By on August 24, 2018

Here’s that Ranger day
They told me about
And I laughed at the thought
That it might turn out
This way

Apologies to the Chairman Of The Board on that one, but I couldn’t help myself. You see, I never truly believed that the Ranger would return to this country. I absolutely did not believe that it would come back as an American-made product in a newly configured factory, during what amounts to the endgame senescence of its platform. This is the kind of against-all-odds urgency that one typically associates with desperately needed products like the K-car or the first-generation Ranger — vehicles that had to be rushed into showrooms because the dealerships were screaming bloody murder and the Japanese had moved from mere flensing to actual bone-eating.

This Ranger, on the other hand, will arrive in the market to find itself lined up against a few equally superannuated sluggards from Nissan and Toyota, the indifferently-received Colorado/Canyon twins, and… is there anybody else? The unibody Ridgeline? Is it even possible to make money in this segment? Why bother doing it, particularly when the Rangers could have been rushed over from Thailand in a matter of months in the event of another oil and/or confidence crisis?

Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do and buy. Truth be told, I’m kind of excited about the Ranger, because I saw a bunch of pumped-up ones in Thailand and I was more than mildly impressed. If you could get it with a 3.7-liter V6 in addition to the 2.3L EcoBoost I don’t know if the Chevy dealers would even bother to order any Colorados for stock in 2019. There’s only one little problem: it’s far from cheap.

Which brings us to an unpleasant topic: How much is a compact pickup worth?


You can start by forgetting the new Ranger’s sticker price, because that’s ridiculous and it won’t be relevant after the traditional new-Ford honeymoon period, in which all the loyal customers line up to take an ordered unit or an early dealer arrival at “full pop.” I was in dealers for the honeymoon of the ’97 F-150 and let me tell you that a lot of boats were bought and a lot of second mortgages were mortally wounded from honeymoon money.

The same was true with the first Expeditions, only more so. But there was even a bit of it in the case of the ’96 Taurus and the facelifted Nineties Thunderbirds. Right now, your local Ford dealer has a list of between 10 and 30 people who are going to take a Ranger on terms that are very advantageous for said dealer. After that it’s gonna be back to life and back to reality.

In the world of reality, pickup trucks are sold at a discount. Which means the Ranger will need cash on its handsome hood in a hurry. But there’s a second, more unpleasant reality on top of that: full-sized trucks offer the biggest discounts to be found anywhere outside an Acura dealership with NSX and RLX inventory. This is particularly true for half-tons with volume-production equipment; think F-150 XLT and Silverado LT. There are a few dealers in my immediate area offering crew cab 5.3-liter LT Silvy 4x4s for $34,999. An XLT Ranger 4×4 crewcab costs… wait for it… thirty-six grand. This isn’t like the false equivalency that powers some of the “enthusiast” websites out there: For The Price Of a New Camry You Could Get A Salvage-Title Testarossa With A Missing Interior! This is a very simple decision offered to new-truck buyers: You can have your mid-trim crew-cab 4×4 delivered to you as a compact truck with a four-cylinder engine, or as a full-sized with a V8. Same price. Which do you want?

Now here’s a dirty little secret: The same was true back in the Eighties. It was just about possible to get a base F-150 for the price of a Toyota It’s-Just-Called-Truck. If your local Toyota dealer was big on the additional dealer markup, it might even have been cheaper to buy the Ford. God knows the Rangers and S-10s were real-world priced well below their foreign-branded competition, but I still met a lot of buyers who liked the idea of a trimmed-up American-brand compact truck more than they liked the idea of a base-ish full-sizer.

Compact trucks were considered “cool” at the time. They were like, uh… well, there’s no modern equivalent because there is no longer such a thing as a “cool” affordable vehicle. Everybody buys a pod on wheels except for the otaku types who make up the micro-market for the Toyota 86 and whatnot. The average American’s enthusiasm for cars and trucks isn’t a fraction of what it used to be. It’s kind of like the guitar business: there’s no upper limit to what the wealthy players will spend but once you get below them nobody really cares about playing their own music anymore. Easier to listen to some anonymous curator’s Spotify playlist on your AirPods.

It would be nice if the Ranger managed to make compact trucks cool again. We need something like a new Back To The Future movie where today’s Marty McFly dreams of a Ranger Raptor the way the original McFly dreamed of that bad-ass lifted Toyota. If that happens, then you can forget all this business about relative pricing and market exhaustion, because the Ranger will do just fine, thank you.

If not… well, the market is going to have to figure out the utility of compact pickups and price accordingly. This will be difficult because a compact truck can do everything that most people really do with their trucks, yet it struggles to do the things that people think they will do with their trucks. We buy based on perceived capability and perceived need nowadays. It takes a truly clear head to operate in any other fashion.

Which is something I’ve been trying to do lately. As some TTAC readers know, I’ve been considering doubling the number of pickup trucks in my driveway. The second truck, or AuxTruck if you will, would only have to do a subset of what MainTruck does. I would use it for cycling-related stuff and for short, easy pulls of my aluminum car-hauler to local tracks like Mid-Ohio and Nelson Ledges. In an AuxTruck situation, compactness is an advantage because it makes for easier parking both at home and elsewhere. Better fuel mileage is welcome, although it’s tough to beat the real-world economy of my 6.2-liter Silverado with anything short of, say, a real car. It would also be nice to spend less money on the thing.

So I specced out a 2019 Ranger XLT 4×4 Crew Cab. For options, I did the trailer tow package and the heated-seat package. The total price was $38,505. For a relatively basic truck with a four-cylinder engine. An F-150 built the same way, with the same options, with the EcoBoost 2.7L, is $41,330. In other words, Ford is going to offer me a 6 percent discount to take a 2010-era truck design with a four-banger. And that’s before we look at a single incentive on either side. What do you suppose the F-150’s resale advantage will be in three, five, or ten years? Do you think it will be at least 6 percent? If you don’t think that, then can I ask you how long it’s been since you last had a concussion?

The compact truck discount has got to be more than 6 percent. Period. Twenty years ago, the MSRPs of Rangers and F-150s were separated by between 32 and 40 percent. If you put a 35 percent discount on that 2018 F-150, you get a $27,000 Ranger Crew Cab 4×4 XLT. Which is about 10 percent below a well-equipped Accord sedan of the day. Today’s well-equipped Accord sedans are… $30k, give or take.

That’s a long and convoluted way to tell you something that you inherently understood the first time you saw 2019 Ranger pricing:

Warning: video is for grownups.

The price is just too high, which means Ford might have some rough sailing ahead. It also suggests that, contrary to autowriter conventional wisdom, it’s the compact trucks which are priced above what the market will bear, while their full-sized cousins are actually just about right after the usual discounts are applied. And that’s before you factor in the resale issue. So while the Ranger might be sized and marketed like a compact truck, at these prices it’s actually a luxury good. In other words, expect to see Rangers being ordered, purchased, and used for entirely different purposes than the ones served by its humble namesake. And if you’re buying a Ranger, you might want to think about why you’re doing so.

