Please Ford, Diesel the Next Ranger and Bronco!
Let’s talk about diesel power. If you don’t include the massive diesel emissions scandal currently facing Volkswagen, diesel has been making successful inroads in the United States for passenger vehicles. In fact, diesel is becoming so popular that General Motors offers a small displacement diesel in their Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks. While they might not be horsepower kings, small diesels make tons of torque and provide other benefits. That’s why I’m hoping that Ford includes a small diesel option in the next Bronco and Ranger.
What are these benefits? Let’s first talk about extra capability. Using the Colorado as a benchmark since it’s already available as a diesel, adding the oil-burner to the truck adds 700 pounds of additional towing over the big, V6 engine offering. That’s not an inconsiderable amount of capability that many of you would probably appreciate. It also helps get the midsize truck even closer to the capacity of a full-size pickup.
In addition to extra capability, you get extra fuel economy. Now that might not be as big of a deal to truck buyers as it is to buyers of a Prius, but the diesel can really make a noticeable difference. Again, we’ll look to the Colorado as a reference point.
When I had a Colorado in for review last year, my average for the week was 19.2 mpg. That included nearly 70% highway driving. It was a four-wheel drive version of the truck. This week, I’m in nearly the same truck, but this time with the 2.8L diesel. My economy for the week? 30 mpg. One one particular test route, I was able to get over 34 mpg.
A 10 mpg improvement is a significant one, and justifies a look for that reason alone. But also remember another thing about diesels; they typically don’t drop fuel economy as much when towing as a gasoline engine does, especially the turbocharged ones.
Finally, the diesel was a no-brainer for Chevrolet to offer. It was already an engine that was in production around the rest of the world, so there wasn’t a huge amount of changes needed to make it work here. Does Ford have a similar diesel available?
Ford just recently announced a new 2.0L EcoBlue engine that is going to hit the markets soon. We have already mentioned that there is text in the release that talks about the needs of American customers. This engine seems like it’d be a ripe offering for a vehicle like the new Ford Ranger or new Ford Bronco.
In lieu of that, there is a 2.2L diesel and a 3.2L diesel available for the global Ford Everest. The Everest has been rumored to have similarities to the upcoming Bronco and Ranger. While purely speculation at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Ranger and Bronco were tested with those engines to see how they’d fit.
Whether it’s a current diesel engine, or the new EcoBlue, diesel makes a whole lot of sense even when gasoline prices are at significant lows. Fuel prices won’t stay low forever, and the extra fuel economy and capability offered by a diesel just makes sense.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!