The Ranger Returns . . . Kinda Sorta

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The Ford Ranger is coming back – sort of.

There’s the name, anyhow. Not much else in common.

The original Ranger – which was last available in 2011 –  was an inexpensive, mechanically simple and most of all, compact-sized pick-up. No one makes these anymore – including Ford. The Bigness Sickness – and Cod Piece Fever – have huged-up everything, especially trucks. The current F-150 (like all current 1500s) is a disproportionate monster that requires a step ladder built into the tailgate so that people can access the bed. The new Ranger dials this back somewhat.

It is about the same size a truck as the full-size trucks of the 1980s – before The Bigness Sickness and Cod Piece Fever.

It is advertised as being a “mid-sized” truck – but check the specs. It’s actually longer overall than the current (2018) regular cab F-150: 211 inches vs. 209.3 inches and it is much longer than previous – and reasonably-sized – full-size F-trucks of the past. A 1980s-era regular cab F-truck was only 197.1 inches long overall –   about a foot shorter than the “mid-sized” 2019 Ranger.

The old Ranger, meanwhile was just 189.4 inches long overall. It fit in your garage; it was as nearly easy to park as a Corolla-sized (183.1 inches long) compact car.

Part of the reason for the ’19’s Longshanks length is that – unlike the F-truck, present and past as well as the original Ranger – it will not be offered in a regular cab configuration. That’s out the window, too. It will come only with four doors – your choice limited to full-size rear doors (double cab) or smaller-size rear doors (super cab).

Without, of course, a long bed. Because that would make it too long – even for our Cod Pieceian Times.

This makes it less suited for work than the new F-150 – as well as the old Ranger. The new one is more a mid-sized SUV – with a small bed out back for the dog and such.

If you want just the two doors – and less length – you can always buy the full-sized F-150.

Hell, they cost about the same.

The “new” Ranger (which isn’t really; it’s been on sale in Europe and other markets for several years) costs the U.S. equivalent of about $26k over there. Expect it to cost about the same over here.

The current/2018 F-150 stickers for $27,380 to start. Keep in mind, that’s with 2WD; the 4WD versions cost closer to $30k.

A reasonably-sized, affordable truck. Too bad no one makes one anymore.

 

Whatever happened to affordable trucks?

You could buy the old Ranger for about $18k to start – about $8k more than the expected MSRP of the “new” one. Granted, the old Ranger didn’t have lightweight (but high cost to fix) aluminum body panels, as the new one does (emulating the current F-150) nor a standard 8-inch touchscreen and dual LCD “productivity screens,” as the new one does. Nor did it come standard with a ten speed automatic transmission paired with an “Ecoboosted” turbocharged engine, as the new Ranger will.

Ford sold it in basic work truck configuration – with manual windows, even. No touchscreen. Rubber floor mats, if you can imagine that. Just two air bags. The optional 4WD system was controlled manually, by pulling on a lever to engage it.

There was a manual transmission, too.

No turbo.

2018 Ranger’s interior.. you get what you’re paying for…

Which is why you could buy one for about $18k – vs. close to $27k for the new one. Not counting the inevitably higher cost to insure the new one, in part because of those expensive-to-fix aluminum body panels.

Trucks used to be made out of steel because “light weight” was an irrelevant consideration. What mattered more – to people who bought trucks – was that if you hit a deer, you could pull the fender back into shape with a come-along. When a quarter panel rusted out, welding in a patch panel was cheap and easy.

It’s not with aluminum.

But Ford went with aluminum because light weight is a very relevant consideration to them, in terms of achieving compliance with CAFE – the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency mandates. It is also why the new Ranger has a ten-speed automatic, the equivalent – as far as the buyer is concerned – of a weekend cyclist spending $5k on a carbon fiber bicycle. He may think he’s Lance Armstrong – and that he is “faster” because the $5k bike weighs eight ounces less than a $3k bike made of something else, less costly.

But he’s not Lance Armstrong – and his weekend ride isn’t the Tour de France.

Just so, the ten speed automatic (jointly developed with GM, which uses the same box in several of its new vehicles) might squeeze an extra 3 or so MPG out of the Ranger vs. what it would manage with a six-speed automatic – but the six speed won’t cost you $5k to replace when it breaks tens years down the road from now.

That ten speed, on the other hand.

The also-standard Ecoboosted turbocharged engine is even more functionally and economically demented. On the one hand, Ford makes it necessary to have a powerful engine by making the 2019 Ranger 85 percent full-sized and heavy – its “light weight” aluminum panels notwithstanding (compare the curb weight of the actually compact previous Ranger to the curb weight of the new more-than-mid-sized Ranger) because of the four-door cab and then there’s no possibility of going with a four cylinder engine, which wouldn’t be strong enough to pull the thing decently.

But a V6 is off the table because of CAFE.

So, an elaborate turbocharged four. To provide the on-demand power necessary to get this almost full-size truck going, but at the same time, be theoretically capable of better gas mileage than the V6. Theoretically – if you drive it like a crippled vehicle you’re trying to nurse home before it conks out. Accelerate normally – and the turbo will boost up and your mileage will go down.

The whole thing is nuttier than ten Ted Kaczynskis.

And the one thing that isn’t – the 43 MPG-capable diesel engine Ford sells in the European version – is something we won’t get.

Too bad there isn’t a basic work truck you can just buy anymore. That can be paid off within three to five years, like you used to be able to.

And which isn’t afflicted by the Bigness Sickness – and Cod Piece Fever.

Like the old Ranger.

Ah well. I suppose that’s like wishing we could board an airplane without being felt up by a government geek – and that cops had to have probable cause before they could molest you.

. . .

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Eric. Thanks for the write up. I have a 2002 Toyota Tundra. We keep cattle and I find a truck very useful for hay, feed, fencing materials, chainsaws and firewood. Except for some frame rust and a blown radio it has been trouble free. When ever I start thinking of replacing it, I look around and realize that anything new to replace it is stupid big, ugly and near useless for real work. They also cost more then my first house. I intend to keep the Tundra and when it won’t pass .gov inspections, stick a “Farm Use” sticker on it and keep driving it.

  2. I put hundreds of thousands of miles on base model Rangers and a Dakota. Those simple, 4-cyl, manual work trucks were fantastic… almost like a latter-day Model T. Easy to park, easy to fit in the garage, easy to jack, and cheap to buy. Nothing you couldn’t fix on them, cheaply and easily; I’d have kept mine running forever if it weren’t for Northern road salt.

    A full-size truck is more comfortable for long highway trips, but for bombing around town and throwing a bale of hay or a washing machine in the bed those simple, compact trucks couldn’t be beat. Full-size trucks are often too high to load or unload the bed easily.

