Back in March, as Matthew Guy waxed poetic over a base, Thailand-spec Ford Ranger, this author felt the tell-tale signs of desire flooding his body. “Look at all that basic utility!” my salivary glands cried. Yours did too, no doubt.

Well, give up all hope of seeing a cute little one-row Ranger midsize pickup in your near future, unless you’re jetting off to start a new life in Southeast Asia. It ain’t coming. But at least we now know what is.

According to a 2019 model year VIN document submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Ford Motor Company (and discovered by the intrepid Bozi Tatarevic), the U.S.-market 2019 Ranger will offer four doors of varying sizes on all models. A regular cab was always a longshot hope.

The doc shows four configurations, with an asterisk. Extended cab (SuperCab) models will be available in rear- or four-wheel drive, as will SuperCrew variants with full-sized rear doors. Just as Ford stated in Detroit in January, there’s only one engine initially on offer — a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, mated to a 10-speed automatic.

For small business types and fleet managers, buyers of the 4X2 SuperCab model can select a pickup box delete option, paving the way for a little flatbed or utility warehouse on the back of the Blue Oval’s smallest truck offering. Towing probably won’t be on the top of this work truck’s to-do list.

As for the hotly rumored Raptor variant — a model already greenlit for Southeast Asia — there’s nary a hint of its existence in this document, but there is in the real, non-digital world. A Raptor prototype with what sounded like a gasoline engine under the hood appeared on the roads of Michigan recently. Overseas Raptors contain only a diesel engine. No one expected a side-by-side launch of the conventional model and its brawnier, wider sibling in the U.S., so keep your fingers crossed in the coming months for an announcement.

That 2.3 makes 350ft/lbs in the ’19 Mustang so here’s to hoping the little truck gets more torque than any F150 did 20 years ago. Progress!



Grenade, Here in Australia we have midsizers with 250hp and 440ftlb torque diesels, how long ago were these the domain of HDs?

Our midsizers are the “HDs” of global midsizers. The EU runs 1.9-2.3 litre diesels mainly. We are diesels up to the size of the Ram and Ford V6 diesels.

I was picking up dog crap in the yard yesterday and I literally had a guy roll up in an older Odyssey in decent shape, lean out his window and ask me if my street parked ’94 Ranger (RWD, reg cab, 2.3+5spd, 7 foot bed) was for sale. I was taken aback for a second and then said “sure, $2500.” He thanked me and went about his way, I wonder what sort of number he had in his head (I paid $2000 this spring).

Only tangentially related, just wanted to share. Only other time people have asked to buy a vehicle off of me was people leaving notes on my bro’s old ’65 Honda S90 back in college.

I have a friend with a single cab Ranger. He gets offers on a regular basis. But, no, no one wants a single cab truck.

The L Series is a development from the Mazda F Series, which was used in the 80s in the Capella and even the Mazda utes/pickups.

I re-built an 1.8 litre F Series in the 80s and used pistons from a 6 cylinder Toyota Crown to lift compression. The gudgeon pins and dimensions of the Toyota piston allowed for it to just fit straight into the F Series.

Yeah my 2.7 F150 was a touch below EPA ratings on the 300 mile drive I was on last night (18.7). Of course that was with a MK III Supra on a trailer behind it. I rarely see 26 on the hwy though, I’ll grant you that but I typically do see the 22 mpg with a good mix of highway and city. Now pulling my 30 foot RV…try 9 but that seems to be more aerodynamics since the Supra and Trailer were pretty close to it in weight.

*sigh* No more Impala. No manual Cruze. And now no nifty little Ranger. What have I done to anger the auto gods?

I’m fine with 1-½ rows. In fact, that’s all I want is 1-½ rows… with a clean floor in that half-row.

That’s why all vehicle should only have bucket seats by law in the front (make them leather as well as it’s easy to clean).

