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    Thread: Chevy S10/GMC Sonoma vs. Ford Ranger

    1. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 04:57 PM #1
      I think it's safe to say that the Ford Ranger is quickly becoming a TCL Darling, although I'm not quite sure why considering it goes against almost everything that TCL posters stand for.

      My question is why haven't the Chevy S10/GMC Sonoma duo earned the same reputation as the Ranger? The GM 2.2 and 4.3 are very comparable to the Ford 2.3, 3.0 and 4.0. A GM 700-R4 is just as bad as any Ford automatic (a shortcoming that seems to consistently evade scrutiny in TCL) and neither truck will win any beauty contests. The GM trucks' interiors are MUCH nicer, at least IMO.

      Anyone care to explain this discrepancy? Is it just cooler to like Fords than it is to like Chevies?

    2. Member bzcat's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:01 PM #2
      You can still buy a new Ranger.

    3. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:03 PM #3
      The S-10s seem to have more issues than the Rangers- both with (some of) the drivetrains and basic hardware. But the S-10s do have a more comfortable interior and ride than the Rangers.

      As far as the Ranger becoming a "TCL darling"... it seems to only come up when (a cheap) price and reliability are main concerns. That's more just rational thinking than an emotional response.
      I figured "TCL darling" means athe emotional choice- right?
      Last edited by BRealistic; 09-17-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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    4. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:04 PM #4
      True, but that doesn't explain why the Ranger is such a common answer in the numerous "need a small truck for $2-4000" threads.

    5. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:04 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The S-10s seem to have more issues than the Rangers- both with (some of) the drivetrains and basic hardware. But the S-10s do have a more comfortable interior and ride than the Rangers.
      Such as?

      Edit: I consider a TCL "darling" to be a vehicle that is very frequently, if not invariably recommended to fit a particular role. If "darling" status was dependent on evoking an emotional response, we wouldn't hold the AMC/Jeep I6 in such high regard because honestly, it evokes about as much emotion as a washing machine. It's extremely popular because it's good at what it does and will withstand a nuclear age-both are good qualities for a truck/utility vehicle engine.
      Last edited by 4.OMG; 09-17-2010 at 05:11 PM.

    6. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:12 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      Such as?
      Off the top of my head: Door handles break, seat adjustment handles snap off, turn signal switches, head gaskets, fuel system issues, timing issues, automatic transmission issues, transfer case issues, hub issues.
      A 5 speed 2.2 is the best bet for an S-10 beater (has the fewest issues).
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    7. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:16 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      True, but that doesn't explain why the Ranger is such a common answer in the numerous "need a small truck for $2-4000" threads.
      If we were comparing Tacos, Nissans, Rangers of the same age, condition, and price- then the Ranger would not be a first choice. But Rangers are both cheap and good (ignoring dash stroking). What's not to like?
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    8. Member bzcat's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:17 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      True, but that doesn't explain why the Ranger is such a common answer in the numerous "need a small truck for $2-4000" threads.
      As I have already explained... Ford is still making the Ranger. There are a lot more $2000 Ranger in good condition than there are S-10. There is virtually unlimited supply of Rangers in reasonable condition so if you are looking for a cheap pickup truck, Ranger is your best bet. There is a Ranger that will fit your budget no matter how much (little?) money you want to spend. Is that so difficult to comprehend?

    9. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:20 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Off the top of my head: Door handles break, seat adjustment handles snap off, turn signal switches, head gaskets, fuel system issues, timing issues, automatic transmission issues, transfer case issues, hub issues.
      A 5 speed 2.2 is the best bet for an S-10 beater (has the fewest issues).
      Off the top of my head: Head gaskets (4.0 OHV), timing chain tensioners (4.0 SOHC-requires removal of the motor to fix), automatic transmission failures, transfer case shift motors, hub issues (let's be fair-unit bearings are basically a wear item for most 4x4s), blend door issues...

    10. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:26 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      As I have already explained... Ford is still making the Ranger. There are a lot more $2000 Ranger in good condition than there are S-10. There is virtually unlimited supply of Rangers in reasonable condition so if you are looking for a cheap pickup truck, Ranger is your best bet. There is a Ranger that will fit your budget no matter how much (little?) money you want to spend. Is that so difficult to comprehend?
      With all due respect, I don't agree with some of your factual assertions. You won't get a 2004+ Ranger (when S10 production ended) for $2000. You'll get a Ranger from a year when GM was making just as many S10s and Sonomas as Ford was making Rangers, and except in fairly rare circumstances, a $2000 truck will be in the same condition regardless of the emblem on the grill.

