By on January 22, 2019

2018 Ford F-550 badge

Following rumors, spy photos, and vague language on the part of Ford brass, the Blue Oval automaker has admitted a new, smaller model is set to join its truck lineup. The vehicle in question will give consumers something else to think about than just Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty.

As reported by Automotive News, Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley, used clearer language when speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit.

Explaining that Ford was “investing in more affordable versions of our truck business,” Farley told the attendees “you can expect new nameplates below where we compete today.” As there’s nothing smaller in Ford’s lineup than a Ranger (and even that’s exceedingly new, at least for American buyers), that means a legitimately compact truck.

In response to a request for more information, a Ford spokesperson told the publication, “we’ll have more details to share about new nameplates in the future.” That goes beyond the usual “no comment on future products” line.

Farley’s comments jibe with rumors that the automaker will field a unibody pickup based on the platform of the fourth-generation Ford Focus, a model only offered overseas. While Farley wasn’t forthcoming with details or a timeline, the initial report cited a target year of 2022.

The upcoming pickup, which would likely be offered in both front- and all-wheel-drive variants, would compete against Hyundai’s upcoming unibody sport pickup, previewed by the Santa Cruz concept. It’s also likely Ford will resurrect the Courier name that graced Fiesta-based models in foreign markets in past years. Ford recently trademarked the name in the United States.

[Image: Ford]

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74 Comments on “Compact Ford Pickup Is a Go, Farley Says...”


  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    If they offer a standard cab with traditional bed, I might very well buy one. But a four-door, short-bed vehicle is out of the question for me.

    By the way, I honestly think this truck should have been called the Ranger and what is now the Ranger should have been called the F-100.

    The Courier wasn’t around long enough – at least not in North America – to have any real market equity today.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    Will it have two or four doors? Judging by spy shots it looks like it’ll be aimed at the fleet market, unlike the Hyundai which is more for consumers.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    About time! Ford made a mistake when they stopped producing the Ranger. I recently bought a 2008 Ranger which fits my needs perfectly. The new Ranger is too damn big and expensive. Besides, the older Rangers are better looking.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The Ranger, GM’s midsizers and the Dakota were discontinued because the Tacoma sales ate their lunch. Best selling midsize truck in the US of A.

      The downside of that was that the lack of competition provided no incentive for Toyota to upgrade its long-in-the-tooth Tacoma until the 2016 MY.

      Ditto with the Tundra. People continue to buy Tundra in spite of its latest design having been for the 2007 MY.

      Two people I know recently bought a 2019 Tundra, one a first-time buyer, the other traded his older Tundra in for a brand new one. Both bought at Vescovo in Las Cruces, NM and were happy with their deal.

      Goes to show how perceived value plays into where people put their money. Tundras ain’t cheap and discounts are rare. But they continue to sell.

      • 0 avatar
        NECarGuy

        I’m not sure you are quite right on this. The current Tundra is old and still sells in adequate numbers, but it’s also a “value” play. Sure the discounts may not be there, but if you compare a Platinum Tundra to a Platinum F-150 4WD with a sunroof there is about $12,000 difference in price with the F-150 being the higher priced truck. That’s before you start layering on the tons of options available for the Ford. Ford gives some sizable discounts, but Toyota is doing cheap financing and rebates too.

        As for the midsize truck argument, the Tacoma barely outsold a VERY dated Ranger at the end of it’s life.

        In regards to pricing it’s simple at this point. The Toyota trucks aren’t the “value play” they actually are the cheaper price point when looking at mid-level models and above (non-work/fleet). They have less available equipment and are older in regards to technology. Hence driving the lower ATP.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          It’s from my perspective of course, and the fact that I bought new a 2011 Tundra SRT5 2WD Longbed, and then a 2016 Tundra SRT5 TRD-pkg 4dr 4×4.

          In addition, my wife’s DD was a 2016 Sequoia and all had in common that magnificent all-aluminum 32-valve DOHC 5.7L V8 (The Rolex of truck engines).

          All were a great ownership experience.

          Because of our current traveling schedule my wife and I spent about half of each year outside the US and leaving our vehicles parked in the desert sun just doesn’t make sense.

          So we transferred them to other members of our family who could better use and utilize them.

          And now I’m just down to a 1989 Camry V6 for grocery-getting and either rent or borrow if I need something larger or for long-distance road trips.

