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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
Safety has been a glaring deficiency for the Ranger in recent years, but it finally gets a boost for 2010.
Thanks to Ford, several features not previously offered are now standard across the model line. Seat-mounted side airbags are included on all Ranger models for 2010, as are electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. The Ranger’s stability control system helps prevent conditions that might lead to rollover, but the safety list isn’t perfect; side curtain bags still aren’t available.
Although the body structure of the 2010 Ford Ranger hasn’t significantly changed, the new side bags should improve the Ranger’s side-impact safety scores, but other scores aren't great. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2009 Ford Ranger "acceptable" and "poor" ratings for frontal and rear impacts, respectively, in its assessments. Side impact tests result in a "marginal" rating. In federal-government frontal-impact tests, the Ranger previously earned four out of five stars for frontal protection.
You might want to keep one detail in mind if you’re thinking of carrying children in the small backseat of the extended cab models: The IIHS says “the side-facing rear jump seats weren’t tested because they are not recommended for safe transport.” That arrangement hasn’t changed for 2010, so beware.
Anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are now standard on the 2009 Ford Ranger.
The 2010 Ford Ranger has lackluster crash-test scores, but bolstered safety features—including new side bags—should improve them somewhat.