The Ford Ranger came to limelight in 1983 to compete with an Isuzu pickup. The 1983 Ford Ranger was compact, consumed less fuel, and was a versatile workhorse for people who don’t want to buy a full-size truck.
A sturdy build, affordable pricing and advanced features have increased the Ford Ranger’s popularity. The Ranger is now one of the most widely used pickup trucks in the United States.
In this article, we discuss why the Ford Ranger became so popular.
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Here’s the short answer to why the Ford Ranger is so popular:
The Ford Ranger stands out thanks to a wide range of potent power trains, affordability, and above-average reliability. It has all the characteristics of a workhorse, including excellent towing capabilities, ample payload space, great safety scores, and exceptional creature comforts and unique styling.
1. Iconic Truck with Quality Traditions
There is usually a high regard for trucks that have been able to stand the test of time with quality services. The Ranger is a legendary truck because of Ford’s expertise and experience in designing, fabricating, marketing and advertising its products.
Therefore, a high level of trust has been created in the minds of Americans within its 39 years of operation.
Toughness, compactness and fuel economy have been the Ford Ranger’s tradition within its years of production. Thus, it is akin to the Ford Bronco II model, which had long-lasting characteristics.
Ford also upheld the longstanding tradition of making several trims available. The Ranger comes in different trims that suit the different needs of various drivers.
For the first generation, the Ford Ranger was available in 5 trims, which included the XL, XLS and XLT. The second generation ushered in the popular STX along with the XL, XL Sport, Splash, and XLT.
For the fourth generation launch, however, Ford discontinued the STX and Splash trims. The Ranger had only three trims: XL, XLT and the Lariat, which had several variants itself.
The iconic “cliffhanger” 1983 Ford Ranger advert was the talk of the town for a very long time. The advert displayed a Ford Ranger flying off a cliff. This epic advert increased the Ford Ranger’s popularity and overall sales.
The old quality traditions, eye-catching publicity and improved or added features no doubt causes high affinity for the Ranger.
That’s why news of a new model in the market usually causes customers to have high expectations.
More often than not, they meet up to expectations.
2. Standard Truck Performance and Technology
The Ford Ranger has experienced a wide range of modifications during its 4 decades of production. As advancement in both engineering and technology continues, the Ford Ranger improves steadily.
The latest fourth generation Ford Ranger possesses a 2.3 liter turbocharged engine with a massive output power of about 270 hp.
Ford had developed an Anti-lock Braking System called Sure-Track. They introduced this to enable drivers to have control over their steering when they apply the brakes at high speeds.
In 1989, the rare wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) was also introduced to the Ford Ranger. It later became the standard for all Ford trucks.
Twin spark plugs per cylinder were further attached to the spark ignition system of the engine. This was to enable total fuel combustion in the combustion chamber of the Ford Ranger truck.
They did not leave the Ford Ranger behind when the five-speed manual was up for a grab in the commercial market. In 1985, Ford became one of the first truck manufacturers to use the five-speed manual transmission as a Ranger standard. Before the 1980s, only sport cars used the five-speed transmission.
For the 1995 Ford Ranger model, front brakes became effective by using a two-piston caliper. This was already being used in the Ford Explorer.
In that same year, the four-wheel drive anti-lock brakes became the only method used in its braking system. In 1997, the Ford Ranger became the first American truck to use a five-speed automatic transmission.
Based on information from Edmunds.com, the Ford Ranger XLT has an 8.0/10 review rate. This is a very high standard that the Ford Ranger has kept for itself.
It has always kept on with the current market trends in standard engineering and technological practices. No wonder the Ford Ranger ranks number 4 in the compact truck category by the U.S. News.
Since the inception of the Ford Ranger trucks in 1983, its versatile nature has always left a thrilling effect on people who require workhorses with a habitable cabin. It has proven to be a unique truck that suites a wide range of customers’ taste.
The Ranger still continues to give priority to various level of income earners: high, medium, and low income earners. Remember that some of these trucks are up for lease too.
The 4-door Ford Ranger truck easily accommodates 4 passengers. This enables family conveyance with above average comfort.
The 2021 Ford XL has an estimated cost of $30,560 and has a maximum towing capacity of about 7,500 pounds. This truck is relatively cheaper and could be used for inter-city movements but not for very heavy duties.
Meanwhile, the XLT trim sells for about $37,500. It has a more luxurious passenger experience with modern technology. Its features involve a sync 3 touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The XLT trim combines luxury and eminent power capacity in a truck, making it ideal for contractors.
The Lariat trim has an estimated cost of $40,210 and a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. This trim has additional features like a push button start, leather upholstery, a 10 speaker stereo and more. It packs more luxury and technological features than the XLT trim.
The Ford Ranger is easy to spot in public parking spaces because of its unique exterior design.
The Ford Ranger has varying fuel tank specifications, colors, power train options and many other features that make it perfect for a wide range of uses.
4. Improved Safety and Security System
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a high regard for the Ford Ranger safety system. From ratings and crash tests, it appears the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also shares this opinion.
Although it didn’t qualify for the “Top safety pick award”, it got a superior rating in “front crash prevention”.
In 1988, Ford introduced dual airbags into its pickup trucks. It had an “acceptable” grade in the frontal crash test.
This swiftly boosted the Ford Ranger’s popularity, as it became the “safest” truck for most truck users. Parents who wanted optimum safety for their teenage kids opted for the Ranger. Over the years, it has become synonymous with safe driving.
According to statistics, over 35,000 Americans lose their lives on the highway each year. This is usually because of poor weather, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, etc.
The Ford Ranger has proffered solutions to these problems through its improved safety systems. Unsafe lane-change accidents can be mitigated by using the Ford Ranger’s blind spot monitor. It functions by providing a better view for the mid-size truck users.
You can avoid tailgating in a Ford Ranger by using the rearview video camera. It helps drivers to observe other vehicles behind them.
The Ford Ranger four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) also aids the truck in coming to a stop in emergencies. This primarily helps prevent it from bumping into another car.
A highly advanced system, such as the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Brake Light (EBL) is incorporated into the Ford Ranger. The Emergency Brake Assist provides additional pressure on the braking system of the Ford Ranger when its brake system is engaged in emergency situations.
The 2019 Ford Ranger LX comes with a complete package of security features. They include the rear cross traffic alert, front and rear park sensors, cruise control, and lane-keeping assistant, and traction and stability control.
The high safety features embedded in the Ford Ranger have given it a high level of fame among truck buyers.
Please also read our article about common Ford Ranger issues.
5. The Mazda and Ford B-Series 1994 Contract
Mazda and Ford entered an agreement for the production of the Ford Courier.
The arrangement meant that Ford continued to manufacture of the B-Series for the Mazda Company in 1994, since Mazda had ended its importation of the B-Series from Japan.
The B-Series became the most sold compact truck in North America. Subsequently, the Ford Ranger got to a new fit when it started global exportations.
The Ranger made a lot of sales during this period. This was largely because the trucks were available for a wider market.
Mazda renamed its model in 2002 and changed the body styles and the general appearance. It then received a lot of sales, though outside the shores of the United States.
Of course, this agreement helped increase the Ford Ranger’s popularity.