Ford Robbed Us Of Ranger Double Cab For Explorer Sport Tracs

·

Photo: Ford

Photo: Ford

By definition, a big truck like a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado struggles to be small. Even in its smallest, most trucky configuration — a two-door single cab — a full-size truck is relatively large and comes with a sizable bed for hauling cargo. But a small truck like the third-generation Ford Ranger can do a good pretty impression of a big truck by adding two doors.

Image for article titled Ford Robbed Us Of The Old Four-Door Ranger Because It Wanted To Sell Explorers

Photo: Ford

Image for article titled Ford Robbed Us Of The Old Four-Door Ranger Because It Wanted To Sell Explorers

Of course, it’s unlikely that Ford would’ve brought a vehicle conceived of by its Argentina subsidiary, which came up with the double cab Ranger due to the unexpected popularity of the U.S. Ranger in South America. But importing a truck designed for another market can be a success, as in the case of the Australian-designed T6 platform, which underpinned the 2019 Ranger.

Image for article titled Ford Robbed Us Of The Old Four-Door Ranger Because It Wanted To Sell Explorers

That’s why it strikes me as odd that Ford never sold the four-door Ranger in the U.S.; by the early aughts, Toyota, Nissan, Chevy and Dodge all sold a four door compact truck. Or rather a midsizer, since that’s around the time that midsize trucks supplanted compacts.

The Explorer Sport Trac might very well have been a better match in terms of size and mechanical output to duke it out with rivals. But, in retrospect, the Sport Trac had no staying power. It seems like a flash in the pan compared to long-running badges like Tacoma, Frontier or the Ranger itself.

Image for article titled Ford Robbed Us Of The Old Four-Door Ranger Because It Wanted To Sell Explorers

The closest the U.S. ever got to a Ford Ranger with four full doors prior to the return of the Ranger in 2019, when the fourth-gen model debuted in America, was the Explorer Sport Trac. But Ford did, in fact, make a four-door (or “SuperCrew” Ranger_ on the third-gen platform; Ford just never sold it here, opting instead to make the double cab Ranger exclusive to Latin American markets.