          Value play obviously is in the eye of the beholder, but people continue to buy Tacoma in spite of their older and dated tech and design.

        • 0 avatar
          JD-Shifty

          There is no comparison between a Ranger and a Tacoma. the resale prices show it.

      • 0 avatar
        SD 328I

        The Tundra sells in tiny amount compared to the F150 and the rest of the domestics, it’s not even enough for them to consider it competition just by sales volume alone.

        No big truck is cheap and the Tundra has plenty of incentives as well. And again, in sells in small amounts.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Stop. The original Ranger was the best selling truck in it’s class for well over a decade straight. Toyota surpassed it long after Ford had given up on the model. The Tacoma is a solid truck, not to take away from it, but you are wrong on the sales numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Oh YES, the Tundra sells so well. A whole 118k sales last year. Ford only sold 909K in the same time period.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex


          Oh YES, the Tundra sells so well. A whole 118k sales last year. Ford only sold 909K in the same time period.”

          Nice twisting of the facts johnny boy.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            VW would almost kill to see 118k sales of their pickup truck in the US. It may not be record-breaking but it would at least give the brand some profit for their attempt.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        And Tundras sell to Toyota die hards. They we’re class competitive for like 6 months after their introduction and now lag the domestics with respect to fuel economy and capability by a freaking decade. Trucks are what the big 3 do right. Toyota has learned this and not updated the Tundra for the same reason Ford let the Ranger wither on the vine…the cost to redesign it wasn’t, at the time, worth the money with respect to future profits. The domestics eat the Tundras lunch, hence Toyota is milking what was a costly, but ultimately failed redesign.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The Tundra and Titan exist for people who refuse to buy Ford, GM or RAM.

          Just that they sell in the US, I find amazing. Each sale of a Tundra or a Titan is one less for Ford, or GM, or RAM.

          Yeah, they may not sell many, but they do sell.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @hdc: Not true–at least as far as the Ranger is concerned. The Ranger was still outselling the Taco, even if the Taco had surpassed the rest. Ford abandoned it because they, like so many others, thought the then-mid-sized market was dying and wanted to push their truck customers into their bigger, more profitable trucks. That didn’t work as well as they hoped, however. Instead of Ford keeping all of their Ranger customers, they lost fully half of them to the Taco.

        Honestly, I think a true compact would bee a much bigger seller than most want to believe–especially if it’s also base priced at less than $20K

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree that a true compact would win a lot of fence sitters over to commit their bucks, and may even serve as a DD.

          And now Ford can try to take some of those sales away from the Tacoma. That may serve as an incentive for Toyota to put rear discs on the Tacoma line and may even Turbocharge their 4 and 6 cyl engines.

          Wouldn’t that be something?

          But if I ever buy another truck, it’s gotta be a Tundra. It’s like comfort food with a heaping helping of that magnificent 5.7L V8.

          It warms the cockles of my heart, just thinking about it.

  • avatar
    gasser

    About time. The size of current full size pick ups are really a pain to drive in urban areas. The size of the front of these vehicle causes so much drag that gas mileage is compromised. A small truck would be both more maneurable and thriftier on gas. The new mid sizers are so big that they are not a meaningful downsize of the full out pickups. Perhaps we can “downsize” to the full size trucks of the mid 90s??

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yes, that whole 6 inches or so really makes them horribly unusable. And their increased aerodynamic drag is why they get better mileage with more power than they did then. Wait…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @JT: Thank you so much for confirming just how big the new trucks are. At only 6″ smaller in most dimensions, the current round of mid-sizers are effectively, if not actually, as big as the 30-year-old full sizers. They’re taller than those older trucks; they’re longer than the reg-cab, short-bed models and they are almost as wide as those old full-sized trucks. The mid-sizers used to be no less than 1 foot smaller in every dimension while the compacts were smaller even than that…about the size of a mid-sized station wagon of the day.

        So we need a new, truly small, pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        John if you put aside the constant snark for a moment, gasser makes entirely valid points: while we’ve gotten better with reducing drag, the total frontal area of new half tons is notably larger than generations past: the newest redesign of the Silverado with its dip in fuel economy is a prime example. And yes, it is non-trivially harder to maneuver and park many of today’s jacked up crew cab 4wd half tons (to say nothing of 3/4 tons) than half tons of the past (which were rarely crew cabs, which is part of it).

