Monday, May 14, 2007

Ranger Isn't Leading the Way

I have a soft spot for the Ford Ranger. I don't need or want a full-size pickup. Midsize pickups seem to have most of the large truck's negatives, like gas mileage and crappy ride, with few of the positives, like power and hauling capacity. Which leaves me with compacts. Which leaves the Ranger because there isn't anything else.

Unfortunately, Ford hasn't updated the Ranger in forever. This is good in that the bugs are worked out and the truck is cheap. People with over 150,000 miles on their Ranger are common and lots of people have a quarter of million on them. It is bad in that they don't seem to know where to go next. Autoblog has suggestions. I agree with the main theme of their suggestions: keep the truck small.

Outside the US, Ford sells a new model Ranger. It's a larger truck with diesel engine options that might do well here in the states. But it would also steal sales from the F150 which Ford doesn't want. Autoblog's idea of an Escape derived Ranger is kind of interesting. It makes the "truck" really compact and with the hybrid engine, it might get some new customers. And it's too small for comparison to the F150 which they want.

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