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2008 Ford Ranger

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2008 Ford Ranger Review

A so-so truck with underwhelming power but for a good price.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2008 Ford Ranger is a straightforward vehicle designed for work. The four-liter V-6 offers good performance, but the other engines are a bit lackluster. If drivers spend a bit more on the FX4 Off-Road model, then they can enjoy some off-road adventures.

The Ranger, however, suffers from plenty of flaws. It has sub-par handling and a choppy ride that may annoy drivers used to the car-like feel of other contemporary trucks. The interior also lacks any features common in similar trucks.

If shoppers are looking for a work truck, then the Ranger might work. Otherwise, there are better options with more power, better handling, and more impressive features.

The Range

Body Styles: Truck, SuperCab truck
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6 engine, 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: Five-speed manual transmission, five-speed automatic transmission
Models: XL, XLT, Sport, FX4 Off-Road

What's New

The 2008 Ford Ranger only has a few minor changes from the previous year. It features a more aerodynamic front bumper. Ford also reduced the number of trim levels available.

Exterior

The 2008 Ford Ranger's exterior doesn't take any chances with extra flair. It has a straightforward body that avoids extras. Opt for the XLT, though, and consumers get chrome trim that helps this workhorse stand out a bit. The FX4 Off-Road adds 16-inch alloy wheels and a two-tone paint job.

Interior

The 2008 Ford Ranger offers the amount of cab space that's expected from a truck. The SuperCab's rear seat feels pretty cramped, but, again, that's average for the course when it comes to trucks of this breed.

Unfortunately, the Ranger's interior hasn't gotten a makeover since the 1990s. It has a dated look that could definitely use an update. Focusing on this negative, however, does the Ranger a disservice. After all, this is a work truck.

To a great extent, it offers what drivers really need: a comfortable seat.

The entry-level XL isn't going to give drivers much else, except for an AM/FM radio. With the XLT, they get the comfort of an air-conditioner and the entertainment of a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary jack. Choosing the FX4 Off-Road offers full power accessories, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, and bucket seats with a center console. Other than that, this is a pretty austere vehicle that focuses on work instead of fancy features.

Performance & Handling

With three engines available, buyers can opt for the one that matches their needs and budget best. The base engine is a 2.3-liter inline-four that offers 143 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. That's certainly not going to blow any minds on the road or the work site.

The three-liter V-6 does a little better with its 148 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Still, it doesn't hit significantly numbers until drivers choose the four-liter V-6. It offers 207 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. Even that's not going to win any awards for power. If you add the optional Class III towing package, though, the Ranger can tow 6000 pounds. That's an acceptable level, though not substantial by any means. Plenty of similar vehicles can do the same or better.

The 2008 Ford Ranger offers decent enough handling, but it can feel awkward on sharp turns. This won't seem like a big deal to drivers that are used to older trucks. If they're used to a newer truck or cars, this awkwardness may make them feel unsafe.

Unfortunately, the Ranger also has a lot of road noise compared to many of its competitors. It feels fairly smooth on well-paved surfaces, but drivers will certainly know it the minute they hit a poorly-maintained road.

Safety

2008 Ford Rangers come standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes. It has also received good crash test scores. The government's crash testing gave it four out of five stars for frontal impacts on the driver and passenger side. Regular cab models receive five stars for side-impact protection, but SuperCab models received four, still a very good score. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2008 Ranger an ""acceptable"" for frontal offset crash tests, which is the organization's second-highest rating.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Ranger XL: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger XLT: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Sport: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger FX4 Off-Road: 15/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Four-liter V-6 offers good performance
  • FX4 very capable of off-road adventures

You Won't Like

  • Choppy ride
  • Cramped interior
  • Poor handling
  • Subpar braking
  • Uninspired interior design
  • Not enough safety features

Sum Up

A so-so truck with underwhelming power but for a good price.

If You Like This Vehicle

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