    I too dislike the new Ranger; it looks more like the newer Colorado, with the high beltline and four doors.

    Contrary to what Eric wrote above, it might be available in 2-door; there are pics floating around the internet of the new Ranger in a 2-door, extended cab version. Whatever version, it probably won’t be cheap or simple.

    • Hi X,

      This is why I’m keeping my ’02 Frontier; it’s exactly as you’ve described. On the two-door Ranger: It exists – and is sold in Europe – but Ford will not sell that version here. Nor the diesel engine.

      • eric, I can’t help but wonder why Ford won’t sell the 2 door ext-cab version in the US. Any thoughts? Not enough crap to go wrong? Everybody they think would choose a 3 door? I suppose “lines” on a pickup aren’t the most important thing and it’s nice to have the third door but there are advantages to having a 2 door for me. It’s like a nice little sanctuary for Cholley Jack and a good way to keep prying eyes and hands away from his “Vehicle Protection Policy”. It’s also a more rigid body with less gaskets and hinges for sealing problems. If you can’t get in, I can chain you down in the back so it looks like a pile of clothes or throw a blanket over you. To be honest, I never had a problem riding in the bed and have done so in my earlier life for extended trips. Hell, we used to put the cattle racks on and throw a mattress in the back and cover it with a tarp. Not sure it wasn’t as good as the cab back when a/c wasn’t a standard on pickups. Without the tarp you could star gaze and be comfortable. Before Uncle got into it, we’d put a couple chaise lounges in the bed and cruise with two people and a cooler. A sliding rear window and they could keep bar on the trip. It was a lot safer than getting out of the cab and into the back since one guy lost his grip coming back from the rig one night and slipped into the darkness at 60+ mph. Don’t worry, we were hard as rocks back then and he was ok, just picked a complement of grassburrs out of his face and other places, gave him two beers and he was right as rain. Oh god, it makes everything in my psyche hurt remembering all those freedoms lost.

      • God damn that is frustrating.

        Diesel Nazis – “No high economy high durability diesels for YOU!”

        Imagine what kind of mileage and range you get, along with low end torque, out of a simple 4 cylinder diesel that burned REAL diesel fuel.

        This is one part of Uncle Sucker’s War on Diesels that often gets left out. Due to government fatwas, all the sulfur has been stripped out of diesel fuel, which is why it is more expensive than gasoline now, and also why it does not contain the same energy per a given volume than it used to have.

        I reckon that a modern, turbocharged 2.0 or 2.5 diesel in a small, light, 2 door compact pickup, burning real fuel would get 65-75 mpg averages, maybe more.

        • >”Imagine what kind of mileage and range you get, along with low end torque, out of a simple 4 cylinder diesel that burned REAL diesel fuel.”<

          Yeah, and one which had a real injector pump, instead of this bullshit computer-controlled oil=pressure injection crapola!

          The kind where you could pop the clutch to start it and run it all day without even a battery.

          Remember those days, when diesels required LESS maintenance than gas engines, and got near twice the MPGs, instead of just 3 or 4MPGs more than a gasser?!

          I see idiots buying trucks with 6.0's and 6.4's and spending $12K or more to bulletproof them [read: make them functional, so they won't require a new head gasket or new motor every 50K miles], and I ask them: "Why the hell didn't you just get a gas job? Even if you drive a TON, you'll never make up that $12K+ in fuel savings, and unless you're always towing heavy loads through the mountains, what's the advantage?" -and ya then see that look on their face, like a lightbulb just went off- like they had never considered these facts before. In fact, I don't even have the heart to ask anymore, seeing as how often I've seen that look.

          • When you pull big goosenecks at 75-80 diesels are nice as well as having that low end grunt. For some reason, diesel pickups have come down in price, not necessarily the price on the sticker but the price you have to pay for a new one….and the trade-in value has gone crazy for older used diesel pickups.

            I saw a diesel Canyon the other day with the small 2.8 L Duramax and it seemed peppy in traffic although I was just an observer.

            Yep, I sometimes have dreams of the old diesels you could just park on the side of a hill, clutch it and then start it by using 2nd gear and leave it running all day. A friend had an old Power Stroke he parked on the steep hill outside his house. The starter didn’t work for at least 6 months but no problem….just stop it on a slope.

            • New ones are comin’ down ’cause people are catching on to what garbage they are. It’s getting to the point where 15-19 year-old PSD’s are going for more than late model ones.

              I think yer friend’s must’ve been the old IDF 7.3…’cause you’ll never start a Powerstroke without a battery, much less keep it running, ’cause the voltage has to be just right, or the computer’s get all mixed-up, and those injectors ain’t a-firin’.

        • Diesel Nazis – “No high economy high durability diesels for YOU!”

          Absolutely infuriating.

          Diesels solve so many of the problems that the Eco-Nazis raise, yet they stubbornly refuse to allow them to become the solution.

          Clearly they aren’t really seeking solutions, but are deliberately throwing up barriers to technology that actually works.

          Their misanthropic “deep ecology” agenda is to sabotage industrial society.

          • Well-said, Bevin!

            In Europe they had allowed diesels to be the solution for quite a few decades. Plenty of diesel cars there….and of course they highly taxed that diesel fuel… I mean, ya can’t have people doing things as economically as their technology would allow!

            Here in the US, I always wondered if GM’s notorious catastrophe- the Olds 350 diesel for cars, wasn’t actually designed to fail- to turn Americans off of diesel cars?

            Then, when diesels did start gaining some popularity here in VWs and pick-up trucks…it wasn’t long before the car companies started making those diesels so complex and dependent upon electronics, that it essentially robbed them of the durability and reliability that diesels are known for…and then along came Uncle and imposed all kinds of draconian emission controls…killed off the VW diesel…and is now pushing/subsidizing ridiculous electric cars; and ditto Europe now, where they are essentially killing off the diesel too…

            We just can’t be allowed to have a technology which achieves such economy, reliability and durability through simplicity, and which permits us to use a variety of fuels- even waste vegetable oil. (Many of the good old diesels- like ones used on old farm tractors, without electronics, could run on anything from kerosene to home-made vegetable oil, without any modifications or fancy-pants fuel-handling systems!)…we just can’t have such things, because things such as that enable freedom! Economic freedom; Freedom of movement; freedom from bureaucracies ; freedom from utilities; freedom from control; etc.

            The unfestooned simple old-fashioned diesel was truly the closest we’ve ever come to a John Galt free energy machine!

  3. It looks like it has leaf springs and a straight rear axle which should mean it has a frame which makes it a functional truck all it needs is a 275 hp V8 ohv

  4. Motortrend said this about the new Ranger:

    “The Ranger owner is an urban dweller who drives his truck to work—not for work—and uses it to play on the weekend with his toys in the bed in back.”.

