The Ford Ranger gains a few features in 2007: a Personal Safety System (dual-stage front airbags and front passenger sensing system), tire pressure monitoring system and a passive anti-theft system are now standard on all models; SIRIUS satellite radio is available on XL, Sport, STX, XLT and both FX4 models; all stereos but the base AM/FM receiver get an auxiliary audio input jack; and the single-disc CD system now has MP3 capability. Two new 16-inch aluminum wheel designs are available, and new exterior colours are Pueblo Gold, Vista Blue Metallic and the return of Screaming Yellow.

Also new for 2007, the Regular Cab version has downsized from four trim lines in 2006 to a single XL model, and is no longer available in four-wheel drive for the Canadian market.

The Ranger is available in Regular Cab or SuperCab, which has two rear-hinged back doors that can be opened or closed only when the front doors are open. Regular Cab models come in XL trim, two-wheel drive only, and with a choice of six- or seven-foot box. SuperCab models come in 4×2 or 4×4 configuration, with a six-foot box, and in XL, Sport, XLT, FX4 Off-Road, FX4 Level II and STX trim.

Engine choices are a 2.3-litre inline four-cylinder, 3.0-litre V6 and 4.0-litre V6; all come with a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a five-speed automatic.

Depending on the trim level, standard features can include vinyl or carpeted flooring, 60/40 split bench or bucket seats, fog lamps, air conditioning, tow hooks and an airbag deactivation switch.

Available options include 16-inch wheels, six-CD/MP3 player, leather-trimmed seats, privacy glass, skid plates, tilt wheel, trailer tow package and rear sliding window.

The FX4 Off-Road includes a 4.10 axle, premium shocks, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates, 16-inch aluminum wheels, vinyl flooring and vinyl “slush” floor mats, while the seriously capable FX4/Level II adds a Torsen limited-slip rear axle, Bilstein shocks, front suspension skid plate, BF Goodrich all-terrain 31×10.5 tires, and front and rear tow hooks.

Also sold as the Mazda B-Series, the Ranger doesn’t always stack up to competitors such as the Chevrolet Colorado or Toyota Tacoma, but it’s relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased in very base trim with wind-up windows and a vinyl floor, which makes it perfect for those who want a utility vehicle they’re going to bang around on the job site. It’s also small in a world of oversized “compact” trucks, which is a good thing: not everyone wants a bigger vehicle.

The SuperCab comes with rear jump seats that can be folded down, but they’re a very tight and uncomfortable ride for adults. They’re fine for older children, but cannot be used with infant or child booster seats. When not in use, they fold up for extra cargo space.

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