First Look: 2012 Ford Ranger

Do you think the tepid compact/midsize pickup truck market could use a bit of a shakeup, by, say, importing the new global Ford Ranger? Join the club.

In a segment accustomed to lengthy product cycles, any major introduction is cause for huzzahs and scrutiny. The 2012 Ranger, designated T6, has sheetmetal completely unlike its predecessor. The smoothed-out, modern exterior styling would undoubtedly be alien in our market, where sharp and boxy designs dominate before they even reach the drawing boards. Ford's contemporary three-bar grille and front fender decoration give the Ranger a distinct presence. It has grown to about 90 percent of the F-150's size, effectively throwing this truck into the midsize classification. In fact, the new Ranger's size is essentially the main reason why Ford has decided not to bring it here.

Inside, the Ranger will accommodate the working crew with a hose-down interior. Lifestyle drivers are presented with more upscale appointments, but all seats, panels, and materials have undergone rigorous testing to ensure durability, according to Ford.

New engines lack the sheer power ratings and cylinder counts of the 2011 F-150 V-6 and V-8 offerings but serve up some grunt of their own. The base engine is a 2.5-liter Duratec inline-four putting out 164 horsepower and capable of running pure ethanol (E100). Two small diesels, another concept foreign in the U.S. truck market, will be available via either a 2.2-liter four-cylinder (148 horsepower, 277 pound-feet of torque) or 3.2-liter straight-five (197 horsepower, 347 pound-feet). Trucks are among the few reliable vehicle classes for those in search of a manual transmission, and the global Ranger has both a five- and six-speed boxes alongside a six-speed automatic.

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I am really turned off by ford. I don't know why there sits trucks that jump over sand dunes and get 5 miles to the gallon in our lots. While the rest of the world gets trucks that people can drive and use. Never again ford
Sad they won't sell it in the US. Quite frankly the old Ranger was outdated and didn't look all that much different then the 1983 model. Consequently I wouldn't even consider it in the past. What I've been hoping is that they'd redesign it as a midsized pickup like the Dakota. Seems the midsize pickups these days are about the same size as the 70's F150 fullsize pickup and thats a perfect fit. The styling of this new truck would be a clear winner even if they rebadged it with the F100 Ranger nameplate. Such ashame, I'd a bought one in a heartbeat.
I don't think the decision was based on interest but how close in size it is to the F-150. Not sure why Ford didn't redesign the Ranger. Although I personally think this Ranger is too big at 90% size. 70%-75% would be the right size. Regardless of fuel economy, Ford isn't taking into account that not everyone needs a full size truck. There's currently not much difference in fuel economy of mid and full sized trucks.
How can Ford possibly gauge interest in this segment based only on sales of it's decades old Ranger? I know plenty of workmen and homeowners that would flock to a compact pickup as long as it was prices well below the full sized models.

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