The Ford Ranger is a light-duty pickup truck that has survived three consecutive decades with only moderate changes along the way. This light-duty truck offers great gas mileage (22-27 MPG) with the inline four-cylinder option. It quickly shines in the tighter confines of an urban environment with a short turning radius while maintaining enough capacity to get the job done. The durability of these trucks is legendary as their popularity continues to grow.
The Ranger has long been considered a rugged little vehicle that comes with a variety of mechanical options, including 4-wheel drive, a 207HP V-6 engine, and a shift-on-the-fly transfer case. While it is considered a light-duty vehicle, it is still a tough little truck; however, it is not designed for the kind of heavy-duty hauling more suited to larger vehicles. The Ranger line is currently being built at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The truck has also been sold as the Mazda B-Series in the U.S. and around the world.
The secret to the success of the Ranger design comes from the if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. Some critics argue that the lack of drastic change has worn out the appeal of this line of trucks, but consumers repeatedly disagree with their continued loyalty. However, sporadic design improvements over the years have addressed customer input and the product shows this fact with abundant clarity. The first Rangers rolled off the assembly line in 1983 as compact trucks featuring the trademark Twin I-beam front suspension. They were designed for customers that wanted a light-duty truck but did not need a full-size pickup. The result was an instant sensation that spread like wildfire.
The Ford Ranger comes in a variety of packages: 4-wheel drive, 2-wheel drive, inline 4-cylinder and two different V-6 options. These packages all depend on how a customer wants to use the truck. The choices continue with body style: standard cab, extended cab, three door, short bed and stepside are available. These options all have specific strengths and weaknesses that an educated buyer understands. For example, the extended cab offers a larger cab capacity but at the cost of greater weight and fuel consumption. The stepside option greatly limits after-market accessories like a cap or toolbox.
Ford Motor Company has been building the Ranger series for three decades and the accolades have not stopped; AMI, Consumers Guide, Edmunds and Intellichoice are just a few of the consumer groups that have praised the truck. When looking at the Ford Ranger line, an informed buyer should take into consideration the fact that almost all Ranger owners would happily purchase another Ranger. The truck is a functional, rugged and reliable piece of equipment that will not let its owner down. The Ranger is true to the old adage that class never goes out of style.
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