Looking for the 2012 Ford Ranger? It's the 2011 Ford F-150 Page 2

September 20, 2010

2011 Ford F-150

Big is the new small

It's not an exact fit, but along with those smaller vehicles, Ford will use the new V-6 version of the F-150 as a figurative Ranger replacement. The new 3.7-liter V-6 (the one you'll also find in the 2011 Ford Mustang) thoroughly outscores the Ranger's V-6, with fuel economy estimated at better than 15/20 mpg and 300 horsepower on tap, compared to the Ranger's best showings of 15/20 mpg and 207 hp. A V-6 Ranger XLT costs just over $19,000--while a base 2010 F-150 runs just $22,060, though it's missing some power features the smaller V-6 Ranger XLT offers as standard.

The new F-150, in fact, makes perfect sense to most compact truck buyers except for a few user cases: the four-cylinder diehards who'd otherwise buy a used truck, the truck-agnostic types who might just as soon buy a compact coupe as a style statement; or worst of all for Ford's accounting department, the fleet buyers who opt only for the low-to-no profit base Ranger with the four-cylinder, the five-speed manual, the regular cab and almost no options. That's the classic "bug truck" you see at auction, where it's often recirculated through the new-car industry's lower digestive tract, otherwise known as the auction.   

Truck buyers who still want four-cylinder pickups are still in luck, sort of. The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier still offer four-cylinders, at a base price of about $15,500 and $17,500, respectively. But those who really want compact-truck size and park-ability are out of luck. Of all the automakers to show concept compact pickups--remember the Dodge M-80 and the Toyota A-Bat?--none have pulled the trigger and committed to build new unibody-based trucklets. If a business case unfolds for a true compact pickup, Ford needs only to look at its swelling fleet of small cars--Focus, Fiesta, C-Max, Escape and Transit Connect--for a flexible architecture that could add a truck derivative.

Instead of a 2012 Ford Ranger, truck drivers get an F-150 instead--and Ford gets a year to explain how sometimes bigger is better, even if it's less well-equipped.

2017
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2017
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car