    The new Ranger is a semblance of stereotypical masculinity, for a generation of man children. It’s not about utility, it’s a status symbol, and a crutch. Our men pretend to be men, they grow beards because stereotypes. But stick a modern man in the woods and watch him struggle to start a fire, clean a fish or make shelter. In society he can no longer discipline his children, manage finances, eat something not out of a package. The Ranger isn’t meant to haul lumber for a man repairing his home, it’s for a man who leaves his office job on the weekend and wants a place to carry his tent and cooler so he can feel outdoorsy.

    • Hi JN,

      I’ve noticed the Beard Thing, too. The sickly irony of emasculated men wearing facial hair as the one outwardly “manly” thing they are still allowed to do…

      • I can’t wait till the beard thing is over! I’ve had a beard mosty of my adult life (And I’m not a hairy person, so it looks, to those who don’t know me, like I’m just starting out!)….but now that it’s “the style”, I’m sure that I’m stereotyped into the pile of “just trying to look like a real man”.

    • If a man even attempted to try and manage and control his wife, children and affairs as nature and God intended, he’d be arrested in today’s gynocentric shit-pit of Lilith.

      • Ain’t THAT the truth, Ant. Fed!

        Really, life went on pretty much as normal for several thousand years….until women in America were given the vote. THAT is when everything went to hell, because women are inherently collectivist, opportunistic, materialistic, and mercenary- and not wired for decision-making, power or authority. It’s bad enough when men have a power structure in place to exercise those traits…but when women get into the mix, it’s guaranteed to go communist/socialist- as it indeed has. That power is then used to castrate men; and since the US is a world empire, which exports it’s culture and politics, our whole world is now infected with the disease which all started 100 years ago.

    • As long as we’re laughing at today’s “man”, myself and a friend enjoy being in a Lowes or Home Depot, and we study the footwear being worn by males.

      If you wish us to mock you and snicker, then wear flip-flops, crocs or sandals of any kind: Extra snickers if you wear white socks or footies with these.

      • …even sneakers. What’s with all the grown men always wearing sneakers?! And ridiculous-looking sneakers at that- they look like elf shoes!

        Between that and the huge, baggy oversized floppy shorts which end up looking like skirts, their legs end up looking like little matchsticks supporting whale bodies, with the little elf shoes at the bottom. They end up looking more feminine then most of the women- and couple that with feminine/juvenile body language…

      • Yeah, Brent. I don’t see these new trucks looking “masculine” at all- any more so than a suit designed by some homo fashion designer. They’re just pretending. In the case of the big pick-ups, they’re over-compensating and being very obvious about it. A manly man doesn’t to advertise, or go out of his way to look the part. They’re like the sissy cops with the buzz cuts, who have to try and look the part, but they know and we know that without all of fancy weapons, they’d run home like little boys.

        The other P/U’s, with all the plastic, and styling, and sleekness, just look delicate, or like they’re styled to appeal to some hipster whose most daring feat is to drive something that is not a car.

        • They’re like the sissy cops with the buzz cuts, who have to try and look the part, but they know and we know that without all of fancy weapons

          True.

          Actually it’s even worse than that. It’s merely the “authority” they enjoy that enables them to act tough and abuse mere mundanes. Without the power of the state backing them, they would be no match for armed civilians.

  5. Wasn’t the Ranger introduced in 1970?

    Once a maker picks an old mark for a new vehicle hold on.

    Blazers were very capable to begin with. Once it was a revived mark it was a POS. The wife wanted one and I stupidly acceded to her desire. Bofus had egg on our face after that debacle.

    Sorta like a mouthful of cat fur it’s hard to get rid of the need to spit.

    • I agree, Eight –

      I can’t think of a single venerated nameplate that was brought back better; always worse.

      This includes Camaro. I know I’ll get flack, but the current thing is a bloated, overpriced caricature. The only things it has on classic Camaros is superior acceleration and handling – but both of those are easily brought up to speed in an older Camaro – but you can’t undo/fix the new car’s grotesque proportions and hideous design.

    • Awww, THAT Ranger don’t count, 8- that was just a sub-model designation of the F-series trucks. Their li’l pick-em-up (rebadged import) was the Courier. Then they came out with the Ranger as a small stand-alone truck.

      You guys remember the patheric 90’s incarnation of the Buick “Regal” or the Pontiac “Lemans”? LOL!!! (Li’l 4-cyl. shitboxes branded with the venerable old nameplates of real cars!)

      • I “had” 2 customers that owned the “lemoans” They were rebadged DaWoos. Just like the current Aveo, a little piece of pathetic crap that coudn’t outrun its own exhaust, or even outlive it’s own payment book! These are instant “trailer trash” cars meant to humiliate anyone just sitting in them.

        • Haha, yeah, I don’t know how anyone can stand to drive those things. I couldn’t imagine actually buying one…NEW, no less! Paying all that money for something with the cheesiness of a Yugo. I’d much rather have some ancient $1500 hooptie than one of those abominatins brand new.

          A relative bought a new Chevy Sonic recently…LOL- the ones with the plastic intake thingies that crack and often destroy the engine at less than 50K miles…which I don’t think anyone would really complain about, ’cause by then, anyone who owns one of those things is probably wishing for an encounter with a cement truck or a good fire or something.

          I see Sonics used- just 2 years old, with low miles, locally….they’ve already lost almost 60% of their value (if you can call it that).

          The $300 car that any teenager used to drive in the 70’s is like a Lambo compared to any of these things the day they rolled off the assembly line! How the hell can these things be someone’s car, that they drive every day; that they insure; that they make payments on for years?! (I doubt anyone ever paid cash for one. Anyone with enough sense to save up some cash wouldn’t buy such a POS; and if they won the guv’mint lottery or something, they probably wouldn’t part with cold hard cash for cheese-mobile! Those are definitely “payment only” cars…sold to those whose only other transportation option is the Buy-Here-Pay-Here lot.

  6. It seems to me that if they wanted to offer something different, they should have made a two door extended cab version. Why do all trucks have to be 4 doors. It is quite obvious that they could have offered that version with a longer bed. The product planners at Ford and all other car companies absolutely suck.

    • I’ve had 2 and 3 door ext. cabs. I’ll take the 2 every time. Lines are nicer but mainly there’s no shitty door to leak air even though it’s handy for stuffing the back floorboard/seat.

      • Speaking of debt financing, Eric, I just heard the pick-up sales figures last night for 2017.

        Ford alone sold almost 900,000 F-series (consumer versions) trucks.
        GM, with Chebby & GMC combined, and including full-size and smaller trucks, sould almost 800K
        Dodge: A little over 500K.
        Imports: Between 50-150K for each manufacturer.