        I will say current midsizers are a good bit narrower and easier to deal with than half tons, although midsizer length in crew cab form is no joke either when it comes to parking.

        I welcome this new baby Ford truck, the more choice the better!

  • avatar
    gtem

    Excited to see this, although I’ll admit up front I don’t think I’d buy one new for anything resembling a new car price. My ’97 and ’94 Rangers were both bought for about $2000 and did everything I needed them to do including 3 season daily commuting, and were sold with zero depreciation and minimal cost of upkeep. In the future if we move to a house with more secure driveway space, I’d strongly consider a trailer to pull with a minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      I would not get my hopes up to see a $2000 pickup ever again.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        You can buy a $2000 small pickup, but they’re typically in dirtbag shape.

        I bought a respectable 4wd Sonoma for $3500 (150,000 miles).
        Runs fine for a beater, and I’m never worried when I loan it out to someone who needs a small truck for something.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          With some careful shopping, $2k can get you something perfectly decent. It’ll be RWD, and most likely a compact truck, and possibly in a shade of teal or purple, but entirely drivable and reliable. My ’97 Ranger was low mileage (126k) and in very good cosmetic shape but turned out to be a bit of a rust bucket, I was still able to resell it for more than I bought it for: bought $1700, sold for $2500. But also put more money into it than I should have just to make it safe for the next owner (spring hangers were hanging on by hopes and dreams). My ’94 Ranger was a much more solid truck, 106k miles, very solid underneath in terms of corrosion, rode and drove well, shocks and such still had life in them, but it had its share of dents and dings and was purple “cranberry metallic.” Drove it all spring and summer every day, never touched a thing aside from an oil change, set of new wiper blades, and recharging the A/C with a $5 can of R134a from walmart. Oh and I scooped up a spare set of used wheels/tires for $100. Sold it for $2200.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        higherIQ, I’m talking about buying 20 year old used trucks, of course the comparison to new is unfair. I will say though the big advantage of this sedan-based layout is that FWD makes it entirely reasonable to drive this year round. There’s absolutely no way I’d commute in my RWD rangers in the winter (not without studded snow tires and ballast in the bed), although I do see others doing just that in Indiana. The guy who bought my ’97 specifically wanted something to keep salt off his modified JK Wrangler.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Dollars to donuts (an antiquated saying, as donuts now cost more than a dollar) this will be a pickup variant on the next-gen Transit Connect.

    Which would not at all be a bad idea.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      You’re probably right, but it’d kill any tow rating. I’d like a small pickup. Connect-like payload would be fine, but I need a better tow rating. 4500lbs would be nice.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Well, it says it’s based on the Focus, and the T.C. is based on the Focus, so…

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Does that mean the new truck will be a Uni-body?
        https://jalopnik.com/ford-may-be-cooking-up-a-small-unibody-truck-smaller-th-1831869646
        https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/unibody-pickup-trucks
        http://www.thedrive.com/news/25674/gm-is-working-on-a-new-compact-unibody-pickup-report
        and finally https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15149806/surge-of-the-unibody-truck-car-news/

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Well the Transit Connect is based on the Focus platform too. So yeah it will definitely share at least some parts with the TC and the Focus that is sold overseas. Just how much is the question, will it use everything from the B pillar forward, all the sheet metal but a unique grille, or maybe it will get unique sheet metal.

  • avatar
    brt

    YES do it. And have it start under $20k.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Already sounds lame if they cheap out with unibody construction.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Piffle… this is for trips to estate sales and for bug spray fleets. What’s going to be too stressful for unibody?

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Newsflash: unibody construction will keep it low cost with reasonable mpg. If you’re expecting it to have a V8 too, keep dreaming.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Unibody construction is strictly due to cheapening out design, fuel economy would be no different regardless of construction type. It better be less than $15k for value to be part of the equation.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Yes, it should cost the same as a reasonably equipped Versa. That makes total sense. And, the weight and increased ride height of a BOF design would have no impact on fuel milage. Just like the sun has no impact on temperature.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Why wouldn’t that make sense, crappy car platform, crappy car cost.

            Which weighs more the 4Runner or the Grand Cherokee? Doesn’t seem to be any real world MPG loss despite the 4.0 in the 4Runner last being updated a decade ago.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “Just like the sun has no impact on temperature.”