One thing is for certain: At the very least, you’ll need to empty out your rainy day fund.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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121 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: No Home on the Ranger...”


  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Nice job, Jack. I recommend you check out a properly equipped Nissan Frontier to serve the AuxTruck role.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      I’ll reiterate my previous advice. Ford Transit Van. Meets all of Jack’s needs and then some, and probably comes in at less than truck prices.

      Of course it’s not a truck, and I realize from the comments on yesterday’s minivan article that some people just want a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      If this Ranger does not sell, in terms of real world OTD transaction prices, for 20% less than a similarly equipped F150, it won’t be the sales success so many “OMG IF THEY’D ONLY MAKE A MORE COMPACT BUT STILL MASCULINE PICKUP TRUCK I’m SO THERE WITH MY MONEY” have been claiming/whining it will be for the last approx 49 years.

      THE EARLY SHEEP THAT PAY CLOSE TO, LET ALONE, WINDOW STICKER SHOULD GET A COMPLIMENTARY RAPE KIT FROM FORD.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Make that 25%, on 2nd thought –

        “If this Ranger does not sell, in terms of real world OTD transaction prices, for 25% less than a similarly equipped F150, it won’t be the sales success so many “OMG IF THEY’D ONLY MAKE A MORE COMPACT BUT STILL MASCULINE PICKUP TRUCK I’m SO THERE WITH MY MONEY” have been claiming/whining it will be for the last approx 49 years.”

        I LEAVE EARLY BUYER COMPLIMENTARY RAPE KITS COMMENT STANDING.

  • avatar
    gtem

    How much is a compact truck worth? About $2000 to me. In the Midwest with some careful shopping that will get you a mechanically decent 20ish year old example that will handle all the projects you can throw at it, and can easily be resold to the next guy for what you bought it for. I literally drove my ‘94 Ranger that I just sold for free for 6 months, plus gas.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Right, but you’d probably use the compact pickup as something other than a lifestyle statement. And that’s what these things – and most of their big bros – are, when you get down to it.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “…moved from mere flensing to actual bone-eating”

    “superannuated sluggards”

    “Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do and buy”

    Excellent writing as usual Jack.

    The success of the Ranger would seem hinge on its ability to tap into the demographic that has made the Tacoma a success despite the ridiculous price. Those buyers aren’t looking at power, room, towing, or payload capabilities relative to half-tons. They want a compact truck, whether that is for recreational or image reasons, or the simple difference in size.

    Don’t know if the market will bear another entrant in this segment or if the ATP will make it worth Ford’s time in the long run, but to me it has the capabilities and image to take on the Tacoma right now.

    As a 4Runner owner, I absolutely would have cross shopped an FX4 Ranger. I didn’t like the Tacoma’s uniquely cramped interior or anything I’d heard about the high-strung engine and the Ranger probably addresses both of these.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      30-mile Fetch, in my suburban neighborhood I see a mix of mid-size pickup trucks and Tahoe-class full size short wheelbase SUVs that get parked inside the garage and full-size extended cab pickup trucks that have to park outside. Parking outside rarely cost you extra time scraping ice off the windows around Dallas. Further north, a shorter truck that fits inside the standard subdivision garage saves significantly more time. When friends have had a custom house built, they always choose to make the garage a few feet longer and wider.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @George B – I live in the Great White North and people around here don’t buy based upon the size of their garage. Covered parking is all you need to prevent having to scrape windows. Most people I see with full sized trucks also have a camper trailer or large boat or a collection of sleds and quads to tow. Crewcab 6.5 box F150’s, Ram’s, and Chevy’s outsell their 5.5 ft. box brethren rather handily. I see more 5.5 ft. box trucks in big cities than rurally.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Yea, but you live in the wilds of the Canadian forest where people shave with an axe and wear heirloom flannel underpants and gargle maple syrup.

          I just want something kind of fast to haul ladders and rocks and trash that won’t have the sun bake its paint into powder and won’t require many 3-point turns.

          A Mustangamino would be ideal, but that’s an even smaller niche.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    To me, compact trucks make a lot of sense for urban buyers who want a truck. Being easier to manoeuvre and park seems like a massive benefit.

    But as you say, it would take a very clear head to look at things that way, so I’m not optimistic that people will actually buy them.

  • avatar

    I really have to agree with all points here. As a kid I always wanted a fullsize instead I had a Toyota truck and a Dakota. I really loved both of them. For everyday driving I much prefer the smaller truck. The Toyota was great, but the Dakota was good and hauled and towed much better.
    The only midsize I think you can get at a decent discount right now is the Frontier. I know 2 people that did exactly that over Tacomas.

    For myself with 3 kids now I would for sure go with a fullsize. The 2018 Rams have some great lease deals up here in the Northeast if you willing to settle for an express or SLT.

    On the cool vehicles I would say Tacomas and Wranglers are cool still. But no one yet has managed to catch that same sales magic in those segments.

    Final thought on the old days. I know at least 2 people back in the 90’s who went into dealerships to look at used pickups and walked out with a new S-10’s thanks to cash on the hood.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I cannot see the Fusz name (dealer family in Missouri, apparently) without thinking of this scene from “Used Cars”.

    As far as compact trucks, the old Ranger, S10 and “Toyota Truck” were the perfect compact size. A Colorado is 7/8’s scale of a Silverado, Ranger won’t be much smaller than an F-150. And if you want options, nearly as expensive.

    Will FCA choose to join this fray again?. Dakota was a good size too, the quality was abysmal though.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      There’s a very useful pickup truck size that fell out of fashion: Short enough length to fit inside the garage, >48 inches between the wheel wells to haul sheets of building material laying flat, and short enough height so it’s easy enough to throw stuff over the side of the bed. As extended cab became standard, height increased and some utility was lost.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      I bicycle a fair bit, and rides often take me through some rural backwater towns in Missouri that time and the economy has forgotten. The other day, I reflected on how many old beat up Dodge Dakotas I see in those places. It is crazy. I’m fairly certain that 90% of the Dakotas still on the road are in little towns like Chilhowee and Leeton, Missouri. Not old F150s or Silverados or Rangers…a totally disproportionate number of Dakotas.

      Now, those folks living those better days places sure aren’t buying many new pickups, so I don’t expect their preferences to influence what is available on dealer lots. But the rural town folks with not much cash around these parts sure love themselves some old Dodge Dakotas. 30 miles away in my more affluent suburb, you rarely if ever see them, but you will see an old GMT400.

      Speaking of pockets of America where people like certain cars, I noticed while riding my motorcycle through southern Indiana on Highway 150 a few years ago that the local affinity for Camaros was astounding. Seemed like every third driveway had a Camaro in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      >A Colorado is 7/8’s scale of a Silverado, Ranger won’t be much smaller than an F-150.

