The Ford Ranger is known for is its dependable nature and solid construction. The mechanics and undercarriage of the Ranger remained relatively unchanged during its lifetime, though it did undergo the occasional cab and body update. However, these updates were few and far between.
Ford relied almost entirely on the Ranger's reputation for tried-and-true body style and performance, and consequently implemented very few necessary changes – a decision that was not received well by buyers and truck enthusiasts. Consequently, many buyers chose to purchase other compact models that offered more of the amenities and modern updates expected of a vehicle in its class.
If there is one thing that sets Ford apart from the competition, it's their long-lasting lines of pickup trucks and SUVs – most notably, the Ranger line of trucks. This small pickup was first marketed to avid truck and Ford fans in the 1983 model year, and enjoyed immediate success that continued for almost 30 years before its demise in 2000. This compact pickup was first offered with the standard cab size and the option of two bed lengths. In its first incarnation, the Ranger was equipped with a four-cylinder engine. Over its years on the market, Ford kept the Ranger fairly basic with few changes to its body style and design.
The mid-1980s did see one significant change for the truck: Ford introduced an extended cab version of the Ranger, which featured jump seats in the rear of the cab. In all honesty, the seats were best suited for children or extra cab storage, as most adults found it difficult to fit comfortably in that section of the cab.
After quite an impressive run of almost three decades, Ford introduced the last new Ranger in the 2011 model year. With the exception of the body and interior changes that had been made over the years, this compact pickup truck still bore a striking resemblance in mechanics and function to the first Ranger from 1983. Like the past versions of the Ranger, this one was available with the standard cab design and the extended cab body style. Ford chose not to make any changes to the available body styles throughout the Ranger's life. The 2011 Ford Ranger was offered in four distinctive trim levels: the XL, the XLT, the Sport, and the FX4, all of which were intended to give buyers the right options for their needs. For example, the FX4 model offered improved off-road capabilities and was designed to appeal to the outdoor enthusiasts interested in camping, hunting, and other outdoor activities that require off-road functionality, extensive cargo space, and impressive towing capabilities.
Under the hood, the 2011 Ford Ranger was outfitted with a standard 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine. A 4.0-liter, V-6 motor was also offered in order to give buyers the option of more power and performance. The 2.3-liter, four-cylinder produced 143 hp, while the larger V-6 engine provided 154 hp. The engine could be paired with the choice of two transmission systems: the standard five-speed manual gearbox, or the optional five-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the fact that the Ford Ranger dominated the roads for almost 30 years, this truck saw very few changes throughout its existence. Introduced for the 1983 model year, the Ranger was pretty basic in design. With the choice of two bed lengths, this model debuted with a standard cab body design only and was powered by a small four-cylinder engine.
The Ranger received its first update at the beginning of its second generation in 1993. Body design changes were among the most obvious updates, and the Ranger eventually abandoned the boxy look of the first-generation model. The Rangers of this generation were offered with either a standard cab or extended cab design, and the Splash edition was added to the list of available body style options. This unique twist on the Ranger's body style featured a flair side bed. The powertrain remained unchanged, with the choice of the four-cylinder or V-6 engine options. The Ranger did receive four-wheel anti-lock brakes in the 1995 model year, and a style redesign for the 1997 year. The final generation of the Ranger made its appearance in 2001, and remained virtually unchanged until the last new Ranger rolled of the assembly lines in 2011.