models (although to be fair, only the Tundra’s wheelbase is really “looooong” at 145″.) In their respective cases, it’s almost obligatory to do this because of how few they sell, so they’ve got to keep parts as common as possible with their more popular configurations.

          https://i.wheelsage.org/pictures/t/toyota/tundra_regular_cab/toyota_tundra_regular_cab_19.jpeg

          The width spec on GMT400 trucks seems to be a strange outlier. I’ve seen some places that give 76.8″ and some that say closer to 80″. I’d lean towards the latter, if only because all full-size trucks have been between 78 and 80″ wide since the early ’60s. It seems unlikely to me that the GMT400s would be about 2″ narrower than both their predecessors and their competitors at the time.

          Height is not really a valid dimension to use for old vs. new full-size pickup comparisons because 1. It’s so dependent on 4×2 vs. 4×4 vs. off-road packages, and 2. All vehicle segments have gotten taller over the past 20 years, not just pickups.

          In this case, though, even the 4×2 models have gotten taller because new 4×2 trucks sit as high as 4x4s in the back, as if they started out as 4x4s then had their front transfer case removed.

          [EDIT: Is there any way to make sure the text wraps correctly?]

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Always bringing the facts to the party. Thank you.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – well done. I doubt the heathen hordes will want to read from your bible.

          • 0 avatar
            Longshift

            The extended cab standard bed half-tons also grew by the same foot in length. (There were no crew cab half-tons in 1996.) A foot makes all the difference when maneuvering around a tight urban parking lot or trying to fit into a small suburban garage.

            1996 Ford F-150 Extended Cab: 219.1” L x 79.0” W x 70.8” H

            2016 Ford F-150 Extended Cab: 231.9” L x 79.9” W x 75.2” H

            1996 Chevrolet C 1500 Extended Cab: 218.2” L x 76.8 ”W x 70.4” H

            2016 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab: 230.0” L x 80.0” W x 73.9” H

            2016 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab: 212.7” L x 74.3” W x 70.4” H

            The point is that the trucks today are longer and taller in exterior dimensions than they were 20 years ago. In fact, the 1996 Chevy 1500 is closer in size to the 2016 Colorado than it is to the 2016 Silverado.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The point is that the trucks today are longer and taller in exterior dimensions than they were 20 years ago. In fact, the 1996 Chevy 1500 is closer in size to the 2016 Colorado than it is to the 2016 Silverado.”

            Pretty much what I’ve been saying since the new Colorado first came out. I was expecting something significantly smaller.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In SF, midsizers used to sell mainly to tradespeople, who bought fairly basic, cheap ones that were less clumsy to park and drive in the city. The new ones have largely priced, sized and equipped themselves out of that market. To the point where they nowadays mainly serve as 4runner/Subaru substitutes. Those who used to buy Rangers, now buy Transit Connects.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @carguy
      They are going back to the size of the 2003 F150 a much more manageable size

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Except for the 6″ cab stretch and the taller bedsides in 2004, a 1997-03 F-150 is essentially the exact same size as a modern one, and it’s significantly larger in every dimension than a midsize Ranger.

        The taller bedsides have their supporters and detractors, but I don’t think anyone’s complaining about a 6″ longer SuperCab.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Drzhivago138
          Comparing a 2003 F150 to a new Ranger,side by side at traffic lights they looked almost identical. Ranger weighs 4,900lb same as 2.7 Ecoboost
          Going back to that sizing maybe a good thing as 2004 was the high watermark for F150 sales in the US

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            They may “look” that way to you, but the size specifications say otherwise. Weight isn’t the best metric either, since, like height, it’s been increasing on all types of vehicles across the board.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            The 2003 F150 SuperCrew is six inches wider, has a longer wheelbase, is longer overall, and is four inches taller than the Ranger crew cab. All of the 2003 F150s dimensions are similar to the 2016s. Like DrZ stated, the current truck has a longer cab and the bed is taller.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          San Francisco parking structure attendants charged with enforcing a “no crew cabs” policy……

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why nobody is bringing in the small, FWD trucks from Mexico and Brazil.

