2010 Ford Ranger – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford is deliberating, according to reports, over whether to replace the Ranger in the North American-market. The compact pickup is the second most popular in its class, at 55,600 units last year selling roughly half as many as Toyota does the Tacoma, and it was once the segment's best seller.

According to Pickuptrucks.com, Ford's Derrick Kuzak believes that most customers buying the Ranger use their vehicle like they would a car, rather than taking advantage of its inherent load-lugging utility. With that in mind, Kuzak says a more fuel-efficient F-150 – on which they're currently working – and new global small cars like the Fiesta and Focus could very well effectively replace Ranger in the North American market.

As it is, the most efficient 2010 Ranger is the base rear-wheel drive 2.3-liter four-cylinder model with a five-speed manual transmission, and it only achieves 22 miles-per-gallon city and 27 highway. When you look at that model with an automatic though, it nets 19/24. That's not all that much better than the much more capable F-150 with the three-valve 4.6-liter V8 and six-speed automatic, which gets 15/21. What's more, with an Ecoboost V6 F-150 widely expected in the not-too-distant future, we're betting on very similar economy numbers to the current automatic-equipped Ranger.

Development is still ongoing in Australia on the next-gen version of the foreign-market Ranger, which is a completely different truck from that sold in North America. However with the Fiesta, Focus and soon the Mondeo/Fusion abandoning their regional entrenchments in favor of global universality, the prospect of bringing the Australian Ranger home to roost still isn't outside the realm of possibility, but doesn't sound all that likely, either.


Related Gallery2010 Ford Ranger

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]