America’s New Love: Midsize Pickups

2015 Ford Ranger

The Chevy Colorado can be credited with making midsize trucks in America relevant again.

Sure, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have been around since the 1990s, but the return of the Colorado, and its twin GMC Canyon, ignited a new love for smaller pickups.

Ford abandoned the market after the 2011 model year and sent the Ranger off to foreign lands, believing Americans would rather buy a base-level F-150 than spend similar dollars on a smaller truck.

Ford was flat-out wrong and is now in the process of bringing the Ranger back to the United States.

As midsize truck sales continue to rise, how well are they really doing and do their full-size siblings have any reason to worry?

Automotive News had this to say about the Colorado’s sales:

Chevrolet has sold about 60,000 Colorados in the U.S. this year through July and 160,000 since it hit the market two years ago — solid numbers, but still a drop in the bucket compared to full-size trucks (327,000-plus Silverados were sold as of the end of July 2016).

The top 4 best-selling trucks in the U.S. are still the full-size F-Series, Silverado, Ram, and Sierra. In fact, the slowest-selling full-size truck, the Sierra, sells about 2,000 units more per month than the best-selling midsize truck, the Tacoma. The other midsizes don’t even come close.

It appears that automakers don’t need to worry about midsize truck sales cannibalizing their full-size offerings. Ford has realized that it can probably sell 500,000 F-Series trucks and 50,000 Rangers every year, which is a lot better than 500,000 F-Series trucks and zero Rangers.

When the Ranger does arrive in 2019, it will likely have a 5-cylinder diesel option in addition to a couple of gas-powered mills. The Colorado and Canyon already have diesel options, so the Ranger may have to play a little bit of catch-up.

With the midsize-truck market on the rise and heavy anticipation for the return of the Ranger nameplate, it doesn’t appear that anything will hold Ford’s sales back once it picks up a little momentum.

Would you rather have a new Ford F-150 or a new Ford Ranger?

-tgriffith

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