    Trucks like the VW Saviero, FCA RAM 700, and Chevy Montana sell in Mexico for under USD20K in base trim, get car-like MPG, and have a useful bed for light hauling.

    Nope, they don’t tow like an F350, but not every truck buyer wants that.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Can they pass US emissions and crash tests?

      And how decontented are they?

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        a] Emissions. Probably not, but they could be fitted with US-spec drivetrains – e.g. put the Promaster City drivetrain in the RAM 700.

        b] crash tests. Probably not, but it could be engineered into the next generation.

        c] decontented. The mid-level Chevrolet Tornado (Mexican Montana) comes with airbags and a/c and sells for the equivalent of USD12,500. You could add a crapton of content and still sell it well under USD20,000.

    • 0 avatar

      I took a look at both the Saviero and the Montana when you mentioned that, and found them somewhat awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “I can’t for the life of me figure out why nobody is bringing in the small, FWD trucks from Mexico and Brazil.”

      That because Vulpine and a few hundred other guys aren’t going to make any money for the car companies.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I’d buy one for an imaginary dollar!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “That because Vulpine and a few hundred other guys aren’t going to make any money for the car companies.”

        I am actively looking for a vehicle that can replace both my ’08 JKU Wrangler AND my ’97 Ranger (though I admit I don’t want to lose the Ranger.) The Fiat Toro, specifically, has my interest, as does the Hyundai Santa Cruz, though I have yet to see one in person as yet. For now, the Honda Ridgeline comes the closest to what I want in a ‘smaller’ truck as far as currently-available models.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Vulpine – “For now, the Honda Ridgeline comes the closest to what I want in a ‘smaller’ truck as far as currently-available models.”

          Are you serious?????????

          Ridgeline is as wide as a full sized pickup.

          Ridgeline width with folded mirrors is 2116mm or 83.3 inches. F150 with folded mirrors 2121mm or 83.5 inches. (I chose folded since Ford has tow mirrors and standard mirrors.)

          5 mm difference or 0.19685 inches in width difference.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Like I said, Lou, “as far as currently-available models.” It’s still too big, but the features and clean design of it have it high on my possibles list, more so than the GM twins, the Nissan or the Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – the Ridgeline is just as wide as a full sized truck.

            Length and wheelbase?
            Ridgeline = WB 125.2 length 210 box 64 inches
            Ford
            Reg cab/6.5box = WB 122 length 209 box 78 inches
            super/6.5box = WB 145 length 231.9. box 78 inches
            crew/5/5 box = WB 145 length 231.9 box 66 inches

            A reg cab F150 with a 6.5 box is smaller than a Ridgeline.

            So where is this small truck you keep talking about?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            • Ridgeline = WB 125.2 length 210 box 64 inches
            • crew/5/5 box = WB 145 length 231.9 box 66 inches

            Like for like, the Ridgeline is smaller than the F-150. At 125.2″ wheelbase, the Honda is more than 1.5 feet shorter. At a total length of 210″ the Honda is more than 1.75 feet shorter. The Honda also out-classed EVERY other current mid-sized truck on the market in PickupTrucks dot com’s mid-sized shootout, making it the best all-purpose mid-sized truck, even though others outclassed it in one aspect or another, such as towing or off-road or economy.
            I didn’t say I wanted it, I only said it best meets MY needs of all currently-available models.

            Since Honda does not make a standard cab, bringing one into the argument is specious at best.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Vulpine – you said the Ridgeline was closest to what you want in “smaller” truck available models.
            I’m pointing out that it is as wide as a full sized truck. It has a very small box. That is basically where it gains a size advantage over the Ford. The Ford also has a much larger crewcab. Put longer box on it and more interior room in it and it becomes a full sized truck.

            I’ve owned small trucks and full-sized. Smaller is great for single guys or no kids or little kids.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            BINGO!!! “Smaller is great for single guys or no kids or little kids.”
            Now explain to me why I need something bigger.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Limited market for anything without a usable backseat, and if you’ve got a usable backseat, the bed would be about on par with the Subaru Baja.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Limited market for anything without a usable backseat, and if you’ve got a usable backseat, the bed would be about on par with the Subaru Baja.”