        In total, almost 3 MILLION new trucks sold in 2016. I’m guessing that the average price was probably around $50K per truck. As many of the imports can cost $50K alone when optioned up. Small domestics and low-end 1/2 tons easily hit $30K….and the 2 million big trucks from the 3 manufacturers combined, with it not being uncommon for ’em to sell for over $70K- I think a $50K average price would be in the ballpark.

        3 Million trucks at $50K a pop in one year, in a stagnant economy…..

        It didn’t give the stats on how many are repossessed. And then another group of people go into debt to buy them as late-model used, for $40K+

        Insanity!

        And all for junk that is so overburdened with delicate emission controls; flukey electronics and sofware and luxury BS which costs a fortune to repair; and designed without regard to serviceability, so that the whole cab often has to be removed to change a turbo or a head or erl pan….that these things will all be dead before 10 years. (Not to mention that since the new bodies and paint work is so expensive to fix, that insurance on ’em is insane, and so people will be cancelling comp & collision as soon as they are paid off; then when they get hit, they won’t be able to afford to repair ’em)

        • See, this is where the CAFE comes in. Ford selling all those trucks, as being counted in the CAFE, they have to squeeeeze every mpg they can out of them. Furthermore, Ford has to squeeze *even more* out of the remaining cars they sell in order to harvest mpg’s for CAFE. (to balance out the gazillion trucks they sell). So now you see why Nissan and Toyota offer, as standard equipment, V-8’s in their full size trucks. (Which is what we gear-heads are all used to seeing.) That’s why I’m looking real hard at a Nissan Titan, regular cab, 4wd, V8, S-level trim & 8ft bed!. (a real work truck) Put some lowering springs on it, so I can load the damn thing and I’ll be good to go!

          • Absolutely, Tom. I don’t know of anyone who decides they want a new truck, and when asked what they want in a truck, proceeds to describe these things the manufacturers are offering.

            Instead, it’s more like they go and see what’s available, and then have to figure out what they can buy that’ll sorta somewhat come close to somewhat doing what they want.

            And what kills me; the aluminum bodies! As if a few hunnert pounds less is going to matter at all with MPGs. I’ve had some cement blocks in the back of my F250 for the past 2 months….they’ve had ZERO effect on MPG. It’s more about the gearing, aerodynamics, and having an engine that’s big enough to not have work near full capacity all the time.

            Ford has always been horrible with gearing- Almost every Ford truck I’ve owned has 4.10 gears- except my Excursion, which has 4.30’s 😮 !

            Unless it’s a towing rig, there’s no need for gearing that low in a pick-up. Take those same trucks and put reasonable gears in ’em, and do nothing else, and they’d get much better mPGs. Instead, they’d rather turn out tractors, and then use all kinds of high-tech expensive crap to try and scrape a few more MPGs out of ’em.

            A Nissan with an 8′ bed 😮 ! Wow!

      • The big pickups seem to be the last of the aspirational vehicles for a lot of guys (and even quite a few women) of all ages. It’s not just young guys or old guys (granted it’s more of a blue collar thing). It’s all ages. I think many figure if you have to go into debt, you may as well go big………..

        It may have to do with the overall boringness and small size of most cars now too.

        • It’s funny- they all these niche categories- SUVs, crossovers, sport trucks, EUVs, (they’re all POS’s to me!) but they’re all the freaking same! They all carry a few people, and if you’re lucky, may have a LITTLE cargo room for groceries or small items.

          They’re all essentially useless, other than as people movers. The best of ’em, maybe as suburban grocery getters….but if you live like a man, or live in the country, and don’t want to drive to town every other day….and need to carry 40 lb. bags of dog food and groceries for 10 days, and hardware, and maybe some lumber or pipes, etc. the only practical vehicle out there, is a large truck.

          I keep two vehicles. Sometimes I think I’d like to have one of them be a smaller higher-MPG vehicle…..but any such vehicle is utterly so impractical if the other is down, that it just doesn’t pay.

          • Only being able to have one vehicle is part of it for sure. That’s why rich people have different kinds of vehicles, because they can afford it, everybody else owns a catch all. There are very few people they only own an electric car for example. Why? It’s so unpractical.

  7. Guessing the upcoming Bronco will be built on this same platform with the same drivetrain. So it won’t be a Bronco anymore then the Ranger is a Ranger.

    • Any time they name a new vehicle after a good old tried and true vehicle…it’s always a disaster, and a pathetic wannabe. Remember the Plymouth Tur(d)rismo “Duster” of the 80’s….not even Al Bundy would be caught dead in that POS! Or the Chevy “Nova” of the late 80’s? Dear goodness!

      It’s like they realize before even launching the cars, that they have a real turd on their hands…so they give it the name of a trusted classic, hoping that the lemmings will associate it with the former “real” vehicles, and not notice the craptacularness of the current heap before their eyes.

    • Anti, at this point, maybe those terrorists would be doing us a favor. 😉 In a word where Elon Musk[rat] is heralded as a champion and “business genius”, I think I’d rather be sent to Valhalla [NOT the one in NY!]- I’m sure, the place is probably filled with puke from all the drunken Vikings, but it still wouldn’t stink as much as a world full of cop-sucking Musk-loving idiots, right?

      • Nunzio,

        Ya made my morning brother, just the image of a thousand Viking gods drunk and stupid in Valhalla was enough to make me chuckle.

        Seriously though, I find myself in the “bring on the sweet meteor of death” camp all too often these days, as some new abomination crosses my field of view, and nobody raises so much as a peep of protest.

        Which is why I’m really coming to think that “men going their own way” or just withdrawing from all this nonsense, is the only logical response. It’s like being on a firefighting crew at a five alarm warehouse blaze. There’s no sense in even trying to stop it at that point, protect the perimeter, and withdraw your people to safety.

        Men have been building and re-building civilizations for eons now.

        We can re-build this one as well.

        Once the fire is out.

        • Thanks, Anti!

          I always appreciate when someone “gets” my humor.

          I’ve been MGTOW long before MGTOW was given a name! I think anyone would have to be insane, to just think that they were going to get married and have kids and live “the American Dream” in this world today.

          ALL women today are fickle mercenary collectivists- to one degree or another; and the system is now heavily stacked against men, so much so that their own famblies are used as political and economic weapons against them.

          I just want to go somewhere where I can ride out my remaining years under the radar of the tyrants. Of course, even that is not ideal, ’cause the culture we are used to which once existed here, doesn’t exist anywhere else. They killed off a very unique and wonderful thing. We once had a very civilized culture, and a good degree of freedom. Now, we must settle for just trying to find a place where we can be left alone. Forget about the highly civilized culture we once knew. (But at least we can preserve it in our own lives- just as many of us still do here).

