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Floyd

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The Frontier numbers I bet dropped a lot because the new redesign will be out new year and some are waiting for that. I owned 2 frontiers while waiting for the Ranger to come back. It is a basic truck but built solid. They seem to be used a lot for fleet vehicles now...the ranger use to be the dominate fleet vehicle when they were cheap and had a single cab.
Good post! I agree... the Frontier sales were sustained for years on the fact that there was no Ranger and that Frontier buyers got a better truck than a Tacoma for a lot less money.
Ranger is back and the rest will now have to step up their game.



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mtbikernate

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traded my POS frontier for a ranger this year 2Q. proud and happy to say I'm part of these statistics.... and if you want an anti-nissan rant... never again will i ever think about buying a nissan. check engine light was on all the time, rust ate it quicker than any car i've ever owned- that incluides hondas, toyotas and american- bed fell off, replaced gas tank once, fuel sender unit 3 times in 8 months, never got anywhere close to EPA estimated MPG- 16mpg is the best it ever did. 16!!!! with a 6 cylinder in a truck that weighed 3400 pounds before the rust ate up half of it. the truck was the slowest car i have ever driven. worse than tacomas.... never buying another nissan horrible cars. pfffft solid truck with only 1100 pounds payload. the only reason i bought was to save up money to put down on a nicer truck and ended up costing me. sorry for the rant but the frontier deserves to be lower on the list
I looked at a couple Frontiers on a lot a number of years ago for the exact reason you mentioned. They had around 20k miles, certified pre-owned, and were around the $16k price range. They definitely weren't fancy. They were small, cheap, basic trucks. I wasn't necessarily opposed to that (my first Ranger cost me $5500), but it was the reports about reliability, like yours, that bothered me. With the obscene resale of Tacos and the GM twins being a lot less common at the time (and therefore also more expensive on the resale market), I decided that buying used just didn't save enough money to be worthwhile.

I knew the Ranger was coming at the time, but no date had been set yet. I continued to watch the market while I monitored the finances (major financial criteria was paying off the Subaru). Then the Ranger showed up and caught my attention. The COVID deals popped up at just the right time. Subie wasn't quite paid off yet, but the 3mo no payments supplied the time to make that happen. The Ranger I got has just about everything I wanted, plus some extras.

I wish I had taken a picture yesterday, but I didn't notice until I was pulling out of the parking lot of Lowe's. When I came out, there were 3 midsize trucks parked in a row. My Ranger, a white Ridgeline, and a white Gladiator. If there had been a Taco and a GM twin in there, it would have been a much funnier pic.
 

Floyd

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traded my POS frontier for a ranger this year 2Q. proud and happy to say I'm part of these statistics.... and if you want an anti-nissan rant... never again will i ever think about buying a nissan. check engine light was on all the time, rust ate it quicker than any car i've ever owned- that incluides hondas, toyotas and american- bed fell off, replaced gas tank once, fuel sender unit 3 times in 8 months, never got anywhere close to EPA estimated MPG- 16mpg is the best it ever did. 16!!!! with a 6 cylinder in a truck that weighed 3400 pounds before the rust ate up half of it. the truck was the slowest car i have ever driven. worse than tacomas.... never buying another nissan horrible cars. pfffft solid truck with only 1100 pounds payload. the only reason i bought was to save up money to put down on a nicer truck and ended up costing me. sorry for the rant but the frontier deserves to be lower on the list
All that and they are now SOOOO much better than when they were Datsun!
I only had my Datsun for 8 months and 26,000 miles.
It broke down more during that time than all the vehicles I have owned in the 45 years since... COMBINED!!!
 
