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Old 04-26-2011, 11:18 PM
neumayr83 neumayr83 is offline
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F-150 vs. Ranger

I will be going to college next year, I will be attending Oregon State. My parents want me to have a 4x4 vehicle. I have been debating with the F-150 and the Ranger, I'd prefer to buy the 150. I will have to drive about 600 miles to get to school, so I will have to some occasional hauling (like furniture). So I was wondering if you have any advice for me in deciding what truck to buy.

Thanks,
Barry
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:45 AM
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IMO-F150. The Ranger, while a decent small truck, will not yield any more real world fuel economy over the F150,and they're worlds different in capability and durability. We have both in our fleet here at work,and the Rangers get the same fuel economy as comparably equipped F150's,and they need repairs more often.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:18 AM
brokenleg brokenleg is offline
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If money isnt a problem, Id get the F150. in the real world, a Ranger will not get better gas mileage than a F150.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:14 PM
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1975IH200 1975IH200 is offline
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F-150 for sure. Extended cab and short box. Be prepared to be to "go to guy" whenever someone needs something big moved or delivered: furniture, big TV, motorcycle, school project, lumber, whatever....take care of it and enjoy it and make it last all four years.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:08 PM
03CrewCapt 03CrewCapt is offline
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F-150 for sure. Extended cab and short box. Be prepared to be to "go to guy" whenever someone needs something big moved or delivered: furniture, big TV, motorcycle, school project, lumber, whatever....take care of it and enjoy it and make it last all four years.
And when you are that guy then remind them of gas prices and at least get repaid with gas money, or beer money however you see it. Also remind them you will be helping carry things in or out, And remember V6 or V8 may make a difference in MPG.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:50 AM
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And when you are that guy then remind them of gas prices and at least get repaid with gas money, or beer money however you see it. Also remind them you will be helping carry things in or out, And remember V6 or V8 may make a difference in MPG.
There's no difference in fuel economy between a 4.2L V6 and the 4.6L V8 in the F150 in the real world-except for ALL highway with no towing/hauling-the the 4.22L has a slight advantage. Even then, the advantage between either of those and a 5.4L is minimal.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:34 AM
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No way 4000 lb (and up) F150 will get the same gas mileage as 3000 lb Ranger. If your parents are buying gas, get what you like. But if you are buying gas, Ranger is the choice.

For furniture or appliances, Ranger is sufficient. For boat and travel trailer, F150.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:03 AM
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No way 4000 lb (and up) F150 will get the same gas mileage as 3000 lb Ranger. If your parents are buying gas, get what you like. But if you are buying gas, Ranger is the choice.

For furniture or appliances, Ranger is sufficient. For boat and travel trailer, F150.
We have BOTH trucks in our fleet, and looking over the REAL WORLD DATA from fuel useage-I WILL disagree with this. I'm not talking about a single cab Ranger with a 4-cylinder compared to a supercab F150 with a 5.4L either. We have 4.0L Rangers here that are comparable to the 4.6L F15's0, which we also have. The Rangers use the same fuel as the 4.6L F150's in our daily driving/service activities.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:08 AM
Lance1601 Lance1601 is offline
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Ranger would be easier to get in and out of parking spots and parking garages.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:29 AM
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Hi Barry:

I would vote for a 4 cylinder Ranger for economy and simplicity purposes but have no idea how many are out there with 4WD. My son is at U of Mich in Ann Arbor and I know parking there is a huge issue (on street or behind rented houses with very limited access driveways, etc.) Virtually all of his friends drive smallish cars and lean toward hatchbacks. One of his housemates has a really cool old Bronco II.

One of his housemates from the prior 2 years had a 250 mile trip home to Chicago and had a full size Bronco that got 12 mpg. Needless to say, he eventually parked the old Bronco and got a new diesel VW Jetta wagon that he chose to drive home and back. (His family was pretty wealthy, even.)