          • Hi Nunz,

            I am with you… and yet, I also often wish I had someone on deck to carry the flag, so to speak. I could warp a kid in just the right way… and if he (or she) turned out agreeably enough, they’d get my Trans-Am and bike collection, righteous tools, and my KISS vinyl collection, too!

            • I hear ya, Eric. That’s the way it’s ‘upposed to be. That, and the idea of having a faithful woman who gives you the hots, and who is a true companion, and is there through thick and thin [Well, most of ’em are far too thick these days! 😉 ]…. it’s what life was supposed to be about; it was just normal life and the pursuit of happiness for thousands of years, until lately.

              Now, sadly, we see a lot of people trying to achieve those goals…but they just can’t do it, ’cause people are all messed up with all kinds of crazy ideas (“I’m just not happy; or not being ‘fulfilled’ as a person, and it’s your fault, so I’ll leave and find someone else to be unhappy with”] and all of the government interference makes it so that if you raise your kid right, you’ll likely be charged with various “crimes’ and never be allowed to see him/her again….. Or yuou’ll pay alimony and child support for the next 26 years, while someone else gets to enjoy the wife and the kid…and perish the thought you miss a payment…off to jail you go.

              I knew a dealership mechanic who was making almost $100K a year. He’s now little more than a bum on the street working at odd jobs for cash…because if he had a bad week at work and didn’t make as much one week, he’d have to decide between paying mortgage, or car insurance, or tickets or child support/alimony… First he lost his license (for non-payment of some of the latter 3 items); then he ended up in jail for falling behind on the child support…then as a result, he lost his good job. He was a virtual slave. Now he’s a wanted man, and there’s no possibility of him ever getting out from under what he now “owes”, and the impending jail sentence when/if they apprehend him.

              A perfect example of how they make a virtual criminal and slave out of just an every day guy who did no one any harm, because some stranger decreed that he must pay his former wife and child an absurd amount of money so thaty they can live in one of the most expensive areas of the country on his dime, all because he had the misfortune of asking her to marry him once upon a time.

              • Nunzio,

                Every man in the US has either lived that, or knows somebody who has.

                Criminal, what this has turned into. And we wonder why middle aged men are blowing their brains out or dying by the needle in such alarming numbers.

                Of course, our enemies are happy to see that, they want us dead. We all have to do what we can to keep a brother sane and afloat, if the need arises.

                I give my own son advice of the sternest sort:

                Have no contact with woemen.

                • And then, AF, there are the now huge ranks of single/divorced men who are raising their kids singlehandedly! I don’t know many people, but even I know a few of those.

                  While I give ’em credit for doing the right thing, when the worthless mother walked out on them and their own kids….it’s still very pathetic to see a farmer or a mechanic toting around a freaking baby who shits his pants. And the poor kids, while having a better life than they would have with the uncaring mother….certainly don’t have a great childhood- getting shuttled around from babysitter to relative to tractor cab or shop….and missing what every child really needs: Their mommy.

                  As if things aren’t bad enough already, as this new generation comes of age, we are going to see utter and total dysfunction at every level- social and personal- because the very fabric of society, the fambly, largely no longer exists.

                  • Nunzio,

                    I’ll keep it short due to the formatting of this message section: again, in full agreement.

                    That said, I wonder what is worse, now that we are seeing a whole generation of helpless men, men who have been raised almost exclusively by woemen: single moms, day care workers, government screwl teachers and so on.

                    • “Screwl teachers”! I like that!

                      Yeah, AnFed, I think it’s all pretty bad- no matter how ya slice it, these kids are growing up basically as chattel(and cattle)- Their physical needs may be being taken care of, but they are largely the product of a “community” rather than a fambly- and thus, they grow up not knowing what real attachment is; not knowing a real mother’s caring full-time love and nurturing (even if they live with a mother!); never knowing the us vs. them mentality of loyalty to home and parents, vs. the world which is trying to propagate them with different loyalties. To them, it is all the same- basically just going through life, seeking fulfillment of whatever necessities from whomever they can get it. A perfect way to create selfish cruel mercenaries.

                      Nothing can take the place of a real home with a 24/7 mother….. But that creates strong individuals and strong families…so it had to be destroyed.

            • Eric,

              You doing good work in mentoring young adults like the fellow you are working on the VW with.

              While not your own, you are having a positive impact.

              • That’s a great point, Ant. Fed.! (Eric’s mentoring)

                I had an older guy, a friend of the fambly, who was like a father/mentor to me when was a kid. While I don’t think he knew of libertarian philosophy, he certainly did live it.

                He never had a “job” during my lifetime; and was always futzing with cars and tractors and mowers…..built his own house; would pick up junk from scrap yards and junk shops and make awesome things out of it…..

                I have to credit him with making me realize, from a very early age, that such was a way one could be- as opposed to being shackled to a structured job, or even a formal bidness.

                And of course, as I now realize…he was MGTOW!

                If I had to pick a man whom I’ve personally knownm who had the biggest impact on my life, it would have to be him, hands down. I really felt like he was my true father!

    • Oh, and if anybody hasn’t clicked through and read the article, what it boils down to is a very smart technocrat going through all the possible scenarios and solutions to secure a car’s computer system from hacking and remote takeover.

      Of course the simple solution, that would not cost money, but would actually save money, is obvious:

      Stop stuffing every fucking “thing” out there with wireless, internet connected computer systems.

      The only person that needs to know how far and fast my car was driven, how much milk is in my refrigerator or what temperature I keep my thermostat on is ME.

      • Auntie, err..I mean Anti 😉

        Back in the 90’s, discovering the joys of the internet, I KNEW something had to be wrong. I reasoned, why would the US military invent and then make available to the public, something which has such obvious benefits to advance freedom?

        I mean, thanks to the interwebz, everyone now had a press…so freedom of the press was now accessible to all, and also, the mass media’s lock on society would be broken; etc. etc.

        There had to be something more to it!

        And now it’s apparent: Get people comfortable with and even hooked on the internet. They gladly voluntarily put most of the details of their private lives out there, free for the taking; They’ll be hooked on social media, to the point where social media can be used to conmtrol and alter society on a large scale; and no one will balk, but will rather demand, that everything is “accessible” and can interact with their personal tracking device [smart phone], so that now, virtually every aspect of their lives is able to be tracked, documented and controlled, remotely.

        And the average person does not even question any of this. Half don’t even realize they’re being surveilled; the otrher realize it, and don’t care.

        • Nunzio,

          Bing-fucking-go.

          Been saying the same thing myself for year now.

