Ford Ranger Might Return to U.S.

Ranger front II

A lot has changed in the last 12 months. Not only have the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon been well received — winning several prestigious awards (namely the Best Pickup of 2014 and Motor Trend's Truck of the Year) — but combined sales of the new midsize pickup trucks are on target to break the 100,000 unit mark by the end of the year, beating just about all the industry predictions. Add to that the fact that the perennial favorite in the segment, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, has just come to market as an all-new, significantly advanced pickup, and it's no wonder this segment is attracting more interest.

For those reasons alone it should come as no surprise that The Detroit News is reporting that Ford is likely to bring the Ranger midsize pickup back to the U.S. by 2018, and it most likely will be produced in Wayne, Mich., just north of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

The Ford Ranger was last sold in the states in 2012; it suffered from poor performance and construction. With the exception of a few styling and interior upgrades, the Ranger that abandoned the U.S. compact/midsize pickup segment hadn't really been improved since it came to market in 1993. Since then the segment and industry have gone through several significant changes, not the least of which was four-door models becoming the norm and half-ton pricing dropping significantly. As to the global Ranger — which enjoys considerable popularity in other parts of the world like Australia, South America and Africa — it's not clear what changes might be made to make it a more competitive player in the U.S., especially given the fact that the four-door model is not much smaller than some F-150 models.

Other automakers seem to be eyeing the midsize segment, suggesting that the small truck market could grow, making more options available to buyers. Hyundai has been playing with the Santa Cruz concept; many reports state it will be available in just a few years. Likewise, speculation about Jeep shopping a new pickup truck concept to its dealership network has some predicting another new midsize pickup (and we're guessing a very off-road capable one) is on the way; that assumes parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles can figure out where to make it.

Whether this speculation is real or imagined, it could mean entry-level pickup truck buyers will be the ones who benefit the most as more truckmakers get competitive with existing pickup pricing. From where we sit, having a "Jeep capable" midsize pickup could work for buyers looking for a work-duty family addition. For those who don't need all the "truckiness" of a traditional pickup, something like a sport-utility truck, lifestyle player could be appealing. And we absolutely think there's still plenty of room for a capability-first, downsized F-150 if Ford wants to re-enter the midsize market.

Given how conservative this segment has been during the last 10 years (the Honda Ridgeline excluded), getting a few more options will be a good thing for a truck sector that desperately needs to be shaken up.

Manufacturer images


Ranger front 2 II


Ranger size Ram II


Ranger size Ram rear II


Here's what you wrote;
"Big Al - in your own way you rile up the crowd just as much if not more than the brand fans or my comments aimed at some of those."

Yes look at the last dozen or so comments, all productive.

Like dogs pi$$ing on fire hydrants we are.

Big Al from Oz - you often forget that the hydrant I am pissing on is just a few metres away. You have to ship your fluids across globe but act like we are sharing the same hydrant.

The Video of the Mazda towing a similar Boat more indicative. Same size as the Ranger and the comment made on the video it
" has stability control" refers to the normal factory option. Previously you had to get non factory ,after market controllers

@roadwhale, fox, whatever

You responded to NONE of my truck remarks. Your typical comments can be characterized very neatly:

You won't buy a new truck until they make one with your name on it. It has to be smaller than anything in the market. Everybody else is wrong.

Please try replying to the comments re Ford, GM Ram and Rangers. Whatever silly crap BigAl wants to throw in is SOSO.

2008? It's more then clear Ford made a mistake by not bringing the international Ranger when it was redesigned.

Fords goal as it's always been; is to continue to be dominant in all areas of the Pick Up Truck segment, with the Colorado and Canyon doing quite well along with the recently introduced Tacoma, Frontier and the upcoming Ridgeline, as far as Ford is concerned, this is an opportunity that has become too enticing to pass up on.

The all Aluminum body option, would really give this truck an advantage point in weight savings and increased Fuel Economy within it's class!!!

@Papa Jim: "You responded to NONE of my truck remarks."

Maybe you should read my comments again, hmmm? But since you want me to be specific:

"The Ranger discussed in this piece is very late to the dance. With gas prices finding new lows every day, the whole emphasis at Ford on CAFE has missed their base consumer by a country mile. RAM and GM have refined their half ton trucks considerably during the last five years and Ford product development seems lost."