        @Maymar – why is that point so hard for many to comprehend?

        That is exactly why full sized pickups are so popular.

        Car companies figured out that by adding a second set of doors and an extra row of seats they had the goose laying the golden eggs.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      I think it’s because of the same reason that we see the proliferation of four-door everything nowadays for vehicles which were strictly and historically two doors only. Until people start buying what they want rather than buying what they think others want them to buy, this trend will not stop.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Higheriq – when I was a kid no one thought twice about cramming 4 people into a reg cab bench seat pickup with zero seat belts and the gas tank behind the seat and a 4 speed stick at crotch level.

        Times changed.

        Adding doors added flexibility which expanded the market.

        • 0 avatar
          56BelAire

          @Lou, I fondly remember the “old days”, 4 in the front seat, floor shift. When 2 guys went out cruzin’ to pick up girls it was great because the girls always sat in the middle.

          Some how most of us deplorables survived those years…….the government hadn’t figured out yet they needed to save us from ourselves.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            56BelAire – that long throw stick shift was a great excuse for some inner thigh action ;)

            But when it comes to safety we equate dumbassed luck with skill and finesse.

            My dad always used the metaphor of Russian Roulette. You can take risks all your life and never put a round into your skull or the first time out you end up dead.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “…[F]or vehicles which were strictly and historically two doors only.”

        Ford has had crew cab pickups for 51 years, Dodge for 55, GM for 42. Granted, until the early ’00s, they were almost entirely for commercial use, but they did exist.

        “Until people start buying what they want rather than buying what they think others want them to buy, this trend will not stop.”

        That assumes two things: One, this trend is inherently bad and must stop, and two, people aren’t already buying what they want. Do you have anything that backs up these assumptions?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          At a rough estimate, more than 75% of buyers take whatever is on the lot. They may choose brand and they may go in with a list of wants, but they usually end up taking what the dealership bought rather than ordering specifically what they want. In three specific cases for myself, the dealership fought tooth and nail to convince me to buy out of inventory, even though none of what they offered came close to my specific demands. Other buyers even on these forums have made similar claims.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Dealers want you to buy what they’ve got; no surprise there. It was smart of you to stick to your guns. But if somebody caves in to the dealer, did they really want something else all that badly in the first place?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Let me put it this way, Doc: Are you part of the rat race or do you avoid the maze and go your own way? Too many people exist in the maze; they take what they are given, even when they think they’re making their own decisions, rather than rocking the boat. They’re sheep in a world run by wolves. I’m a fox. I take my own path and usually get what I want even when others don’t want me to have it. I use the rules to break the rules and have been reasonably successful in doing so. I claim no superior intellect, though clearly I have achieved goals others claimed impossible. You don’t have to be a genius to learn how to think; you just have to question the status quo.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Always remember that you are unique, just like everyone else.”

            This sounds like /r/iamverysmart material.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I’m a fox. I take my own path and usually get what I want even when others don’t want me to have it.”

            Do you hook one arm around the front of your plate to guard it while eating?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fox comments actually made me laugh out loud, and not politely.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Enjoy the chuckle, Pch. Time has proven my analyses far more accurate than your fantasies.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Redundant verbosity isn’t “analysis”, it’s just insipid.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – wow.

            Can I play?

            ” Are you part of the rat race or do you avoid the maze and go your own way?”

            How do you define rat race?
            I’d say no but in reality society and the mass media is set up to function as part of that “rat race”.
            We have to come up with our own way of interacting with it without being caught in it.

            If you want a vehicle you have no choice but to interact with the maze.

            You don’t live off the grid gathering berry’s and subsistence existing so you are tied to it whether you like it or not.

            “Use the rules to break the rules”

            You use the rules to come up with better rules.

            We all tend to get caught within our own paradigms. In other words “the box”.

            Thinking outside the box is rather difficult for most and many just create their own box and get trapped by it.

            In some respects not accepting the fact that a Ridgeline is basically as big as any 1/2 ton indicates that you are trapped by a box of your own design, in other words, your own personal “rat race”.

