Compact pickup truck; Built in USA
  • ext. cab
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $19,200*

1998 Ford Ranger

1998 Ford Ranger XLT

1998 Ford Ranger interior

1998 Ford Ranger 4 Dr. Supercab

2000 Ford Ranger XLT

  • Acceleration (4.0-liter V6)
  • Optional ABS (XLT, Splash)
  • Handling
  • Ride
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Interior room (regular cab)
  • Rear-seat comfort

Yes, Ranger lacks the V8 of a Dodge Dakota and the smooth V6 offered by Chevy. Nevertheless, the Ranger is refined, well-built, and priced sensibly. No wonder Ranger has been the top-selling compact truck. Because Mazda’s B-Series does not sell as well, however, prices might be a bit lower without the Ford badge.


Best-selling of the compact pickups, the Ford Ranger was reworked for 1998, again similar to Mazda’s B-Series. The next-generation Ranger got a larger regular cab, a revamped 4-wheel-drive system, and a bigger (2.5-liter) standard engine. Adding three inches to the regular cab allowed an extra inch of rearward seat travel, variable backrest adjustment, and more storage space behind the seat. In a coup for its class, two optional rear doors were added to extended-cab models. Hinged at the back, those doors did not open independently of the front doors. Dual airbags were depowered to deploy with less force, and a dashboard cutoff switch could disable the passenger-side bar. XL and uplevel XLT Rangers went on sale, with 2- or 4-wheel drive and a regular cab or extended cab (SuperCab). SuperCab models also had a pair of fold-down rear jump seats. In addition, a special Splash edition featured bright bodyside graphics, color-keyed grille, and other dress-up items. Rangers with 4-wheel drive now wore a different grille. Regular-cab trucks could have a 6- or 7-foot cargo box, while the Super Cab came only with the shorter (6-foot) bed. Bulged-fender flareside short-bed bodies were optional with either cab type. A 4-cylinder engine was standard in 2-wheel-drive Rangers, with a 3.0-liter V6 optional. That V6 was standard in 4×4 models, and a 4.0-liter V6 might be installed in any Ranger. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard. Either the 4-cylinder or the 3.0-liter V6 could have an optional 4-speed automatic, and the 4.0-liter V6 was available with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Though equipped with shift-on-the-fly capability, the 4WD system still was not intended for use on dry pavement. However, it was no longer necessary to stop and back up to unlock the front hubs after switching from 4WD to 2WD.

Yearly Updates

1999 Ranger Pickup
The flashy Splash pickup faded away this year. A color-keyed grille and other Splash dress-up items now became part of the Sport Appearance package.
2000 Ranger Pickup
A new two-wheel-drive Ranger joined the lineup, wearing the look of a 4×4. The new XL Trailhead option gave 2WD regular-cab short-bed models the raised suspension, 16-inch wheels, and exterior trim used by 4WD Rangers. The 4-door cab style now was available in base trim levels, not just as an XLT. SuperCab 4-door XLT Rangers retained their pair of fold-down rear jump seats, but the XL deleted them.
2001 Ranger
New 2WD and 4WD Edge models joined the Ranger lineup for 2001. The Edge had body-colored bumpers, 4WD ride height, and available fender flares. 2WD models relinquished rear-wheel-only antilock brakes for the same 4-wheel ABS as offered on 4x4s this year. Also new was an ohc 4.0-liter engine in place of the 4.0-liter ohv V6. The 4-cylinder was replaced midyear by a new design, and XLT 4x4s got a new Premium Off-Road Package.
2002 Ranger
New for ’02 was the XLT FX4 off-road model with 4WD, heavy-duty suspension, 31-inch tires, heftier skid plate, and tow hooks. Also new was an available MP3/CD audio system. Introduced midyear were Tremor SuperCabs with a high-powered cassette/CD system.
2003 Ranger
Base and 3.0-liter V6 gain 8 horsepower this year. XLT FX4 off-road model gains a Level II version with heavy-duty shock absorbers, Torsen limited-slip axle, and special wheels and tires. All models get thicker glass and added insulation.
2004 Ranger
Revisions for ’04 included a new grille, mildly revised interior styling, availability of a CD player that reads MP-3-formatted discs, and newly optional leather upholstery.
2005 Ranger
Ford’s compact pickup entered 2005 little-changed.
2006 Ranger Pickup
A mild facelift for the ’06 Ranger involved modest revisions to bumpers, grille, fenders, and lights.
2007 Ranger
Ranger carried over unchanged.
2008 Ranger
The 2008 Ford Ranger got slightly revised front styling but was otherwise unchanged from 2007.
2009 Ranger
Ranger lost its available 3.0-liter V6, leaving a 143-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder or a 207-hp 4.0-liter V6.
2010 Ranger
Thee 2010 Ford Ranger lineup shrank, but this compact pickup gained some new safety features, including traction control, an antiskid system, and side airbags.
2011 Ranger
The 2011 Ford Ranger is largely unchanged.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

