What to Look for in a Used Ford Ranger

In the market for a used Ford Ranger? It helps to line up a few specs.

For almost three decades the Ford Ranger was a consistently well-received small pickup. The current auto industry is seeing such a boom in compact truck sales that Ford is in fact bringing back the Ranger in 2019, seven years after being off the assembly line. If you just can't wait for the new model to buy off the lot and want to save a few bucks on a solid pickup truck then a used Ford Ranger may be your best bet.

Here are a few things to look for when perusing possible used Ford Ranger options.

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Keep It Safe

The Ranger was, unfortunately, not well-known for its safety features. It hit low marks on safety scores throughout its time in production. The 2004 version was rated acceptable for its overall safety by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported five recalls for its rupturing air bags.

The 2010 version came with front fog lights for added safety and visibility, and a standard electronic stability control, so if safety is your thing (we hope it is), then it's better to go with later versions of a used Ford Ranger.

By Highmileage - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Bed Frame

The 2011 version of a used Ford Ranger, while knocking on death's door of the production, did away with longer beds and its FX4 trim.

If you're looking for a long bed to haul some scrap or pack up for the weekend, it's probably best to choose from before 2006 when there was still emphasis on this feature.

Off the Road

The 2007 version of a used Ford Ranger came with added MP3 compatibility, an auxiliary port, Sirius Satellite radio, and a passive anti-theft system. But what gave this one a little boost besides being able to hook up your brand new iPhone 1 was its ability to handle going off the beaten path. The Ranger's six trims (XL, STX, XLT, Sport, FX4 Off-Road, and FX4 Level II) all held up as a bargain for those wanting an off-road experience without dishing out too much cash.

This post was originally published on August 23, 2019.

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