            I like the Serenity prayer:
            “God grant me the serenity
            to accept the things I cannot change;
            courage to change the things I can;
            and wisdom to know the difference.”

            Even an atheist can find comfort there.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “I like the Serenity prayer:
            “God grant me the serenity
            to accept the things I cannot change;
            courage to change the things I can;
            and wisdom to know the difference.”

            Even an atheist can find comfort there.”

            Try living by those words, not just preaching them.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            *shakes fist*

            Serenity now!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Hey. I’ve been a part of changing things. Have you? Or have you been fighting Change with every breath?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have no idea what that refers to, but I was quoting Seinfeld.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The notion that someone can be a non-conformist and assert his individuality by purchasing a mass-produced product is so incredibly vapid that I would pity anyone who is dumb enough to believe it.

  • avatar
    B_C_R

    Even a mid-size Tacoma is a lot of truck. They’re nearing the dimensions of the GMT400 pickups of the late ’80s.

  • avatar
    Longshift

    The continuing high sales numbers and prices of these smaller trucks are proof that there exists a large market for them. The market is even greater than the numbers suggest because supply of and choice among the smaller trucks is still constrained. The C-twins, the Ridgeline, and the Tacoma are all being produced at capacity but are still not being manufactured in sufficient numbers to meet demand. Several of the major brands – Ford, FCA, and Hyundai – do not currently sell a small truck in the U.S., and additional product from them would further increase the market. The existing “smaller” trucks (other than the Frontier) are all quite large, and many people who want a truck closer in size to the last U.S. Ranger (203.6” in length) rather than the size of the current Colorado (over 212.7” in length) are not buying the existing mid-size trucks because they are too big.

    The smaller truck market will grow again when the Ford Ranger and the Jeep pickup are introduced just as it grew after the reintroduction of the GM twins and again after the reintroduction of the Ridgeline. Hopefully, we will also see the Mitsubishi Triton/Fiat Fullback, a new Frontier, and a Hyundai mid-sizer sold in the U.S. as well.

    The Triton/Fullback truck is the truck I would actually like to see sold here because it is the smallest of the global mid-sizers and the closest in size to the last U.S. Ranger. It is within an inch in length and width and about two inches in height.

    2011 Ranger extended cab specs: 203.6” L x 69.4” W x 67.7” H

    2016 Mitsubishi Triton extended cab specs: 204.5” L x 70.3” W x 69.9” H

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      I owned a 1990 Jeep Comanche P/U back in the day. Loved it and would buy a pick up that size today if one were available. As I recall the overall length was about 195″ and was considered the long bed(not 8′). There was a shorter bed also.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    As someone who had waited patiently for a SMALLER-than-full-size regular cab truck, I got sick of waiting and bought a full-size regular cab truck (I refused to buy anything with more than two seats, and it needed to fit in my garage). I splurged on some options that I wanted rather than buying more interior room, more seats, and more doors. The current crop of mid-size trucks is disappointing in both size (too large) and price (too high), and it appears that situation is not going to change in the foreseeable future. The forthcoming Jeep Wrangler pickup and Ranger do not appear worth waiting for.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The reason they dropped the regular cabs on midsize pickups is that the demand wasn’t there anymore, even from fleet buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        Higheriq

        And it appears to be the same story with full-size regular cab trucks in the higher trim levels.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Correct, except the regular cab was never offered in luxury trim levels. Yes, it was offered in every trim level up to the mid-’90s, but a fully-optioned top-of-the-line 1991 F-150 XLT Lariat or ’96 F-150 Eddie Bauer is barely as well-equipped as a basic XLT today. The closest thing we ever had to a “high trim” regular cab pickup was the 1997 and ’98-only F-150 Lariat regular cab, with leather bench or bucket seats.

          http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/544/408/hn/eec8440431c849ecb7442f3d7f461a32.jpg

          http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/544/408/hn/5c5bec148173482881b1442f527c1d0a.jpg

          Honorable mention goes to the 2002-03 F-150 King Ranch _SuperCab_ (not crew), in Styleside only in ’02 and Flareside only in ’03.

          http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/33651861.jpg

          http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/55231473.jpg

          http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/55231662.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – true. Lariat was as good as it got in the 90’s. Lariat today is mid pack trim. You have King Ranch, and Platinum above it.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I still consider XLT to be the middle, even if it’s actually closer to the bottom–that is, #3 out of 7 trims (#2 out of 6 last year). The highest percentage of F-150s sold are XLTs, trailed very closely by Lariats, IIRC.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Cheapskates, fleets and bottom feeders demanded their regular cab midsize pickups, but Toyota (the last one to offer them) was slow on supplying them. But why so? Orkin alone was buying about 5,000 regular cab Tacomas a year.

