America's best-selling compact pickup truck continues to
be offered in a wide variety of models, with tantalizing
options attending each one. Built Ford tough like all trucks
from the manufacturer, the compact Ranger is nice, rugged
The 2004 Ford Ranger has a new look that reshapes its front
end for a more prominent appearance. That, plus improved
ride features and new equipment, highlight the changes for
Rangers come in regular-cab and extended SuperCab body
styles. SuperCabs are available with back-hinged rear doors.
Regular cabs use a 6 or 7-ft straightside cargo bed; SuperCabs
get a 6-ft version.
The 2004 Ford Ranger is offered in seven trims: XL, Edge/Edge
Plus, Tremor/Tremor Plus, XLT and XLT FX4. XLT and XLT FX4
models are covered in a separate review.
Regular cab Ranger models have a front bench seat and can
sit up to three. With the extended cab, a rear seat compliments
the rear doors, pushing the seating up to five.
The XL model is on the lowest end of the price range for
a reason. Though it will still handle all the driving, it
doesn't have too many interior features. A floor console,
cupholders, an AM/FM radio, a digital clock and black vinyl
floor covering top the list.
A new item for 2004 is a Pioneer Stereo System. It includes
an AM/FM CD/MP3 player that delivers 290 peak watts of power
through nine speakers and an integrated power subwoofer.
The front end of the 2004 Ford Ranger features a standard
raised power dome hood and a new nostril grille. The grille
is offered with a horizontal look or a honeycomb design.
Across the lower half of the Ranger lineup there are three
engine choices. The base model is a 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder
engine with 143 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque.
The next engine is a 3.0-liter V6. It doles out 154 horsepower
and 180 lb-ft of torque. Finally, there's a 4.0-liter V6
with 207 horsepower and 238 lb-ft of torque.
All three engines are available with a five-speed automatic
transmission or a heavy-duty, five-speed manual transmission.
2WD and 4WD configurations are both offered as well.
Safety and Security
Antilock brakes are standard. In addition, all 2004 Rangers
have second-generation airbags and safety belts with outboard
pretensioners, side intrusion door beams and a theft-deterrent