      A Colorado is 93% the length and width of a Silverado, and 95% the height (model-dependent, of course), but when multiplied, this comes out to about 81% the overall volume, if both of them were blocks.

      The Ranger promises to be a similar size, but there’s still a larger gap between midsize Ranger and F-150 than midsize Ranger and compact Ranger:

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

      Yes, that graphic is from 2011, but the current F-150 and new Ranger are the same size as those.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Despite the value disparity, I can see these having success with a more urban crowd, because just being a “small” truck is a feature on it’s own. They are easier to park, and can fit in a smaller garage (there’s no way an F150 would fit in mine). I know I’m in the minority, but I like my cars as small as possible, while still fulfilling their duties. I don’t need excess, just because it’s a better value.

    Though for me the biggest appeal of the Ranger over the F150/Silverado etc, is that it doesn’t come with the ridiculous manly-man styling of the full-sized trucks. They have become caricatures of themselves, while the Ranger comes across as sensible and handsome in comparison. I don’t care that it’s bigger, more capable, and is a bigger value…I don’t want an F150, period.

    I do wish the Ranger came with the V6 though.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This is my take too. I need a vehicle that fits in my garage, my ancient ’02 Dakota Quad Cab does that. I don’t want anything bigger then it, I just need something more modern that gets significantly better then 12 mpg while towing to make it worth buying.

    • 0 avatar
      thatrabidhobo

      “I don’t need excess, just because it’s a better value”
      Exactly. I don’t understand why this can’t get through some people’s skulls. Just because I can buy size 60 pants for the same price as size 36 doesn’t mean the larger size is the best fit or value for my needs/wants.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        I think a better analogy is pizza or a fountain drink. If I only want 12 ounces of soda, it’s false economy to think, “Gee, that 20-ouncer is 67% larger for only 25% more money.” If it’s 8 ounces that you don’t want or need, any extra money you spend is a waste.

        And this claim is puzzling: “Better fuel mileage is welcome, although it’s tough to beat the real-world economy of my 6.2-liter Silverado with anything short of, say, a real car.” Um, the Colorado across the showroom gets better fuel economy. This isn’t a binary world of Priuses and Silverados.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    There are going to be buyers who will look at price but many just want a smaller truck. I rarely ever see base model Toyota Tacoma’s or base model Colorado’s.
    I’m not obsessed by truck size and for most of my driving, I’m not penalized by owning a 20 ft. long truck. I was looking at a Colorado doublecab diesel 4×4 with a sticker price of 50k. Right now Ford is offering around 14k off on full sized trucks. I can get an XLT crew with the sport package, tow package, panoramic roof, 5.0 V8 and ten speed for the same price after discounts.
    How ever you slice it, smaller trucks are a limited market and I don’t buy the argument that they are still too big. The regular cab cheapskate market is just too limited for companies to spend a billion on R&D to chase.
    I’d buy a Ranger Raptor diesel or Colorado ZR2 diesel over a full sized Raptor due to trail width and since they are about the same price a full bling Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon but much more practical day to day.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I don’t buy the argument that they are still too big. The regular cab cheapskate market is just too limited for companies to spend a billion on R&D to chase.”

      A mid-sized truck being too big isn’t reliant on having a regular-cab model; they are physically too big in every direction, too tall, too wide and too long. Dropping down to a regular cab only takes care of the too long.

      No, when the “small truck mafia” says they want a small truck, they want one they can see over the roof of in an AWD configuration. They want one that doesn’t overlap a parking space on either side OR in length. They want one that’s hardly bigger than a compact sedan or, at worst, a compact CUV. They want one that makes the ’04 Ranger look BIG. Just going regular cab doesn’t do that and to be quite blunt, most of them don’t want a regular cab any more, they want an extended cab, where there’s room behind the seats to actually carry the tools and cargo-management devices out of the weather and inaccessible to casual pilfering. They want something the size of the original Courier, Luv and D-50. They want a utility vehicle, NOT a blooming barge on wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        And “they” are 7 people nationwide.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Vulpine – there isn’t a market big enough to satisfy the several billion dollar investment to build what you and 100,000 other buyers want. I don’t see a booming refurbishment industry surrounding the 1983 Ford Ranger.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Then you’re not looking. The old compact trucks are running rampant in many parts of the country, especially in the south, where they don’t get eaten up by the rust worm.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “The old compact trucks are running rampant in many parts of the country, especially in the south, where they don’t get eaten up by the rust worm.”

            Thanks for proving my point…….

            “I don’t see a booming refurbishment industry surrounding the 1983 Ford Ranger.”

            How many old full sized pickups in that same part of the world?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I didn’t exactly prove your point… the old full-sized trucks are practically gone; replaced by brand new models almost across the board. In my last visit to Chattanooga, TN, I did not see ONE pre-2000 full sized truck yet I saw nearly every brand and model of pre-’90 compact, including at least two Chevy LUVs and a lot of S-10s, Rangers, etc. older than mine. The old full-sized trucks are getting sold off and shipped up north as ‘winter beaters’.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “the old full-sized trucks are practically gone”

            What is the ratio of full sized truck sales to that of small? 100:1?

            The odds based upon volume alone would indicate, as you just said, “Then you’re not looking.”

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “What is the ratio of full sized truck sales to that of small?”

            — When? When they were new? Or today?
            Back when they were new, the ratio was maybe about 33%, plus or minus. People didn’t buy big trucks for status back then, they bought them because they needed them. People bought small trucks because they didn’t need big trucks. This was even true in business… where two different companies I worked for (one an electronics repair shop and another an FBO at the local airport) both ran a manual transmission Chevy Luv… the only difference between them being the FBO truck ran on jet fuel spiked with motor oil (about ½ quart per tank full of jet juice.) Both were used for pickup and delivery purposes, the jet juice one carrying propellors back and forth to Atlanta for rebuild and other aircraft-related carrying while the gas model carried anything from console stereos to giant rear-projection televisions weighing over 200# (sometimes multiple units at one time.) Those little trucks tended to get used back then.

            So do I know any real numbers? No. But in 2018 to see more 20+ year-old compact trucks compared to 20+ year-old full sized trucks was notable.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            If one goes back roughly 20 years, peak Ranger sales in USA was 1999 at 384,358 units. F-Series that same year was 869,001. That is 2.5 to 1. Peak F series was 2004 with 939,511 units. (I picked Ford since those numbers were the easiest to find and compare)
            We’ve seen pickups going “upscale” since the 1990’s. 2001 was the first year of the supercrew. Adding doors and seats is what shifted pickups from being a predominantly workman related product to that of a multipurpose work/family vehicle. The addition of doors/seats shifted people from SUV’s to pickups. We’ve seen SUV’s loose favour during that era. That is no different than sedans loosing to CUV’s. CUV’s are more versatile than sedans just like pickups are more versatile than SUV’s.
            I personally do not know anyone who owns a pickup as a status symbol.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “Then you’re not looking. The old compact trucks are running rampant in many parts of the country, especially in the south, where they don’t get eaten up by the rust worm. … the old full-sized trucks are practically gone”

            Because old full size trucks get 12 mpg and the $2000 POS demographic can’t keep gas in them.

