Like its much larger stablemate, the F-150, the 2008 Ford Ranger pickup spans a broad price and equipment range and can be equipped to suit a wide range of uses. There are three different cab configurations (regular cab, and two- or four-door SuperCab), two different bed lengths (six- or seven-foot), three engines with rear- or four-wheel drive, and a bewildering array of four different trims, many of which are available in multiple combinations.
Three different engines are offered on the Ranger. A 143-horsepower, 2.3L four-cylinder engine is standard on XL and XLT two-door SuperCab 4x2 and regular cab 4x2 models. The four-cylinder provides the highest fuel economy of any pickup truck on the market, at an EPA-rated 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway. On other models, a V6 engine is standard--either a 148-horsepower 3.0L or a 207-horsepower 4.0L. All three engines have a five-speed manual transmission standard and five-speed automatic optional, and both V6 engines are optional for a modest amount on lower-trim models.
The base XL model comes at an extremely attractive price but is also very modestly equipped, with manual side mirrors, wind-up windows, and black flooring. The XLT is the next step up in price and adds a more accommodating interior and improved exterior appearance, as well as sport bucket seats, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD player, and a 60/40-split bench seat. The Sport further improves the appearance, including fog lamps, mud flaps, and on some models, upgraded wheels.
At the top of the line is the FX4 Off-Road model, which brings a limited-slip rear axle, tow hooks, heavy-duty shocks, skid plates, larger wheels and all-terrain tires, and a number of luxuries inside including keyless entry, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and cruise control. True to its name, the FX4 Off-Road only comes with four-wheel drive.
Safety features include a tire pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes, and Ford's Personal Safety System standard on all models. The Ranger also has a reputation for reliability and repeat customers; it has won R.L. Polk & Co.'s Automotive Loyalty Awards five times, according to Ford.
Ford discontinued the STX and FX4 Level II series on the 2008 Ranger in order to create a more simplified series lineup. The FX4 Off-Road is now equipped with Rancho HD twin tube gas shocks, skid plates, an increased towing capacity, and the same upgraded seats that were found on the 2007 FX4 Level II.
Outside, an air deflector was added to the front bumper of all models for improved aerodynamics, the fog lamp design became rounder, and wheel availability changed across the line. The TREMOR package is not offered for 2008.
The color choices have been slightly altered to give the Ranger a new look.