Wrong side of the body, Al… I’ve carried 3 across in both my old Mitsu and my newer Ranger (third being a child.) Believe me, an adult would be getting more than ‘tickled’ between the legs on a gear shift, what with the long-arm throw of a pickup’s shifter. But then, adding that half-row allowed trucks to be considered a 4+2, which helped cut the insurance rate as, in the 70s and 80s, they became the ‘cheap two-seater’ sports car with half the insurance and almost all the fun of the sports coupes.

Oh, yes; there were multiple reasons the small pickups were pushed out of the market. And every one of them had to do with increased cost, NOT a lack of market. Those bucket seats save many a gonad from getting crushed.

“as Matthew Guy waxed poetic over a base, Thailand-spec Ford Ranger, this author felt the tell-tale signs of desire flooding his body. “Look at all that basic utility!” my salivary glands cried. Yours did too, no doubt”

Not really. Apparently I’m the outlier around here, but any vehicle I buy new has to work as a daily driver and a bench seat that can hold 1.5 passengers doesn’t really qualify. $20K is a lot for a third vehicle and apparently the work fleet market isn’t hung up on having a version that puts the rear window three inches behind your cranium either.

I used to have a standard cab Toyota 2WD. It kind of sucked to have no closed storage unless you bought a cap for the back.

Hauling groceries in my daily driven Ranger is no treat either. I mean it all sort of fits in the footwell and passenger seat, but clumsily and obviously precludes any passengers from going along for the trip. My wife hates riding in it anyways (too bouncy and she doesn’t like the jerkiness of a 5spd and small engine) so the passenger thing is a non-issue. I will say the key thing with me putting up with such a basic vehicle is that I only paid $2000 for it. I’d never spend $20k or whatever on a new version that was so limited in its use cases. Poor handling in the winter is another non-trivial factor, mitigated somewhat by modern traction aids.

Toyota stopped offering a regular cab truck. Colorado/Canyon doesn’t offer it. No sense catering to the cheapskate fleet/personal use buyer market.There is no money in it and I bet that footprint based CAFE rules play a part.

“Three up” in a regular cab full sized truck is passable but is down right sh!tty in a small truck. I know first hand. I’ve owned both.

An extended cab small truck is still a 2 passenger vehicle with some storage capacity or a place for the dogs. I had an extended cab Ranger. You can’t fit car seats. At least a full sized extended cab will pack adults in the back. Leg room is similar to a crewcab small truck.

In other markets there’s just one wheelbase/footprint for all cab configurations. so their regular cabs have 7′ beds.

Except our cheapskates/fleet/etc are expendable and most of those will upgrade (Orkin), step up, or sidestep into other cheap vehicles on the lot/showroom.

@DenverMike – Incorrect. GM has a Denali Canyon. Toyota now offers leather as an option in the Tacoma. I rarely ever see a fleet spec Tacoma or Colorado/Canyon. That market has been occupied by the Nissan Frontier. Mid to high end small trucks are mostly what I see which isn’t all that different from full sized 1/2 tons.

I’ve seen Orkin full sized regular cab 1/2 tons and it does appear that they are now buying extended cab Colorado’s with back row “seat delete” option.

@Lou_BC -Thank god for luxury midsize pickup, but I doubt there’s enough sold to cover regular-cab losses.

Regular cabs are still considered a “cool”, if not sporty, especially for those not in their child rearing years. The last “new” one’s were an amazing deal, and I’d half feel guilty buying one, knowing the manufacturer had to be taking a loss.

I drive my mom’s ’01 Tacoma (she’s owned since new, base, crank windows) Pre Runner reg-cab when I fly in, and it’s a kick to drive. Turns a dime, 3-wheel-motion on tight braking turns, etc.

There’s gotta be at least several million regular cab midsize pickups in California driving around, or it seems. Yes CA was the epicenter for the whole Mini Truck Craze.

Somehow I can’t believe a word you just said here, DM. Not. One. Word. You have been so adamantly opposed to mid-sized and smaller pickups for the last 5 years that what you’re saying now is just totally baffling.

Name one thing you’re doubting. Or all. But her Pre Runner Tacoma looks like a Lab or Shepard puppy with its tiny body and oversize tires.