        The midsize regular cab was a loss leader, only intended to lure buyers in, then upsell them an extended cab or crew. With fullsize pickups, there more than enough profits in luxo trucks to support any losses in base pickups, especially to fleets. Think about the base F-150 for the price of a Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          Higheriq

          I demanded (and have never received) a regular-cab mid-size truck. I would classify myself as neither a cheapskate, fleet buyer, nor bottom feeder. I simply refuse to buy anything with more than two doors. My household consists of me, myself, and I. If I need to carry more than one passenger, I tell them they can can ride in the back (as cargo), walk, or drive their own vehicle. It’s my money and I’ll spend it on what I want, not what someone else prefers me to buy.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            You’re among the minority, and that’s not what makes money. Not enough people wanted what you want, so it went away.

            “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          I’m a cheapskate and proud of it! So is my dad. But carmakers can only stand so much, or so many “stripper” base-model sales (ratio) before they pull the plug. I’ve been saying it for years, enjoy the regular cab Taco before Toyota kills it. I own an XL F-150 btw. And XL F-550 for work.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Think about the base F-150 for the price of a Fusion.”

          I’d rather see it about the price of a Focus.
          I still wouldn’t buy one though–it’s just too bloomin’ BIG!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Focus or Fusion, the base stripper F-150 is dramatically more expensive to engineer/build. At its price/transactional, Ford is no doubt taking a loss on every one they sell. Not a problem with the obscene profits of XLTs to Platinums/Limiteds.

            Midsize pickup OEMs can’t absorb the loss of stripper regular cabs, without matching high-end luxo pickups and insane volume.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Focus or Fusion, the base stripper F-150 is dramatically more expensive to engineer/build.”

            BULL. The only reason it’s more expensive is because it’s so much bloomin’ BIGGER and they’ve had to engineer in exotic metals to give it the strength that goes way beyond its nominal class. I would much rather see a mid-sized pickup the size of a Fusion than what we’re currently seeing on the roads. The F-150 simply doesn’t need to be as big as it is and is only that big because Ford is skirting the CAFE rules for fuel economy and pandering to the boys who want bigger toys.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “The F-150 simply doesn’t need to be as big as it is”

            Not that I agree or disagree, but where would you downsize it?

            Bed sizes are standardized; you can’t shrink those to get it shorter.

            Cab sizes are a no-go–you can’t stay competitive if the other guys hear you’ve decreased legroom.

            The front end, then, what about that? In case you haven’t looked, everything’s crammed in there as it is. It’s already been made as small as possible. There’s no dead space to remove between the front fender and the cab, like there was with full-size cars in the ’70s. So length is out.

            Height is dependent on the end user–they can make it shorter or taller depending on tires, suspension, and other mods to fit their needs.

            Narrowing the entire vehicle would not only be counterintuitive (HD pickups require that full 78″ of width), it would be going back to a pre-1960s notion of what “full-sized” means.

            So really, the only place to decrease anything size-wise is the bed height, and we’re already seeing that happen. The 2017 Super Duty, though it shares the F-150’s cab, has a unique bed with lower bedsides.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Exactly which specific F-150 are you talking about with that claim, Doc?

            First off: An F-150 simply doesn’t NEED the biggest possible engine under the hood for ANY purpose. We’ve already seen that a turbocharged V6 offers as much pulling power as that big V8 and does so at higher altitudes, making it really the better choice for 99% of tasks for which the F-150 is used. Right there we can cut length off of the hood.
            Secondly: An F-150 doesn’t need to stand more than six feet tall, even as a 4×4 model. In fact, by shortening the wheelbase even six inches, break over angles are improved without having to raise the frame even one inch more from the ground.

