A Look Back: The Ford Ranger Over The Years

If you’re thinking about driving a midsize truck, one of the top choices is to buy a used Ford Ranger. This truck has been a strong performer in this market for a long time, although it was away from the North American market for a few years.

What has made the Ranger one of the trucks in this class that we turn to the most when we want to get things done? To answer this question, we must first take a tour through the various models of the Ranger that have been offered.

It All Began in 1982

The first generation of the Ford Ranger came to us in 1982 and quickly became one of the most popular trucks in its class.

This new Model was made to be affordable, and it was offered as a basic truck that was made to get a few things done for those needing a light-duty truck to handle some of the work needed.

The first Ranger became a reality because Ford decided to offer this truck its own Model instead of a trim of the F-100.

This truck wore the F-150 name proudly but eventually became known as the Ranger and not one of the F-Series models.

A Newer Version of the Ranger

It only took two years before a new version of the Ranger called the Ranger S was offered. This version gave us a stripped-down design but had better performance for the drive.

This small truck could haul what you wanted, up to 1,600 pounds, and it was made to be a truck that was perfect for everyday use.

Before the end of the generation, this truck was more refined and livable for those who would use it as the truck they drove instead of a car. It is possible to find some used Ford Ranger models from the first generation that can still get things done for you.

A Huge Difference in the Second Generation Model

The 1993 version of the Ranger was the first of the second generation, and it looked nothing like the first-generation Model. Sure, it was also a truck, but it was bigger and completely redesigned. This new model had a smaller grille area, a more aerodynamic body, and fender flares that gave it an off-road feeling.

This new version of the Ford Ranger also came with new powertrains. You could find this truck with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that made 98 horsepower, a 3.0-liter V6 that gave you 145 horsepower, or a 4.0-liter V6 that was capable of reaching 160 horsepower. While paltry numbers today, those numbers were ideal for a midsize truck lineup in the early 1990s.

Every version of this truck had a CD changer that would allow you to choose from six discs along with a sporty interior area that gave you the look and feeling you desired. This was one of the most popular versions when new and is still a desirable truck as a used Ford Ranger you might want to drive.

We Saw Electrification Come in the Third Generation

You might think the new Ford F-150 Lightning is the first electric truck from Ford, but you would be wrong. The third generation of the Ranger gave us an EV variant that was part of the starting point for electric truck driving. This EV model could reach speeds up to 65 mph and gave drivers 65 miles of range with the electric powertrain.

The gasoline version of this Ranger gave us an elevated design with an extended body, rear suicide doors, a lower hood line, larger rear windows, and updates to the grille and bumpers. This truck continued to be popular, but with the focus on the EV version, sales for the Ranger began to decline. Of course, it didn’t help that more models were entering this market than ever before as well.

This truck was eventually deleted from the North American market after 2012, and it didn’t return until the fourth-generation Model arrived several years later. When looking for a used Ford Ranger, the third-generation models might be interesting.

The Current Generation Arrives for 2019

The Ford Ranger model you see at the dealership today is part of the fourth generation of this truck. It might seem strange that a truck that began in 1982 is only in the fourth generation of being made. Between 2012 and 2018, we didn’t see the Ranger as part of the market.

With its debut in 2019, the Ford Ranger returned to the market. This new version has everything you want in a truck, even though it only offers you one powertrain for the drive. That fact was met with some ire until the power numbers were released, and many experts realized this truck brought the most towing power in the class at the time.

If you’re looking for a great truck to give you the modern features, off-road capabilities, an easy drive, and an efficient powertrain, the current Model of the Ranger could be right for you. Enjoy the advanced features and see if one of the late models used Ford Ranger trucks is what will make driving right for you.

Which Model of the Ranger Will You Drive?

Most likely, if you’re looking for a used Ford Ranger to be the midsize truck you love to drive, you’re looking at the latest generation of this truck. Of course, that makes sense because you might be looking for this truck to be a reliable and comfortable vehicle for you to drive every day.

If you’re more interested in resurrecting an older model of this truck, or you happen to find one that’s from a previous generation that’s been well cared for, you will have a piece of track history that comes with a special story.

No matter which model year or version of the Ranger you choose to drive, all versions are part of the impressive history of this midsize truck.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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