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2003 Ford Ranger

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2003 Ford Ranger Review

An aged model in a competitive market.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Ford Ranger became its own model in 1983 after serving for several years as a trim line for the F-Series pickup. Over that time, it became one of the best-selling small pickup trucks on the market. It has not received a huge amount of updates, which lends to its aged feel. The lack of a Crew Cab model is the biggest flaw, especially when most of the competition does offer such a feature. Other truck models may be able to offer the needy pickup driver a lot more standard features.

The Range

Body Style: pickup
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: XL regular cab, Edge regular cab, XLT regular cab, Edge Plus regular cab, XL SuperCab, XLT SuperCab, Edge SuperCab, XLT Appearance SuperCab, XLT Value SuperCab, Tremor SuperCab, Edge Plus SuperCab, Tremor Plus SuperCab, XLT FX4 Off-Road SuperCab, XLT FX4 Level II SuperCab

What's New

The 2003 Ford Ranger receives several minor changes. The Tremor package makes a return as a trim line this year. The XLT models are offered a chrome appearance package. The FX4 models are now offered as two separate trim lines: the XLT FX4 Off-Road and the XLT FX4 Level II. FX4 Level II models have an additional color option, Sonic Blue. Crew Cab rear seats also receive LATCH anchors for added safety.

Exterior

The 2003 Ford Ranger comes in three sizes with two cab and bed length choices. The regular cab trucks are available with a six- or seven-foot cargo bed. The SuperCab models are only available with the six-foot bed. The shorter bed models are available with a smooth-sided cargo bed or with flared rear fenders. Styling is taken from the F-Series pickup truck, with the domed hood leading into the Ford honeycomb grille. The SuperCab models come with two rear-hinged doors that will only open if the front doors are opened.

Interior

The 2003 Ford Ranger's interior is taken from the 2002 Explorer model. The dashboard has a great layout, with the controls easy to see, understand, and use. Unfortunately, like a few other Ford models from this year, the seats are flat and do not have decent adjustments available. This can be uncomfortable for longer drives. The SuperCab’s rear seating is very small, only suitable for small adults and children. The rear-hinged doors do make these seats easy to access.

Performance & Handling

The Ford Ranger comes with one of three engines. The XL and XLT two-wheel-drive models come with a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 135 horsepower with 153 lb-ft of torque. The four-wheel-drive models including the Edge and Tremor, and the regular and SuperCab models fitted with a four-wheel-drive system, come with a 3.0-liter, V-6 engine that produces 154 horsepower with 180 lb-ft of torque. A 4.0-liter, V-6 engine that produces 207 horsepower and 238 lb-ft of torque is also available. The Ford Ranger feels powerful and comfortable as long as it is equipped with the 4.0-liter, V-6 engine. The engine runs smoothly when equipped with the five-speed automatic. It’s a shame that the Ford Ranger is not available with the V-8, but the FX4 package offers its own fun with its off-road capability.

Safety

The 2003 Ford Ranger comes with standard dual front airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a passenger airbag cut-off switch.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Mustang Ranger XL Regular Cab: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Edge Regular Cab: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT Regular Cab: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Edge Plus Regular Cab: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XL SuperCab: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT SuperCab: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Edge SuperCab: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT Appearance SuperCab: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT Value SuperCab: 14/17 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Tremor SuperCab: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Edge Plus SuperCab: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger Tremor Plus SuperCab: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT FX4 Off-Road SuperCab: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Mustang Ranger XLT FX4 Level II SuperCab: 14/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong V-6 engine
  • Great styling
  • Large trim selection
  • Nice interior styling

You Won't Like

  • Cabin uncomfortable
  • Old design
  • No V-8 engine
  • New Crew Cab configuration

Sum Up

An aged model in a competitive market.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • 2003 Chevrolet S-10
  • 2003 Dodge Dakota
  • 2003 GMC Sonoma
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