Shopping for a new Ford Ranger?
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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
Car and Driver
jiggle on rough roads but absorb big bumps pretty well
The 2010 Ford Ranger has a lineup of just two engines: a base 143-horsepower, 2.3-liter inline-four or a 207-hp, 4.0-liter V-6. The four-cylinder engine is bound to impress those looking for fuel efficiency and low operating costs, while the V-6 is disappointing compared to most rival powertrains. Maneuverability is good thanks to the compact size, but don’t expect much else.
Car and Driver says the "flexy chassis and tepid powerplants reduce fun-to-drive index to almost zero" in the 2009 Ford Ranger. ConsumerGuide has a slightly different opinion, preferring the 4.0-liter engine "for its extra power." Also notable, ConsumerGuide believes that Ford Rangers "handle competently, with good steering feel and directional stability." They aren't the only reviewers who hold this opinion. Cars.com lists "maneuverability" and "driving ease" as two of the predominant "likes" about the performance of this truck.
In the 2010 Ford Ranger, simple workmanlike performance is a virtue; the Ranger’s 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. But TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven many Rangers in the past and owned one as well, and this vehicle has some redeeming qualities, especially its low maintenance costs. The 4.0-liter V-6 is the easiest version to live with, in terms of power and engine noise, but TheCarConnection.com appreciates the honest simplicity of the base four-cylinder model.
Ranger pickups offer up to 6,000 pounds of towing capacity; ConsumerGuide calls them "proven workhorses." Like most pickups, the Ranger comes in 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.
The 2010 Ford Ranger maneuvers well and offers decent performance with the V-6, and the four-cylinder model is the choice for fuel-efficiency-minded buyers, but nearly all the pickup alternatives perform better.