• Jun 25th 2008 at 12:57PM
  • 48
As record fuel prices leave automakers' carefully-laid truck plans looking as if they've been bombarded by a squadron of B-52s, an unlikely survivor might poke its head through the wreckage at Ford: the Ranger. Originally slated to be given a gold watch, a pat on the back, and then shown the door in 2009, the Detroit News reports that the current Ranger might live on until 2011, when its new global replacement will be ready. Attractive fuel economy and good sales numbers -- the Ranger is the #2 compact truck behind the Taco, even though opening the door to the Ford is like stepping into a time machine to the 1990s -- might be the current Ranger's saviors. Salvation is not completely assured, however. Some investment would be required to keep Ranger alive no matter what, as the current truck doesn't have side airbags, which are required after 2009 (this was probably one of the reasons it was slated to die off then in the first place). Is spending money on the Ranger to extend its life just two years in Ford's best interests? Bean-counters will decide. In case you haven't noticed, they've been doing a lot of deciding, lately.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone who needs a small crew cab obviously doesn't need a small pickup in the first place. The Ranger needs to stay basically where it is....small, relatively inexpensive to buy, and cheap to keep. A next generation drivetrain would be nice. Dump the gas hog 3.0 and 4.0 and replace with a fuel efficient 24 valve engine. If you need to move a freaking family around buy a car.
      • 7 Years Ago

      With 5 dollar gas, the beauty of a cheap & simple, easy-to-maintain, and fuel-efficient compact pickup will be re-discovered and re-appreciated by the American Public, en masse. Soon.

      2 suggestions for Ford to make the Ranger sing:

      1) Bring the crew-cab version of it to the states that is currently sold in Mexico.


      2) Throw a small diesel in that puppy! Americans love diesels in their large pickups already. Wait 'til they see that in small truck it gets 'em 40 mpg. You won't be able to build enough.

      With rapid-fire downsizing on every American's mind, 2009 could very well turn out to be the year of the Ranger.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Americans love Diesels in their large trucks? Over 90% of large trucks in the hands of the general public (not contractors) are gas powered. That doesn't seem like a lot of love to me.

        Oh, and

        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey, I don't want to argue with anyone about reality.

        Whether or not at least a significant portion of America loves Diesels in their trucks is matter of fact-checking, I think! The most-capable superduty trucks seem to be Cummins Diesels. My truck friends seem proudest of the Diesel-powered Dually trucks that can pull a house off of its foundation.

        My main point is this:

        If there is a type of vehicle that Americans will embrace a diesel engine in, it is the pickup truck.

        And there are literally thousands of hard-working diesels doing the stump-pulling and hardest hauls already plying America's highways.

        Any negative connotations that a diesel engine has in a passenger car are MORE than overcome with people's positive associations with a diesel engine in a pickup - so acceptance would be quicker/greater there than in, say, a Ford Fusion.

        But once the word-of-mouth starts spreading that "The tough-as-nails diesel in that Ranger gets 40 mpg," then watch out.

        The Ford Ranger (or a similar small pickup, like, say the new Mahindra that's coming soon) could really be the catalyst that sets off "Diesel Fever" in the States.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ why not the LS2LS7?:

        Ever stop to think that even if that statistic were true (source?), that maybe it's only because gas trucks are easier to get?
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ why not the LS2LS7?: source of that 90% statistic? Guess that probably includes 1/2 ton trucks huh, which aren't even offered with a diesel in the first place (yet), since according to that link diesels still make up 60% of SuperDuty sales (down from 75%). I realize the truck market here in TX might be a bit different than the rest of the country, but you just about can't find a 3/4 or 1-ton truck that's a gasser around here.

        And FWIW, my primary vehicle is a 1-ton diesel Ram Megacab. My commuter is a 4-banger Ranger though (consistent 28mpg highway).
      • 7 Years Ago
      The ecoboost engine to this pickup Ford should bring.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Stop trolling the ecoboost you idiots. Its not all its hyped up to be.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Ranger has been a good platform for Ford and reliable to boot, my 98' has over 100K on it and the 3.0L V6 still makes good power, yields 23.8MPG Highway completely reliable.
      Why not offer the Duratec 3.0L at 240HP and the Base 2.5L at 170 as Engine Options in this package and freshen it a little. And for the record, the Toyota Tacoma is WAYYYY Overrated, the Ranger's Frame is superior to that piece of spaghetti.
      • 7 Years Ago
      bring back the Syclone.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Too bad that was a hotted up GMC version of the S10, and not a ford at all...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The biggest problem with the Ranger is that you can't choose between fuel economy and the 4x4 option. Make a 4cyl available with 4x4 and i'd be a happy man.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i have a 2004 ford ranger edge 4x4 4 door xtra cab dark shadow grey auto trans. (4.0 6cyl. power windows, locks, cruise, AC, tilt, CD tape deck , vinyl floor. 58,000 miles and still going strong. the only major thing i've had to replace was a trans. sensor other than that no problems best truck i've ever owned.

      i also had a 1998 ford ranger XLT four wheel drive which i bought in 2000 and sold in 2007 with 150,000 miles. and she was still going strong also rangers are great little trucks shame on ford. .
      • 7 Years Ago
      My dad has owned three B3000 Dual Sport Mazdas. They are decent trucks for the money, and he gets 24-26mpg with the small V6.

      His biggest complaint was that the 4.0L could ONLY be purchased in an extended cab if he paid for the quad cab (suicide door) option..another $2,000. As a result he stuck with the 3.0L.

      I think overall the small and midsize truck markets are going to grow significantly at the expense of full size trucks (assuming they can't get full size truck mileage up). I know once he DID own a 4x4 regular cab Ranger with a 2.3L, but that was back around 1996.

      I'll keep my 2007 Dakota, I just hope Dodge puts the same effort in to it as they did the 2009 Ram. Mechanically the current Dakota is awesome, but it needs some serious styling attention.

      Side air bags?? Once again..the gov't over regulating to try to make everyone safe. People wonder why our vehicles are getting so heavy..but then they want to stuff even more crap in to them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would gladly by a Ranger if they did a few things.

      -Refresh the interior. Simple is good, especially in a truck, but it can be nicer than that and still simple.

      -Give it an exterior refresh. I know it's been nothing but refreshes since '93, but if they were to start working on a new version now it wouldn't be ready until the replacement comes anyway. And a full refresh, not just the nose.

      -Rear jump seat delete option and a good orange color.

      -A more powerful 4 cylinder that I can have 4 wheel drive with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did you see Ford ONLY sells the Ranger in a turbodiesel in the UK ? :-) Since the EURO5/6 emissions that kick in Jan 2009 are harder than our Tier2 BIN5, you know Ford has already made the Ranger diesel ready for the US requirements - why not at least offer it here ? Dodge sells over 70% of their trucks as diesel too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford dealers love selling this truk. They sell all they can get ahold of.

      That being said, how many could they sell if it was actually a good product? like the kind they sell in the rest of the world...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed. Not only do trucks in this niche sell, but they sell despite not being very good.

        Ford better concentrate on smaller trucks, because you can bet the other manufacturers will.

        Maybe now we'll see the race to produce a good true small truck instead of the current race to produce the biggest small truck that produced things like the Tacoma and the now gone T100.
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