The Used Ford Ranger Pick-up Truck has been reimagined several times since it was first released in the 1980s. Most recently returned to production in 2018, we take a look back at the various versions that may still be found on used lots around the country.
First Generation (1982-1992)
Pricing at just $6,203 when produced in January 1982, by March Ford Rangers were in showrooms across the United States. It was the first compact pickup designed by Ford, replacing the Courier that was built by Mazda. Ford offered an additional V6 and a 4-cylinder diesel engine option to the standard inline-four-cylinder and transmissions ranged from a four-or five-speed manual to a three-speed automatic.
In 1984 the Ranger S was introduced. This basic model was a stripped-down version for people who needed to haul things. Available with rear-wheel-drive or as a 4x4, the 4X4 could haul up to 1,600 pounds and had independent front suspension. You could choose from a 108-inch wheelbase truck with a six-foot bed or a 114-inch wheelbase model with a seven-foot bed.
In 1986 Ford offered the addition of a 140 hp fuel-injected 2.9-liter V6 and the SuperCab, with an extended cab and wheelbase of 125 inches and optional jump seating that increased the passenger capacity to five.
Ford’s Ranger GT version was only available between 1987 and 1989 and came with a 2.9L V6. The stand out detail on this model was a five-speed manual transmission and sport bucket seats.
And upgrade in 1989 brought frame improvements as well as interior and exterior styling changes, including a new dashboard and glove box; also a new grille, hood and front fenders on the exterior. The new base engine was a 100 hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual transmission. 1991 brought in the Sport model with aluminum wheels and the option for a 140-hp 3.0-liter V6 engine for 2WD trucks.
Second Generation (1993-1997)
A major redesign happened in this generation when the grille size was reduced substantially, making for a smoother, more aerodynamic face for the Ranger and fender flares that added to a rounded look.
Engine choices included a 98-hp, 2.3-liter four cylinder, a 145 hp 3.0-liter V6, and a 160-h, 4.0-liter V6. More options included a six-disc CD changer to the sporty looking “Splash” model. It aimed to cater to a range of customers, making it overwhelmingly successful from 1993-1995.
Ford Ranger was revamped in 1994 and was also sold as a Mazda B-Series, but not many changes to the look other than different grilles. It was essentially the same truck on the inside and out. The 1995 model year bumped the engine to 112 hp from 98 hp, the transmissions were upgraded, a driver’s side airbag was included, as well as a double-din stereo unit. ABS was optional for the 4X4 and standard on trucks with the 4.0-liter engine.
Electric variant of the Ford Ranger was available from 1998-2002. Still in the early days of electric vehicles, these trucks had a 65-mile range and could reach 65 miles per hour.
Third Generation (1998-2012)
This generation did a substantial overhaul to the SuperCab wheelbase and cab, making them longer, though the interior remained the same and the hood line lowered. New seats and a larger rear window that made for better visibility, more legroom and more room to recline was also added.
The four-cylinder engine was increased to 2.5 liters from 2.3 liters and made 117 hp. The 3.0-liter V6 engine was optional as well as a larger 4.0-liter V6. In 2001 the Ranger added a 207 hp 4-liter V6 in place of the previous 4.0-liter V6. They also added ABS on 2WD Rangers. Updates to the Ranger in 2003 included a new grille, front bumper and hood and leather upholstery.
Though Ford continued to offer additional packages including the Sport and Off-Road packages, they managed to hold until 2012 with little or no changes.
Fourth Generation T6 (2019-Present)
The Ford Ranger finally came home after a long absence from the U.S. market. It had been marketed in North America as a midsize pickup truck, but now was comparable to the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. During its absence in the United States, the Ranger still continued to have top sales. Available in a SuperCab model with 2+2 doors, extended cab and six-foot bed or SuperCrew with a four-door, crew-size cab and five-foot bed, the Ranger was ready to compete with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. It also features a new grille and frame-mounted steel bumper and an aluminum hood.