You should visit So Cal and not just the short run Lou does every year from John Wayne Airport to Disneyland and back.

I can link you Craigslist from out there, searching specific small/mini/midsize trucks if you can’t manage it. I can also recommend some Hot Shotters to ship it cheap.

How about just providing us with the California registration list for all compact trucks in the state? Don’t need names and addresses, but the overall number and numbers in each metropolitan area would be enough.

Remember, there are only 350-375 million people in the US. Not all of them drive. Not all of the remaining drive pickup trucks (only 16% of the market today). Not all of THOSE are driving old compact pickups. I might agree to a million all told across the country, but not all in one state.

Covering several decades with California selling a higher number and percentage than any other state, with most surviving the tin worm, it’s a reasonable number.

CA is the only place the Tacoma comes close to outselling the F-150. It’s an odd place when you think about it, and you won’t find a better place to spot vintage mini-trucks in action.

“Covering several decades with California selling a higher number and percentage than any other state, with most surviving the tin worm, it’s a reasonable number.” — It’s an argument with zero data to support it. As such, an invalid one.

“CA is the only place the Tacoma comes close to outselling the F-150. It’s an odd place when you think about it, and you won’t find a better place to spot vintage mini-trucks in action.” — Again, where’s the proof?

The top selling car in San Diego county was the Tacoma (in the article below), and I’m sure the Tacoma was has outsold the F-150 at other times and in all of California, where the F-150 struggles to break the top 5.

The Tacoma usually flirts with the Top 10 for all of California, that alone should astound and if taking all of SD county (that’a big county) doesn’t impress you, what else can I say?

I’ve seen the Tacoma take all of California, if I have more time I’ll dig up a link, god knows you’re incapable of doing a darn search, even to prove anyone wrong,

but The Mini Truck Craze alone had to have sold at least a million mini trucks in CA. Most have had an easy life and refuse to die. Even ones from the ’70s are alive and kicking.

The issue here is that you have been consistently unable to prove your points. First you say there is NO demand for compact trucks and that full sized trucks are all that anybody needs, then you turn around and claim that one state is covered with millions of compact trucks and that one truck in particular is more popular than any other by far.

Oh, and past tense? I’m quite sure that over the course of 30 years, a million or so compact and ‘mid-sized’ trucks sold; it’s probably the most truthful statement you’ve ever made about them. That doesn’t absolve you of the fact that there is quite obviously a market for SMALL trucks (as compared to ‘smaller than full-sized) that the OEMs simply refuse to address and you refuse to acknowledge.

Vulpine, Don’t get caught out by him ……………. again. I’m surprised the moderators don’t latch onto him and tell him to stop.

He’s a sly troll and he’s been caught out, even by Lou when he accidently cut and pasted the wrong comment about him living in an apartment in Winnepeg. I google his name once and it came up on dating sites stating he’s a Spanish dude, that lived in Mexico and spoke many languages.

Oh, the argument with DM has been a long and productive one. Every time he tries to refute obvious truth, he leaves himself open to ridicule. I enjoy exposing his shenanigans.

You do realize normal autonerds (like us) would be shocked the Tacoma outsells F-series (and Ram/GM) in California, no?

Ironic, as that I’m currently watching a 1993 Toyota, standard cab, short bed, 5 speed, crank windows. The only *modern* concession is that it has A/C. But then, I’m an outlier. Small trucks aren’t offered for sale in the US for a reason. That market went by the wayside some time ago. Heck, even what we consider “mid-sized” now is relatively large.

@redapple – a cap/canopy is a great option and makes one’s pickup much more versatile than a CUV or SUV. 4-6 bolts or clamps and the cap is off. You can’t fit an adult sized dirt bike or ATV in a CUV or any oversized/height load for that matter.

I think you misunderstood his point, redapple; he was saying, ‘If you can’t have inside storage without a cap, what’s the use in having one?” It happens to be my point too. I absolutely want a small truck BUT I have to have an extended cab (not a full two rows) so I can secure some things inside the cab and still have an open bed for things I don’t want to carry inside a closed cabin due to odors, mess, whatever.

