People say that Powerful Rangers started to go downhill in that series where they drove cars. And yeah, alright, I get it. It was supposed to be a series about park rangers with powerful quad muscles from all the hiking, and the defining feature of the whole thing was environmentalism.
Giving the rangers cars sort of undermines both of those things. But hey, their quads remained as powerful as ever, and the cars were said to run on the flaming power of their passion for the environment, so the issues were also sidestepped.
I particularly liked the episode where they went to Bentleigh for automotive services. This was way back in the nineties, so Bentleigh AND car servicing have probably changed a lot since then, but at that point, Bentleigh was overrun by evil tire-stealing gremlins sent by…oh, whoever was the villain at that time. I think it was some kind of screechy space pirate who spent every episode trying to trick the people of Earth into using some sort of environmentally-unfriendly technology.
This time, she sent her gremlin minions to steal every single tire off the cars in Bentleigh, except for the cars that were gas-guzzlers. So everyone would have to drive Hummers and Commodores and really old Corollas, and then…profit? Profit for the space pirate? Look, this was when I was losing interest in the series, so I don’t really remember what the end goal was. I just remember that the rangers had to drive all around Bentleigh, reclaiming the tires from the gremlins. Eventually they had to combine their cars to fight a giant car monster, and normal auto electrical done in Bentleigh resumed. Happy ending and all that.
See, it was still an environmentalist message, even if the writing by that point was kinda…lax. They really picked things up when they took the rangers into space, though…despite how that sounds.