In these days of rising gas prices, finding a suitable vehicle to drive back and forth to the cottage is becoming a bit of a challenge. As all cottagers know, there is almost always a need for adequate space for trips to the camp. Between food, clothing, tools, supplies for cottage repairs etc, fishing gear, whatever…I almost never drive to the cottage with an empty vehicle.
The problem is, you can almost never have a big enough vehicle. But…when the cost of a trip to the cottage exceeds the mortgage payment on the cottage…well…ya gotta do something. I have been spoiled the past few years, driving a 1998 Chevrolet Tracker, because it is exceptionally good on fuel. Plus, as a four door model, the back seat folds up, and I have quite a bit of room for stuff. Not a lot, but enough. The added attraction of four wheel drive on the Tracker made it great for the occasional winter trip. But, the Tracker is getting old, and I have a hankering for a new vehicle.
I’ve been seriously considering a Ford Ranger pickup with the extended cab. Ford has been making these venerable little trucks for years and I think has it down to a science. The newer Rangers are nice looking, seem quite practical and from what I can tell, popular with those that own them. I have two cottage neigbors driving Rangers, and they seem to be quite happy with them.
The 2008 Ford Ranger comes with a 4.0L SOHC V6 engine, which I would hope would have the power to tow the boat out of the water if need be, and still be reasonable on gasoline, so as not to cost a fortune everytime I go to the camp.
Granted, the mpg probably won’t be as economical as my little Tracker, but the Tracker was only a 95 horsepower 4 cylinder engine, not exactly a powerhouse, and kind of limited in terms of towing or carrying a heavy load. Two things that occur fairly frequently around the cottage.
In addition to the engine, the four wheel drive and the cargo capability, the Ford Ranger is a great looking truck. I notice them whenever one goes by. It’s funny how we are drawn to the look of certain vehicles, and tend to notice them, perhaps more than other vehicles that may be just as numerous, but just haven’t got our attention. I almost aways take note of a Ranger, they just look good to me.
Ford has an interesting comparison chart on their the Ford website that compares the Ranger with similar vehicles in it’s class, and the Ford appears to be very comparable, and I think a little less expensive.
I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has a cottage vehicle that they like, whether it’s a Ford Ranger or not. I haven’t written the cheque yet, and the old Tracker still has lots of use left in it, so I may not trade it in just yet, but…like death and taxes, a new vehicle is usually inevitable at some point.
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