Plenty of people have been declaring that compact pickup trucks will never be made and sold in the United States again. Among the reasons are that they supposedly cannot pass modern safety standards, are too weak when it comes to towing/hauling, and don’t provide the burly, manly image a larger pickup truck supplies. For whatever set of reasons, Ford might be thinking that people are wrong, because the automaker is exploring the possibility of resurrecting the Ranger for the US market.
For those who keep up with international life, they already know that the Ranger is alive and well in other markets. To be clear, the company would not be looking at just importing that version of the Ranger to North America. One of the top reasons is that it’s too close in size to the F-150, and there’s no way the Blue Oval is going to cannibalize such a successful model’s sales. Importing a pickup truck to the United States comes with some stiff tariffs, so any budget model sold here would need to be built in the country.
According to an interview USA Today conducted with Dave Scott, who is the car company’s marketing manager, the new model would need to be about the size of the old Ranger. He also stated that it would be significantly more fuel efficient, plus would come with a price tag that is around $5,000 to $6,000 less than the F-150. Of course, everything is just talk right now, so don’t get too excited about the details just yet.
To build such a truck, Ford would likely need to turn to a unibody construction and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available as an option. Such a design might be fueled by the fact that Honda has been selling Ridgelines consistently to people who want a car with a pickup bed in the rear. The Transit Connect supplies just such a platform.
It’s likely that Ford is flying this idea up the flagpole to see who salutes, so if you want to see a compact Ranger pickup in the United States, let Ford know.