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2.7EcoBoost

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traded my POS frontier for a ranger this year 2Q. proud and happy to say I'm part of these statistics.... and if you want an anti-nissan rant... never again will i ever think about buying a nissan. check engine light was on all the time, rust ate it quicker than any car i've ever owned- that incluides hondas, toyotas and american- bed fell off, replaced gas tank once, fuel sender unit 3 times in 8 months, never got anywhere close to EPA estimated MPG- 16mpg is the best it ever did. 16!!!! with a 6 cylinder in a truck that weighed 3400 pounds before the rust ate up half of it. the truck was the slowest car i have ever driven. worse than tacomas.... never buying another nissan horrible cars. pfffft solid truck with only 1100 pounds payload. the only reason i bought was to save up money to put down on a nicer truck and ended up costing me. sorry for the rant but the frontier deserves to be lower on the list
I'm not in love with Nissan or defending them. I just had a very good experience. 161k miles @ trade. The ONLY issue I had was the rear axle vent getting plugged, causing the seals to leak. Dealer fixed it out of warranty because it was a known issue. I had zero rust or other issues other than my bed side in front of the fenders was "sand blasted" at 100k miles. My Ranger did the same at 10k miles!! Mine was a Pro4x 6 speed manual. It didn't ride great and had the turning radius of a whale, but damn it was a reliable truck. I paid $34k for my Ranger, about $2k more than a new Frontier Pro4x. I got a ton of extra tech, a better powertrain, XLT w/FX4 and 302a equipment and nicer looking truck in the Ranger compared to the Frontier. Thus far I've had more problems (vibration that's "normal", paint chipping like it's water colors, tore parking brake boot) with my Ranger in 1 year. But, in fairness my Nissan was used with 50K (or so) when I bought it, so I'm sure it had some teething pains too. I hope my Ranger ends up being as reliable as my Frontier. I'd like to keep this truck at least another 5 years. Hoping for the best. I think Ford selling 25k a 1/4 with low (factory) incentives is a home run on their part!!
 

TVRangerSTX

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Lots of Rangers down in Sussex county. 1 Gladiator so far.
Hopefully there'll be one more there, our usual vacation in Bethany Beach for 2 weeks over Labor Day, and I think we'll take the truck? I keep telling her there is more room than in her Escape! Have a friend in Frankford (Diriksons Pond). Only problem is the bike rack wobbles in the 2" hitch but I think I can work in some shims. Love Lower Slower Delaware, if it were up to me, we'd move there from NE PA tomorrow.
 

DavidR

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I'd be interested to see how many of those came from a Wrangler. Are they just taking their own sales for the most part in the end?
That's what I was thinking. You'd have to look at all Jeep sales to know for sure, but traditionally around here (Eastern CA), if you exclude full-size trucks, the two most popular off-road-capable vehicles in the mid-sized range are Tacomas and Jeep Wranglers. Jeeps are already very popular, and there is probably a fair amount of demand among Jeep-oriented folks and previous/existing Jeep owners for a Jeep with the added utility of a truck bed.
 

RANGER_MARC

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Hopefully there'll be one more there, our usual vacation in Bethany Beach for 2 weeks over Labor Day, and I think we'll take the truck? I keep telling her there is more room than in her Escape! Have a friend in Frankford (Diriksons Pond). Only problem is the bike rack wobbles in the 2" hitch but I think I can work in some shims. Love Lower Slower Delaware, if it were up to me, we'd move there from NE PA tomorrow.
Hey, I live in North Delaware, but have worked in both North and South, and still go to "L.S.D." on vacations. We love the beach scene, the restaurants, the hiking trails, and, of course, the outlets. On our last trip down, just before the pandemic closed things down, we took the Ranger and had a great time. It was our first real trip after picking up the truck. Once you put the back seat up, you can stuff a whole lot of suitcases and other travel-related junk back there. We bought so much stuff down at the outlets that we had to stop off a Home Depot on the way back for a few cargo bins for the bed to put it all in. With the cargo net holding them in place, we could put as much as we wanted to back there and had no fear of losing any of it. My wife was very pleasantly surprised, as her main gripe about the Ranger was that it did not carry as much cargo on trips as the Explorer did! So, yes, tell your wife that the Ranger definitely has "more room than ... her Escape!" Whichever ride you decide on, enjoy your trip!
 

