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Ford Ranger

 


You're looking at the definition of tenacity: years after many folks in the auto industry predicted its demise, the Ford Ranger soldiered on in the company's truck lineup, the junior partner to Ford's massively popular F-150 lineup. It's finally gone--maybe--but not without a fight. The Ranger is a two- or four-door pickup truck, with compact-truck capability. It can seat five, but it's not a... Read More Below »
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New & Used Ford Ranger: In Depth

Side Exterior View - 2006 Ford Ranger Reg Cab 112

Side Exterior View - 2006 Ford Ranger Reg Cab 112

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You're looking at the definition of tenacity: years after many folks in the auto industry predicted its demise, the Ford Ranger soldiered on in the company's truck lineup, the junior partner to Ford's massively popular F-150 lineup. It's finally gone--maybe--but not without a fight.

The Ranger is a two- or four-door pickup truck, with compact-truck capability. It can seat five, but it's not a conventional four-door like the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma or Dodge Dakota. Its rear doors are more like access panels, hinged at the rear, quite small, and allow access to a small cargo area behind the front seats--or to a pair of small emergency jump seats.

The Ranger dates back a long way in the Ford archives. The nameplate was affixed to some Ford F-Series pickup trucks in the 1960s, but in 1983 it was split off and applied to a new compact truck with a six-foot-and-smaller pickup bed. That first-generation Ranger lived off its inexpensive, reliable reputation through a model changeover in 1989, until a new Ranger was introduced in 1993.

The third generation Ranger, sold from 1993-1997, offered a relatively weak four-cylinder engine option, supplanted by either a 3.0-liter V-6 or a 4.0-liter V-6 later in its life. A five-speed manual came on base versions--sometimes called "bug trucks," since exterminators loved the stripped Ranger painted in white--and a four-speed automatic was an option. A five-speed automatic was added later in this generation, as were dual front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. This Ranger also offered a stylish Splash edition, with a sculpted set of fenders on its bed, and four-wheel drive.

A Mazda B-Series spinoff was sold from 1993 to 2009, and was essentially the same truck as the Ranger, with mainly cosmetic and packaging differences. It was canceled for the 2010 model year.

Ford put much energy into the early years of the fourth-generation Ranger, which remains on sale today. Introduced in 1998, the Ranger added some wheelbase length, saw its four-cylinder and larger six-cylinder engines upgraded to overhead-cam designs, and added flex-fuel capability to the middle-brow, overhead-valve 3.0-liter V-6. This Ranger was typically well-received and earned a reputation for reliability over its lifespan. It also improved on its reputation for a hard ride, thanks to a new independent front suspension. Though it remained, for all passenger purposes, a two-door, the Ranger was spun into popular off-road and city-commuter versions that extended its lifespan much longer than anyone--even Ford--anticipated.

The current Ford Ranger can rightfully be called outdated, but Ford has updated it meaningfully with side airbags. Its four-cylinder engine can deliver up to 26 mpg on the highway; the V-6 engine is powerful enough to be shared with the Explorer Sport Trac. However, though it's added stability control, the Ranger still doesn't offer curtain airbags, and crash ratings are mediocre--though not as poor as its true competition, the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon.

In all, the Ranger remains a decent choice for those simply needing a very basic work truck, without much acceleration or without the ability to haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood. For anyone with tougher chores in mind, the mid-size Nissan Frontier is our choice in that class; and the Dodge Ram is our pick among full-size pickups.

Ford ended production of the Ranger with the 2011 model year. A replacement for other world markets is coming, but plans for a new U.S. Ranger haven't been confirmed.

 

 

 

Angular Front Exterior View - 2006 Ford Ranger Reg Cab 112

Angular Front Exterior View - 2006 Ford Ranger Reg Cab 112

Enlarge Photo

Used Ford Ranger Models

The Ford Ranger was one of the most popular compact trucks of all time. Now that Ford has stopped production, used prices are holding steady, so don't be surprised to see relatively clean, late-model examples going for nearly-new prices. Also keep in mind that fleets were big buyers of the Ranger: if you're looking at a used white Ranger regular-cab four-cylinder, you're probably looking at an exterminator's work truck. 
Ford Ranger Related News
 
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Ford Motor Company is issuing a recall for Ford Ranger trucks from the 2004 - 2011 model year. Also included in the recall are the 2002 - 2005 Ford Excursion and (so far as... read more July 20, 2011 by  1


 
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This day has been coming for a long time, the death of the U.S. Ford Ranger. Yesterday it was announced that the Ford Ranger will finally cease production on December 22... read more June 23, 2011 by  7


 
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I know that we may not be seeing the next-generation Ford Ranger in the States any time soon, but when I hear that a pickup truck is being designed with Formula One engineers... read more March 23, 2011 by  1


 

Specs: Select a Trim

Style MSRP Invoice MPG City MPG Hwy
2WD 2-Door SuperCab 126" (3)
Sport Specs $22,425 $20,887 16 21
XL Specs $19,855 $18,747 22 27
XLT Specs $20,740 $19,353 22 27
2WD 4-Door SuperCab 126" (2)
Sport Specs $23,495 $21,861 16 21
XLT Specs $22,640 $21,082 16 21
2WD Reg Cab 112" (2)
XL Specs $18,160 $17,187 22 27
XLT Specs $19,120 $17,880 22 27
4WD 4-Door SuperCab 126" (2)
Sport Specs $26,070 $24,204 15 19
XLT Specs $25,060 $23,285 15 19
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