Why It’s Time to Consider a Used Ford Ranger

Few brands on the market know trucks as well as Ford—the F-150 has been the bestselling truck in America for decades. It should come as no surprise, then, that they also make a number of other amazing trucks, such as the compact Maverick and the midsize Ford Ranger. The Ranger, in particular, is a fantastic option if you’re interested in a used truck since it’s been around long enough to give you an amazing selection of models to choose from. Before you head to your used Ford truck dealer, like the team at Faith’s Ford, it’s a good idea to have a game plan or at least a sense of what you’re looking for.


Today, we’re going to explore why the Ford Ranger is such a terrific option if you’re interested in a used truck. Keep in mind that this is a midsize pickup, so if you need the power and capabilities of a full-size model, then the F-150 is going to be a better option for you. Otherwise, however, the Ranger brings impressive power and amazing off-road performance with it, making it a terrific choice for many drivers.


An Overview of the Ford Ranger


To appreciate everything the Ford Ranger has to offer, it helps to understand why this is such an important truck in the Ford lineup. The original Ranger first hit the road in the early 1980s as a compact pickup, though we certainly wouldn’t suggest going that far back as you look at used models. That first generation for the Ranger ran from its introduction with the 1983 model year through the 1992 model, with a second-generation Ranger following that from 1993 through 1997. A third generation for the Ranger kicked off with the 1998 model and ran through 2011, going through numerous facelifts and updates across those years but remaining a compact truck.


Following the 2011 model year, Ford discontinued the Ranger as the market for small trucks like this had dried up a bit. Once again, we wouldn’t suggest going this far back if you’re interested in a used Ranger unless you’re on an extremely tight budget or have a particular interest in one of these models. We were sad to see the Ranger go, and we held out hope that it would return; fortunately, we didn’t have to wait for it to come back as long as we had to wait for the Bronco—the Ranger made its return less than a decade later.


Starting with the 2019 model year, Ford brought the Ranger out of retirement with a full redesign and a growth spurt that transformed it into a midsize truck. With its return, the Ford Ranger made an immediate impression and had a huge impact on the auto industry, bringing midsize trucks back into the foreground of the market. Since then, a single fourth generation of the Ranger has been going strong year after year, delivering impressive performance and remarkable features for drivers to enjoy. These are the ones we suggest you go for as you look at used Rangers; since Ford is launching a new fifth generation for the Ranger with the 2024 model, these are excellent options that you can find in great numbers.



A blue 2019 Ford Ranger is shown from the front at an angle.

Key Ford Ranger Features to Consider


As we said, you don’t want to go looking for a 2008 Ford Ranger or anything like that, but which ones are noteworthy? Essentially, you’re looking at anything from the last five model years, which gives you a terrific range to choose from without going overboard. This starts with the 2019 Ford Ranger, which launched the fourth generation and its return from the relatively brief hiatus Ford had given it. This is also the point at which the Ranger became a midsize truck, making it even better. You’ll find a 2.3L turbocharged engine on every Ranger from this period, which delivers 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard, though you can also find four-wheel drive on a used Ranger.


One of the best things about the Ranger is that this engine has remained the standard since its return and throughout the fourth generation. So, no matter what model year you look at, from 2019 through 2023, this is the engine you’ll find. It provides impressive power for a midsize truck and allows it to handle about 1,900 lbs of payload and up to 7,500 lbs of maximum towing capacity. Again, this is true for this entire generation, so you don’t have to look for a particular model year to get a great pickup designed to handle whatever you throw at it.


If you find a base Ford Ranger model, you’ll get things like a four-speaker sound system and a small infotainment display. For some enhanced options inside, look for the XLT or the LARIAT to find a larger, 8-inch infotainment display and a 10-speaker B&O sound system. If you want to take your Ranger off-road, we suggest looking for a 2022 model with the Tremor trim introduced that year for improved trail performance. The available FX4 Off-Road Suspension is also worth looking for if you want to reach your favorite campsite or head off-road in your Ranger.


Why Choose a Used Ford Ranger?


We’ve touched on this a bit already, but to us, one of the best reasons to choose the Ford Ranger is for the consistency it offers from year to year. With many other vehicles, you can find some big differences from one model year to the next, which means you’ll need to find a very specific model to get certain features you want. The Ranger has remained largely the same throughout the five years of its fourth generation, so no matter which one you find, it will have terrific performance, a comfortable interior, and more great options to enjoy.


You’ll still find some differences between them, of course, particularly when you look at something like the starting XL trim compared to the LARIAT or a Ranger Tremor model, but a 2021 Ranger LARIAT and a 2023 Ranger LARIAT will have a lot in common. This makes it much easier to figure out what you need in your truck and then look at used Ranger models with a huge selection of different ones that will work well for you. Anything that makes shopping easier is a win in our book.


On top of that, the Ford Ranger is simply a fantastic midsize truck—so if that’s the type of pickup you’re looking for, it’s hard to beat. Looking at models from 2022, for example, something like the Chevy Colorado (a similar midsize option) has a standard 2.5L engine that offers just 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the standard engine in the 2022 Ranger and its 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, this isn’t even a fair matchup.



The difference comes through in terms of capability, too: the Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lbs while the Colorado with that standard engine tops out at a meager 3,500 lbs. While an available engine helps improve the Colorado’s performance, that means you have to jump through a lot more hoops to find a truck that delivers what you want; the Ford Ranger gets it right from the very start.



The black interior of a 2022 Ford Ranger Splash is shown from the passenger seat.

Make Sure You Get the Most From Your Truck


It’s pretty easy to see why the Ford Ranger is such a fantastic pickup and why so many people have chosen it as their preferred midsize truck for the last five years. While the launch of an all-new generation for the 2024 model is exciting, we still look at the last generation with tremendous fondness, and we love how the Ranger has come to define everything we look for in this class of truck.



As you’re shopping for your next used truck, you deserve to get the best pickup possible, with features and performance that will make your life easier and ensure you can tackle everything you need. From going off-road and conquering challenging trails to getting you through your work week and helping you get your job done (plus everything in between), the Ford Ranger has what it takes to go the extra mile.

February 9, 2024
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