Hooniverse Asks: What do you want out of a smaller truck?

I’m heading down to San Diego today to drive the new Ford Ranger (for our friends at Jalopnik). As a former Ranger owner, I’m incredibly curious about what’s going on with the smaller pickup in the Blue Oval lineup. As a general automotive enthusiast, I’m more curious to see what the smaller rig offers and what it can offer its potential buyers. And also, at what cost.

Smaller trucks are beloved by their owners. Ask a Tacoma owner about their ride and be prepared to hear tales of nothing but love. My own experience with my old Ranger showed just how much people want these down-sized pickups. I blew the engine in the truck, and I was easily able to sell it two days later for $750. I could’ve asked $1,000 and I would’ve got it.

So with the return of the Ranger, what do you want out of a smaller truck?

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30 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What do you want out of a smaller truck?”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    Low entry cost, low operating cost, long durability.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      If Nissan’s internet ad targeting is up to snuff, you should be inundated with Frontier ads any minute now, that said, if Nissan’s internet ad strategy is anything like its product strategy, they will probably try to find you on MySpace.

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        If we did a Top Comment post, this would win

  2. P161911 Avatar

    I want a truck that will carry a 4×8 sheet of plywood between the wheel wells. I want a truck that has a bar stool height or lower tailgate. At 6′ tall with 37″ sleeve length, I want to be able to lean over and reach the middle of the bed. I want enough head, leg, and gut room to drive comfortably. I want a nice tight turning radius.

  3. ptschett Avatar

    A 40/20/40 front seat (consoles are for cars)
    A back seat big enough I can “sit behind myself”
    A 6.5′ box
    …all in the same vehicle.

  4. neight428 Avatar

    I vote for a modern Syclone. An ATS-V twin turbo in a Canyon or a Raptor 3.5L Ecoboost in a Ranger.

  5. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    None of it matters, without Ass Torque.
    Ford nailed it.

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      Apparently “Orem” + a Seattle map as featured in that ad = Medford, OR.

      Or at least, that location was the entirety of the seller’s response when I emailed him to ask a few questions about this, after it was featured on Graverobber’s post-Hooniverse morning gig last week.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Yeah, I noticed the Seattle/Orem issue with the location when I sent the ad to Eric Rood last week for potential use as a “someone should rally this” post but I figured the photos were worth it no matter what the underlying story might be.

        What’s Graverobber’s post-Hooniverse morning gig?

        1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
          dead_elvis, inc.

          Nice Price or Crack Pipe, Jalopnik’s first feature of the day (Mon-Fri).

          However, that VW trucklet was actually from a Jason Torchinsky post, not NPorCP as I thought: https://jalopnik.com/the-antidote-to-oversized-angry-pickup-trucks-is-on-cr-1830891399

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Oh, I see. He got it from, as he acknowledges, the Lemons Rally FB Page, which is to say Rood, who got it from me. Small world. Small world indeed.


          2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            And the circle is complete.

            However, as a former owner of multiple Squarebacks, I feel that magazine cover has circled the wagens against me.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      Glancing quickly at the photo I was thinking Morris Minor ute, not VW! There are a few MM utes around, fewer VW’s.

    3. Alff Avatar

      That hitch looks a bit … sketchy.

  6. Zentropy Avatar

    What I want is a legitimately smaller truck. The Colorado and Tacoma are nearly as large as full-sized half-tons from the 1990s. I’d like a pickup roughly the size of my mid-90s Ranger.

    1. 1slowvw Avatar

      I find my current ranger (2007 3.0l) to be a monster compared to my last b2300 (96 maybe). I still miss my old one, regular cab long box, 5 speed and rubber floors. I swear I’m not a 75 year old man but I know I sound like one on paper.
      The new canyons and Colorado’s are large enough that when I replace this ranger I’ll just go to a half ton. No reason not too until the new rangers drop in price in ten years or so.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        Mine was a ’97 regular cab shortbed with the 2.3, 5 speed. I later traded it in on a 4.0L manual, and regretted it after the honeymoon. I didn’t tow (usually just hauled my mountain bike and camping gear, and occasional wood/mulch), but just itched for more power. The 4.0L had great torque, but wasn’t as fun to row through the gears as the four-cylinder (nor as thrifty).

  7. Maymar Avatar

    I don’t really need a truck, I need a small car. But, something that could haul the occasional motorcycle or large Ikea box or something would probably be about as useful to me as a back seat. I would say a new VW Caddy would be perfect (just chop the back off a Golf wagon), but the rear jump seats would still be useful (I don’t completely avoid other people, just usually). So, Subaru, you can thank me later for this*.
    *I recognize why the truck market doesn’t cater to me.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Not sure jump seats will fly today! I’d be in a slightly similar boat, the option for back seats _or_ a long bed would be handy. Maybe a fold-down cab wall would do the job, but a total length closer to 16′ than 18′ is what I’d be looking at.

      Plus 5000+lb tow capacity and decent ground clearance (7″+)

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      I think starting a ute conversion company would be fun, though I’m not sure interest would be high here in the States, nor am I sure what hurdles are involved meeting safety standards.
      Regardless, I’ve considered converting a salvage Flex for a while now.

    3. Alff Avatar

      Jump seats have been regulated out of existence. Even in Missouri, where barefoot cousins abound, it is illegal to ride in the back.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        That makes sense, and further proves why I’m irrelevant to the pickup market. I wonder if something like this Skoda Felicia is still feasible?


  8. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    What I want, is seat 4 adults (can cheat and limit back seat to small adults) have 5-6″ box to carry a motorcycle, get 20 mpg in unloaded driving and be under $30,000.

    Reality is I’m going to bite the bullet on size and gas costs and buy a mid 90s full size extended cab because it’s cheaper

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      5-6” box? That’s one mighty small motorcycle. I’d probably just put it on the passenger seat!


      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
          dead_elvis, inc.


      2. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

        I don’t haul motorcycles all that often so bed length is based on hauling a motorcycle with the tailgate down. My last truck was a 93 Ranger long bed, which left me wishing I had a Super Cab more often than thankful for the 7′ box. OTOH a Yamaha YSR 50 would fit in a 5′ box

  9. Alff Avatar

    I’m attracted to Toyota pickups but not enough to buy one. I find my half ton inadequate for the job enough of the time that smaller would just be frustrating.

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