Used Vehicle Review: Ford Ranger, 1998 2011 used car reviews reviews ford
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

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Ford Motor Company of Canada

Review by Chris Chase; photos by Paul Williams

Photo Gallery:
2007 Ford Ranger

The compact pickup truck is a dying breed. The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier quickly graduated to mid-sized status, and the Dodge Dakota, whose discontinuation was announced in August 2011, was never anything but. That left but a handful of little pickups to carry the compact banner. Among these are the Ford Ranger – and its Mazda B-series twin – that you see here.

The Ranger dates way back to the early 1980s, and it was that first generation that spawned the Bronco II, Ford’s first compact SUV. The more sophisticated Explorer shared many of its underpinnings with the second-generation Ranger.

In 1998, the fourth-generation Ranger was introduced. While it didn’t look vastly different than the third-gen truck, it had a longer wheelbase, and regular-cab trucks got a three-inch longer cab for more interior space. Also, the front suspension was significantly redesigned.

Used Vehicle Review: Ford Ranger, 1998 2011 used car reviews reviews ford
Used Vehicle Review: Ford Ranger, 1998 2011 used car reviews reviews ford
2007 Ford Ranger Sport. Click image to enlarge

The base engine was a 2.5-litre four-cylinder (replacing a 2.3-litre engine) generating 119 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. Optional motors included 3.0- and 4.0-litre V6s (150 hp/185 lb.-ft. and 160 hp/225 lb.-ft.) respectively. A five-speed manual transmission was standard; a four-speed automatic was the option in four-cylinder and 3.0-litre engines, while the 4.0-litre got a five-speed auto. In 2001, the 4.0-litre “Vulcan” V6 was replaced by the more advanced “Duratec” 4.0-litre V6; this engine offered 203 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. Only the five-speed transmissions were offered in later years, and in 2009, the 3.0-litre V6 was dropped.

Rear-wheel drive was standard, and four-wheel drive was available, but only in V6 models. The Ranger was sold in regular and extended cab configurations, with six- and seven-foot boxes, depending on trim level.

The four-cylinder engine disappeared in 2000 and wouldn’t return until 2002, when a smaller, 2.3-litre engine replaced the 2.5-litre as the base powerplant. Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide suggests that the four-speed automatic transmission was dropped in 2002, leaving the five-speed auto as the only transmission option, but other sources suggest that the four-speed remained in production until 2004.

In early models, fuel economy ratings ranged from 10.7 L/100 km (city) and 8.0 L/100 km (highway) for a four-cylinder, manual transmission model, to 15.3 L/100 km (city) and 10.7 L/100 km (highway) for a version fitted with the 3.0-litre V6, four-speed auto and four-wheel drive.

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