            These people aren’t buying a new $25,000 vehicle of any size.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Dan:

            I am one of “these people”, Dan. And yes, I AM buying a new, MSRP $40,000 vehicle of a smaller size. It’s certainly not as small as I would like but it’s still smaller than full sized… marginally.

            Try opening your eyes. People who own truly small trucks have had more than 20 years to replace them; yet they’re keeping those small trucks running as long as they can BECAUSE they’re small.

            Think about it.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The salesmen are the biggest enemy of the Ranger and GM twins. It doesn’t take a genius to up sell a customer into a full size truck with the prices on the mid sizers so high.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      And just about every other product in the lineup. I know of dealers with salespeople who will let car customers walk if they can’t shift them into a truck, just to move on to a truck customer.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @danio – yup sadly true.

        I know I’m going to be starting at a disadvantage in the eyes of some salesmen just because I’m strongly leaning sedan for my next purchase.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    These are being marketed as lifestyle vehicles, similar to the Wrangler whose prices and demand also defy logic. It’s really going to be an SUV a la Sport Trac, which were also expensive. My concern for the new Ranger would be that it’s styling to too boring and generic to institute lust in the mass market beyond the small-truck mafia. And we know only a small subset of the small truck mafia will buy new, let alone pay high prices. It might even be too big for the STM.

    I agree that on a truck/truck basis, it makes no sense. This is why Fiat-Chrysler’s midsize truck is going to take the shape of the Wrangler rather than a be Dakota. You don’t want the mid-truck customer to compare to the full-size.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      You’ve already been proven wrong at least twice, danio. Worse, your argument is almost a word-for-word repetition of the anti-compact-truck arguments by the commenter known as Denver Mike. Keep in mind that these smaller trucks have already been selling well–well enough to force Ford in to releasing one in the US market despite their efforts to stay away from it with a smaller truck. And yes, people ARE buying these smaller trucks brand-new–including the “small truck mafia” whom you claim will not buy a smaller truck new. The problem with that argument is that somebody HAS to buy them new before anyone can buy them used, no?

      No, Ford waited too long and priced it too high. Yes, these Rangers will sell and on a trim-for-trim basis will probably see them run about $10K below the MSRP of their full-sized brethren. But in being so large and likely not seeing the discounts of the bigger trucks, they’ll obviously not sell in the numbers of those bigger ones. The Jeep, when it comes out, could well blow away the Ford and the GM mid-sizers. It’s already slated for at least three engines, too. Unlike the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I stopped taking your comments seriously long ago. Don’t even bother.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “The Jeep, when it comes out, could well blow away the Ford and the GM mid-sizers.”

        The Wrangler pickup, sounds like it will be a mid to upscale product. Patterning it after the Wrangler means it will literally and figuratively “cash in” on the mystique surrounding all that is “Jeep”.
        It isn’t meant to be a direct competitor to Tacoma, Ranger or Colorado/Canyon.

        The whole goldilocks and the three bears “just right” bowl of oatmeal isn’t going to happen with the Wrangler pickup. Too big and too costly are both going to apply.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          About 2/3rds right, Lou. The mystique will be a big part of it. But the old-style flat-wall bed sides will make the bed marginally more functional, though by no means more fuel efficient. Considering that Jeep now sells something like 125,000 Wranglers on an annual basis, the Scrambler (or whatever they call it) will probably garner about 50K – 75K units per year for at least the first couple of years. That’s not all that far behind the Colorado or Toyota and notably ahead of the Nissan and Honda.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’m doubting 50-75k/year.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            We’ll find out soon enough. I admit the 50K – 75K is a guess, but it’s a reasoned guess based on how long people have been waiting for a rig like the Scrambler to come out.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Danio,
      Lifestyle vehicle ….. Sport Trac?

      It well could be if the Americanisation of the Ranger (cheapening) is like the Colorado.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The price is too high because the truck is too big. Ford wants to prove that the F-150 will be unaffected by Ranger sales despite the fact that the Ranger is nearly the same size (only about 10% smaller by volume.) They want to ensure their cash cow is undisturbed by a runt that cost just as much to make. Moreover, I’m quite sure they expect to make just as much profit by keeping that price high and simply limiting production the way GM has reportedly done with the Canyon/Colorado.

    But… Keep in mind that Ford is hinting at a much smaller truck in the not-so-distant future. If they can crack open a market segment that hasn’t been touched in almost 20 years that can compete favorably with the compact and sub-compact CUVs, even if they lose some of their own sales in that market, they have an opportunity to capture sales from all the other brands that have flooded the market with those smaller CUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “The price is too high because the truck is too big.”

      I seriously doubt it costs less to engineer a smaller product. A 20% smaller truck doesn’t automatically cost 20% less to build. IWA/UNIFOR workers aren’t taking a 10% pay cut to build a Ranger.

      As far as GM “limiting” production on the Colorado/Canyon to keep profits high, it is more a matter of sales. Once the initial “gotta have a smaller truck” feeding frenzy passed, small trucks are just collecting fire ash or snow flakes on my local dealership lots.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yes if you want to find a leftover MY 2017 BOF vehicle right now go looking for Colorados and Canyons. You’ll find a few and the 2019 MY is dawning.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Not at my local dealership, PD. They only have 6 Colorados in stock and one of them is a ’19, the rest are ’18s.

          I had to special order to get the color and equipment I want, though if I’d been willing to go with white… (no way!)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          My local dealer has Colorado’s sitting there from the previous winter.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Bad pick for stock models? Sounds more to me like the dealership doesn’t understand its customer base.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            My local Chevy dealership understands its customer base.

            Most trucks on the lot are mid-spec crewcab 1/2 ton 4x4s. They have plenty of higher end trucks and any bottom end stuff is special order fleet-spec trucks. HD’s are mostly mid to high end diesels and any gasser HD’s are fleet spec offerings.

            Most fleets around here are Ford. The local Ford dealer has multiple fleet spec trucks to offer but for everyone else, mid to higher spec trucks are what they order.