Might you consider an alternative vehicle like maybe a 4 cylinder 4WD Escape? If you are carrying stuff to and from school, especially over long distances, the sheltered indoor cargo area of the Escape will provide more security and weather protection. Of course it will be an issue if you are carrying big couches and mattresses... I will also note that although they're not Fords, Subarus are incredibly popular with college folks who have to deal with bad weather.

An F150 makes very little sense to me as a long distance college vehicle, somehow. 600 miles worth of gas with full size truck economy just doesn't register if you, as a college student, have to buy gas. $100+ fill ups are a real pain in the wallet. I have a full size E150 with a 36 gallon tank, and my son has borrowed it to move stuff to/from college. In your case, renting/borrowing a truck or trailer might make more economic sense if you're only carrying stuff once or twice a year.

A 600 mile one way trip at 15 mpg in a big truck will use 40 gallons of gas, which will cost $200 at $5 per gallon (and during your time at college, I see that as a reality). Not too many college students have that much money to spend on fuel. One round trip at $400 worth of gas to move a couch will cost more than the value of the couch. Seems like most college kids scounge big pieces like couches and mattresses from near the school, and on move-out day, abandon them to other folks or put them out by the curb. We gave my son our old couch and my wife asked about getting it back and my son said "Mom, old couches come to our house to die..." After seeing it recently, I would not want it back unless we took everything off the bare frame and had it reupholstered...the party life is hard on furniture.

Good luck with your plans for school,
George
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:02 PM
monckywrench monckywrench is offline
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There is a reason the front-wheel drive cars and AWD cars are popular (Subaru have been favorites in the Northwest for good reason!) but if the parents are buying get the 150 then remind them their marching orders stuck you with the absurd fuel bill.

If they aren't, let your wallet be your guide.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:04 PM
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I get about 15-17 with my 98 150 Ext Cab. I can tow a trailer, carry all my tools under the matching camper top, and put my stuff in the back seat. Rangers are TINY, not as fuel efficient as EPA says, and as soon as you put a load on it... and mileage goes to crap. If you want a truck.. get a TRUCK. No an undersized wannabe truck. I have yet to find a spot I can't fit my 150, including downtown Baltimore. Learn to combat park and you can go anywhere. I not heard of a 4x4 ranger and it would never be able to handle anywhere near the weight of a 150 can handle. Having driven a 150 for 6 years and driven rangers, 150 wins hands down. In PA i used my truck to pull others out of snow and the only vehicle that could get around during a blizzard lol. Just my .02 Best of luck to ya whatever you choose!
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:39 PM
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How much stuff are you packing? For that distance, I would get a camper top to keep things protected when you stop to eat or whatever. How much driving will you be doing when you get to college? Take it from these guys, Rangers while great, are built like minivans because they're a market filler, not a benchmark or best seller like the F150 is. Seriously, the F150 is the best truck between the choices. I just have to ask, why a 97-2003 model? As far as crash testing goes, these are not the ones. Seriously consider that.

YouTube - 1997-2003 Ford F-150 crash test (IIHS)

If I were you, I would if my budget allowed get a 9th generation(92-96) or 2004-up model. Both these generations were much much better then the 97-2003.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:36 PM
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Having just replaced a 1999 Ranger XLT, Supercab 2X4 4.0 liter automatic with a 1998 F150 XLT Supercab 2X4 4.6 Liter, automatic and can tell you for sure the Ranger will out mileage the F150 by 5 to 8 mpg. Both truck had factory tow packages and the Ranger was rated to tow 6000 pounds while the F150 is 7000 pounds. The Ranger will do the job just fine for less gas.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:07 PM
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If I were you, I would if my budget allowed get a 9th generation(92-96) or 2004-up model. Both these generations were much much better then the 97-2003.

Your Opinion

My 97 F150 5.4 has over 173k with only maintainence items replaced ... Good trucks.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:07 PM
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