- A real compact truck
- Four-cylinder fuel economy
- Available off-road model
- No V-8 option
- No four-door option
- Short six-foot bed
The 2008 Ford Ranger’s best, highest use is as an inexpensive work truck or off-road play toy. Anything else exposes the flaws in its seating, its fuel economy, its available features and in its performance.
The 2008 Ford Ranger has made a virtue out of being the oldest vehicle in its class. It's been refined since it was introduced on its current chassis in the early 1990s, and its powertrain has been updated, but it has not been completely redesigned.
The 2008 Ford Ranger is still available in four- and six-cylinder forms, in rear- or four-wheel drive. (It's also nearly identical to the Mazda B-Series.) Two-door Regular Cab and four-door SuperCab configurations are offered. The latter version has two small access doors for cargo stowage; no true four-door is on the list. The Ranger's basic profile has remained the same for more than a decade, but periodic updates give it a new front end, and it's actually aged better than some compact trucks. The Ranger's interior has better materials than many compact trucks.
Trim levels include the XL, XLT, Sport, and an FX4 Off-Road model, which gets standard Rancho shocks, a Class III trailer package, skid plates, sport bucket seats, and an available Torsen limited-slip differential. The Ford Ranger can be an entertaining off-road vehicle, if that's the purpose you have in mind. Its six-foot bed is useful for some weekend and professional uses, but the ubiquitous 4x8 sheet of plywood won't fit.
The Ranger’s front bench seats are comfortable for a few hours but sit low. The SuperCab versions have two fold-down seats that should be used in emergencies only. There’s no cargo-storage system inside, but a fold-down armrest and a decent-sized glovebox are found in the Ranger’s cabin.
The 2008 Ford Ranger has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, and an iPod jack; options include the off-road package, a 510-watt audio system and Sirius satellite radio.
Anti-lock brakes and dual airbags are standard on all versions. No curtain or side airbags are offered, nor are stability and traction control, but the Ranger scores five and four stars for front and side impacts. Its rollover rating of three stars points out the limits of its taller, older design.