Fjsteven

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I would not be surprised if the gladiator took second place over the Ranger. Not my choice but Jeep has a huge loyal following. And if they do it will push Ford to do even better. Ford is in this for the long run and we will benefit.
 

Floyd

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I would not be surprised if the gladiator took second place over the Ranger. Not my choice but Jeep has a huge loyal following. And if they do it will push Ford to do even better. Ford is in this for the long run and we will benefit.
Your opinion may be a bit colored by the trim level of your Ranger which may lead you to believe that the Gladiator can be competitive.
They have nothing to compete with the XL, STX, or lower level XLT
Ranger advertises top trim levels which are actually supported by lower trim level sales.
Jeep advertises top trim levels and their lower levels prove to be disappointments.
Its the value in lower trim levels which will produce the margin to keep the Ranger on top.

I always say that you should place a picture of your next vehicle choice on the kitchen table next to a stack of $20 bills large enough to buy it.... Look at one, then the other a few times and, like one of those "Stareograms", you will start to see the real value manifest before your eyes.

1594170097595.png
 
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VAMike

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I would not be surprised if the gladiator took second place over the Ranger. Not my choice but Jeep has a huge loyal following. And if they do it will push Ford to do even better. Ford is in this for the long run and we will benefit.
To do that they'd need to sell about half as many gladiators as wranglers. That's a steep hill to climb, and I wonder if they'd be happy to cannibalize their own sales to that degree--especially with Ford bringing back the bronco to give them the first competition they've had in their segment for a while.
 

Hounddog409

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I looked at a couple Frontiers on a lot a number of years ago for the exact reason you mentioned. They had around 20k miles, certified pre-owned, and were around the $16k price range. They definitely weren't fancy. They were small, cheap, basic trucks. I wasn't necessarily opposed to that (my first Ranger cost me $5500), but it was the reports about reliability, like yours, that bothered me. With the obscene resale of Tacos and the GM twins being a lot less common at the time (and therefore also more expensive on the resale market), I decided that buying used just didn't save enough money to be worthwhile.

I knew the Ranger was coming at the time, but no date had been set yet. I continued to watch the market while I monitored the finances (major financial criteria was paying off the Subaru). Then the Ranger showed up and caught my attention. The COVID deals popped up at just the right time. Subie wasn't quite paid off yet, but the 3mo no payments supplied the time to make that happen. The Ranger I got has just about everything I wanted, plus some extras.

I wish I had taken a picture yesterday, but I didn't notice until I was pulling out of the parking lot of Lowe's. When I came out, there were 3 midsize trucks parked in a row. My Ranger, a white Ridgeline, and a white Gladiator. If there had been a Taco and a GM twin in there, it would have been a much funnier pic.
Ridgeline is a car with an open trunk.
 

ch47dmechanic

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The Colorado was my runner-up when I bought my Ranger. The V6 seemed plenty capable, and I was impressed with the transmission given some of the stories I'd heard about it (although the 4-cyl engine with its 6-speed tranny sucked). Ride was more "solid" feeling than the Ranger. I'm not someone who worries too much about style. And I could have paired a crew cab with a 6-ft box. Honestly, while the Ranger edged out the Colorado in almost every category, I probably would have been perfectly happy with the Colorado.

