Ford Ranger

The first Ford Ranger released in America was first produced in 1982 for the 1983 model year. The vehicle was supposed to replace the Ford Courier, which is a pickup truck that is still produced in Brazil. Production of the vehicle continued in the Americas for several years without any modifications of the vehicle’s mechanics. These trucks were built tough, or as the company would say, “Ford Tough.” After nearly 30 years in production, the Ford Ranger was discontinued in 2011. An international version of the Ranger was released in 2012, but due to the fact that it’s the same size as the Ford F-150, Ford decided not to release it in the United States.

More on the Ford Ranger
Ford Ranger Origins

While the Ford Ranger is known as a compact pickup, it was a desirable choice for those that wanted a truck for hauling but needed something smaller than the F-150 and other full-size pickups that Ford offered. Fuel economy on the Ford Ranger was also better than the full-size trucks, mainly due to the power of the engine and the weight of the vehicle, which was lighter than its counterparts.

The compact size made for better city driving and visibility, mainly due to the lack of the D-pillar present in full-size trucks. The Ranger was perfect for laborers and contractors in the city that needed to haul a load but needed to do so in streets of minimum movability, where a full-size pickup couldn’t fit.

About the Ford Ranger

The 2012 Ford Ranger is sold in over 180 countries throughout the world, but the 2012 Ranger will not be released in America or Canada. Since Ford was afraid to overlap and essentially take away from the similar and smaller F-150, it will not introduce the truck to American drivers. While the measurements don’t add up exactly in comparison to the F-150, it's close enough that it would result in unnecessary competition in a shrinking market for compact trucks.

It is sold in the Asian-Pacific, South American, and South African markets, where the Ranger sports a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder is also available as well as a 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbo diesel. This makes up 347 lb-ft of torque, close to the same amount as some V-8 engines. While the engine boasts a 197 horsepower, the transmission comes in a six-speed automatic or manual version.

The 2012 Ford Ranger is almost as big as the Ford F-150, within 10 percent of its dimensions. This Ranger is meant to be a workhorse. It can haul up to 7,385 pounds, more than half of what the full-size F-150 could tow.

The Ranger has great stability control and handling, even under the weight of a heavy load. Safety is also important on the new Ranger. Front, side, and other airbags are included in the design of the vehicle.

Trim on the inside of the vehicle is fairly plush for a truck. Bluetooth, music device compatibility, steering wheel controls, and rear camera all come together to make the inside pretty comfortable and easy to drive.

Ford Ranger Evolution

The Ford Ranger line has remained the same mechanically for the last 30 years. Features and body styles, even on the most recent models, might feel a bit outdated when compared to other truck models available.

The truck received a facelift in 1989 that smoothed out the boxy shape by extending the hood. A second-generation model was introduced in 1993, ten years after the ranger line debuted. In 1998, the truck received a second facelift and cosmetic changes to the vehicle were made in 2001, 2004, and 2006.

The recent Ranger models came in four trim lines: the XL, XLT, Sport, and the FX4. Two engine lines are available including a 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 4.0-liter V-6 with five-speed manual or five-speed automatic.

No matter the year, the Ford Ranger is a truly reliable vehicle. It isn’t uncommon to see the early models still transporting cargo across the freeway or fully-loaded with freight. Used vehicles sell for an inexpensive price and as long as they are well maintained, will last several years into the future. Look for the latest models if you have the budget to find the best transmissions, trim line, and engine outputs available in the Ranger line.

Select a Ford Ranger Year

2011 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2010 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

For 2010, the FX4 Off-Road trim was discontinued along with the 7-foot bed to simply the lineup. Despite the lack of changes, EPA fuel economy for the I-4 and 5-speed manual combination improved by 1 mpg city and highway.

2009 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2009 Ford Ranger is a pickup truck manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and introduced in the North American Market in 1983.

2008 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2008 Ford Ranger is a straightforward vehicle designed for work.

2007 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2007 Ford Ranger classifies as a compact pickup that comes with either a regular cab or an extended cab.

2006 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2006 Ford Ranger stems from a model that began its life as a trim level for the F-Series pickup, and it got reborn as an independent model in 1983.

2005 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 Ford Ranger offers pickup truck buyers with lots of different options.

2004 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2003 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Ford Ranger became its own model in 1983 after serving for several years as a trim line for the F-Series pickup.

2002 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Ford Ranger has been one of the best-selling compact trucks on the market since it launched.

2001 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2001 Ford Ranger brings about a fresh look for Ford’s best-selling compact pick-up.

2000 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2000 Ford Ranger still holds up as a well-designed, nicely-priced compact truck, although it doesn’t blow away the competition.

1999 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1999 Ford Ranger marks part of the second generation of pickup trucks manufactured by Ford Motor Company.

1998 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

1997 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1997 Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck available in a variety of two- and four-wheel drive regular and extended cab models.

1996 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1996 Ford Ranger boasts extremely impressive safety ratings for a compact truck.

1995 Ford Ranger

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1995 Ford Ranger is a light duty pickup truck that emphasizes performance over luxury amenities.