Ford Ranger Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.23/5 Average
1,505 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

They say that in the event of Armageddon, the only thing to survive will be cockroaches. Well, there's a good chance you'd see some old Ford Rangers cruising around, too. This compact pickup truck soldiered on with relatively few revisions for nearly three decades. Of course, there were styling and interior overhauls over the decades, but the platform and most mechanicals underneath it all were practically Jurassic. Even those styling and interior updates dated back to the 1990s.

Older Rangers aren't quite as out of date compared to competitors of similar age. And given its wide choice of trim styles and lower pricing than comparable Japanese rivals, a well-maintained late-model Ford Ranger could be a good choice for a used pickup, provided you don't need a lot of passenger capacity or horsepower. But if you're looking for a relatively new used compact or midsize pickup, the Ford Ranger pales in comparison to other trucks with their more powerful engines, roomier crew-cab body styles and greater overall refinement.

Used Ford Ranger Models
The most recent generation of the Ford Ranger was produced from 2001 through 2011 and typically came in four different flavors: XL, XLT, Sport, and the off-road-oriented FX4. Depending on the year, there were also the monochromatic Edge, sporty STX and sound system-centered Tremor. Only standard and extended cab body styles were offered, as there was still no crew cab version.

Engine selection consisted of a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter V6 (until 2009) and a 4.0-liter V6. Output of the smaller engines varied slightly depending on year, with the 2.3 making 135-143 horsepower and the 3.0 making 148-154 hp. The 4.0 made 207 hp. Transmission choices included a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic for all engines, though initially the 4.0-liter V6 came only with the automatic.

Although nimble on- and off-road due to its true compact size, even this latest version of the Ranger was seriously dated in terms of features and available body styles. While its midsize rivals offered roomy crew-cab (four-door) models, more modern features and much more powerful V6 engines, the Ranger made do with standard and extended-cab configurations only, and relatively low-tech power plants.

The second generation of the Ranger ran from 1993 through 2000. Styling was less blocky than the first-gen truck and the cabin was likewise updated with less angular forms. Standard and extended cab body styles were offered, but they were joined by a stylish, flareside bed version dubbed the Splash. Under the hood was the expected choice of a four- or six-cylinder engine. Notable changes throughout this generation are the availability of four-wheel antilock brakes in 1995, a five-speed automatic transmission (versus four-speed) for V6 models in '97 and freshened styling for '98.

Introduced for 1983, the Ford Ranger started life as a standard-cab, four-cylinder compact pickup truck with a choice of two bed lengths. The mid-'80s saw the introduction of the extended-cab body style known as the "SuperCab," which offered jump seats that were best left to kids. The Ranger continued through the early '90s with minor upgrades to the powertrains and small cosmetic changes.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,505.00
  • One of the best ever owned - 2007 Ford Ranger
    By -

    Solid reliable transportation, bought used 9k miles, 6 years ago, now 55K, routine maintenance ONLY cost to date, mileage averages 26 miles per gallon, not as good as wife's Prius but for a pickup great!. Am 79 years old have owned 4 or 5 new cars pluS many used including many beaters in my time over a lifetime of driving, this is by far the best ever!!!! Set of wheels ever.

  • Easy to work on - 2008 Ford Ranger
    By -

    My second ranger, bought first one new in 99 and drove it 14 years. This one is AUTO with CC. It was wrecked, but I've had no issues. The 2.3L is pretty pathetic, but I get 25+ mpg. The parts are cheap and it's easy to work on, simple is good. I bought it with 45K in 2010 and put 50K on it. The only thing that broke was the heater/AC fan clicks if not adjusted right after riding on a bumpy road. I've changed front rotors, breaks and bearings, all the shocks and struts, the rear diff fluid, AT fuild and filter, plugs and wires, and flushed radiator. I did cause a steering pump leak by putting radiator flush in it, but they're only 60 bucks. It is VERY easy to work on, I am not a mechanic. I've towed/loaded heavy stuff and ripped up stumps. She will run. It's really small on the inside. Rangers are awesome and reliable.

  • Best Pick up for the money - 1990 Ford Ranger
    By -

    Not incredibly useful when used to haul 4x8 sheets. You need to build a special carrier (2x4s work) to haul panels. Plenty of power. Good for the average truck user.

  • Like betting on college football... - 2001 Ford Ranger
    By -

    I read reviews of people making it to 200 with almost no problems. I don't know if these are all people that don't use their truck as a trick or what. It sends like all the reviews of people pulling trailers, doing construction, etc. start paying out like crazy to keep their poorly built ranger barely running. Mine is at 128k and has had all scheduled oil changes and maintenance. In the last 2 years it has needed a new starter, fuel pump, fuel injector, transmission rebuild, one new cylinder, aaaaand now 5 out of 6 cylinders are all misfiring and showing codes for repair. Looking like it needshould an engine rebuild now. Transmission AND engine rebuild by 128k?!?!?! That's insane. At least I got it used. It was a nice truck while it was a nice truck. But overall it's useless if it turns into an unreliable money pit starting at only 80k with quality maintenance and regular care.