I don't think it's just the lifetime GM owners buying it. It's a solid little truck, and I could easily see someone with different preferences than myself subjectively preferring it. Add in the anxiety that some people have over buying a 1st year model (yes, I know that the various components of the Ranger are tried and true, but that's not enough for everyone to be comfortable with it), and I think there's a compelling argument for some people to choose it over the Ranger beyond just a pro-GM bias.
What I've noticed about the people that have the GM twins that talk to me about my truck is that they wouldn't buy a Toyota (because 'Merica) and they wouldn't buy a Ranger because they're turbo luddites. This is likely where GM's core market is with their mid-size trucks. Hell, I don't even think their full size market can handle a boosted engine. From what I understand, sales of the Silverado with the 2.7TT four-cylinder are basically all but dead. I mean, honestly, do you know anyone that has one? GM owners seem far less inclined to support a turbocharged engine in a pickup (outside of a diesel) than Ford owners did when the whole Ecoboost thing took off in the F-150s.
 

the1mrb

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What I've noticed about the people that have the GM twins that talk to me about my truck is that they wouldn't buy a Toyota (because 'Merica) and they wouldn't buy a Ranger because they're turbo luddites. This is likely where GM's core market is with their mid-size trucks. Hell, I don't even think their full size market can handle a boosted engine. From what I understand, sales of the Silverado with the 2.7TT four-cylinder are basically all but dead. I mean, honestly, do you know anyone that has one? GM owners seem far less inclined to support a turbocharged engine in a pickup (outside of a diesel) than Ford owners did when the whole Ecoboost thing took off in the F-150s.
I think this hits on my biggest thing with GM, they're conservative and thereby for conservative people. GM doesn't really push the boundaries. There's nothing really new or innovative coming out of GM, nothing special. At least in my eyes. They're keeping up with the times and the trends, or at least trying to, but not pushing them forward. It's all just full of acceptable vehicles. Not bad vehicles, but not vehicles to write home about either. And that's fine. There's definitely a market for buyers who want the "good ole days" of vehicles that are proven to work.

The Blazer is a perfect example of that. They could've gone all out with that name, in the same vain as Ford is with the Bronco name, return it to glory and fun. But that would've meant taking a risk. So instead they just made it into another in the long line of family crossovers/SUVs, that the generic normal person will buy.

Heck, just yesterday a bunch of guys at work were crapping all over small turbo engines, saying they'd never buy anything with one. Throwing around the phrase "nothing beats displacement". And guess what, all of them drive slow big engine GM's of some kind, because they don't like, or understand, change.
 

DavidR

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Yeah, GM are an interesting mix. They have a few areas where they have pushed things forward, even been a little ahead of the times. The obvious case is the Corvette, where they've always put reasonable development effort. There are some other less flashy things like the Volt, which was both loved and derided, but if you strip away the emotional baggage on both sides, was market-leading by years for a plug-in hybrid, and whether you love or hate the concept of a plug-in hybrid, it is pretty good at what it was intended to do. Then the Bolt, which beat Tesla to the market by a several years with a lower-cost but higher-range EV (Tesla has more than caught up, though).

The Volt is obviously a "bridge" solution, and was bound to end up in the past at some point, but the similar and later-arriving offering from Ford (the Cmax Eenergi, also discontinued now I think) was technically and functionally inferior in most aspects except maybe cargo volume and sold far fewer units in markets where such vehicles are popular (mostly "the coasts"). Finally, a decade later, Honda has something close with the Clarity, but that market is now moving towards full electric.

In trucks, though, they've been much less innovative for some reason. Like you mention, they seem happy with keeping their loyal brand base (my Dad was one, for example), but they don't seem to want to put out the effort to try to catch up with Ford (or Toyota in mid-size). The most recent Colorado had some styling changes that we also now see in the Ranger, like the higher bed rails and the mild overall wedge shape, but the interiors are still pretty stark.

In terms of the "turbo hate", turbines do have a bad reputation from the past that is partially deserved, and there is also the bigger-is-better barrier as well as the stigma that four-cylinder engines have always been the crappy base engine in the base model for decades. That's a lot of perceptions to overcome at once, especially in the truck market, and it probably won't happen overnight. There may be some apprehension for a while. Before I bought the Ranger, I did do some research to make sure that Ford had really nailed the turbo technology for general consumption and long-term reliability. It was a smart move for Ford to leverage its large market share lead in trucks to push these technologies forward, but realistically, it might have been harder for GM to do even if they wanted to.

