Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Why I love my Ranger and Ford should not let it die

Compact trucks VS Midsize trucks, in the light of rising gas prices. This is my 99 Ford Ranger, when I bought this I looked at many trucks including non-Ford trucks. I bought this for several reasons, I needed 4 wheel drive and wanted something that could haul anything I wanted. Many people asked why didn't I get a full size truck. Well there were several reasons, gas milage, parking, ease of getting around and price. When I bought this it was not my primary mode of transportation, I also had a 92 Ford Crown Victoria, but I knew that one day this could become my main mode of transportation. Today this is the only vehicle I own, having sold the fleet (92 Crown Vic, 93 SHO Taurus) and I'm quite happy with it.

I have had full size trucks in the past and have had ocassion to drive the newest F-150. While I don't have any problems with them, I don't see them as being practicle for anyone who doesn't have a real need. Back in 99 I could have afforded to buy an F-150 and gave it serious consideration, but the Ranger can haul everything I need, and gets marginally better fuel economy (15 city 20 highway 13 if I beat the piss out of it) On the rare ocassion that I venture into New York City for a show or other ocassion I can find parking at a reasonalbe rate or sometimes on the street. U-turns are not a big deal even on our narrow suburban street and highway ride is very good. My honey and I have done home renovations over the last few years and the Ranger has served us well with trips to the dump and Home Depot. I've helped people move or just picked up large items for our home or friends. I've never met a job that the Ranger can't handle (maybe it's been too much for me, but not the truck) I did add a bed extender cage to my truck for loads longer than 6 feet, but have had no problem with 4x8 sheets of lumber or drywall. For most people a truck the size of the Ranger just makes more sense. My older brother has an F-250 with the powerstroke diesel, but he plows. The Ranger just makes sense.

When Ford came out with the Ranger in the early 80's I was not impressed, the styling was fine, but it was underpowered and too small. Now my Ranger's 4.0 V-6 at 170 hp would be considered underpowered by the automotive press, hell even I've griped about other trucks offering more power, but the reality is my Ranger has seen tripple digit speeds on long trips and has been used to pull small trees off of the driveway at work. I don't panic getting on highway entrance ramps and have never felt any weakness from my truck. Mind you I don't race it, but who does?

The Ranger was the King of small trucks, then every other truck makers started to pump them up and stretch them. Now the line between "midsize"(remember whent they were Compacts?) trucks and fullsize trucks has become blurred. The Dodge Dakota and Ram both come with V-8's the Japanes trucks are larger and everyone but Ford offers a crew cab. Ford has let the Ranger suffer, not wanting to invest money in a losing proposition. I am sick of the thought that the Ranger may be heaped on the scrap pile.

What Ford should do is bring over the 2.5 L Diesle engine they offer in the Ranger overseas and offer the Crew Cab. That could be enough to bring back sales until a new platform can be designed and the Ranger can regain it's crown. A little more power from the new 4.0 SOHC V-6 wouldn't hurt either.


Anonymous said...

Ranger won't die, but Ford won't spend money on it for a long time--it is a shrinking segment. Look at what happened to GM and DCX, they redid the ir small trucks, and they can barely sell them.

Big Ford Fan said...

I agree that the Ranger won't "Die", but if you realize tht the Ranger was the best selling compact truck for 16 years in a row and now is near the bottom it's sad.

Maybe the reason the compact truck segment is shrinking is because of what GM and DCX are doing, making their "small trucks" into "midsize" and ruining what compact trucks are all about.

I still think that the small trucks will come back, when people realize that the big trucks aren't as easy to park and are to thirsty for fuel.

Anonymous said...

I think the Ranger is a great truck but it is beginning to show it's age. My Favorite Rangers were the ones like yours, but the 05's are kind of ugly if you ask me. I'm not saying they should replace it [GM replaced the S10 and the S15 Sonoma with the Colorado and the Canyon] but maby redisign it, turn the Ranger back into an affordable, hard working, good looking, economy truck.