A Ranger might have any of three engines: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, 3.0-liter V6, or 4.0-liter V6. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard. Two automatic transmissions were available: a 4-speed unit for 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 models, and a 5-speed automatic for Rangers with the larger (4.0-liter) V6 engine. The dohc I4 and ohc V6 engines were introduced in 2001. Base and 3.0-liter V6 engine gained 8 horsepower for 2003.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)2.5/152
Engine HP117-119
Engine Torque (lb-ft)146-149
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)2.3/138
Engine HP135-143
Engine Torque (lb-ft)153-154
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)3.0/182
Engine HP145-154
Engine Torque (lb-ft)178-190
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)4.0/245
Engine HP158-160
Engine Torque (lb-ft)223-225
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)4.0/245
Engine HP207
Engine Torque (lb-ft)238
Avail. Trans.EPA MPG (city/hwy)MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic

Road Test

Four-cylinder Rangers struggle to gain speed, especially with an automatic transmission. We recommend the 4.0-liter V6, which uses only slightly more fuel than the 3.0 V6 and costs only slightly more. Although the 4.0-liter is a bit coarse and noisy, it offers plenty of low-speed torque and should perform most tasks with ease. That engine also works well with Ford’s 5-speed automatic transmission and furnishes prompt passing power. None of these engines is quiet, though the sixes are slightly smoother than the four. Gas mileage is passable, too. We averaged 15.6 mpg in a long-term test of a 4WD SuperCab with the 4.0 and automatic.

Like its Mazda B-Series cousin, Ranger rides and handles admirably for a truck. Yes, it jiggles more on rough roads than most cars. Still, the suspension absorbs most bumps without jarring the occupants, and provides stable cornering with moderate body lean.

Slightly roomier than before, with more behind-the-seat storage space, Ranger’s regular-cab interior is still not spacious. The longer regular cab allows the seatback to be tilted farther back than before, but taller drivers may find the SuperCab a necessity for comfort. Some shorter drivers may declare the bottoms of the bucket seats to be too long, catching them behind the knees.

The 4-door SuperCab option is a big plus, but those rear-hinged back doors are narrow and cannot be opened unless the front door has been opened first. Even with a bench seat, three adults would be a tight squeeze up front. Entry/exit borders on awkward in the higher-riding 4x4s and 2WD Edge models. SuperCabs have a pair of child-sized rear seats that flip down from the sidewalls, but that area is more useful for cargo than people. Controls are positioned within easy reach, in a carlike interior, though the climate panel is recessed too much for quick adjustment. Radio controls are easier to use than in the past. Solid in build, Rangers use better quality interior materials than might be expected in a compact pickup.


Model Tested: 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0 reg. cab 2WD, auto

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 2
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 3


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 3
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
Cargo Room - 1


Value - 5

Total: 32


ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.)Length (in.)Width (in.)Height (in.)Weight (lbs)
Cargo Volume (cu/ft)Payload Capacity (cu/ft)Fuel Capacity (gal.)Seating Capacity
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.)Length (in.)Width (in.)Height (in.)Weight (lbs)
Cargo Volume (cu/ft)Payload Capacity (cu/ft)Fuel Capacity (gal.)Seating Capacity
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.)Length (in.)Width (in.)Height (in.)Weight (lbs)
Cargo Volume (cu/ft)Payload Capacity (cu/ft)Fuel Capacity (gal.)Seating Capacity
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Ranger ext. cab


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)


Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air-conditioner hose may rub against the radiator hose and one, or both, develop leaks. (1998)
Description: The rear brakes grab, especially after sitting and in wet weather, because the friction material absorbs moisture. (2002-08)
Description: The clutch may squeak due to a problem with the original clutch slave cylinder. (2004-08)
Engine misfire
Description: The truck may feel like it is thumping or jerking under acceleration due to a problem with the driveshaft requiring replacement. (1998-99)
Engine misfire
Description: Hesitation or surging when accelerating is caused by a faulty mass airflow sensor. (1998-99)
Heater core
Description: Installing a restrictor in the heater inlet hose may repair heater cores leaks. (1998-2002)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks from the front axle vent unless an improved cover kit was installed. (1998-05)
Audio system
Description: The in-tank fuel pump causes a whining or buzzing noise to come through the radio speakers. (1998-99)
Timing belt
Description: The timing chain on 4.0-liter V6 may make noise in hard acceleration. A repair kit is available. (1999-2000)
Vehicle noise
Description: A hammering noise occurs due to steam forming in the cooling system requiring a coolant-bypass retrofit kit. (1998-00)
Description: The battery tray may have burrs that cut into the battery causing it to leak and eventually fail. (1998)
Description: A thumping noise under Super Cab models due to sticking drive shaft splines require the need a special grease. (1998-05)
Description: Popping or clunking noises from the front end due to defective inner tie rod ends. (2007)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission flare when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear is due to shift solenoid malfunction. (1998-2001)
Accessory belt
Description: Squealing serpentine drive belt due to faulty water pump pulley on 4.6L V6 engine. (2001)

Recall History

1998 Ranger w/4.0-liter engine
Description: Flexible section of chassis-mounted fuel line on some trucks could contact exhaust manifold; might potentially result in damage to fuel line or, in some cases, cause a fuel leak.
1998 Ranger 4-wheel drive w/off-road option
Description: Tire and rim identification information is incorrect.
1998-03 Ranger w/speed control system
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may, under certain conditions, leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. This could result in an underhood fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.
1998-99 Ranger
Description: Cruise-control cable can interfere with servo pulley and not allow throttle to return to idle.
1999 Ranger w/3.0-liter engine
Description: O-ring seal in fuel-injection pulse damper to fuel-rail joint could be damaged, allowing fuel leakage.
2000 Ranger w/2.5-liter engine
Description: Engine-coolant circulation through heater circuit is prevented by plugged return tube at water pump.
2000-01 Ranger
Description: Hood striker could fracture causing the hood to fly open while the vehicle is being driven.
2001 Ranger
Description: Driver’s and/or front-passenger’s outboard seatbelt buckle may not fully latch. In the event of a crash, the restraint system may not provide adequate occupant protection.
2002 Ranger w/manual transmission & FX4 Package
Description: The rear-axle differential case could fracture, possibly resulting in wheel lock-up.
2004 Ranger
Description: Center rail section flange on frame may not have been formed properly; in side-impact crash, frame rail could puncture the fuel tank, resulting in leakage.
2006 Ranger
Description: Windshield wiper motor may not be greased enough, causing loss of wiper function. Dealer will inspect and grease the motor, if necessary.
2009 4X2
Description: Some front wheel spindles were improperly manufactured; a spindle may fracture during the normal useful life of the truck. If it does, the wheel may separate from the vehicle. Dealers will replace the front spindle if necessary free of charge.
2010 vehicles manufactured from June 8, 2009-February 2, 2010 equipped with manual transmission.
Description: It is possible for the parking brake cable to become disconnected from the right rear actuator during cold weather. If the right rear parking brake cable becomes disconnected, the pedal will have extended travel and may not fully apply the parking brake. A manual transmission vehicle parked in neutral without a fully applied parking brake may have unintended movement, which may cause a crash. Dealers will install a revised right rear parking brake actuator to prevent cable disconnection free of charge.
2010 Ranger trucks manufactured from October 15, 2009, through May19, 2010
Description: The engine fuel line in the area of the throttle body shield may not have a protective convolute (cover) properly installed. If the protective convolute on the fuel line is not assembled in the proper position, the edge of the shield may contact the fuel line. Over time this contact may chafe the fuel line, resulting in a fuel odor and a potential fuel leak. A sufficient fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire. Dealers will trim the throttle body shield away from the fuel line and inspect the fuel line for wear, and replace the line if necessary free of charge.
2011 Ranger trucks built from January 25, 2011, through April 25, 2011, at the Twin Cities assembly plant, and service parts distributed to dealers for certain 2004 through 2011 model year Ranger trucks
Description: The multi-function switch was shipped with a subcomponent (slider) that may experience deformation. A multi-function switch with a deformed slider may malfunction causing the turn signal, tail lights, hazard warning signal flashers and/or brake lights not to activate. Non-functioning lights could increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the switches free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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