I think this hits on my biggest thing with GM, they're conservative and thereby for conservative people. GM doesn't really push the boundaries. There's nothing really new or innovative coming out of GM, nothing special. At least in my eyes. They're keeping up with the times and the trends, or at least trying to, but not pushing them forward. It's all just full of acceptable vehicles. Not bad vehicles, but not vehicles to write home about either. And that's fine. There's definitely a market for buyers who want the "good ole days" of vehicles that are proven to work.

The Blazer is a perfect example of that. They could've gone all out with that name, in the same vain as Ford is with the Bronco name, return it to glory and fun. But that would've meant taking a risk. So instead they just made it into another in the long line of family crossovers/SUVs, that the generic normal person will buy.

Heck, just yesterday a bunch of guys at work were crapping all over small turbo engines, saying they'd never buy anything with one. Throwing around the phrase "nothing beats displacement". And guess what, all of them drive slow big engine GM's of some kind, because they don't like, or understand, change.
 
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the1mrb

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Yeah, GM are an interesting mix. They have a few areas where they have pushed things forward, even been a little ahead of the times. The obvious case is the Corvette, where they've always put reasonable development effort. There are some other less flashy things like the Volt, which was both loved and derided, but if you strip away the emotional baggage on both sides, was market-leading by years for a plug-in hybrid, and whether you love or hate the concept of a plug-in hybrid, it is pretty good at what it was intended to do. Then the Bolt, which beat Tesla to the market by a several years with a lower-cost but higher-range EV (Tesla has more than caught up, though).

The Volt is obviously a "bridge" solution, and was bound to end up in the past at some point, but the similar and later-arriving offering from Ford (the Cmax Eenergi, also discontinued now I think) was technically and functionally inferior in most aspects except maybe cargo volume and sold far fewer units in markets where such vehicles are popular (mostly "the coasts"). Finally, a decade later, Honda has something close with the Clarity, but that market is now moving towards full electric.

In trucks, though, they've been much less innovative for some reason. Like you mention, they seem happy with keeping their loyal brand base (my Dad was one, for example), but they don't seem to want to put out the effort to try to catch up with Ford (or Toyota in mid-size). The most recent Colorado had some styling changes that we also now see in the Ranger, like the higher bed rails and the mild overall wedge shape, but the interiors are still pretty stark.

In terms of the "turbo hate", turbines do have a bad reputation from the past that is partially deserved, and there is also the bigger-is-better barrier as well as the stigma that four-cylinder engines have always been the crappy base engine in the base model for decades. That's a lot of perceptions to overcome at once, especially in the truck market, and it probably won't happen overnight. There may be some apprehension for a while. Before I bought the Ranger, I did do some research to make sure that Ford had really nailed the turbo technology for general consumption and long-term reliability. It was a smart move for Ford to leverage its large market share lead in trucks to push these technologies forward, but realistically, it might have been harder for GM to do even if they wanted to.
Yeah, you're right. I forgot about the Volt/Bolt, which I would agree was ahead of it's time and something an American manufacturer really hadn't done yet. And certainly a non-conservative vehicle. But it seems like they've since given up on hybrids, and all around pushing the boundaries as of late, which is a shame. Especially since a lot of other manufacturers are starting to dive deep into hybrids and full electrics.

Short of maybe the Escape Hybrid, Ford has definitely been behind the ball as far as hybrids and EVs go. But it at least seems like they're really pushing them hard and investing a lot into them. Our 2020 Escape Hybrid is a great vehicle as an example.

Ford's design investment has basically been 50% F-series, 25% Bronco (as of late), 20% Mustang, and then 5% everything else. Or maybe that's just marketing investment. haha So those platforms are always pushing the limits and moving forward at least. Everything else is either just hanging in there or getting the hand-me-down options from those main 3 platforms it seems. Hopefully the Mach-E is good and opens up the full EV market for them, but with how they've fumbled most platforms lately, I'm hesitant.
 

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