The 2009 Ford Ranger has a plethora of engine options. Unfortunately, TheCarConnection.com finds that its power never measures up, and handling fails to impress.
Car and Driver says the "flexy chassis and tepid powerplants reduce fun-to-drive index to almost zero" in the 2009 Ford Ranger. There are three engines—but no one seems particularly impressed with any of them. The base engine makes 143 horsepower from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder; stronger versions use a 148-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 or a 207-hp, 4.0-liter V-6.
ConsumerGuide has a slightly different opinion, stating, "acceleration is adequate with the 3.0-liter V-6, but we prefer Rangers with the 4.0 for its extra power." Also notable, ConsumerGuide believes 2009 Ford Rangers "handle competently, with good steering feel and directional stability." They aren't the only reviewers who feel this way. Cars.com lists "maneuverability" and "driving ease" as two of the predominant "likes" about the performance of this truck. ConsumerGuide indicates that the ride quality is "decent for trucks," reporting that Rangers "jiggle on rough roads but absorb big bumps pretty well."
Ranger pickups have up to 6,000 pounds of towing capacity; ConsumerGuide calls them "proven workhorses." As with most trucks reviewed by TheCarConnection.com, there are other options available on the Ford Ranger, including rear- or four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive can be turned on even while the truck is moving and operates by a simple switch on the Ford.
In the Ranger, Ford's workmanlike performance can be a virtue, and its steering is not bad, but those buyers looking for a cheap economy car would be better served with a real economy car—not a pickup priced like one. Still, TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven many Rangers in the past and owned one as well. The 4.0-liter V-6 is the easiest version to live with, in terms of power and engine noise; conversely, there's almost no reason to recommend the 3.0-liter V-6, since it's not much more powerful than the four-cylinder and gets considerably worse fuel economy.