So before I took my Grandad’s truck, I drove 4 Banger trucks, Mazda and Ford (one of those Mazda’s was a Ford in disguise). I remember those heaps losing velocity up hills on the highway. My 92 Mazda produced a metal twisting 85 HP, and my Rangers at 112 HP.
The ol 04 Dakota tops out at 210 HP, and I feel for a mid size truck (SXT trim) that is adequate for the time it came out and even to now. I hear some say that is underpowered and I just do not agree with that.
For me, my three liter V6 Ranger was barely adequate. We have other regulars that consider 2.2 liter K Cars more than adequate.
As far as I know, the V6 Dakota is a good performing truck, though I have never driven one.
I always wondered how that V6 on the Ranger was, was it an Auto or stick? Minus the Hiroshima built Mazda, mine were all 5 speeds and that first gear was short as hell. There were all so slow but I hauled and dragged things that I believed were well within what the trucks were meant for.
My v8 5L Ford truck’s engine is rated at around 140 hp . 70’s federal emissions rules required a lower compression ratio design. Still, it has always displayed plenty enough power for what I’ve needed.
If it works for you then it’s enough, co-worker has a 1992 F150 6cyl stick with 150hp and 260lb/ft torque, good enough to tow a small Bayliner and run to the hardware store once in a while. Only paid $1,000 for it several years ago and it’s a good work truck.
My 60 hp VW bus had better acceleration and a higher top speed than any tractor trailer I ever drove except one. I breifly drove a 490 hp GMC General with a Detroit V12 diesel.
It had a top speed of 90 mph but was not a very good truck. You can’t get away with doing 90 mph on the NY thruway with a tractor trailer, much less pulling two 45’ trailers which is what I was doing. It also died like a dog when climbing hills and sucked way too much fuel. My 300 hp R model Mack was a much better truck, it climbed hill like a Bear and it’s top speed of 68 was just about right because the top speed limit for Thurway Tandems is 55 mph. and it rode and handled better ,esp in the snow.
I made better time with the Mack
Automatic, as I recall the 3L was a pushrod, at that time Consumer Reports claimed the 4L (OHC) wasn’t worth the extra cost. Then I drove a 4L, the difference was major, much faster, I don’t know the specs, but I think it was around 200 HP with the 3L coming in at 140HP. When we bought the 3L all the 4Ls on the lot were higher trim levels with more options and more $$$$ on the price.
I guess that depends on the year, my 2001 Ranger was all American content except the transmission. Built at the St. Paul plant I toured in a grade school field trip in ‘61.
The Courier pickups were built by Mazda.
I got tired of researching the Ranger/B series Mazda, but appear from 1994 on, Rangers/B series were built by Ford.
You’re close enough on the HP of the 3L and 4L offered in the Ranger, When we were looking at a Ranger in 2004 the 3.0V6 was the one Dad was really thinking about to get 1mpg more than the 4.0 according to the EPA rating. XLT Supercabs were in good supply at the time with either the 3L or 4L otherwise equipped the same. Decided not to buy a truck as a daily driver and keep the old minivan wiht a utility trailer for the dump run and home depot trips.
Compared to contemporary mid-sized trucks, It’s got less power and less efficient transmission if it’s an automatic. The current Ranger has 270HP, the current Colorado/Canyon has ~240HP on the low side to 310 HP on the high side, The Taco has ~230 HP to 326 HP, and the Frontier has 310 HP, all of them have at least 8-10 speed automatics as well. If you’re comparing new trucks to it, then yeah, it’s underpowered by comparison.
By the standards of it’s day, the 3.7L V6 Dakota was on par (and often a bit more powerful) with it’s competition. The Ranger’s 4.0L V6 at the time , made 207 HP, The GM offerings had an odd 220 HP I5, Nissan had 180 HP (or 210 HP if supercharged) V6, and Toyota had a 190 HP V6. The Dakota was a little physically larger/heavier, so real world performance was about the same as it’s contemporaries
Also, different people have different standards for what they consider underpowered. If someone had driven nothing but V8 powered Mustangs/Camaros or a twin turbo 300ZX and the like and drove a 2004 V6 Dakota, they would likely not be impressed with it’s performance, but if you had been previously driving 4 cylinder compact pickups, you’d probably have a more favorable opinion.
In 1976, I bought a 1960 Falcon that had only 16k on the odometer. I knew the elderly woman from whom I bought it, and it was a genuine “Grandma car”.
The reason why I bought it was because my two year old Volvo was so incredibly unreliable, and that old Falcon–following some catch-up maintenance–was rock-solid reliable, and it served me well as my back-up vehicle every time that the Volvo was in the shop.
However, I never got used to the Falcon’s 90 hp/138 lb ft of torque. Merging onto a highway was always a white knuckle experience with that car.