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Does the USA need the 2015 Ranger?

2015 Ford Ranger 4x4

2015 Ford Ranger 4×4

As we all know Ford has decided to discontinue the Ranger and exclusively sell the F-150 for the North American market. Ford believes we, for the most part, will prefer the F-150 and that it’s not worth bringing over the new Ranger that the rest of the world has. Ford reasons that with the weight savings and improved fuel economy from new engine technology in the F-150 that a Ranger would be redundant in our market. The Ranger hasn’t gone through the weight shedding that the 2015 Ford F-150 has with its new aluminum body panels. The Ranger is still made out of steel, so perhaps Ford has a point, the US is very accommodating to larger vehicles. Much more so than the rest of the world, maybe we really don’t need the Ranger, let’s look at this from a number of angles:

Exterior Dimensions
2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab w/ 6.5ft bed or SuperCrew w/ 5.5ft bed equipped with 4WD:
Length: 231.9 Inches, Width (excluding mirrors): 79.9 Inches and Height: 77.2 Inches
2014 Ford Ranger SuperCab w/ 6ft bed or DoubleCab w/ 5ft bed equipped with 4WD:
Length: 210.7 inches, Width (excluding mirrors): 72.8 Inches and Height: 71.7 Inches

The F-150 is 31 inches or 2.6ft longer, 7 inches wider and 5.5 inches taller. Those are significantly larger dimensions, this translates into more interior space and more cargo space, but also less maneuverability. This is fine in most of the US, but it definitely warrants the availability of the Ranger in most of the rest of the world, where roads and traffic conditions are more easily navigated with a smaller truck.

2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Dimensions

2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Dimensions

Weight
2015 Ford F-150:
Starting at 4,050 up to 4,984 pounds
2014 Ford Ranger:
Starting at 3,944 up to 4,850 pounds

These trucks are very evenly matched weight-wise. This definitely backs up Ford’s argument that a Ranger isn’t necessary in North America.

Fuel Economy
The 2014 Ranger is definitely impressive here and as we reported the 2015 Ford Ranger promises to be even more impressive. The 2014 Ford Ranger can get up to 31 miles per gallon with its 2.2 liter DuraTorq diesel (US). That’s certainly better than the 2.7 liter EcoBoost equipped 2015 F-150, which tops out at 26 mpg when properly configured. There’s a big “but” here though, as we reported in our EcoBoost vs EcoDiesel comparison, going for a diesel half-ton truck may not be the best decision in the US, due to increased fuel and maintenance costs. I’ve scoured the internet for information about the 2.5 liter gasoline engine, but couldn’t find much on its efficiency, other than a roughly 22 mpg combined rating. It appears the engine isn’t much of a consideration anywhere in the world.

2015 Ford F-150 Towing an Airstream

2015 Ford F-150 Towing an Airstream

Price
There is one more very big reason why the consumer would like the 2015 Ranger to be brought here, but Ford wouldn’t, that’s the price of roughly $23,000 to $36,000, Ford makes much, much more money off of its F-150 sales than they would off of the sale of a Ranger, half-ton trucks simply have bigger margins and Ford is raking in the cash from that. I’m thinking that may be the number 1 reason Ford is motivated to strictly sell the F-150 here. The F-150 starts at $25,420, but get’s up to $37,000 in a hurry for an XLT SuperCab equipped with 4WD. In the US we are willing to pay that much for a truck and most truck buyers want an F-150 sized truck., whereas the rest of world demands a mid-size truck and the F-150 likely wouldn’t do well at all.

2014 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Offroad Fording Water

2014 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Offroad Fording Water

Conclusion
At the end of the day I would still really appreciate appreciate the 2015 Global Ranger in the US market, with its smaller dimensions it would be a good city truck with better fuel economy than the F-150. But I can definitely see why Ford discontinued it for this market. Most of the country is big-truck-friendly, the fuel cost savings may not be all that much considering the price of diesel. Even if it were offered with perhaps the 2.7 liter EcoBoost, that truck is still lugging around roughly the same weight as a similarly equipped 2015 F-150. Not to mention a 2015 F-150 would be heaps more capable in any possible metric (power, acceleration, towing, payload capacity, etc).

So while more expensive, the American market is geared towards half-ton and up truck sales for a majority of buyers. The F-series fits the bill, the numbers don’t lie, they are the best selling truck in the USA for 38 years now. Most Americans are willing to pay the premium for a larger, more capable truck, even when the Ranger was available, F-150 and Super Duty sales far overshadowed the mid-size Ranger. So I would say Ford as warranted not to sell the Ranger in the US.

Cat : 2015 Ford F-150, 2015 Ford Super Duty, Ford Ranger, Reviews, tags: , , ,

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