NEW FOR 2008:

– New front bumper design
– Performance upgrades to FX4 Off-Road model
– Standard Personal Safety System, tire pressure monitoring system and SecuriLock engine immobilizer
– Exterior colour: Limited-edition Grabber Orange

For 2008, the Ford Ranger undergoes minor changes, including a new front bumper design. The Personal Safety System, standard on all models, includes dual-stage airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, seatbelt energy-management retractors and usage sensors, driver seat position sensor, crash severity sensor, restraint control module and front passenger sensing system.

The Ranger, which is also sold at Mazda as the B-Series, comes in four trim levels. Engine choices are a 2.3-litre inline four-cylinder, 3.0-litre V6 or 4.0-litre V6, all with five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic.

The XL comes in Regular Cab with six- or seven-foot box, or SuperCab with six-foot box, and uses the 3.0-litre V6, with the 2.3-litre or 4.0-litre available as an option, depending on configuration and whether 4×2 or 4×4 is ordered. The Sport and XLT come only in SuperCab and use the 3.0-litre V6 in 4×2, and can be optioned to the 4.0-litre and 4×4 configuration. The FX4 Off-Road is a SuperCab and uses the 4.0-litre with 4×4 configuration only.

Features on the XL Fuel Economy Leader (FEL) include the 2.3-litre engine, 15-inch steel wheels, vinyl 60/40 split seat, base suspension, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, seatbelt height adjusters, tire pressure monitoring system, driver and front passenger grab handles, 12-volt power outlet, smoker’s package, four cargo box tie-down hooks, solar-tinted glass and intermittent wipers.

The XL adds cloth seat, CD/MP3 stereo with audio jack, and payload package of increased rear spring rates and heavy-duty gas-charged shocks (on 4×2 models).

The Sport adds 15-inch alloy wheels, heavy-duty shocks, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio; 4×4 models add 16-inch alloy wheels.

The XLT adds 15-inch chrome-clad steel wheels on 4×2 models and 16-inch alloy wheels on 4×4 models, plus air conditioning, tilt wheel, cruise control, chrome mirrors, trailer tow package, power windows, power mirrors, and power locks with keyless entry.

The FX4 Off-Road adds 16-inch alloy wheels, 4.10:1 axle ratio, limited-slip rear axle, sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped wheel, privacy glass and sliding rear window.

In a marketplace where most "compact" trucks aren’t very compact any more, the Ranger retains its small, manageable footprint and is relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased in very base trim that makes it perfect for those who want a utility vehicle for tough and dirty job sites.

The SuperCab comes with rear jump seats that can be folded down, but they’re very tight and uncomfortable for adults. Parents of small children should note that they are not suitable for use with infant or child booster seats.

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