            There are many other factors that you are obviously ignoring in your attempts to declare the full-sized truck the best choice for all people. Fine… you like big. I’m happy for you. •I• don’t. I didn’t mind too much when full sized trucks were the size of today’s mid-sizers, but even they were bigger than the 50s-vintage trucks when compared like for like; longer, albeit riding lower and certainly more streamlined in many ways (and less so in others.) Today’s full-sized trucks are honestly as big as an 80s-vintage class four-plus truck and are now, with the three-quarter and one-tons towing many of the same loads as those 80s-vintage class fours and fives. There is absolutely no reason a class three should require a CDL to tow its maximum load. But to justify its current size for CAFE, it’s had to take on capabilities far beyond its nominal class.

            Yes, there’s a whole other argument about truck classes as to what they were vs what they’ve become. A half-ton truck used to mean half-ton payload–payload as in revenue-generating load, not including the weight of passengers. Now payload includes passenger weight because it’s based on GVWR and assumes a maximum number of obese passengers PLUS whatever load you put in the back (or onto the bumper.) In all my years of driving, I have never seen a crew cab truck with more than four people in it–at least one of them a child weighing less than 100#. A half-ton crew cab then should be able to carry 1200 pounds INCLUDING driver and one passenger or 1000 pounds plus the driver alone. A one-ton should then be able to handle 2000 pounds plus driver. Period. Towing should be limited to 5000 pounds for a half-ton and 10,000 pounds for a one-ton. Period. Bigger and stronger than that should be regulated to higher-class trucks that would require a CDL to operate. Period.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “There are many other factors that you are obviously ignoring…”

            Like?

            “…in your attempts to declare the full-sized truck the best choice for all people. Fine… you like big.”

            Where did I say any of this?

            And that last paragraph…I just have to ask, why? Why should or shouldn’t a Class X truck do this and not that? Who are you to dictate these things?

            [EDIT: Sorry I didn’t answer your question straight-off. That was not good of me. The specific F-150 I was talking about was any cab/bed config of F-150.]

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        dukeisduke – add to that the fear that tightening footprint based CAFE formulas meant that reg cab small trucks would more likely fall into a different CAFE class. Auto companies aren’t going to bother with separate compliance issues between models of the same truck.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          CAFE simply doesn’t understand shorter/narrower pickups deal with similar drag/wind resistance as bigger/longer pickups. Then midsize pickups are denied the V8 and turbo V6s they really need, so at hwy speeds, you gotta have the pedal deep in the carpet fibers. And that’s unloaded!

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Just stop at “understand”, and your (insightful) comment would gain in generality, without losing anything at all in accuracy.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “CAFE simply doesn’t understand shorter/narrower pickups deal with similar drag/wind resistance as bigger/longer pickups.”

            CAFE understands it quite well, it’s the OEMs that don’t want to accept it. They want to keep that big, macho look even in their smaller models and so put too-small engines into them to try to push the economy to standards. They’ve done this with cars for the last three decades! What’s funnier, the little four-cylinder engines often gave better performance than their six-cylinder brothers because the OEMs understood the little engines needed to rev higher but tried to use V8 gear ratios with the sixes, killing any performance the car might have offered. I experienced this myself, especially in the 70s and early 80s test-driving Camaros and Mustangs.

            Today the OEMs are a lot better at matching gear ratios to engine output but they still make mistakes. The jump between third and fourth gears for many is a steep one that is just uncomfortable to experience, especially with a manual transmission. My ’97 ranger didn’t do too badly, though its five-speed’s top gear is the steeper jump and lugs the engine somewhat on a freeway grade. My JKU Wrangler (older engine) doesn’t quite experience the top-gear issue but there’s a noticeable difference in revs between third and fourth. My little Fiat 500? They got it right. Shift points are almost identical during acceleration while it revs a little higher in each gear in ‘Sport’ mode but are still identical across at least the first four gears. That Fiat 500, by the way, gets off the mark far more quickly than any full-sized pickup that has chosen to ‘race’ me and I’m usually setting my cruise control at speed before they catch up to me. Meanwhile, I’m averaging around 30mpg in town where they’re lucky to pull 15-16mpg. Even my 4-cyl Ranger is quicker than my Jeep with six, but the turbocharged F-150s run away from me. (135 horses) Even so, that Ranger will burn the tires if I let it and will travel between 35-50mph easily in fourth gear (I usually shift to fifth at 45 if I expect the run to be steady for any length of time.)

