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2024 Ford Ranger First Drive: Back in the Game

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2024 the Ford Ranger.

Salt Lake City, Utah - The Ford Ranger has had a checkered career to date. Launched in 1983, it was a considerable success until 2011, when it was discontinued in North America. By that point it was out of date, having remained largely unchanged since 1993.

Its compact size and affordable price made it a favourite in some quarters. In 2011, you could buy a Ford Ranger for just under $18,000. That wasn't counting the discounts Ford offered on its last edition of the model.

The compact and mid-size pickup segment subsequently went through a period of decline, but was reborn in 2015. As the segment started to grow again, Ford brought back its Ranger for 2019. The problem was that edition was much more expensive - and already outdated. How’s that? Elsewhere in the world, production of the model had not ceased. In 2019, North Americans were offered, roughly speaking, a model launched in 2012 in Australia.

Ford had already used this strategy with the EcoSport, without much success. And not surprisingly, public response to the Ranger was mixed. It was easy to find something better elsewhere, including from Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota. Sales topped 100,000 units in the U.S. in 2020, but then slumped to just 32,334 units last year. By way of comparison, Toyota sold 234,768 Tacomas in the U.S. in 2023.

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