@Vulpine – That is one reason why I’d never go back to a regular cab truck. When I was single I didn’t care if I had my dog riding shotgun next to me. I find it much handier to have the fur-balls in the rear of the cab. You can’t put them in the box in the winter, even with a canopy.

Exactly. Not everything you put back there is gear but if you have no need to carry people, you sure as heck don’t need a full-sized rear seat, either.

Lou, My father had a Kelpie and it used to ride in the front. It was spoilt and would not ride in the bed where all dogs should be.

Try sticking a couple of dogs in a truck bed and running down the highway like that and see how many people call the cops on you.

I wouldn’t do it even with a cap on the back in the summer or winter with my dogs given the temperature extremes. As much as I like the concept of a crew cab half-ton, I think my hand is forced and I’m sticking with SUVs that have a climate controlled interior for all passengers human and canine.

The worst animal I’ve seen transported was our cat that escaped from a cardboard box. It went ballistic and scratched all in the car. YouTube should of been around in the 70s as this would of made a great video. My old man finally pulled over against my mother’s wishes so we could get out of the car. The cat ran aeay never to be seen again.

I knew a fellow who was a labrador retriever breeder. One of the questions he asked, “What temperature do you feel is too cold to leave your dog outside?” He’d refuse to sell to anyone who wanted an “outside” dog especially in the winter.

I’m on a wait list for a liver coloured flat-coated retriever. The breeder asked me the same question. My reply, ” If it is too cold for me it is too cold for them. If I’m inside, so are they!”

Another point, the best way to ruin a dog is to keep it away from the family. They are pack animals after all.

I’ll stick to my Brisbane weather. Right now we call it cool to cold in the evening when the temperature drops to 15 Celsius.

The days are warm 27 to 34. But winter is almost upon us in the Southern Hemisphere and day time temps will drop to 24. But, I’m going to Germany, Denmark, France, Spain for our winter. Life’s tough!

Lou, I’d be if I was a passenger in your car and I started licking my balls and farting you’d make me walk, irrespective of the weather.

Really depends on the slushbox today, MR… I’ve got a 4cyl with a 9-speed slushbox and so far it’s been a very solid and quick little rig. It’s even a Jeep, so it’s essentially a Mopar.

I prefer a manual but I could live with the 10 speed auto with an extended cab. I wonder if the Ranger will have a rear seat delete for its base 4 X 2 model like the Colorado has. I myself could live with the fleet special which comes with more than enough equipment. I actually prefer the extended cab because you can store things inside the cab.

As for cheapskate versions there are enough fully loaded crew cab Colorados selling to cover the base Colorados.

Single cab Rangers come with a 1900mm x 2540mm flatbed or over 6′ x 8′ in US speak. This offers far more usable load space than any US 1/2 ton pickup. It also is great for moving a load near the cab as the globals can carry up to 3180lbs in some models, as much as the bottom end of F250s and F3502.

Most every single cab is bought to fit a flat bed to, as they are work trucks. Fancy daily drivers use a normal pickup tub or business “write offs” have a normal tub.

It’s kind of good not to have your power equipment and expensive tools, materials up high for everyone to eyeball.

I guess you can use a net for grocery bags, but how can you use “camper shells” on trays? Too much would be exposed all the time.

It’ll bet it’s not a very common truck, beside your “Wild West” form of truck “regs” or “ratings systems”, 4cyl/gas/manual/2wd/reg-cab/cab-n-chassis/(then deduct for the weight of the tray)etc/etc, but hey whatever works!

I do think a 2.5 inline 4 single cab would work in the US as it will have the same wheelbase as the normal Space and Crew Cab pickups.

The Ranger comes with two different ride heights. A low rider on bottom end vehicles and a high rider.

I will say this though, if they built a regular cab with the 2.7 as you describe with a manual I would put my money where my mouth is and buy it. They won’t

I have a soft spot for gen 1 Rangers. My first car was an 88 Short bed regular cab XLT. 2.3 with 5 speed. I wonder if the 2.3 ecoboost with a stick from a Mustang would slide into one.