          Far from not caring, they fall all over themselves to pay to be put under surveillance, and loving every minute of it, like they are reality teevee stars.

  8. Anyone notice fords results just yesterday – fall in profits. Turns out the solution for them was to stop doing sedans, and invest more in electrics! Believe it or not, an analyst on a well known financial news channel came on and said yesterday “they are lagging because they dont have any electrics like the Tesla or the Chevy Bolt!”……

    Sit and read the rants here and other places from people who just need a car for work (or just like it for a car)…. just cant believe how detached these guys are…. what they think people want and what the people who actually buy their cars want !…. Till they get it – think more and more American car companies will suffer. I mean someone with 50K to spend on a car is probably not buying a Ford….. (know it sounds snobish, but its true – dont ever see that analyst on the telly ever even thinking about buying a Ford!! )

    • The electrics are outright money losers so making them isn’t going to help profits but the false narrative is set out anyway.

      You are seeing one of the ways the so-called elite shape things. The media message, the purchase or selling of stock, and so on. How they will make a corporation as large as Ford develop the future they want.

    • I believe that the mainstream automotive and business press, like all the rest of the mainstream media, blatantly say such things [i.e. that Ford is lagging behind because it doesn’t have electrics like the Tesla] purely as a means of propagating propaganda, and to create an artificial market demand.

      If they say it enough, people believe it- especially the young. “That’s what the experts are saying on TV”. The people who unconsciously fall for such, have no concept of reality. They hear it; they repeat it; then they even practice it.

      Guys like Eric are kept out of the mainstream, so these people will never have a clue as to how economically unsustainable these electrics are….even after they own one. “I’m doing my part to save the planet; Al Gore approves; I have the latest thing; and my $80K electric car enables me to save $30 a month in gas! Win/win!!! These Luddites who speak negatively of electric must be out of their minds!”.

    • Again, it’s the CAFE and the carbon-credits at work here. Betcha just one electric vehicle sale probably can take up the slack for 100 trucks…. (a thousand??? who knows?) Eric-what’s the math?

  9. I have to have a i/2 ton v8 auto 4wd I need to pull a 20ft camper or boat I also have car hauler and a 400ft driveway that I plow myself I do not need backup cameras abs brakes or airbags Iprefer a throttle cable but that seems to be disapearing like the transfer case shifter on the floor if some one would build something like that I would buy it and stop changing it build the same thing and make it fair use. and by the way those ohc engines are an abomination ohv is the way to go in an eight cylinder engine

  10. I had a 96 ford ranger with V6 for 16 years and it really worked well for me. As it got older I had some electrical problems (this was a salvage vehicle from a flood. Normally don’t buy these but the deal was too good and the truck worked well for years). It was fixable by troubleshooting and bypassing the GEM module which I obtained one on Ebay for $65. Only issue with it was….gas mileage; best it every got going downhill on the freeway was 21mpg and 17 around town.

    • That is why I just don’t “get” people’s preoccupation with small vehicles.

      My former Lincoln Town Car with a V-8 was big, comfy, roomy and safe…and got the same MPGs (23) as my neighbor’s little cramped POS Alero.

      My old full-size Ford van got 2MPG less than a minivan….but had 3x the carrying capacity; a commanding view of the road; and was a real manly-man truck, instead of bastardized car/station wagon unibody housewife vehicle….

      The extra gas I had to buy over the years was negligible. When you figure in how much more durable these full-sized vehicles, which were made to hold up to fleet use, were…I’m WAY ahead of the game. (Don’t see too many minivans that someone can drive for 15 years, with 300K miles on ’em, and still run like clocks…having only needed a fuel pump, alternator and heater core in all them miles!)

  11. “Hey look! Chevy, Nissan, Toyota and even Honda have a sport truck. We need one too!”

    This seems to be just something to fill in the hole in the lineup since they dropped the Explorer sport trac. Really designed for the camping and mountain-bike types who don’t want an SUV. Any word on what platform it is based on? My guess is that it is just a Unibody Explorer again.

  12. Jeez, I remember the days of the true compact pickup, the Chevy Luv-sized ones. Drove one (not a Chevy) around one summer for a landscaping company and it was ideal for the job. Four cylinder four speed stick with just enough bed and oomph to haul clippings, lawn mowers, and the like.

    We shan’t see the likes of those again. As Sojourner Moon says above, the market has spoken–with a little help from the feds. As an increasingly crotchety old fart, I detest having my choices narrowed by mass market twits.

    • Hi KB,

      I actually like the Ridgeline. My gripe with the Ranger is that it’s not . . . a Ranger. It’s a totally different kind of vehicle now. I would not object to it if Ford called it something else.

    • The ridgeline has a purpose. It’s the alternative to a currently abandoned market segment that the ranchero and el-camino once held. If they made the ridgeline with a MT and it was so expensive I would probably have one. I don’t need a ‘real truck’, I need something with a big enough bed and to drive in the snow. A Falcon Ute would do well for me, but the closest thing in this market is the Ridgeline.

      • There are lots of black utes in Chicago. They can be quite problematic though! 😉

        Too bad Australia [Land of the Utes] succumbed so quickly and thoroughly to snowflake socialism….. I’ll bet they don’t even have uts there anymore.

        • Nunzio, the last utes were made a few months ago. No more local car manufacturing. One industry subsidised by taxpayers at a cost of $20 billion of our money, and the companies left anyway. Something about lack of product protection. Now we get to deal with overpriced imports and wait till a few years when the locals realize how cheap locally produced car parts were. You wouldn’t believe the prices on imported car parts not made locally.

          • Wow. It just keeps getting worse, Joe, doesn’t it?

            Yep, wait till they see. Shipped halfway around the world, from some unionized factory in Japan, EU, or ‘Merca…taxed and marked-up 5 different times along the way, as it passes through various hands…. Sad.

            Blow taps on the didgerydoo, as yet another bastion of local autonomy and financial independence is ceded to globalism. 🙁

  13. The Tacoma looks more useful than this “new” Ranger, which looks similar the the old Sport Trac. The biggest drawback to these smaller trucks is they can’t tow much.

    • Hi Vic,

      You are spot-on about this thing being a reincarnated Sport Trac. You can probably recall saner times when small pick-ups (real trucks) abounded. They were not super tough but were very useful, inexpensive machines – still are, if you are fortunate to have one of the no-longer-produced ones, like my ’02 Frontier!

  14. So, what IS the longest bed you can get on the new Ranger Super Cab??

    If it’s shorter than 6′, Ford has made a colossal marketing blunder. And don’t blame the Feds, because Tacoma (and Chevvy) mid-sizers manage to offer a 6′ bed. (At least I think they do…… don’t they?)