First off, the Ranger discussed in this piece MAY be the global version, but by discussion both in this article and elsewhere probably will not be. We simply don't know if the coming (maybe) Ranger will be larger or smaller than the previous version. It may be late to the game coming in with a Colorado-sized model, it may be late to the game coming in with a Tacoma/Frontier-sized model or it may be right on time with a more Hyundai-sized model. We just don't know. I do know their argument about a larger Ranger making no sense as a product
possibly encroaching on F-series sales, though the Colorado has at least somewhat proven that if there is any effect, it's minimal. On the other hand, the Colorado really doesn't make that much sense itself as it is so close to the same size as a full-sized truck.

On the other hand, if Ford again brought out a true compact Ranger--one specifically designed for the DIYer that doesn't make claims to massive cargo capacity but rather the convenience of taking care of your own home and landscaping; easy loading and hauling of personal toys and the agility of a true urban/suburban driver, they could well blow away the Hyundai AND use it as a base for building a new Bronco that could compete with the Jeep Wrangler across all its operating ranges. Since the last Bronco was cancelled, Jeep has had almost no competition in the dedicated 4x4 market--including the pickup trucks. That removable top is one of the Jeep's strongest selling points, which is why they sell hundreds of thousands of them a year, now. Some claim they're selling nearly 400,000/year but Wikipedia says it was just under 200,000 last year, still a huge number for such a 'niche' vehicle.
If a Ranger-based Bronco were to directly compete, the Bronco alone would legitimize the Ranger's return.

Next Hummer running DURAMAX POWERTRAIN

I do think the Everest/Bronco here in Australia is slated as a Grand Cherokee competitor, but with more off road creed.

If the Ranger does make it to the US market is will be "Americanised". US pickups and commercials tend to not be used the same as their global counterparts.

As I've stated Ford needs the Ranger so it doesn't miss the boat. The next US Navara/Frontier might be the midsizer that will do reasonably well against the Taco.

The Ranger, Colorado, BT50 are more aligned to a full size in many ways than many of their competitors. They appear to be the most "Americanised" of the global midsizers.

@Big Al: "The Ranger, Colorado, BT50 are more aligned to a full size in many ways than many of their competitors. They appear to be the most "Americanised" of the global midsizers."

I'm going to agree with that entire comment, Al, and I do fully understand that there is a need for the larger type of pickup--especially in commercial use (including farming and ranching). But private homeowners are now turning around and saying, "Enough is too much!" Proof of this is the fact that the GM mid-sized twins are doing far better than most of the naysayers here ever wanted to admit. The simple fact that Ford itself is considering bringing the Ranger back after such a definitive abandonment of the model shows that they've recognized their mistake.

But they're still concerned simply because of what they said before; will it cannibalize existing F-150 sales and if so, by how much? How can we minimize the Ranger's effect on our most profitable F-series trucks? Do they risk it as a global-sized venture? Would it still be a Ranger? I agree with some that if they bring the global model in, they should rename it to F-100 instead. It's too big to really carry the old Ranger badge here in the States. GM's Canyon/Colorado can get away with it because they were renamed when their size was increased back in the late '90s, away from the S-10/S-15 'compact' trucks.

Even so, a new, smaller Ranger might be exactly the truck they need. Hyundai is close to green-lighting the Santa Cruz which is almost a full three feet shorter than the Colorado while still offering an extended-cab configuration. The old S-10s and Rangers are still in demand, far beyond their big-brothers' value for their age and size. Of course, I'd love to stick one of those 2.7 EcoBoost with a 6-speed stick under the hood of my '97. I'd probably gain 10 mpg across the board if I did. And yes, mpg is still important to me despite the lower fuel prices. I love the fact that I can fill up on average for between $20-$25 with mid-grade gas when that old F-150 was drinking $60 per fill-up with regular for the same range just last November when fuel prices were about the same as now. More fuel economy means lower fuel budget means more money I can spend elsewhere. A new Ranger at the old '97s size or even the '85s size (I know, only barely shorter according to Wiki), could be FAR more popular than even the Colorado/Canyon and legitimately challenge the Tacoma for true mid-sized sales.

The Colorado/Ranger/BT50/I forgot the Dmax from Izuzu are all based on pickups from US companies.

They come with most everything a full size has, even trailer sway. They all also have the refinement of a full size.

Apparently the new Navara is in the same league and possibly better especially if they can tune the front suspension a little better.

As for your smaller pickups, which are a coupe utility they do have a home. We had one called a Proton Brumby from Malaysia. I was popular as a niche vehicle. People bought them for the same reasons you stated. Which is essentially why do I want to haul around several tons of steel most of the time, when I only need to move one and a quarter tons.