Look…There is a better chance that Cobain will come back that regular cab midsize trucks will. The 90’s were a long time ago. Let it go.

A 7′ bed regular-cab would work too, same footprint as the rest. CAFE/CARB doesn’t realize (or care) a shorter wheelbase nets about zero gain in mpg, when it comes to pickups especially.

Cost is the problem. There is no money in them. To compete against a full size people think they should be 3/4s the price.

Not allowing more competitive imports jack the price up of pickups. Even making some locally produced models unviable, like single cab midsizers..

@BAFO – Could you be a little less vague? Which import pickups could drop the price of US market pickups?

The Tacoma is already an import from a 3rd world builder. So where’s its price drop? Or of any other?

The problem is “regular cabs” have to be priced a “fair” amount below an extended cab midsize pickups, which have to be priced a fair amount below regular-cab fullsize pickups.

There’s and “order” that must be followed, thus putting the reg-cab midsize pickups a little too affordable, distorting the market, drawing in all sorts of folks that would otherwise buy a fairly profitable Corolla, Focus, Sentra, Cruze or something similar on the same lot.

There’s a different “order” in other global markets allowing for more profitable, higher priced, regular cab midsizers, and the controlling factor starts with our fullsize pickups.

So the problem begins and ends with our fullsize pickups, not some mysterious, phantom global pickups you refuse to disclose.

Tacoma from a “third world builder”? While I know they’d like to think they aren’t, San Antonio Texas is still part of the US.

It’s possible that CAFE has put the margin squeeze on reg cabs, but overall it’s a lack of demand.

From the Reuters’s article in the link below it appears Ford USA doesn’t want to produce a work style Ranger as we have. From what I can gather they want the F Series to carry on with that.

But, interestingly, the following comment sort of supports this article – ” The exterior and interior styling of the North American Ranger will be aimed at a more affluent, recreational use buyer”.

I would think due to the very high manufacturing costs of vehicle manufacture in the US building a midsize work truck is not on and Ford are purposely targeting the recreational pickup person.

I do read and see discussion on this site regarding the use of midsize work trucks and the logic behind no single cabs. The reality is a single cab with a regular bed is the same size as a King or Dual cab with a bed.

So, the logic is the US manufacturers are targeting recreational users for their midsizers. Maybe this is a lost cause, as a midsize work truck, even configured as we have them with some able to carry more than 3 000lbs would work in the US as economical business vehicles.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-detroit-ranger/ford-unveils-future-ranger-pickup-for-segment-rivals-dominate-idUSKBN1F304Z

They still will for companies like Orkin (pest control) and other services who prefer to use light pickups instead of vans to isolate aromatic loads. I can guarantee those former big Ranger-using companies are going to demand a work-class truck within a year of its release and throw enough numbers at Ford to get their way. A very tiny pest control operation about a half-mile from where I live–a single-office operation–currently carries a fleet of fifteen base, short bed F-150s and I can guarantee they want smaller; they still have one remaining ’11 Ranger in company markings that, while it spends most of its time on the lot today, I still see making the occasional run. These guys are going to demand a smaller, less expensive truck and I’m absolutely certain Ford will eventually cave.

But what’s really needed is a true compact pickup. If anyone ever makes another one of those, I’m betting the demand will be beyond that OEM’s capacity for at least one model year and possibly longer, depending on how quickly the competition can bring one out of their own.

Once upon a time Ford Ranger offered regular cab pickup with 7 foot bed. It was equally happy working or commuting.

Yes once upon a time both the Ranger and S10 were available in regular cab with 7 foot bed. My ex-father-in-law had one for doing chores around the house. Given that over the road truck driver was his day job he appreciated a tiny little truck that he could see all the corners of but was still capable of a lumber yard run.

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Compact truck from Mitsubishi, midsize from Nissan, full size from Nissan may be the strategy for Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi Alliance.

I don’t see Ford offering regular cab Ranger unless another manufacturer demonstrates market for regular cab.

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