            So a small engine, geared right, can work just as well in a smaller truck and should–again, geared right–offer better economy than a V6 or a V8, as long as it doesn’t have to lug around 5,000 pounds or more of un-laden body.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s the same problem with the base Wrangler. Small footprint, horrible gas mileage. According to CAFE, the shortest midsize pickup should get dramatically better fuel economy than the longest 1/2 ton. How does it work out in *reality*??

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            When the shortest mid-size is almost the same size as the shortest full-size, there simply won’t be that much difference… UNLESS it is also lower, narrower and significantly lighter. Even if they had the exact same CoD and the exact same drivetrain, the smaller one SHOULD get dramatically more economy. Then again, mid-sized should be significantly smaller than the equivalent full-sized version, not 90% of full sized but rather 80% or less of full sized in all dimensions.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Are we still saying that this is just pent up demand?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @an innocent man
      Some fundamental change. It would explain why the Frontier is selling so well. Maybe pricing has a lot to do with it.
      US Full Size are getting increasingly expensive

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The base Frontier has forced a King Cab for the last decade and that gave all others the edge (besides fleets) even if consumers eventually stepped up to an extended cab, once on the Toyota showroom. Now it’s all an even playing field with the Frontier the cheapest base midsize of all.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A couple of people on the ToyotaNation forums who have driven a 2017 Tacoma with V6 said it has the same weird vibration issue as the 2016, which caused one member to trade his in for a Ridgeline, so I wouldn’t trade my 2013 for one of those. They should have kept the 1GR-FE 4.0 engine.

    I think if Ford can introduce a Ranger sized like the Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon twins, and offer a turbo diesel option, they could take market share from both.

  • avatar

    Ford will have to come up with an “aluminum” mid size pick up, and they are not there yet, spending more money to engineer an aluminum mid size.

    The Tacoma is a real “pick up” while the Colorado/Canyon is a pick up/utility with a box, the Ridgeline is a utility with a box.

    In full size pick ups the competition is heads up truck to truck, torque to torque etc. With mid size its Tacoma=truck Colorado/Canyon=morphed truck/utility and so on.

    The mid size segment can get even more interesting stealing sales from full size pick ups. utilities, and mid size sedans.

    In the meantime Ford and Chrysler will pile on the incentives to move the full size stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @AGR – why is the Tacoma “a real pickup” and the Colorado/Canyon “a pick up/utility with a box”????

      The GM siblings with the exception of more off-road biased tests beat the Tacoma in virtually every test metric. They also tow and haul more.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    What is the definition of a real pickup? If a vehicle has an open bed and is capable of hauling anything that should be good enough. Now if you want to delineate the difference between what is considered a work truck versus a lifestyle truck then that is a topic unto itself. The Colorado/Canyon is based on the Global Colorado which is considered a truck outside of North America. One does not have to have a one half ton full size pickup to be considered a pickup nor does the Tacoma the only midsize real pickup. According to the Cambridge dictionary the definition of a pickup truck is “a vehicle with an open part at the back in which things can be carried.” There is no objective definition of what a real pickup truck is.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Jeff S
      The Cab Chassis version of European Vans are ” Pickup Trucks” They may carry 3000-9000lb in the tray, but unlike US Pickups are not used as daily transport or lifestyle vehicles

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I would classify a pickup as any vehicle with an open bed, regardless of powertrain or construction.

