Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Ford Ranger Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Ford Ranger Overview

Body
The Dynamo of the Light-Truck Segment

The Ranger has long been a favorite of the American truck buyer. Its compact size, excellent durability and affordable base price have made it one of the best selling compact pickups in the world. The Ford Ranger is available in three trim levels: XL, XLT and Edge.

The Ranger's basic architecture has been around for some years now. The design has proved so successful that only minor facelifts and engine upgrades are required to keep the Ranger competitive. Available in both two- and four-wheel-drive versions, the Ranger can serve duty as anything from a parts-delivery truck to a full-blown, off-road, mud-slinging machine.

If you plan on using your Ranger primarily as a work vehicle, then the regular cab version should suffice; the cab is roomy and there is actually a useful amount of space behind the driver's seat for storage. If you need to accommodate more than a lunch pale and toolbox, then you will most likely want to set your site on the Ranger SuperCab. The SuperCab allows the addition of two, side-facing jump seats and two rear doors that provide a wide-open space for easy loading and unloading. Interior appointments include a comfortable bench seat, handsomely styled dash and door panels and dual front airbags with a passenger-side cutoff switch. On XLT and Edge models, a pair of form-fitting buckets and a large center console is optional.

The Ranger's pickup bed measures six feet in length on all but one model; the regular cab with the extended wheelbase has a seven-foot bed and three additional inches between the wheel wells. For most users, the six-foot bed will more than suffice as a place to carry cargo or to roll out two sleeping bags for overnight trips.

Power for the Ranger comes from a standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Though well suited for light chores, if you plan to tow or take your Ranger off-road, you will probably want to go with one of the two V6 engines. Optional on the XL and standard on the XLT and Edge is Ford's 3.0-liter V6 which has been revised this year to run smoother and provide even more power; the 3.0 is now rated at 154 horsepower. Optional on the XLT and Edge is the larger 4.0-liter V6. This engine has served the Ranger well over the years and has been a popular choice among consumers. Its potent 207 horsepower not only moves the Ranger with ease but also provides a heavy dose of torque—exactly what the doctor ordered for those who tow a boat or are serious off-road enthusiasts.

The Ranger's suspension is tuned to ride smoothly on paved surfaces yet is still capable of handling the most torturous off-road situations. The optional limited-slip rear differential on our test vehicle negated the use of the four-wheel drive during many of our off-road adventures; only when the terrain became steep or uneven did we opt to switch over. The Ranger's four-wheel-drive system works effortlessly and is engaged by a mere touch of a button (on Rangers equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, a manual shift lever is used to engage the transfer case.) This year, Ford has added the FX4 off-road package for those who are serious about their outdoor adventures. The package includes a beefed-up rear axle, the 4.0-liter V6, increased skid plate protection, heavy-duty springs with Bilstein shocks, forged aluminum wheels supporting huge 31 x 10.5 inch BF Goodrich tires, special interior trim and much more.

Ford has also gone to great lengths to allow Ranger owners to customize their trucks by offering options such as special grille treatments, flairside panels (sculpted side-sheet metal around the rear bed and wheels), an MP3 compatible stereo system, chrome wheels, side step rails and a sliding rear window.

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