Are Old Ford Rangers Good for Towing?

As Ford gears up to release the latest generation of Ranger mid-size truck here in the States, plenty of shoppers are interested in used Ranger models. Before getting discontinued in 2011, Ford sold its small pickup starting in 1983. And that means there are plenty of models to pick from when exploring the Ranger. This even includes the current generation that went on sale in 2019. So, just how much can Ford’s mid-size truck handle in terms of towing?

How much can an old Ford Ranger tow?

In terms of towing capacity, it does vary how much an older Ranger can handle. In 1983, this mid-size truck offered two different tow packages. These included the ability to tow 1,200 pounds and 1,600 lbs. While in today’s world, that might not seem like a lot, at the time, it was a respectable number. Especially for a pickup of its size. 

An old Ford Ranger drives on the road.
Ford Ranger | IFCAR

By 2000, Ford was able to increase how much the Ranger could tow. By this time, the Ford Ranger was equipped to handle up to 7,500 lbs in trailered weight. Although that number did depend on what configuration you opted to purchase. With the ability to tow over 7,000 lbs, Rangers from this era feel much more like a modern mid-size pickup. And, it means if you want to buy a third-gen Ranger, you can get something that is practical. 

Is the fourth-gen Ranger good for towing?

If you want a Ford Ranger that is not ten years old, you can purchase a used variant from the fourth generation. This pickup is rated to tow up to 7,500 lbs, plus you get more convenience and likely better reliability than Ranger models of the past. Although it is worth noting that this mid-size truck does not offer a V6 engine. 

Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat
Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat | Ford

For 2024, Ford is set to finally offer the latest generation of Ranger pickup in the United States. And that might mean more fourth-gen models hit the used market. A quick search on AutoTemptest shows that 2019 Rangers with around 60k miles cost around $30,000. And that is not as cheap as something like a Ranger from the third generation. 

Should you buy an old Ford Ranger?

If you are interested in a mid-size truck, but don’t want to buy a new pickup, a used Ford Ranger could be a good option. This vehicle has long been an icon on American roads both for its utility and compact sizing. According to MotorTrend, the Ranger can be a good truck for towing. Just don’t expect it to handle as much as something like a full-size truck can. 

A group of 2011 Ford Ranger trucks sit on a dealership lot.
2011 Ford Ranger | David Paul Morris via Getty Images

When it comes to which used Ford Ranger is best, starting in 2019, it seems like this mid-size pickup truck does fairly well. Although buying such a new truck will not be right for everyone. Generally speaking, a third-gen Ranger with the V6 engine will also be a reliable buy. So long as you conduct the proper research before making your purchase. Plus, you can still get ample towing capacity.

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