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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Vellum Venom Vignette: Trick photography, or a Ranger out of range? | Hagerty Media

A pickup truck, in our modern times, is continually refined and significantly larger than its forefathers. They are also easy fodder for political debate in our current climate, but this is Vellum Venom, so we stick to the bits about vehicle design.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/vellum-venom/vellum-venom-vignette-trick-photography-or-a-rang...
15 REPLIES 15
Land_Ark
Intermediate Driver

This is very interesting to me. So much so that back in 2014 when I had my work-provided Chevy Cobalt replaced with a then totally new Colorado I did a similar comparison. I was one of the first people in the company to get one and it was the first one I had seen in person as they were just hitting showrooms.
I parked it between an old Colorado and couple years old Silverado and took pictures. And as I recall, I actually posted them in the TTAC blog that totally existed back then, even if I was the only person who ever used it. The new Colorado was not as dramatically bigger than the old like the Ranger appears. But, to my eyes, the old one was actually wider than the new. I don't have the measurements to back that up though.

Not sure if I can post links to images here, but I will try anyway. Hopefully this doesn't show up a bunch of times as I try.
https://i.imgur.com/LzXYywb.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/T5dV7xu.jpg
Sajeev
Community Manager

The photos came through! What you see seems to line up with my assessment. Oh and by the way, you can also upload photos directly into your posts, which might be better than having a blog like TTAC did. 😉 

JeepCJ5
Intermediate Driver

Wish I had bought my dad's 1994 Ranger extended cab 5 speed years ago when he sold it. It was the awful but great 90s teal color. He sold it in about 2004 or so when it wasn't worth much. Those Rangers are bring stupid money now. There's an early 2000s model on a local government auction that is low miles, but even so the base model single cab 4 cylinder is at $7000 and not even over yet. I think it's a combination of just not being able to get a small truck anymore, and the Toyotas and Nissans driving the prices up. Also should have kept the 92 Nissan 4x4 single cab that I had around the same time....
JeepCJ5
Intermediate Driver

Well, it was lower miles and better shape than I remembered. But the government surplus 2009 model Ranger, 56,000 miles, base model 4 cylinder, just sold for $9114 including the 12.5% buyers fee.5634_114_5.jpg

Sajeev
Community Manager

Yeah that's pretty clean, but still, that's the surplus auction price!  Retail will be several grand more, depending on where its being sold! (And gas prices at the time of sale, to be honest.) 

Bryan
Hagerty Employee

To this day, I've never forgiven my seventeen-year-old-self for totaling the torch red 06 ranger sport I had in HS. It was THE perfect pickup (for me)
Sajeev
Community Manager

I do not forgive your 17 year old self either!  It would be perfect for me, if I didn't already have mine! 

ap41563
Pit Crew

Thank you for posting this! I own an 2011 SuperCab 4x4 Ranger which I love dearly. I actually have been through 2 daily drivers to keep the miles off this truck as I really want it to live forever. I know with safety standards and fuel economy standards increasing the sun has set on trucks the "Old Ranger" size. I know there is a lot of talk of the new Maverick being a return true compact truck but I still wonder if even be bigger than the 1998-2011 Ranger. Thank you for diving through the spec sheets on both models and comparing the demensions. I have a double car garage with a 16x7 door I know my Ranger fits next to my Buick LeSabre but your specs confirm for me that the "New" Ranger will be 4 inches closer so I'd have to be careful opening the doors. Either way I'll keep my 2011 it does everything I need it to do and I have never needed "more truck" for any of my home projects.
Sajeev
Community Manager

I am pretty sure the new Mav' will be taller and wider than our Rangers, but hopefully not enough to matter.  I test drove a Ford Transit Connect many years ago and I was pretty happy with its size, so the Mav has a lot of potential in my book. 

 

That said, my Ranger will have to be totaled in a collision for me to want a new one. Odds are it will suit my needs for another coupla decades at the rate I drive it (i.e. work from home) 

Germanicus
Intermediate Driver

I get the Ranger being bigger today, as it's in a fundamentally different size class. Still, that size class sucks. There's not enough interior room to be useful for things like child seats, but just big enough to be unwieldy to park.

Something I've noticed is that heavy-duty trucks have become much taller in just one generation. Some new HD trucks with their factory 4x4 packages are too tall to tow a fifth-wheel trailer, which is the raison d'etre of an HD truck.
bradfa
Intermediate Driver

Rear facing child seats, yes, I agree with you are too big to fit in the back of today's mid-size trucks. But once your kids are large enough to sit forward facing they'll fit in the back of a mid-sizer nicely. I have 3 kids, all old enough to not need a booster, in a booster, and in a forward facing car seat and they don't mind sitting in the back of my crew cab Colorado for around town trips. The leg room is almost as good as many mid-sized cars (I previously had a Subaru Legacy) while the width of the backseat is actually slightly wider and flatter which gives more space in that direction.
kyree-williams
Pit Crew

Would the old 2011-and-prior Ranger be considered a compact truck (along with the Chevy S10 and its various clones)?

If so, it’s simply a case of the fact that there are no more compact trucks in our market. The current Ranger moved up to midsize, and is evenly matched against the Colorado/Canyon, Tacoma, Frontier and car-based Ridgeline. All of those trucks are, IMO, extremely maneuverable day-to-day, far more than their full-size half-ton brethren.

Arguably, the title of midsize truck at Ford was formerly handled by both iterations of the Explorer Sport Trac, although it had some compromises.

That said, Ford is about to release the Maverick, a unibody/transverse-engine truck, of the sort that’s been seen in Mexico, Central and South America for some time. It’ll be interesting when you get your hands on one of those and compare it to your Ranger.

Also, it’s a dang shame that Ford never released the SuperCrew version of your Ranger here in the ‘States. That would have been awesome.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Yes, the compact truck died in 2011 when the Ranger ceased production. The new Maverick will likely be classified as a compact, only because it will be smaller than any other truck on the market, probably. Doesn't matter if its gonna be larger than the previous Ranger, Tacoma, etc. 

iamwho2k
Pit Crew

Except the Miata just about every existing nameplate is bigger than its ancestors. The 2021 Mazda 3 sedan is as big as my 2007 Mazda 6. (Insert deep sigh.) Of course, this gives automakers an excuse for a new nameplate to slip in below (see Honda Fit), but when new Civics dwarf old Civics and even old Accords... I'm not a fan.

What's more disturbing to me is the increasing porkiness of new cars and trucks. I understand that safety is a factor, so we *need* stronger bodies and supporting equipment like a gazillion airbags. Hybrids and EVs aside, I think electronics improving the efficiency of ICE engines give the engineers a convenient excuse for not trying to shed more weight.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Even the Miata has grown a bit since the original, but yes, it is peanuts compared to every other vehicle. 

 

While safety is a serious factor, the sad reality is that smaller cars are falling out of fashion for multiple reasons. Used cars are becoming more valuable, smaller cars are difficult to sell with low gas prices, smaller cars have less margin for retailers, etc. all squeezes the market for small cars. Just see how much more expensive the redesigned Versa (2018?) is relative to the previous body style.