      For many buyers, though, a pickup doesn’t have to be a pickup /truck/. To be a /truck/ would require that it be BOF, RWD/4WD with a longitudinally mounted engine in my book.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Drzhivago138
        That could include a basic Class 8 truck. Yes you do get that configuration here.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        pickup truck definitions:

        A pickup truck is a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate. (Merriam Webster)

        A light truck with an open body and low sides.(the free dictionary)

        This is the USA Federal Definition (Code of Federal Regulations):
        Full sized pickup:

        “Full size pickup truck means a light truck which has a passenger compartment and an open cargo box and which meets the following specifications:
        (1) A minimum cargo bed width between the wheelhouses of 48 inches, measured as the minimum lateral distance between the limiting interferences (pass-through) of the wheelhouses. The measurement shall exclude the transitional arc, local protrusions, and depressions or pockets, if present. An open cargo box means a vehicle where the cargo box does not have a permanent roof or cover. Vehicles produced with detachable covers are considered “open” for the purposes of these criteria.
        (2) A minimum open cargo box length of 60 inches, where the length is defined by the lesser of the pickup bed length at the top of the body or the pickup bed length at the floor, where the length at the top of the body is defined as the longitudinal distance from the inside front of the pickup bed to the inside of the closed endgate as measured at the height of the top of the open pickup bed along vehicle centerline, and the length at the floor is defined as the longitudinal distance from the inside front of the pickup bed to the inside of the closed endgate as measured at the cargo floor surface along vehicle centerline.”

  • avatar
    multicam

    I logged in just to say this: good Lord, the new Ridgeline is ugly. It’s like a truck mullet… except instead of business in the front, it’s minivan in the front and business in the rear. Seriously, cover up everything aft of the B pillar and tell me that doesn’t look like a minivan. Am I the only one seeing this? Blech.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That’s almost literally what it is, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah it shows its minivan roots much more in this redesign. Just saw one in the wild the other day and thought Elminivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Considering that the business of a Ridgeline’s “business in the rear” will largely be confined to florist, estate sale and antique store runs, I’d say Honda is once again showing it’s grasp of customer needs.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Am I the only one seeing this? Blech.”

      If you’d said, “CUV” instead of “minivan”, I might have agreed; the Ridgeline does, however, have a distinct nose section and hood as compared to the shortened, minivan, styles. On the other hand, that nose offers something the others continue to have a problem with: better aerodynamics. Looking at the Honda compared to any of the others, and only the Colorado actually looks more streamlined and less blocky. This could make a difference of as much as 10% in fuel economy on a long run, maybe even more.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I like the looks of the Ridgeline. It still isn’t “traditional” even with the change to a standard cab/box profile.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Just came back from Maui, and was surprised to see that the vast majority of pickups ( big or small) was the Toyota Tacoma..

  • avatar
    CombiCoupe99

    Just spent 13,000 for a 2002 Tacoma 4X4 – not sure how much longer I can wait for a new small truck. I don’t want a midsize – I want a small truck. I know we are told we don’t want small trucks any more – so why are 14 year old toyotas still fetching 66% of their original MSRP?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Older Toyota 4X4s are scarce, too many want them and not enough were sold new. Rebates are thin and Toyota dealers refuse to haggle on Tacomas.

      What compounds it, is Mexico loves our used, exported Toyota 4X4s, above any other pickups. They’re a prized possession even, so they’re more than willing to pay top dollar (peso).

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        True the older Tacomas are still commanding a large price but I wonder if the same will hold true in the future for the new Tacomas that are sold today? It seems that with a much improved Colorado/Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and in a few years a new Ranger that this might eventually effect the value of Tacomas especially since Toyota is ramping up to produce more and since the basic Tacoma has not significantly changed in over 10 years. With the increased sales of midsize trucks and the newer redesigned models on the market that other manufacturers will enter this market and many will have better more modern alternatives to the Tacoma.

        Many of the Rangers and S-10s are holding there values much better in the past few years than they have before but with an influx of newer midsize trucks this will effect them as well.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Robert Ryan–Yes, and so is the ute. What the US considers a pickup for the most part is classified as a light truck. I have a 99 S-10 that I use as a truck for hauling things but then I use it as a personal vehicle and not for business. I do not consider a midsize pickup any less of a pickup as any other pickup even though it might not have the same hauling and towing capacity. I use my pickups for truck like things as well as for commuter duties–to me its like a Swiss Army knife which can perform a multitude of tasks.

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