2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge


Review and photos by Paul Williams

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Photo Gallery: 2007 Ford Ranger Sport

A consequence of growing up with frugal parents is that one develops a lifelong nose for a bargain. It’s a useful ability, especially when considering a new vehicle.

Take the 2007 Ford Ranger, for instance. Did you know you can buy a new one for $13,694 plus freight (total price with special delivery allownance: $14,844)? It’s true. Regular cab, 2.3-litre, four-cylinder engine, anti-lock brakes, manual shift. Basic to be sure, but that’s a heck of a bargain for a new truck.(Note that all prices for the Ranger may attract additional pre-delivery and administrative charges from the dealer, who may also sell for less)

If you want a 3.0-litre V6 version, you can get it for $15,849, including freight. And how about the Ford Ranger Sport 4×2 for $17,249 including freight? It comes standard with a 3.0-litre V6 engine, ABS, 15-inch aluminum wheels, fender flares, five-speed manual transmission with overdrive, fog lamps, extended “super” cab, AM/FM CD player with auxiliary jack, and split bench seat. There’s nothing else like it on the market at such a low price.

Not surprisingly, sales of Ranger pickups are up 85% this year. That’s since Ford developed a special pricing package last year with Atlantic Ford dealers for this vehicle. The program was so successful it was extended to the rest of the country.

2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

True, Rangers have been around for awhile, so they’re certainly not at the cutting edge of new technology. But seen another way, Rangers are tested and reliable – nothing too complicated – and for those who don’t need a big rig, this is a tough little truck that may be all you need.

Supercab 4×2 (four door) Rangers, of which we had an example for road testing, have a six-foot box (regular cabs come with seven-foot), and a maximum payload of 571 kilograms (1,260 pounds). This is the lightest duty of the Rangers. With the standard 4.10 rear axle in this configuration, you can tow 1,034 kg (2,300 lbs). Suitably equipped versions (3.55 rear axle, 4.0-litre V6, regular cab 4×2) can tow up to 2,721 kg (6,000 lbs).

Under the hood of the Ranger Sport, Ford’s 3.0-litre, overhead valve V6 makes 148 horsepower at 4,900 rpm and 180 lb.-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm. Our truck came with a five-speed automatic transmission – a $1,400 additional cost – and air conditioning for $1,235. Other options were the $130 privacy glass and $530 cruise control and tilt steering wheel. Total price for this truck was $20,644, including freight. Personally, I’d forego the automatic transmission, which would take the price down to $19,244, freight in.

2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

As you might expect, there are a few creature comforts you’ll forego to achieve the low price. Manually adjustable rearview mirrors, and manual door locks and windows are obvious cost-savers, along with the lack of carpet on the floor (although if you’re using this truck for work, you’ll probably prefer the rubber mats, anyway).

Behind the bench seat you get two centre-facing jump seats that are good for only the shortest of journeys, but when they’re folded away, there’s lots of storage room for tools, equipment and other valuables. The rear privacy glass is a useful security feature if you’re leaving things in the cab.

In a pinch, you could seat three on the standard bench seat, but two will be more comfortable with the big centre armrest/stowage container folded down.

On the road, the Ranger is surprisingly smooth and quiet. Occasionally there was a shudder between first and second as the automatic transmission shifted, but typically it operated without issue. Fifth gear is an overdrive, which takes the engine speed down to 2,100 rpm at 90 km/h and 2,400 at 110 rpm. I achieved 10.6 L/100 km on a 600-km highway drive at speeds from 90-115 km/h. The Energuide rating for this vehicle (3.0-litre, automatic) is 14.0/9.9 L/100 km, city/highway, so our vehicle with 7,500 km on the odometer was underachieving in this department. Fuel savings can be further realized by selecting the manual gearbox, which is estimated to return 13.1/9.3 L/100 km, city/highway. Of note is that the XL Ranger with the 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine is rated at 9.9/7.5 L/100 km, city/highway, but can only be purchased with the regular cab.

2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

Visibility all around is good, except for the presence of the B-pillar which can block vision to the side. A quick look before changing lanes is advised, although both rear view mirrors are big and useful (the passenger side rear view mirror is helpfully convex).

Controls are simple and the white-faced gauges of the Ranger Sport are easy-to-read. Headroom is excellent in the tall cab, and as mentioned earlier, wind noise is low. The presence of an auxiliary jack for your iPod or similar device is thoughtful and appreciated.

Although the Ranger is a compact truck, you do sit high. With 19.6 centimetres (7.7-inches) of ground clearance to the rear axle, the Ranger can traverse rocky or broken terrain with ease. The suspension is firm and becomes choppy on rough roads, but due to the long 126-inch wheelbase, the ride is calm and collected on the highway. Unlike bigger trucks, there’s no problem parking in parking lots, but the turning circle of the Ranger is big, usually causing a three-point turn rather than a u-turn if you change your mind.

The six-foot box measures 41.9 cm (16.5-in) high and has a volume of 1,059 litres (37.4 cu.ft.). Tie-downs are supplied at each corner, as are receptacles for a tonneau or cap, but the bedliner pictured in our test Ranger is an optional extra. Ground to open tailgate height is 74.9 cm (29.5-inches), and the 4×4 version gains 78 mm (2.9-in) in overall height compared with the 4×2 (ground clearance to rear axle remains the same).

2007 Ford Ranger Sport
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

Ford Rangers can be purchased in several levels of trim (XL, Sport, STX, XLT, FX4 Off-Road and FX4 Level II), and combinations of bed size, cab type and drivetrain. A common feature is their extremely competitive price (top level FX4 Level II starts at $24,499).

Options include premium audio, class III towing, limited slip axle, power equipment group, leather-trimmed seats, bed extender and sliding rear window.

But by no means a “stripper,” the base Ranger Sport looks good, performs well, and includes standard equipment that most buyers need, plus features like ABS, V6 engine and alloy wheels that they may not expect. With its current pricing, if you’re thinking used, you may find a handsome new truck is not out of reach.


Pricing: 2007 Ford Ranger Sport


Specifications

  • Click here for complete specifications


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  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Mazda B-Series


Crash test results


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