    A lot of potential buyers will go along with the new mid-sized truck paradigm, as long as they get a moderate amount of utility. Without a 6′ or larger bed, that utility is diminished to almost nothing.

      • It’s obvious where I come from what they make pickups for, substitute cars with room in side. Locking bed covers are a big market now with locking tailgates standard on many models.

        It reminds me of a bunch of Aggies who drove off into the lake. The ones in the cab got out and swam to shore but the ones in the bed were trapped. 50 year old joke….ha ha Ya havta tell it as breaking news to an Aggie though.

  15. Two more eminently practical mid-small pickups that are no longer available, Chevy S-10, and Dodge Dakota. Both offered a 4-banger at one point, and both eventually offered a competent V-6. Mother MoPar even offered a 318 in the Dakota back in the day! Simple, mostly reliable, definitely easy to fix. GM morphed the S-10 into the Colorado, and bloated it into the current full-size beast. I still see old S-10’s all the time, but never see a Colorado. Why buy one, when it’s the same price and almost the same dimensions as a 1/2 ton?

  16. I bought my 99 4×4 ford ranger regular cab long bed brand new in 1999. It was manufactured in Edison, NJ (plant closed years ago). The 3.0 v6 was weak but durable. Fortunately I went with the manual transmission!
    It was cheaper to buy the ranger at the time than it was to buy a comparable tacoma. The old ranger is a solid and reliable truck, mine having hauled over 100 cords of firewood in its lifetime plus tons of manure, equipment, and wet chip mulch. The ranger undercarriage remains solid to this day in spite of all the liquid calcium and salt on the roads that satan spreads because I coat everything underneath with bar and chain oil over the summer. The engine blew a head gasket last fall at 196000 miles so it sits in my driveway waiting for a new engine. New pickups are not being offered with reasonable cost and serviceability. The new pickups are the last chance for the manufacturers to cash in on ignorance.

  17. That’s not the only terrible news from Ford, Eric. They’re also planning a performance BEV crossover called….Mach 1. After much backlash from Mustang enthusiasts, Ford is now saying they’re testing the name.

    On the positive note, I did enjoy the Bullitt reveal presented by Steve McQueen’s gorgeous granddaughter.

  18. And there is the reason that 20-30 and even 40 year old pickups, that you used to be able to buy for $1000 or less (much less sometimes) to beat around and work with, now command $10,000, or higher, prices for ones in just reasonable shape.

    My first pickup was a 1969 F-100 with a 360 cid block, 4 on the floor and limited slip diff, all from the factory, that I paid $300 for in 1985 and drove for three years.

    A cursory Screwgle search indicates that even for a ragged out example, you’ll pay north of $3000.

      • I have a 92 Nissan Hardbody. It has 132k miles. It’s ugly, has paint issues and a bad fender.

        Still though, it is reliable enough for repeated 500 mike a day road trips.
        This is my third one since 1996.

        It’s just a simple truck which does its job well.

        It’s job is to provide reliable, fun transportation on a limited budget.

      • My 04 Titan is still a pleasure. Runs like a beast and tows like a champ. Just did my 30,000 mile every fluid change at 180,000 and all is well.

        Someone above was complaining about 21 highway! If only…

      • My current beater truck is a 1993 F-150 with a “retro” 300 cid six engine swap for the computerized 302 V8 that was original equipment.

        When that one is done, I’m biting the bullet and getting my hands on a 1968-1971 F-100 even if I have to ship it from Arizona.

        And that WILL be my last truck, until I die or Uncle Sucker outlaws it…or both.

        • That’s exactly what it’s come to, Anti. You want a good old vehicle that ain’t rusted, ya gotta get it from the desert, and before it becomes worth so much that it’s not feasible as a driver….

          I like all the pick-ups of that vintage- Fords, Chebbies and even Dodges (‘specially Dodges…which are about the only Mopars I’d ever want to own!)- but the sad thing is, the 3/4 and 1-ton variety, ‘specially in 4×4, are few and far between.

          Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, there were still lots of ’em around, and cheap. Wish I would’ve scooped-up a few and kept ’em!

          I once picked up a 4×4 1-ton crew cab short-bed step-side c.69 Dodge for JUNK in the mid 90’s….no charge…..and took it straight to the scrapper….. I’ll be beating myself up over that for the rest of my life….. It was the last such one I’ve seen. and I’m sure if I ever see another, and it’s reasonably solid, it’ll be in the tens of thousands…..

        • Still driving my 1989 F150, bought new for $7000.
          300 CID 6, Borg-Warner T18 (3 + granny)
          Port fuel injection, Intel engine computer.
          249,000 on the clock.
          Remanfactured engine 2 years ago.
          Single cab, 8 foot bed.

          Don’t want one of the new “pussy” PUs w/ 2 seats, high short bed, 4cyl automagic + electronic gewgaws.
          Don’t need to go in debt, either.
          https://qz.com/913093/car-loans-in-the-us-have-hit-record-levels-and-delinquencies-are-rising-fast-too/
          No, thanks.

  19. What I’m seeing here is a mish-mash between market-driven choices in design and government-mandated design accommodations. The former is consumer preference while the latter is decidedly not.

    First, you have accurately described how full-size pickups are bigger than ever, and consequently harder to use for real work (e.g., when you can’t reach over the side rails to take out equipment on the floor of the bed without being 6’3″ tall). Second, you’ve pointed out the same thing in so-called “mid-size” pickups, which category all the small pickups sold in the US now officially fall into. What you fail to see is that this is consumer preference driven design. Consumers have voted with their dollars to have crew cabs rather than single cabs. After all, as expensive as vehicles have become, they need these to do all things, and do them well, which is to include both picking up the 2.5 kids from school, making the grocery store run, toting the dog around in the back, towing the boat to the lake on the weekend, commuting to work at the office every day, and yes, occasionally being used for real pickup truck duties a couple of times a year. Add to this the fact that the vast majority of customers for this sort of vehicle never actually use them as pickups. They are more likely used as a sort of image vehicle, much like most SUVs never see off-road use, and their owners would be better served with a minivan or station wagon but for the stigma those options offer. It’s fine to criticize the market when it is foolish in your eyes. I just wanted to make the point that this is not government-enforced but rather people voting with their dollars.