            The same pattern can be said for the FCA dealer. The Nissan dealer has a hard time moving anything that does not have a “C” on the fender.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            So why hasn’t he moved those Colorados?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Because the Colorado is a giant POS at any price and a JOKE at the price Guangzhou.Guadalajara Motors (GM) wants.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – Colorado’s sold fast when they were first introduced. Sales have slowed.
            They understand their customer base which happens to be full sized pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lou_BC: It seems more like he understands his profit margins, which are notably higher on full-sized trucks. However, the longer he sits on those Colorados, the more profit he’s going to lose on them, until he reaches a point where he’ll have to take a loss just to get rid of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The local Chevy franchise owner isn’t too worried about loosing money. He was born into wealth and inherited part of a huge franchise chain that basically does their own floorplans.

            Small trucks without three overlapping ellipses in their emblem don’t sell as well, even in Canada.
            The small trucks I see are owned by single guys, old guys, and young families with little kids. Anyone else moves into a full sized pickup.
            I followed a similar pattern of increased size/function/capability: small regular cab truck to 3/4 ton regular cab to small extended cab to full sized crewcab.
            You may have zero need or desire for a full sized truck but companies know that your cohort doesn’t make them money.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, Lou, they don’t. Why? Because a true SMALL truck hasn’t been available for nearly 40 years.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    twenty years ago, the four cylinder Ranger barely wheezed out a bit over 100 hp from its Pinto engine.

    Just sayin’.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      In my 21 year old Ranger, it seems to be coming to life… that 112 horses has started feeling like 150 horses… but it’s still not strong enough to tow a 5000# travel trailer, which is one reason why I’m buying a Colorado. That, and the fact that it’s an 8-speed automatic and not a manual (which my wife can’t drive because the steering wheel is too low even when the seat is all the way back on its track.)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the only way I could see that being possible is if the truck is several hundred lbs lighter than before, and I know Rangers don’t rust that fast.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Jimz, all it needs is the Renegade drive train. And the Ford ovals popped off.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @JimZ: “the only way I could see that being possible is if the truck is several hundred lbs lighter than before, and I know Rangers don’t rust that fast.”

          — Tunnel vision combined with a total lack of reason. You jump to a conclusion without asking how or why on anything. I feel sorry for you.

          No, the truck is not several hundred pounds lighter. In fact, it’s about 150# heavier as I have four sandbags against the tailgate. But weight never was the problem; it was how the truck was used in its first 18 years of life. Only 1100 miles per year on the clock when I acquired it and it spent nearly the entire 18 years in a garage, except when it was driven to Lowes or Home Depot for DIY materials. It’s taken me 6000 miles of relatively lively driving to finally loosen up the engine. That… and two oil changes (synthetic) and replacing the crankshaft fan with an electric, to reduce load and improve cooling.

          So yes, how you drive it is very important in how it will ultimately perform. I didn’t say it HAD 150 horses, only that it’s feeling the full 112 horses after finally giving it a chance to open up and run at speeds greater than 35mph all its life.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        How big is that 5000 pound trailer? I ask because I tow a 5000 pound travel trailer and it is 30 feet long. At that weight and length factors other than “Is the engine powerful enough to pull it” come into play. Wheelbase becomes your friend. The shape of the trailer also becomes an issue…its like having a parachute back there. Point is, not all 5000 pound trailer loads are created equal. My buddies Supra full of crap on a u-haul 4 wheel auto trailer was likely pushing 5k, but I didnt even feel it back there. Same pulling boats in that weight class. But my Gulfstream? I feel every pound because it is literally like pulling a barn. It has no issue doing it but it is working. I did it once with my old Frontier. It was rated for 6500 pounds. Again, I pulled stuff like the car with it as well and the Frontier had no issue, but it was completely overmatched by the travel trailer. The trailer was driving the truck, and it was white knuckle the whole time. I did a 3000 pound one with my old Land Cruiser (was rated at 5) and, no…again wheelbase is your friend, as well as real brakes). Bottom line, I hope you tested this out. There is more to towing than that number.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Art, this is the guy who blasted me for not considering a Honda Ridgeline to tow commercial loads on a 30′ 5th wheel double axle trailer. Common sense is not so common any more.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Thumbs up, Art. There’s more to towing a trailer than just the weight. People who don’t tow don’t realize just how much of a parachute that slab-faced trailer can actually be on the road. One thing you might do with your 5th wheel would be to get a rooftop air dam for your truck to help guide the air up and around your trailer. You might realize a notable improvement but it won’t eliminate all the drag that your trailer generates.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    I’d like to see someone take it to Jeep and build a midsize with two stick axles. The wrangler has been the only dedicated offroad vehicle in the US for literally a generation. Instant “lifestyle vehicle”! (Read: profit center, FoMoCo).

    This would take care of the only thing short of a gas crisis that could drive up midsize truck sales – image.

    But then again why commit overhead dollars to a small and stagnant segment. Better to build a small and stagnant pickup to suit.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Speaking of Jeep, I’m amazed they haven’t come out with a pickup with sheet metal reminiscent of the old Gladiator. I guess there is a Wrangler pickup coming soon, but man, with FCA already having a full size truck, it would seem relatively easy to tweak that and have a Jeep variant at relatively low cost by auto design standards. I’d have thought they’d have this years ago. Would seem to me to be a gold mine.

      Also, further emphasizing that I apparently have no clue, it would seem a no-brainer to me to have a modern day Wagoneer, given that Americans can’t get enough SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        Jeep has been planning a new Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer since before FCA was a thing. I don’t know what’s taking so long; the Wagoneer was in the thick of the most profitable segment of the entire auto industry.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Isn’t that what the Bronco’s mission will be?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Perhaps you’ve heard that the Bronco, based on the Ranger platform (read: BOF design), is also coming? Obviously not. Nor have you ever heard of the F-150 Raptor, or the Toyota T(u)RD PRO LOOK AT ME trucks/suv, or the ZR2 Colorado, or hell, the entire Land Rover brand. Its a shame that you’ve never heard of any of these vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        salmonmigration

        These are all great offroad BRAND vehicles. If your monster energy cap has a flat brim this is the BRAND you want.

        Wrangler has a solid front axle, big articulation, and good approach and departure angles. None of those trucks and definitely not the Bronco will have this. Especially solid front axle.

        Jeep gets everything from tacticool bros with a farm jack fetish, to hot girls who like attention. Raptor/TRDPRO only get frat boys. HUGE missed market opportunity for midsize truck companies.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Plenty of vehicles with IFS are plenty good off road. I don’t know, the Land Cruiser comes to mind and maybe the HMMWV to name a couple. Yes, if I’m doing hardcore rocks I probably want a solid axle, but a stock Jeep ain’t gonna get me down those trails either.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The Wrangler has an advantage in crawling situations due to that solid axle but that same solid axle turns into a nightmare at higher speeds on anything but perfectly smooth terrain. Ask a Jeep owner about hitting a washboard at speed?
          “Raptor/TRDPRO only get frat boys.”
          Nope… Raptor tends to be the preferred ride of oil field labour or any similar general labour worker that makes huge money.
          TRD-Pro isn’t available in Canada so I can’t comment on the “Pro” part but TRD does tend to be a young man’s truck. Lifted HD diesels with emission “delete’s” also tend to be the favoured ride of “more money than brains” workers or rich kids.