  • 2000 Ford Ranger 2.5L 2WD - 2000 Ford Ranger
    By -

    I've had this truck for about 10 years, she had around 50k miles when I acquired her. She now has 200k miles and still runs like new. I'm not a Ford or Chevy or Dodge person, I firmly believe that how well you maintain a vehicle is far more important than who put the parts together. Sure I've done a lot of maintenance (fuel pump, timing belt, alternator, shackles and hangers) including all of the regular stuff (tires, regular oil changes), but that is to be expected. I would still feel comfortable driving this truck across the country, more so than most vehicles ten years newer. I've invested a lot of money into things such as premium audio with bluetooth and European smoke headlights and a brushguard just to make her feel new again and caught up with the times. I'm also a really big guy, tipping the scales at nearly 400 pounds, and I have tons of room in the driver's seat and the seatbelt fits with plenty to spare. She's hauled anything I've thrown at her, far more than she is rated for. Pulling a trailer results in a pretty slow speed since she only had 119hp from the factory, especially trying to go uphill, but she has never once overheated. I had a 2004 Durango Limited with the Magnum 5.7L V8, and I've had a 1987 Mustang 5.0, so I do miss the raw power those muscle engines bring, but this 2000 Ranger is my favorite vehicle that I have ever owned.

  • Good reliable truck for the money! - 2002 Ford Ranger
    By -

    Very reliable truck I've owned 5 rangers in my lifetime when I grew up my family has owned them dad and grandfather My recent ranger I've owned for over 3 years 2002 4x4 fx4 great truck great in the snow 4x4 works awesome I get poor fuel economy 13 city lucky if I get 17 highway but no need to complain no 4x4 midsize truck will get good fuel economy I have 93000 miles on it besides brakes and replacing the shackle springs which my 93 ranger I had to replace common Problem on all rangers if I ranked my truck I'd give it a solid 9 out of 10

  • Great truck. I recommend it - 1999 Ford Ranger
    By -

    It takes a little repair but it runs like a charm if you take care of it. My first car and now one of my favorite trucks. Had to do simple repairs like the alternator, flywheel, starter, clutch, and a sensor. All in all I recommend this truck

  • Nice...... - 2006 Ford Ranger
    By -

    Great truck...gas mileage could be better for the 4cyl auto trans. Upgrade the tires to 235/70-15 to give it a little more height. Second ranger I've owned an think their great trucks

  • Best light trucks on the market - 2001 Ford Ranger
    By -

    This is my second Ranger. Between the two I've owned I've driven a combined 400,000 miles over 20 years on the 2.3/2.5 engine with manual transmission. The first was bought new with the XLT Lariat package. The second is an XL bought with 65,000 miles in it. This truck isn't a sports car. It isn't a luxury car. If you want these why are you buying a truck at all? It's a truck and it looks and runs like one. As it should. But it corners as well as my Spitfire and feels nearly as sporty with the excellent 4 speed/overdrive gearbox and peppy engine. And it's comfortable and pleasant in the cab though not a luxury car. The interior is basic. It is well laid out and attractively designed enough, even in the XL base model configuration. In both my trucks the gauges are complete and well laid out. The seats are comfortable whether on longer drives or getting groceries. The interior is durable and well made. But yes, the extended cab would be nice for briefcases, groceries, dogs and so on. And this is not a family car or people carrier. Know what it does better than any of the 17 or so vehicles I've owned before and during my 22 years of Ranger ownership? It starts, drives and stops with reasonable fuel economy every time. It hauls tools and material for my work and tows my tent trailer and small boat without problems. It costs little to maintain, being common and American. And repairs are extremely rare and pretty reasonable. I'm terrible at maintanance. Over 400,000 miles I've changed oil at most a dozen times. Rotating tires or chassis lubes? Never. But both trucks combined cost something like $1000 in non maintanance repair at my mechanic's over 20 years. With my ridiculous neglect the truck simply just keeps going. Basically the bulletproof reliability of my Ranger enables me to afford the maintanance of British and Italian sports cars, to which the term 'reliable' will never be applied. For me the manual transmission and peppy motor are just fun to drive as well. The handling and braking are good or a bit better than that. The ride is sporty. But they do bump steer when not loaded, and they are relatively noisy compared to a mid range passenger car or sport utility. Resale? In my area, suburban Puget Sound, I could sell the truck I bought 7 years ago for pretty much what I paid for it. After 7 years of hard use. These trucks are among the best things Ford ever made, itself a high compliment.

  • Update September 2015 of my 2010 initial review. - 2010 Ford Ranger
    By -

    If you can find a good used Ford Ranger of this vintage, buy it. The only non-maintenance item that ever gave me trouble was the fuel pump. It quit at around 38K. Ford replaced it under warranty (Honolulu Ford) no questions no cost. Truck is getting ready to turn 70K. I have the 2.3 Litre DOHC four with the 5-speed automatic (drop down menu does not let me select automatic). Did my 60K servicing at 57K replaced the Continentals with Firestone Discovery tires (better quality) brake job done at 63K (amazing since I drive in the City and County of Honolulu which is well known for having heavy traffic). Replaced the Ford stock shocks with Monroe-Matics. Still a stiff and jounce-bouncey ride, but after all - it IS a truck! A/C still blows ice cold and I am VERY PLEASED with this little truck. I will keep this forever as most people out here keep their Rangers for many miles and many years. Impossible to find a used Ranger on Oahu there are some in lots on Maui. A drunk driver plowed into my Ranger and it was almost totaled, however an expert body shop (approved by my insurer) did a good job on the repair and is very much roadable with no degradation in driveability or safety. This '10 Ford Ranger is one of the best vehicles I've ever owned and last Sunday (9/6/15), I got the best economy ever with 30.5 mpg. Great truck !!

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