The Ranger is a midsize pickup truck manufactured by Ford Motor Co. Although not as popular as its bigger sibling, the F-Series truck, the Ranger is a highly sought-after model.
In fact, it was the highest-selling compact truck in the United States from 1987 up until 2004. Early rivals include the Chevrolet S-10 [later Chevrolet Colorado], GMC Canyon, and the Toyota Tacoma.
Ford discontinued the model in 2011 but brought it back for the 2019 model year. Like the F-150, the Ranger offers solid off-road performance and impressive towing ability. The difference is that the Ranger costs far less than the pricey F-150.
If you want a solid truck that offers good performance as well as value for the money, the Ranger is your best option. This article contains important facts and numbers about the Ranger trucks.
It covers model generations, yearly sales, towing capacities, emissions figures, safety ratings, resale values, and many more.
How Many Ford Ranger Have Been Sold Per Year in The U.S.?
Asides the F-Series truck, no other Ford-made pickup truck has sold more units than the Ranger.
It was America’s bestselling small-size truck for 14 years straight, beating every rival compact-truck model to the prize. However, a decline in sales, perhaps occasioned by the influx of newer competitors forced Ford to cancel it in 2011.
Nevertheless, the Ranger’s annual sales ever since it released in 1983 have been phenomenal. Ford sold over two million units of the Ranger in its first five years alone, selling over 200,000 models per year.
The Ranger became the highest-selling compact pickup in America in its first iteration, going to hold the title for over a decade.
Demand for the Ranger continued to spike in its second generation, and annual sales increased to over 300,000 units. The model’s third generation saw sales decline, and Ford later discontinued the model, only bringing it back in 2019.
Annual sales for the Ranger:
|Year||No. Of Units Sold|
What Year Did Ford Start the Ranger Models?
Production of the Ranger started at Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky factory in 1982.
The model went on sale the following year, replacing the outgoing Ford Courier compact pickup. At the time, it was the second-ever Ford-badged compact truck sold in the U.S. after the discontinued Courier.
Ford offered the truck in four trim levels: Base, XL, XLS, and XLT. The Ranger bore some resemblance to the F-Series truck as both shared similar grille and body design.
At first, the Ranger only had a 2.3-liter V4 engine producing 80 horsepower. However, a bigger 2.8-liter V6 engine producing 115 horsepower later appeared as an available option for buyers.
Changes and Redesigns
The Ranger underwent several changes in the years following its release. Most of these changes were largely cosmetic as the vehicle maintained much of its original design throughout the years.
It received a major redesign effort in 1993, starting off the second generation. Significant changes included an improved interior, new seats, and upgraded sound systems. A new STX trim level also appeared in the Ranger lineup.
The third-generation Ranger model debuted in the 1998 model year. It featured a longer wheelbase, a bigger 2.5-liter V6 engine, new short-arm/long-arm suspension, and a new Off-Road Package. Ford would continue to make small modifications to the Ranger until it halted the production of the model in 2011.
Ford returned the Ranger to its lineup for the 2019 model year, following an eight-year absence. Unlike previous models, the new Ranger was bigger and was classified as a midsize truck.
How Is the Fuel Economy On Ford Ranger?
For a truck, its size, the Ford Ranger’s fuel economy numbers are quite impressive.
In fact, they are among the best in the midsize pickup truck segment. When paired with four-wheel drive, the Ranger earns 20 MPG [city] and 24 MPG [highway], for a combined 22 MPG.
This is on par with what competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado [22 MPG] and the Honda Ridgeline [22 MPG] offer.
Below is a breakdown of gas mileage figures for the Ford Ranger:
|Model||City MPG||Highway MPG||Combined MPG|
|Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3-liter (4-cyl.)||21||26||23|
|Ford Ranger 4WD 2.3-liter
|Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3-liter
How Quickly Do Ford Rangers Depreciate?
Since making a comeback for the 2019 model year, the Ford Ranger has impressed buyers with a combination of performance and utility.
It has also become the default choice for those who want a rugged truck, but don’t want the larger F-Series model. As a result, demand for the model has increased, allowing pre-owned versions to sell for high prices on the used-vehicle market.
According to Kelley Blue Book, you can expect your new Ranger truck to retain 52.3% of its initial price after five years. This means it loses just 47.7% of its value over the first five-year period.
Such numbers make the Ranger one of the least-depreciating midsize vehicles in the midsize truck segment. The Ranger was designated the third-best midsize truck in terms of resale value by KBB in its 2020 Best Resale Value Awards.
It also appeared in KBB’s list of Top 10 vehicles with the best resale value.
Did Ford Recall Any of the Ford Ranger Models?
The Ford Ranger has witnessed 67 recalls throughout its 29-year history [including both first and second production runs].
We’d recommend that you avoid buying Ranger trucks released for 1994, 1998, and 1999 model years. These models have the most recalls across the lineup.
We’ve ranked each model year by how many recall campaigns it has been involved with:
|Model Year||No. Of Recalls|
How Much Do the Ranger Models Pollute?
The Ranger’s V4 engine, even with turbocharging, hardly sips fuel, and its pollution performance hovers between average to outright poor.
Here’s a table showing the amount of CO2 emissions on each Ranger model:
|Model||Greenhouse Gas Emissions||Emissions Rating|
|Ranger 2WD 2.3-Liter (4-cyl.)||387 grams per mile||5/10|
|Ranger 4WD 2.3-Liter (4-cyl.)||404 grams per mile||4/10|
|Ranger 2WD 2.3-Liter (4-cyl.)||485 grams per mile||3/10|
How Much Do the Ranger Models Tow?
Because of its powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the Ford Ranger can haul large loads quite easily.
It has a payload capacity of 1,860 pounds [best in its class] and a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. However, you will need to install the optional Trailer Tow Package for your vehicle to handle the maximum towing capacity.
Without the Trailer Tow Package, you can only tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs.
How Reliable Are Ford Rangers?
Ford Rangers have a reputation for being tough trucks that can handle just about anything without breaking down.
Newer models haven’t sullied that reputation, either. RepairPal gives the Ranger a 4/5 Reliability Rating, ranking it the third most-reliable vehicle in the midsize truck segment.
Similarly, J.D. Power rates the Ranger’s dependability as above average, scoring it 3/5 for Predicted Reliability.
How Safe Are Ford Rangers?
Unlike the Ford models we’ve discussed before, the Ranger’s safety performance isn’t particularly noteworthy. It earned a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA, including a dismal three-star rollover crash rating.
The Ranger has better performance on the IIHS crash tests. But even this is overshadowed by an ‘Acceptable’ score in the passenger-side small overlap crash tests crash tests. A ‘Marginal’ score for poor headlights doesn’t help matters as well.
Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 safety suite is standard on the Lariat and XLT trims and optional on the XL trim. Features include blind-spot monitoring [with cross-traffic alert], adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning [with automatic emergency braking], lane-departure warning, and rear-view cameras.
What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic for This Model?
Male individuals make up the largest percentage of the Ranger’s buyer demographic, with females forming a small minority. The median age of these buyers is 58 years. They earn, on average, an annual household income of $101,820. Moreover, those who buy the Ranger prefer buying vehicles from American manufacturers than foreign brands.
Reliability, vehicle quality, maintenance costs, and performance are the biggest factors influencing decisions of this buyer demographic.
Ford Ranger Theft Numbers
The following figures represent the total number of thefts of the Ranger per year.
These numbers are for the Ranger’s first production run starting in 1982, and were collected from the NHTSA Vehicle Theft Rate Database:
|Year||No. Of Models Stolen|