    • 0 avatar
      grinchsmate

      Suzuki has just come out with a new Jimny. Other than that there is just the the Landcruiser 70 and G Wagen left with solid axles.

      Apparently Suzuki has the highest margin of any car maker so you’re so ghetto ht about profit centre.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I have kicked around trading my F150 for a basic one because I prefer driving the Fiesta daily over the truck, I’m selling my travel trailer so I don’t need to tow a heavy load but still want a truck, and the truck is a bit much for my 16 year old as it is currently the car that is sitting (Yeah he could drive the ST as he can in fact drive a stick but then I wouldn’t get to drive it).

    But a regular cab F150 comes in real work truck trim and so equipped likely costs less than the Ranger in the real world and would be no more difficult to manuver than an extended cab Ranger. I thought of giving him the Santa Fe and doing a Ridgeline for my wife, but havent sold her yet.

    Yes I know, this contradicts the “put your kid in a 200 dollar POS” crowd but the reality of putting both of my kids in something that folds up like an accordion or has an airbag made of surplus claimore mines weighs on me. I need him to drive unfortunately because I get no school bus and his mom is going to want to work at some point and because driving is a life skill.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The safety argument over a $200 road roach makes perfect sense. I personally wouldn’t offset that by giving a teenager the 2.7T in such a lightweight rig, though. I can’t imagine the temptation that kind of Q-ship would have been for me at 16. I’d have to watch myself now. That much power and torque with a light rear end and a teenage brain behind the wheel…dear lord, it may as well be a V8 Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        remember the GMC Syclone? guy in my class in high school got one (parents were fairly well off.) I don’t remember how many engines and transmissions he blew up in it, but it was multiple for both. of course, mommy and daddy always paid for the replacement,

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Yeah, the 2.7ttis what my crew cab has and it moves it with authority. In a regular cab truck it may as well be a lightning from my youth. It would probably be a basic xl with the NA V6 and the sport package though I would like such a truck with the 5.0, but yeah, not for my kid to drive.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I think your pricing is off on the comparison. I get a msrp of $45955 on a XLT 302a extracab f150 with bucket seats and blind spot added to make it compatible to the XLT 302a Ranger. Even so, with discounts the F150 is a better value. Are buyers who spend over 30k really shopping on ‘Best value’ though? They buy what they want. I’ll be taking a serious look at the Ranger when it is out. I have no desire to drive a full size truck, regardless of the value proposition. Compared to other mid size trucks and SUVs the price on the Ranger seems competitive.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Was going to comment on this point. The cheapest SuperCrew 4×4 F-150 XLT with the 2.7EB I could build online has an MSRP of $45,540, or $42,740 after factory incentives. Sticking with MSRP to keep it apples-to-apples, that adds about 10% to the price differential. At a ~15% discount vs. the F-150 (assuming incentives as a % of sticker price are similar on both after the new car fever wears off) I could see enough people – between cheapskates and lifestyle buyers who really want something a bit smaller than a full-size – going for the Ranger to make it worthwhile for Ford.

      For what it’s worth, GM is on track to sell at least 150k Colorado/Canyons. I think Ford would be happy enough if the Ranger achieved similar volumes.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Aw man, Nelson Ledges is still running? I really need to get out there.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    It seems the game these days is to get people to pay more for smaller stuff. Ford ups the game with the Ranger and Ecosport, though – not only are they overpriced, they’re outdated.

    Eventually, the cash on the hood will come.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Eventually, the cash on the hood will come.”

    — Don’t bet on it.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Who needs a truck for towing a race car? Jaguar drove their D-types from Coventry to LeMans ran the qualifying and 24 hour race, and then drove them home. Hudson drivers picked up their Twin H Power Hornets at the Detroit factory and drove them to Daytona and raced on the beach. Towing is for wimps.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    One thing is for certain: RANGER IS NO LONGER A COMPACT. Neither are Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado, etc.

    One other thing is for certain: it doesn’t cost any less to build a slightly smaller truck than it does a bigger truck. In fact, when you don’t have nearly 800k+ sold a year to give you incredible economies of scale, it costs more to build the smaller truck. That’s why Ford can discount the hell out of some F-Series trucks and still make massive profits on the lineup as a whole. That’s what you can do when you’ve built a juggernaut, a dominating force that makes the rest of the market seem like drops in a pond (and I’m including GM and Ram full-size trucks in this, together, they with F-Series make the rest of the vehicle sales on this continent almost worthless, and let’s not forget their SUVs they share much with as well, for GM and Ford anyway).

    I don’t know who was expecting new Rangers to be priced like a compact car, but its just not 1991 anymore. Sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      In my (mostly worthless) opinion, once you step over about 72″ body width, you leave behind any pretense of compactness in a pickup. And yes, I just pulled that number out of a hat so that the first-gen Colorado would still be considered a compact but the 2005 Frontier and Tacoma would be midsizers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Drzhivago138 – I owned an ’84 Ranger. It was nice but it was just too small. A 2 week hunting or fishing trip meant packing gear like you were backpacking into one’s favourite fishing hole. My next truck was an F250. I owned the Ranger 6 years( I let my best friend use it for almost a year) and the F250 for 15. The F250 was wayyy more versatile.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris FOM

        72” wide as the limit for being compact? In 2018? Even a current Golf is 71” wide. A Focus (ie Ford’s own compact car) is 72”. No way you’re getting a truck of any size class in that width.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Why? The old compacts–the REAL compacts–had a track of 4’8-¾” and an overall width of around 65″ And they worked quite well in the tasks for which they were designed… economical delivery and utility trucks. They were never meant as heavy haulers and could barely tow their own weight, if that much. They were ideal as a runabout truck for those lightweight tasks that required more agility than power. Today’s trucks are gross overkill.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris FOM

