Is Buying a Used Ford Ranger a Good Idea?

If you’re looking for a full-size pickup truck, then the Ford F-150 is a great way to go, but if you need something smaller, then the Ford Ranger is a great choice. Of course, if you can’t afford the all-new 2020 Ford Ranger then you’ll likely be turning toward the used market. And while it’s natural to want to scour the classifieds for a Toyota Tacoma, since it’s known for its reliability, you’ll quickly find out that the Tacoma market is really pricey. So a used Ranger could be a better option. But is it really a good idea to buy a used Ford Ranger?

Used Rangers are fairly inexpensive

The last generation of the Ford Ranger spanned from 1998 to 2011 and although it went on a hiatus during the time that tech-savvy features were making their way into cars, the newest iteration of the Ford Ranger that debuted last year makes up for the absence. But since we’re talking about used Rangers, the good news is that you can pick one up for a fair price nowadays.

According to Carfax, it should be easy to find a Ranger below the $10,000 mark depending on which year you’re looking for. And a quick check on Cargurus shows that it is true, in fact, some 2003 models are even selling for $3,000.

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2006 Ford Ranger
2006 Ford Ranger | Ford

There are many bed and cab configurations to choose from

If you’re looking for a used Ford Ranger, then you’ll have a multitude of bed and cab configurations to choose from. The standard configuration for the third-generation Ranger (98-11) is a two-door regular cab with a 6-foot cargo box, however, a regular cab with a longer wheelbase and a 7-foot cargo box is also available. If you need even more cargo and people hauling room, then you can find yourself a SuperCab Ranger, which has an even longer bed and an extended-cab body style with four doors. Two-door SuperCab Rangers are a possibility as well.

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2006 Ford Ranger
2006 Ford Ranger | Ford

The Ford Ranger has great towing power

While the sound of an “old Ford Ranger” makes it seem like it wouldn’t have any pulling power, the truth of the matter is that the some of the models in the third generation year range came with 4.0-liter V6 engines that produced 207 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque and could tow up to 6,000 pounds. For reference, most larger SUVs, like any of the ones from Honda, can only tow up to 5,000 pounds.

If you can’t find one of the 4.0L V6 Rangers, then you might be able to find one with a 3.0L V6 engine, which puts out 148 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 2,600 pounds.

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2006 Ford Ranger
2006 Ford Ranger | Ford

There is an abundance of Ford Ranger parts

And lastly, if you do end up buying an older Ford Ranger, then you will be glad to know that there are plenty of parts on the used market in case you need to repair anything. According to Carfax, the third-generation Ranger “was the top-selling truck from 1998 through 2005” and nearly 350,000 units were sold in 1999 alone. So it’s safe to say that repairing an old Ford Ranger shouldn’t be too expensive.

Considering the amount of used Ford Rangers currently in the market, the ample bed and engine configurations, and the plentiful amount of replacement parts, we would say that buying a used Ford Ranger could be a very logical choice if you’re looking for an affordable mid-size truck.