      This thread wasn't intended to attack the Ranger's good name, I'm just curious why TCL collectively ignores them when people are looking for a compact pickup for dirt cheap. I like the Ranger-I owned one and would own another, but I don't accept the argument that dollar for dollar at a particular (often very low) price point the Ranger is absolutely the better choice.

    11. Member adrew's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:28 PM #11
      The 4-cyl Ranger gets mid 20s in the city and low 30s on the highway with the 2.3 and a 5-speed.

      Plus, they are Lego-like and the basic hard points on the body haven't changed much in ages, which makes it easy to find super-cheap parts and used things like camper shells.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    12. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:30 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      Off the top of my head: Head gaskets (4.0 OHV), timing chain tensioners (4.0 SOHC-requires removal of the motor to fix), automatic transmission failures, transfer case shift motors, hub issues (let's be fair-unit bearings are basically a wear item for most 4x4s), blend door issues...
      Ok- fair enough.
      But let's note that the frequnecy for S-10 issues are much higher than for the Ranger.
      The Rangers (2 and 4 wheel drive) actually make it on Consumer Report's good used buys lists, while the 4x4 S-10/S-15 (and all S-10 Blazers) are on Consumer Report's used cars to avoid list.
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      09-17-2010 05:49 PM #13
      The 4 cylinder, 5 spd manual Ranger is perfect for what most Americans typically use a truck for. That being, commuting most of the time and occasionally running to Home Depot on the weekend to pick up some mulch or dirt or some other garbage that they wouldnt want inside an SUV or a minivan.

      It is small enough to be driven around nearly anywhere without dealing with the headaches of driving a fullsize or midsize truck, it gets excellent gas mileage on the highway and pretty decent mileage in the city, and is very reliable. The interior is put together very well, no squeaks or rattles; and it is surprisingly quiet on the highway. I am not going to deny that there are a lot of hard plastics in the interior, but hey it is a truck and these material choices stand up to abuse quite well.

      Downsides, not available in a 4 door configuration and the crew cab area is only useful for putting a couple bags of groceries. You can stick a person or two back there, but not for long if you want to stay friends with them. Also, the bed isnt quite wide enough to carry the standard 4x8 sheet of plywood flat in the bed without interfering with the wheel wells.

      In all honestly, if the current ranger was available in a 4 door configuration I would go out and buy one right now.

    14. Member unimogken's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 05:53 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      The GM 2.2 and 4.3 are very comparable to the Ford 2.3, 3.0 and 4.0.
      I have a '88 S-10 with the extended cab and the 2.8 that I put a ladder rack on it and its a great little truck for dump and home depot runs! My truck now has 220K+ miles on it and when it dies I have a low mileage 5.3 ready to go in.

      I looked at Rangers when I was in the market for a beater truck right after I became a home owner. I didn't like the interior or exterior of the Ranger. The Chevy S-10 had tons of room in it and it was a fleet vehicle so I knew i'd never have a problem with parts.
      I really wish everyone would update their location in their profile!

      Someone buy my car already!!

      Always looking for free firewood to feed my hungry wood stove!

    15. Member SteveMKIIDub's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 06:05 PM #15
      Subjective opinion? Ranger. I only say that because I remember my parents buying a brand new 1999 GMC Sonoma 4x4. 5 speed. It ended up being a real POS and they sold it with just over 100,000km. It needed countless things, including the electronic 4wd control or something. It was expensive. And then third door handles that always broke.

      I'm sure it was just a bad example..

    16. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 09:56 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by SteveMKIIDub View Post
      Subjective opinion? Ranger. I only say that because I remember my parents buying a brand new 1999 GMC Sonoma 4x4. 5 speed. It ended up being a real POS and they sold it with just over 100,000km. It needed countless things, including the electronic 4wd control or something. It was expensive. And then third door handles that always broke.

      I'm sure it was just a bad example..
      Sure. One vehicle is not a valid sample size.

      But on that note- does anybody here know anybody that has driven a 1994-2004 V6 S-10 for a few hundred thousand miles? All the ones I know of are basic 2.2 models. But I know of numerous people that driver a v6 Ranger for 250k+ miles. Though one did have a 60k mile 94 3.0 5 speed 4x4 reg cab Ranger (bought cheap at auction) that was quite a lemon.

      That being said- I have always thought the S-10 Xtreme models were good looking trucks- much better looking than any stock Colorado I have seen.

      Last edited by BRealistic; 09-17-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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