            Because a couple of decades of rising NVH and safety standards have changed the market. In 2018 a compact CAR is about 72” wide, maybe a shade under. Move to the crossover segment and that’s subcompact width, a compact crossover is a a few inches wider and I’d expect a compact truck to be even a bit bigger still. Subcompact cars like the Fiesta, Sonic, or Fit run 67-68” wide and that’s a dying market. If you insist on a car that’s 65” wide, however, you can find one. A Smart Car is 65”, a Fiat 500 is even narrower at 64”, and Chevy’s Spark is a diminuitive 63”. But every one of those are in the microcar/A segment and let’s be honest, none of these are setting the market on fire. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if none of them are available in the US 10 years from now. But those are the only vehicles available in the width you’re talking about and if your claim is that there’s an enormous market for a truck sized like one of those (or, barring enormous, even big enough to be worth serving) I’m highly highly skeptical.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good point, but the problem isn’t necessarily that these aren’t cheap, like they used to be, but that they’re priced so similarly to a full sized truck. The Ranger isn’t the only vehicle out there that this is true of – I can think of a lot of compact cars that look like stupid values next to something like a midsize.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @JohnTaurus – Too many “Goldilocks” buyers out there. Too big, too long, too expensive, too many seats, won’t buy a Ford, won’t buy a Chevy, it has to be domestic, it has to be Japanese, its gotta be a Jeep, needs a manual transmission, gotta get 80 mpg… blah blah blah. Just a bunch of white noise generated by mental masturbation.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Hey, Lou. At least I’m proving one specific individual wrong as I AM buying a “small” truck brand new. Yes, it is bigger than I wanted but at the same time, my needs changed too. It’s still smaller than full-sized, which is a size I don’t think I’ll ever need again.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Yep. These aren’t compact trucks, even if they wear the names. They’re SUV alternatives. Those claiming that the market is on fire for compact trucks have nothing to point to because these aren’t them. The closest thing to a compact truck is a Transit Connect or ProMaster City.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ford’s profits indicate the aluminium F Series vunder trux might not be as profitable as you Ford freaks make out.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I suspect that, at this moment, no one is more interested in this question than I am. My Tacoma lease is up in 7 days. The local Ram dealer will lease me a 2018 1500 4×4 with a Hemi for $190/month with $3K down. The Toyota dealer (which has be pestering me *daily* for over a month) offered me a base 4×4 Tacoma 4clt auto for $275/month with $2K down. I’ve driven both. I hate the transmission in the Tacoma. Compared to my current one with three pedals, it is the eunuch of the truck world. The hemi is, as always, glorious. It seems simple, right? It isn’t. People say that “compact” trucks aren’t much smaller, but the full-sizers are taller, wider an longer by a fair margin. I really don’t want or need that much truck.

    Since the Tacoma is a luxury, I’ve decided to let Toyota have it back and I’ll just wait a while until the bloom is off the Ranger. Last time, the Colorado was in the same situation, brand new, no lower-content models and no deals whatsoever. I can wait this time.

    So what is a compact truck worth? I’m not sure I know, but the size difference has made me very hesitant to pull the trigger on what is, by all accounts, a killer deal. Go figure…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Fly to metro Detroit.

      2019 (not 2018) new gen RAM Big Horn 4×4 Crew Cab Hemi with MSRP of $47,765 lease for $154/month $0 down sign and drive at Mike Riehl’s – you will probably need to add 20 cents a mile prepaid for anything over 12,000 miles but so what.

      No games.

      I have zero affiliation with FCA or dealer. You can get same/similar deal at a dozen other dealerships.

      New RAM is going to steal so much market share from GM that they will be hurting.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        @DW

        Here is Mike Riehl’s offer fine print:

        $154/month, 10k miles/year Stk#9W0053

        *MSRP $47,765. Rebate $9,250 Price $31,293. Only available on select model and trims. 10k miles per year. Residency restrictions apply. Lessee pays for excess wear and mileage depending on lease terms. Not all customers will qualify. See dealer for complete details. The offer expires 08/31/18.

        1. 10k miles. It doesn’t say how much for extra miles
        2. The biggie – RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS APPLY

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The Ranger’s specs point towards a dystopian future of throwaway pickup trucks. I’m not interested in leasing a truck, as I would use a truck as a truck. If stone chips on the underside of the rockers of a leased Audi cost my employer two grand at turn in time, I can only imagine what bed dents, rock crawling scrapes, and car-pushing marks would rack up in fees at lease’s end. If I’m buying something, it isn’t going to have a drivetrain meant to be carried through its warranty with only a few serious repairs, as is the post-Obama norm.

    The Ranger’s built-in frailty initially made me want a new Tacoma like I hadn’t before. Then I looked at Toyota.com and found out that the only way to get a stick in my region going forward would be to get a TRD PRO for at least $42K. My ardor subsided. I’ll probably regret not buying one before CAFE finishes constricting, but I’m pretty sure my visit to the local Toyota dealer to grab one of the left-over TRD-OffRoad 6-speeds today was the final nail in my desire’s coffin. Incentives? They have a mandatory $499 transaction fee.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Why is it necessary to have AuxTruck just for towing (since all the proverbal plywood in HomeDepot can be loaded into the MainTruck)? Just buy a Flex, Durango, or whatever.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    As I’m moseying towards retirement I want a truck for various household and other adventures. In a no-holds barred gig I’d love a Lariat Supercab; I bet the Ranger would work too. It’s certainly good looking. Don’t think it has a sunroof available though, and that’s a base requirement for any vehicle I buy.

    The $$ off especially the fully equipped trucks is astounding….I’m sure the dealer gets the occasional ‘doesn’t know better to negotiate’ customer wandering in….

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    we will never see another new affordable compact truck in the US marketing again despite what the CAFE2025-loving chicken-tax-condemning brainiacs over at Jalopnik would have you believe. With Mexico being in NAFTA the chicken tax is a moot issue considering all the Tacomas being built there in huge numbers and Nissan has tons of plants there.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Tell that to Ford, TB; Ford has already hinted that such is in the works.
    Tell that to Hyundai, TB; Hyundai has already fielded a prototype and hints that it’s still in consideration.
    Tell that to FCA, TB; FCA already has one in production–just not for US sale… yet.
    Tell that to GM, TB; GM has not one, but TWO in production–though again, not for US sale… Yet.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Vulpine – You just don’t understand. Mini-trucks and FWD subcompact pickups became mainstream for a relatively short period.

      By “mainstream” I mean like when cowboy hats weren’t just for out in the range “ropin’ doggies”. “Urban Cowboy” started the whole trend. You know you had your cowboy hat for going to the disco, admit it.

      Then there’s the “Urban Sombrero”, but that’s a different story. But you seem to be stuck on “pickup” buying trends, big vs small, chose one. It has never really been like that, despite your “anecdotal”.

      Fullsize pickup sales have been on a steadily increasing trajectory since pickups were invented, and totally independent of the rise and fall of the compact/Mini-Truck Dynasty.

      You can be sure the overwhelming majority of the US population would never own a fullsize pickup, (not then, not now) couldn’t drive it, wouldn’t drive it, and not even a consideration, for one or more varying reasons.

      It was the Perfect Storm for compact/mini-trucks. We were done with Custom/Surfer Vans, and Muscle Cars were fairly Taboo.

      It was time for something a little less Gas Guzzling, a little more imported/reliable, and ultra affordable wouldn’t hurt. Something fully customize-able, with a huge aftermarket would be awesome.

      Were they considered “sporty”? Take a guess. Trendy?? Almost every demographic owned one, especially those that had never considered owning a “pickup”, definitely not pickup people, and sadly haven’t owned one since.