They had a 1.5 litre engine. Not fast, but they held their own in the traffic.

What I don't like about Hyundai's little pickup is the dual cab configuration. I would rather a single cab with the added bed length in such a small vehicle, and of course a little diesel.

People who will buy these will be young first timers and empty nesters, so the need for additional passenger space can be done with the wifes, CUV.

So there's been a bit of info starting to leak out that Ford is working on an F100 again.

We know Ford has been caught testing a F100
We also know Ford stated that any smaller than F150 truck will be aligned to their international Ranger platform.
Ford has also previously mentioned that the international Ranger was too narrow and the next one will be larger.

It makes sense to try to use as many parts in common as possible.

Maybe use the dash and interior bits from the Explorer parts bin.

The 2.7 liter Ecoboost is almost overkill and we all know Ford does not do overkill for non SVT/performance vehicles.

The most likely is candidate is 2.3 liter EcoBoost motor, with the 3.5 liter and 2.0 liter EcoBoost motors also being a possibility.

Aluminum truck? Maybe, I'm not so sure.

6+ speed transmission would be a given.

Fuel Economy equal or 1-2 MPG better than the GM twins.

A partly aluminum F100 with a 2.3 liter Ecoboost weighing 3500-4100lbs could ruin GM's and Toyota's day.

26-30 MPG highway, 20-23 MPG city

I sure hope this is for real. I love our Ranger pickup. I just wish it could come to the US sooner. I was going to retire but now maybe I will keep on working and save for a new Ford Ranger.

Another 35K option that gets 22ish MPG cant tow cant haul is all about sitting high, looking good and the few times one thinks looking good and sitting high matter more than anything might wanna go off road. If you got the money to waste by all means pretend trucks are great. If you want mileage, value your money or got work to do then you buy other things.

"I sure hope this is for real. I love our Ranger pickup. I just wish it could come to the US sooner. I was going to retire but now maybe I will keep on working and save for a new Ford Ranger."
-- Posted by: Ed and Carol Carr | Sep 1, 2015 7:53:17 PM

Now owning a '97 Ranger myself in like-new condition (a garage find, of all things), I fully appreciate the benefits of a smaller truck like this, especially after having owned an F-150 just last year. This little pickup gets 25% better gas mileage due to a combination of smaller size and smaller engine, but does have the drawback of being slightly underpowered for its size--more due to the transmission gearing than to the final drive ratio. It also seems to be having breathing difficulties as a new, high-flow air filter made a notable difference in low-end torque but it needs help in winding up for acceleration. A cat-back exhaust might be demanded but adding a small turbocharger with about 8-10# of boost would help as well (as compared to the 14+ pounds the current EcoBoost engines receive.) That said, kicking up the revs a bit before lifting the clutch makes a notable difference in getting off the line. (Have to look into adding a tach as this is one of the models that didn't have the tach as standard equipment.)

I think what's more interesting is the number of 90s-vintage so-called mid-sized trucks are still on the road, even here where steel worms love the taste of older cars and trucks. S-10s, Rangers and even Dakotas still dot the roads and in a trip I had to take through the outskirts of a nearby city I saw no less than 3 S-10s, 5 other Rangers (two of which were extended cab models) and two Dakotas all in remarkably clean condition--at least externally. I also noticed the drivers of quite a few full-sized trucks eyeing mine as I was making my rounds. There very clearly is a market for truly smaller trucks, despite the arguments of the full-size fanatics.

Give me a ranger with the 2012 body style, give it the FX4 lvl 2 options, a 5 spd and the 3.7 from the F150 and price it for what it should sell for. Boom, id buy one.

@Benchimus: I've considered contracting an engine swap in my little beastie from the 2.3L to the 2.7L EcoBoost, but have been told the swap is extremely complex and expensive--far more than the value of the truck (almost pristine) as it is.

Just when I decided that I wanted to buy a compact pickup, they started slipping away. I've been driving an early 90's Chrysler AA car for a couple of decades with no intention of getting rid of it at this my car. I would like to have a pickup as a second vehicle. I cannot stand these big hunks of metal on the roads today, with their ugly blockbuster grills. There is really no way for automakers to truly judge whether folks really want the big trucks. People have no other choice but to buy what is on the market. I am holding out for a couple of years for a 2018, hoping for a Ranger (that hopefully sits up a little higher..and not so carlike) or a Dakota revival. The early Dakota was one good-looking truck.

One comment mentioned "lackluster sales" of the new aluminum F-150. They sold 70,000 units in June, some 20,000 more than the Chevy.

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