Buy/Drive/Burn: The Cheapest Trucks in America for 2021

We closed out last week with a Buy/Drive/Burn entry that covered the three cheapest sedans available in America this year. Nearly all of you decided you’d buy the most expensive of the three, the Hyundai Accent.

Today’s trio are the least expensive trucks on sale today with plain paint, two driven wheels, and steelies. Think you’ll select the most expensive truck of today’s trio for the Buy? Let’s find out.

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Pick-Up STX: Ford Adds Appearance Package to Ranger

Seizing the opportunity to introduce another appearance package instead of building the Raptor version that everyone wants, Ford has introduced a new STX Special Edition Package on the 2021 Ranger.

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A Tremor in the Ford: Blue Oval Gives 2021 Ranger the Off-Road Goods

Ford’s Ranger is getting some serious off-road goods for 2021.

No, we don’t mean the Ford Ranger Raptor is finally coming Stateside, although most of us here in TTAC-land would love that. Nah, today we’re talking about a Tremor off-road package for the 2021 Ford Ranger.

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Ford Ranger Packages Aim for Off-Roadability, but There's Power to Be Had, Too

If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup and possess an irresistible urge to tackle the worst terrain you can find, chances are the most rugged variants of Chevy’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma top your list of maybes. Ford would like a word.

The Ranger didn’t enter the segment with the brawniest hardware in tow, but the passage of time has a way of correcting mistakes (if you want to look at it that way). On Tuesday, the Blue Oval debuted a trio of packages designed to deliver more off-road capability — and even power. Raptor Lite?

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Ford Follows GM's Financing Lead, but Not Entirely

We told you earlier this week how the month of June brought changes to General Motors’ pandemic-era financing offers. No longer is the automaker tempting buyers with zero-percent, 84-month loans on nearly everything in its lineup.

Over at Ford, it seems the same strategy is underway… with one very notable exception. Whether or not you can actually benefit from it, however, remains a matter of location and persistence.

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Ford Performance Does Ranger Pickup a Solid

Ford Performance has expanded its catalog, adding tunes for the Mustang and Ranger that should make mashing the right pedal a tad more exciting. While the pony car kit is basically an extension of the staged Power Packs already on sale, just for the 2018-2020 model years, the Ranger package is rather novel — as this is the first factory tune available for the model in North America.

It also happens to offer noteworthy performance gains.

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Lost in Transmission: Ford Recalls Nearly 68,000 2020 Pickups and Expeditions

Ford has recalled nearly 68,000 vehicles manufactured at the start of 2020 and sold in North America, saying the cars suffer from a potential manufacturing defect where the clip that locks the gearshift cable to the transmission can become unseated.

While the company says it isn’t aware of any incidents related to the issue, a decoupling clip could allow a car’s transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the operator. This could easily lead to dangerous roll-away accidents as drivers unwittingly put their vehicle into the wrong gear while thinking they’ve selected park.

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Rare Rides: The Shocking 2002 Ford Ranger Thunderbolt

Rare Rides previously featured the weather-inspired SVT Lightning, an effort that saw Ford add a healthy dose of power and sporty handling to its full-size pickup.

Today we’ll have a look at Lightning’s smaller sibling, which is named after the same weather event: the Ranger Thunderbolt, from 2002.

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Ford Recalling 72,000 Rangers Over Taillight Troubles

Ford announced Monday that it will recall 72,718 Ranger pickups over taillight malfunctions. This one is pretty cut and dried, without the mystique that make most recall notices so appealing. There’s no fire risk, no chance of the vehicle veering wildly out of control, and no reported accidents stemming from the issue.

Barring some inattentive motorist slamming into your backside, not realizing you were attempting to stop, the range of hypothetical dangers are pretty limited. Basically, someone forgot to crimp and plug the applicable terminals at the factory and Ford needs to give these 2019MY Rangers another look — something it seems to be doing rather often.

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Ford Wants You to Get Jacked

While Ford Motor Company doesn’t have any trouble offloading F-150s and Rangers on a truck-hungry populace, there’s always another way to sweeten the pot. To boost the appeal of its full- and mid-size offerings, the automaker will now offer off-road levelling kits, perhaps saving a unlucky pickup from scraping its chin.

Developed by Ford Performance Parts, the kits are a dealer-installed affair, offering buyers a way to leave the store with a touch more brawn.

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It Takes Two: Ford's Ranger FX2 Is (Mainly) an On-roader With Off-road Looks

In all fairness, the newly announced FX2 Package does boost the off-road cred of the two-wheel drive Ford Ranger, albeit modestly. If memory serves this writer correctly, RWD trucks can be a load of fun in the rough, assuming that backcountry trail isn’t too slick, greasy, or soupy.

An obvious ploy to capture the hearts and minds of those enamored by Ford’s popular (4×4) FX4 Off-Road Package, the FX2 seeks to slightly improve the off-roadability of rear-drive Rangers while elevating the truck’s visual brawn.

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Flurry of Trademark Applications Points to Ford Ranger Trim Buffet

Do you find yourself wishing Ford turned up the heat on the Ranger pickup, perhaps offering customers a choice of powerplants and greater diversity in appearances? You’re likely in luck.

According to U.S. trademark applications filed late this month, the Blue Oval has just gotten started with its new midsizer, though anyone waiting patiently for the Raptor variant already offered overseas will have to remain on ice.

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Rare Rides: A Micro Machine, the Off-roading 1967 Ferves Ranger

Ever wanted a microscopic multipurpose off-road car that’s not much larger than a lawnmower? Well have we got a truck for you. It’s a Ferves Ranger from 1967.

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QOTD: Cribbing Their Homework?

Judging from the comments on yesterday’s post about what the new C8’s rump might look like, most of you lot aren’t quite sold on the possibility of Corvette copying some of Camaro’s homework. One commenter used the word ‘ersatz’, for which he gets extra TTAC points.

This got us thinking: is there ever an appropriate time for an automaker to reprise styling cues on another model?

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Fuelin' Around: Ford Facing Legal Fracas Over Efficiency Claims

The new Ford Ranger only went on sale in January, but the midsize pickup is already the focus of a class-action lawsuit. The complaint, filed earlier this week, alleges the Blue Oval “deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually did.”

Them’s fightin’ words, especially in the post-Dieselgate era. It also doesn’t help that Ford was forced to lower its fuel economy ratings on six models and dole out compensation to their drivers about five years ago. Is it deja vu all over again? Well, not quite.

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  • Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
  • Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
  • Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
  • Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
  • VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?