      What also helped stoke the fires was the “voluntary” (temporary) embargo/cap on Japanese car imports. They became scarce with dealers gouging consumers and Japanese manufacturers loading the cars up with options to the max.

      There was no embargo on Japanese pickups so automakers wisely doubled down on those, or more like, completely flooded the US with import pickups at cut-rate pricing, as fast as they could get them on a boat.

      Unlike Japanese cars, compact/mini-trucks were widely and unabashedly available as (bone) strippers, not even with rear-bumpers, radio and definitely no (factory) A/C.

      A lot of things were different back then, and 2-seater (or 1-row) pickups were “the norm”. It was totally legal and accepted to have passengers riding in the bed or camper shell.

      The stars lined up, or call it what you want, but the US market is different than most any other, and for them, yeah anything smaller than fullsize pickup, may be used just like the US uses fullsize pickups.

      Poor Australians (huge fans of pickups) get my sympathy having just one size of (affordable) pickups. I’d go insane.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Oh, dear. There you go again, ranting about things you know nothing about, claiming you know everything. Your arguments have been disproved so many times its silly, but somehow you keep hoping that saying the same thing enough times will make people believe you.

        Sure, you use enough facts to SOUND believable but you’re still wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “…you use enough facts to SOUND believable…”

          Yap.

          Yet you don’t even “sound believable” plus you offer no facts whatsoever, just an opinion based on emotion more than anything else.

          So OK, where am I “wrong”? Where have you ever “disproved” my facts? (Any of them).

          And I don’t “rant”, that’s all you.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The Ranger has yet to hit the market and any predictions as to how well it will do are premature. I do agree that the 25k starting price is too high. As for the value of full size trucks my question is that it is not a good comparison to compare a stripped regular cab half ton pickup to a better equipped midsize truck. Most truck buyers will not buy the stripper. As for the value of a full size half ton pickup they are starting to become less of a value as the price continues to spiral up the period of loans become longer to make them attainable to many buyers. How much beyond an 84 month loan makes sense. True the same thing can be said about a fully loaded mid-size truck but there still is a big difference between the price of a fully loaded 4×4 midsize truck and the equivalent full size truck even considering discounts. My question is at what price will people stop buying as many trucks? Is the price 50k, 60k, 80k, or 100k? How long a period are the creditors willing to make a loan to keep the monthly payments affordable to most buyers? I do agree with some of the comments above that a truck is maybe not the best vehicle to lease if you are going to use it as it is meant to be used. How much is each ding and scratch going to cost you at the end of the lease?

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I researched the dimensions and MSRP for an ’85 Ford Ranger Supercab. These vehicles, even in pretty sketchy condition, still demand pretty good money and are relatively plentiful here in Western Ohio. The size is right: WB – 125″, OAL – 192.7″, W – 66.9″, Frt Trk – 55″, Rear Trk – 54.6″, Weight – approx 2700#, payload – 1200#. The original MSRP was around $6900 ($16.5k in 2018). These vehicles are used daily for hauling all kinds of stuff but I don’t see ’em towing anything – that’s left to bigger pickups. A newer Ford (or FCA-product, GM-product) the size of an ’85 Ranger would fill a niche currently filled by these old rusty Rangers/S-10’s/S-15’s (the Toyota’s, Nissan’s, Mazda’s have long since melted into iron-oxide filings) currently reaching end-of-life. They don’t need to tow anything tremendously heavy (probably the most would be a riding mower on a small Tractor Supply-size trailer) and could carry most household project materials adequately (you don’t need to lay the 4’x8′ sheets flat to move ’em). There probably wouldn’t be enough profit in making them though and the EPA footprint issues would be costly to engineer.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @bullnuke–Agree EPA footprint and also safety standards have rendered the compact truck costly and impossible to make. The only type of vehicle close to this would be one strictly for non road use. The only way I can see a compact truck being made today is to base it on a front wheel drive compact car or crossover platform and even then it would not be the same-smaller bed, heavier because of safety standards, and most likely not offered in a regular cab. It might not even be offered in an extended cab since more people are buying crew cabs. I still have an S-10 and prefer that size but if I were buying now I would likely settle for an extended cab midsize truck.

    I do not agree with Dead Weight that all GM vehicles are junk. The new Colorado/Canyon are very good trucks and most likely will last as long as a Tacoma or Frontier. I have a 99 S-10 since new and it is just as good a truck from the standpoint of reliability as a Tacoma and my 08 Isuzu the same. Sure there are cheap plastics in the interior but most of today’s vehicles have the same cheap plastic–most manufacturers use the same suppliers and yes many of the parts are made in China. I had cheap plastics in my first car which was a 73 Chevelle Deluxe and it lasted for years. If you want a vehicle without all the plastic then you need to get a vehicle made no latter than 1966 when they still made vehicle with metal dash boards and metal in the interiors.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @Jeff S: Do you realize that every disadvantage you’re stating about the compact truck is almost exactly what a small truck owner is going to want? They’re not going to care if it’s not RWD… they want a small-sized, open bed vehicle they can use as a daily driver with fuel economy equivalent to the typical CUV. Oh, and I did ‘settle’ for an extended-cab “mid-sized” truck (though it’s barely smaller than full-sized.)

    Having driven a Colorado, I honestly like how it feels. Yes, it is bigger than I want and I’ll admit I didn’t try any tight maneuvering in it but I’ve already demonstrated that I can do things in almost any vehicle that people don’t expect… if it can fit, I can fit it. Meanwhile, I’m selling the old Ranger for almost 3x what I would get as trade because of its age… and the guy buying it says he’s getting a deal out of it (and he is.) The ’19 Colorado does not look nor feel ‘cheap’, inside or out. And as far as how much US material may be in it; I simply do not care. The new Colorado looks far more refined than the older model. It’s tight and feels good to drive. I can hardly wait for the one I ordered to arrive.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–I have no argument with a compact truck based on a front wheel drive platform. What I did say is that any new version of a compact truck will not be the same. I too prefer an extended cab to the crew cab because I prefer a bigger bed to the addition of 2 extra doors. For me the Hyundai pickup would not be of interest if it only comes in a crew cab–I need and use my bed. I figured you would have no problem selling your Ranger–I would have offered you your asking price and then given my S-10 to my nephew. I too don’t care about the materials inside as if you will reread my above comments. My 73 Chevelle Deluxe was among the best vehicles I owned and one of the smoothest running with a 350 2 barrel carb. and it had lots of plastic. My S-10 has more padded areas but my 08 Isuzu even though more premium has more hard plastic.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @Jeff S: At least the Hyundai doesn’t LOOK like a crew cab. I think it’s an extended cab but I never got a good enough look at the concept to really know.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–Don’t care so much that it looks like a crew cab but the extra space in the bed I do care about. I don’t really want a bed size below 74.7″.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I meant 74.4″ bed length which is the standard size bed for the 2018 Colorado extended cab.


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