    On the other hand, the heavy weight of new vehicles necessitating the use of aluminum, turbocharged 4-cylinders, etc. to improve gas mileage as much as possible, and the weight-adding and cost-adding safety mandates all work against it being financially possible to build a simple, rugged, reliable, and inexpensive pickup truck for work duty today. The regulations nearly killed off the small-truck segment entirely, and they were only able to cling on by super-sizing their offerings. That’s the other cost of such government regulation, such heavy regulation forces out smaller niche markets by preventing them from being economically viable to produce for. Without enough sales to justify the extreme increase in cost to design and build vehicles that weave through the barriers regulations put up, it just isn’t going to happen. This is, in part, why we see so many small businesses going to small vans as the work vehicles du jour. The small Ford Transits, Dodge ProMasters, etc. can be had as stripped down, relatively easy to work on workhorses that can carry enough stuff, tow just enough trailer, and cost little enough to be purchased by small mom-and-pop businesses. That’s why they are popping up everywhere in city traffic. They have displaced the small pickups and are well on their way to displacing many of the lower-trim pickups. This will leave the pickup market mostly to the higher trimline, and higher profit, poseur market. This is why you can buy a new pickup that costs about $80k that is based on the same underpinnings as a mid-$20k entry level model.

    Lastly, you’re romanticizing the last generation Ford Ranger quite a bit. They were, quite frankly, piles of crap designed during the 1990s equivalent of the malaise era. They were poorly designed, cheaply built rust buckets that were overpriced because of all the union labor that went into them. I drove one for several months and found them cramped, difficult to see out of, underpowered, and generally horrible even by 90s standards. At the time my daily driver was an S10 pickup, which was nothing special but was at least a generation or two ahead of the same-year Ranger I had to drive for a while. You didn’t buy a Ranger (or an S10) in order to work them. They wouldn’t last 5 years before they fell apart under any hard use. They may have had a larger bed, but they couldn’t haul anything, and they may have had a tow hitch, but you couldn’t tow with them. There’s a reason they died out in the market. They cost almost as much as a full-sized truck but couldn’t do half the work of one. This is also why Toyota and Nissan dominated the small truck market. At least their trucks could do a modicum of work.

    • I completely agree that the small/medium work van (Ford Transit Connect, Ram Promaster City/Fiat Doblò, Nissan NV200/Chevrolet City Express, Mercedes Metris/Vito) are the true replacement for the small pickup. My dad’s 2006 Tahoe is near death with 250,000 miles and he’s looking for a replacement. He needs a smaller vehicle, but also one that will hold all of his work gear. I have tried to get him to look at these small vans, but I don’t think he’s buying it. For some reason there is a stigma associated with small to midsize vans that I just fail to see, especially when it’s being used for work.

  20. I like a big truck. Don’t need it, but I do like it.
    But the ability to have an actual mid-sized truck in the event I ever need to cut down would be great. The old Rangers or Dakotas used to fit that build perfectly. Hell, I had an old Dakota that was fairly large for a mid-sized pickup and it was basic as all get out. No AC, hand-crank windows, manual, no sliding back window… And I beat that truck to death until it finally gave up the ghost.
    And the old small trucks were perfect; even smaller than those Rangers and Dakotas. Fit the bill for plenty of people and, since they weren’t meant to be hauling a ton, they only needed a 4 cylinder where the mid-sized ran 6’s.
    These were great vehicles.
    But now everything is about using those turbo 4’s or 6’s, which as you’ve point out, will fail because of the turbo and making it massive and expensive. All thanks to Daddy Government.

  21. How come there’s no lid on the trunk of this car?

    Gotta love all that black plastic on the outside, too- It looks old when it’s brand new. Imagine in a few years….

    Years ago, I used to see new trucks, and say “I can’t wait till they’re old, so I can buy one”. Now I say that I wish those 20-40 year-old trucks were new again, ’cause who the hell’s ever gonna want one of these abominations?

    I look at old Dodges from the 60’s with 9′ beds and drool.

    What good is a pick-up that ya can’t even carry a sheet of plywood in? They’re for people who want to drive “pick-up style vehicles”- Just for looks. No function. Have a bed…but ya can’t actually do anything with it. Have 4×4, but ya wouldn’t dare go 4-wheeling in it!

    But ya can park it in the driveway, or at work or school, and let people know that you’re the type of guy who wants to be thought of as a guy who can do things…..

    They’ve gone from selling vehicles; to selling “a lifestyle”; and now, to selling the image of a lifestyle.

    I find it very depressing that they no longer make ANY vehicles that I can get excited about, or find even mildly appealing; and that they haven’t for some time now. You can’t even walk down the street and see an occasional good old vehicle parked in front of someone’s house anymore….pretty much everything on the road now is government-mandated boring ugly garbage…and anything interesting or appealing, no matter how humble, is now so rare a valuable, that it has be cloistered away in a garage and used only for show.

  22. The roads are already full of station wagons. They just jack ’em up a little, add AWD, and call them CUVs. But, a rose by any other name…

  23. Entire premise is driven by government mandate. CAFE went to a ‘footprint’ model which penalizes certain vehicles, especially small pickup trucks. Combined with all the other mandates there is a cost problem as well.

    The end result is that an actual compact truck would cause CAFE hit and be priced nearly as much as the full size truck. The CAFE hit results because while a compact truck would get better fuel economy than a full size truck, it is not enough better to make up for being smaller in the current calculations. The regulatory mandated stuff costs about the same no matter how big or small the truck is. As do all the amenities. The end result is that true compact pickup isn’t very marketable. It would only appeal to people who want a small truck as a priority. To everyone else it would seem stupid not to spend a tiny bit more to get a full size truck.

    This is the insanity that results when a few people with limited information decide things.

    BTW, a 1980s Ranger with this eco-boost engine would probably be great. Remember those came with the twin-spark 2.3L four cylinder.

  24. OMFG, the bed space is less than the cab space. This is a football game-day pickup, not a useful piece of equipment. You couldn’t even use it to clean up your Christmas trash, let alone toss the tree in it. Mark my words, in 15 years, if we still have new cars to buy, the station wagon will re-appear. Then we will all be dead, because Hell will have frozen over!

    • The full size station wagon as we knew it from the 50s to the 90s is dead and will remain dead until the laws that drive this insanity in pickups is gone. For it is that same insanity in its previous form that killed the wagons. What we get under the present regulatory scheme are the things they call ‘cross-overs’ and let’s admit what they really are, they are 1940s cars. Look at them. High bodied, deep tall ‘trunk’ (except it’s connected to the passenger compartment), the general shape. They are 1940s cars, but they are all fugly this go around.

      • Yeah, I know what you mean. I have owned over 11 different wagons over years, full and mid-size, and I got as much, or more utility from them as my 1 pickup truck. Nice thing is that even the smallest wagon carried 7 passengers, and the large one carried 9.
        but the large ones could also carry full 4×8 sheets of plywood – dry, lol! And regardless of the wagon model, it was the same size as the same model sedan, but with pickup truck versatility, or not, depending on MY choice, not Uncle’s. This is what we get for letting these busybody-pricks run the show, no choices but crap1 or crap2.

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