Kentwood Ford's Brief History of the Ford Ranger

Our north Edmonton dealership has geared up for the Ford Ranger's return since its first announcement at last year's Detroit Auto Show. The excitement is building and people are clamouring for a compact pickup truck to take out on adventures in the open Alberta plains. Continue on to learn more from your north Edmonton Ford dealer!

The First Generation Ranger (1983-1992)

First Generation Ford Ranger in blue with a truckbed cover

Ford's compact truck began production in the early 80s as an effort to compete in the small pickup segment dominated by Japanese automakers. Thus, the Ranger was born, replacing the Mazda-built Ford Courier (at least in North America). Initially, it was only available with a two-wheel drive option, but the Ranger came with four different engine options available. At launch, there was a base-level 2.0L and 2.3L 4-cylinder engines, as well as a 2.8L V6. A 2.2L Diesel version was also available, which was also built by Mazda, but soon replaced by a Mitsubishi-built 2.3L turbocharged version. Eventually, Ford completely dropped diesel engines from the Ranger in 1986.

It wasn't until 1989 that the Ranger underwent its first major design change, with upgrades to the frame and revisions both inside and out. Inside, the cabin received a new dashboard and stylings, while the Ranger's exterior got flush headlights, a new grille, hood, and front fenders to give it a refreshing look. For its last big update, the first generation Ranger received a new base level 2.3L 4-cylinder engine with 100 horsepower and 133 lbs-ft of torque with the option of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

The Second Generation Ranger (1993-2011)

Izmir, Turkey - November 12, 2017: Modern pick-up driving on the road across the forest. These vehicles are used to get in extremely hard areas for example in the mountains.

Before being discontinued seven years ago, the Ford Ranger's second generation lasted almost 20 years. In 1993, the Ranger underwent a major redesign with a fresh exterior that incorporates a more boxy look from its predecessor. Additionally, the Ranger was also available in a "Splash" version that included a flareside bed, cargo box, chrome wheels, a lower suspension, and special decals on the sides and tailgate. For its power options, the 2.3L 4-cylinder engine carries over, while two new engines became available: a 3.0L and a 4.0L V6.

Later in 1998, the Ranger received more mechanical and performance-based updates, including a longer wheelbase, upgraded frame, revised suspension, and a few more exterior restylings. On the same year, Ford also released an EV version of the Ranger, with a more aerodynamic design, no exhaust pipe, and "electric" stylings around the truck. Otherwise, the EV Ranger came with a 60 horsepower electric motor that gave it about 105 km, giving it... quite the Range.

From then on, the Ranger didn't receive many changes and the lack thereof led to its eventual discontinuation years later--but not for too long! Today, the Ford Ranger is back and better than ever, receiving upgrades that's been well-overdue, such as a 2.3L EcoBoost engine, SYNC 3, a Terrain Management System, and more. Click here to learn more about the Ranger's triumphant return to the Built Ford Tough lineup, here at Kentwood Ford--your north Edmonton Ford dealer!

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