This has always been true, though. The reason the Hilux and compact trucks were ever popular is 95% of us do live in cities and towns. When I bought my Ranger and the 1991 later it was because I needed to park in town between MTB and 4WD trips. It's the same as it ever was. Full size trucks have been full size for their task.I don't have the problem of trying to fit it in a tight garage or the city dwellers. I am also looking at value, what you can get for your dollars. The F150 seems like a better all around value to me.
As you have been telling me Dave, get the F150 and be done with it.
The explosion of using trucks and SUV in place of cars is only in the past 10 or 15 years and the reason is there was a loophole in EPA laws that let the manufacturers continue to sell cars people wanted. These vehicles replaced the full size station wagons and sedans we all grew up riding in as kids, Impalas and Crown Vics and all of that. The market for compact and sporty Japanese and European cars has always been filled with compact Japanese and European cars.
Yeah, if I had the space and didn't need to parallel park an F150 would have made sense. Even in mid 1990s the cost between a Ranger and an F150 wasn't enormous and having the power and space would have been nice. If there's one thing car manufacturers are good at it's the up sell. They get you saying "Well it's not that much more to <this> or <that>."
And before you know it you leave with a XLT F150 with a bunch of options and a 6 year loan when you came in wanting a base level Ranger for cash or a 3 year loan. Then the marketing guys say "Look, everyone wants a full size heavily optioned truck and not poverty spec compact trucks, so make me more of those!" It's a self fulfilling circle that got us here.
With the closing of the CAFE loophole trucks may morph again back to their utilitarian uses, I dunno. I think this discussion is evidence the demand is still there for simple and appropriate sized trucks that don't cost so danged much (adjusting for inflation, remember!).