            What a foolish analogy lol

            You are out of your league kiddo. Just let the adults talk.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          Unibody as a design method is inherently lighter for a given amount of strength vs. BOF.

          It’s historically not used for pickups because a particular unibody chassis is not very configurable, and therefore you can’t meet a broad section of market needs with a single base design. (For instance, no no-bed models, no widely varying cab/bed configurations, variance in payload/towing capacity is limited by what you can do with suspension/drivetrain tweaks, etc.)

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      If you need a Body on frame truck they will happily sell you a Ranger, F150, or Super Duty. With this Ford will truly have every segment of the pickup market covered.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’ll believe it when I see it and knowing Ford that could be many, many years

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Some of you guys need to read the fine print, this is not a small traditional pickup truck like the old Toyotas, earlier Rangers, etc.

    This a car with a truck bed, a compact UTE.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Fine, but about 20 years late for me.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I am eagerly awaiting this if only to see all of the excuses offered up by the best and brightest to not buy it in spite of it being exactly what they say they have been clamoring to buy for 20 years. Call me cynical.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yep, we’re already seeing it.

      Unibody so the towing capacity wont be acceptable (because an old 4 cylinder Ranger could tow a whole 300 lbs more than the current Transit Connect!).

      Itll have too many doors.

      Itll be too small or too big.

      Unless its exactly the same price as a 1996 Ranger XL base model without adjustment for inflation, it’ll be unacceptably expensive. Oh, but it needs the interior to be nicer and better than an MKZ, and more power than a Mustang GT.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      In this segment, potential buyers have extremely specific size/dimensions requirements. Will it carry 2 hay bales with the tailgate up? If not, no deal. Will it fit in the carport, before the stairs and under the swamp cooler? IF not, no deal.

      It won’t carry their 3 folding tables to the yearly picnic completely inside the bed? Then no deal. Won’t carry their medium size dog, doggy bed, and 5 gallon ice chest behind the bucket seats? Oops, sorry, no deal, thanks for the fine effort!

      There’s just too many ways a tiny pickup can fail for segment buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      You know, I really wanted to buy the 86, in part to prove to idiots in this comment board that it’s a practical sporty car with plenty of horsepower. And… just could not fit. Stupid Toyota! I actually tested it twice, because I visited Subaru for other reason and re-tested it just to make sure it wasn’t some seat or option problem. I know about all that clamoring, but some excuses are more legit than others.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Too late for me but I hope they do follow through with it, as compared to what Hyundai has been sitting on for five years. Now if only Ford hadn’t been so set on such a ridiculous engine in their Ranger. A 2.7 turbo wouldn’t have turned me off the way this 2.3 is doing. That 2.3 would serve a compact truck much better than it does the Ranger.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    if it doesn’t get 35mpg highway don’t build it.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I’m strangely interested. Never drove a pickup or a Ford until now, but if they reinvent Subaru Brat, I can even give them a chance. The 2022 is right where I may start thinking about the next car. Although, I might need some sort of rear bench for poorly behaving grandchildren and that harpy of daughter-in-law. But it better not be too comfortable.

  • avatar
    jatz

    If it happens and I love it won’t be cheap.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    It been 12-15 years since a compact size pickup truck was sold in the U.S. and Canada. If you travel in other parts of the world,the compact size is popular among trades people. I love to own a “brand new” AWD compact pickup truck!

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Call it a Ranchero, please. Haha

    Then Chevy can re-release the El Camino? And didn’t Dodge have a UTE thingy based on the Daytona?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This is the bronco all over again. Announce it and then we wait for many, many years for lazy Ford to finally bring it to market.

  • avatar
    scott25

    It doesn’t matter if it’s unibody and front wheel drive based, just make it look truck-ish and not like an Escape or Transit with a bed and it’ll sell like hotcakes. The old Ranger should be used as a benchmark for towing and payload. As long as it’s capable *enough*, it’ll be good. Offer it with a simple naturally aspirated engine option, please, with Ecoboost and hybrid/EV on the side.

    The old Ranger is already one of the core vehicles amongst rural Millennials, this could be the most successful new vehicle launch in that demographic in years if done with the steps above. And in the low 20s with AWD available for no more than 27k.

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