18 Best & Worst Ford Ranger Years (With Facts & Stats)

Initially entering the market as a compact pickup truck, the now-midsize Ford Ranger is one of the most recognizable names in the business thanks to its beefy turbo engine, plethora of driver assistance features and stout towing capacity. 

JD Power has provided the Ford Ranger with above-average ratings. In 2022, this vehicle received a consumer score of 83 out of 100, with great individual ratings for “resale” and “quality and reliability,” obtaining 95 and 85 (out of 100), respectively.

To learn more about the best and worst Ford Ranger models, continue reading!

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Ford Ranger Are:

The best Ford Ranger model years are 2022, 2021 2020, 2009, 2010, 2007, and 1998. The worst model years for the Ranger are 2019, 2011, 2008, 2000 – 2006, and 1999. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Ford Ranger?

Ford has produced a lot of great Rangers in the model’s rich history.

Listed below are those that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best…

2022 Ford Ranger

The 2022 Ford Ranger is a great candidate if you are looking for all the bells and whistles; rear-wheel drive is standard however AWD is also available.

Aside from multiple trim levels and cab configurations, the vehicle’s updated interior and entertainment features make for a very capable mid-size pickup truck.

The 2022 Ranger equips a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2022 Ford Ranger secured a 4.2 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 83 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“Awesome truck overall. Very impressed with the mid size truck. I’ve always had full size. The Lariat package is nice along with 4×4.”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“Great power, decent MPG, love it in”

2021 Ford Ranger

The 2021 Ford Ranger is one of the greatest examples of a reliable truck powered by a turbocharged engine.

Along with modern safety features, you can expect this model year to provide you with modern infotainment technology features as well.

2021 saw the edition of the Black appearance package – including black wheels and a black Ford badge and a range of four new colors.

The 2021 Ford Ranger secured a 4.6 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 83 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“Ranger XL with extended cab (not crew cab) and 6 ft. bed.  Beautiful metallic gray. Used it to move furniture day after getting it.  Fits lots!  Plenty of space for tools behind front seats…”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“This truck has had not one issue and gets 20 MPG as long as you stay out of the turbo. Styling and fun level to drive is for sure a 5 star!”

2020 Ford Ranger

The 2020 Ford Ranger is definitely an acceptable choice if you are looking for a used truck that still has its warranty terms and conditions intact, as well as relatively low mileage counts in the second hand market.

It sports all of the features of the previous iterations while also being one of the better-reviewed model years in recent history. 

The 2020 Ford Ranger secured a 4.1 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 84 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“So far, I’m very impressed with my ranger xlt fx4. I’m convinced the bad “professional” reviews are from some sort of brand bias. The turbo lag was a little concerning for the first 1000 miles but once the break-in programming went away I couldn’t be happier with how this truck runs…”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“Love this truck!! Handles great, fun to drive. Twin turbos gives it a kick when you need it. Unfortunately after owning it a couple months wife and I are separating can’t afford it. Gotta let it go.”

2009 and 2010 Ford Ranger

The 2009 and 2010 Ford Ranger models both share the distinction of being great in terms of smooth power delivery. Other than this, these two model years offer great handling and plenty of comfort. 

The 2009 Ford Ranger secured a 4.4 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 80 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0. The 2010 Ford Ranger, on the other hand, secured a 4.2 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 81 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“If you can find a good used Ford Ranger of this vintage, buy it. The only non-maintenance item that ever gave me trouble was the fuel pump. It quit at around 38K…”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“I like this truck it gets me around town. Not bad on gas. I do side jobs for people. It is a dependable truck.”

2007 Ford Ranger

The 2007 Ford Ranger may be up there in terms of vehicle years, but if you are looking for a decent all-arounder with a slightly better inclination towards off-road activities, then this should be a good pick.

The 2007 Ford Ranger secured a 4.4 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Over at JD Power, it was granted a score of 79 out of 100. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.4 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“Solid reliable transportation, bought used 9k miles, 6 years ago, now 55K, routine maintenance ONLY cost to date, mileage averages 26 miles per gallon, not as good as wife’s Prius but for a pickup great…”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“One of the best rigs ever owned, no problems, lots of power, fair mpg. Never had any problems, would buy again in a heartbeat.”

1998 Ford Ranger

If you are looking for a vintage Ranger, then look no further. Although this is the oldest on our list, this is undoubtedly one of the best. Most owners have praised this particular model year for its durability and reliability. 

The 2022 Ford Ranger secured a 4.3 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.3 out of 5.0.

Edmunds review:

“I bought this truck Brand New in 1998 with 3 miles on the truck. I have wrecked the truck 12 times, flipped it twice and it has over 600k miles on it and still runs strong. I have repaired the truck each time it has been wrecked. When Ford says Built TOUGH they mean it…”

Kelley Blue Book review:

“We have had two rangers in our household. Both have been very reliable. When something did wearout, break or go wrong it was simple to work on.”

Consumer Scores For Best Ford Ranger Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Ford Ranger model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds’ Consumer RatingKelley Blue Book’s Consumer RatingJD Power’s Consumer Rating
2022 Ford Ranger4.2 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2021 Ford Ranger4.6 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2020 Ford Ranger4.1 / 5.04.4 / 5.084 / 100
2010 Ford Ranger4.2 / 5.04.4 / 5.081 / 100
2009 Ford Ranger4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.080 / 100
2007 Ford Ranger4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.079 / 100
1998 Ford Ranger4.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.0NA

Related: Ford Ranger Beeping? (7 Causes & Solutions)

What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Ranger?

The Ford Ranger has also been on the receiving end of several complaints over the years. The models listed below are the versions of the vehicle that you may want to steer clear of.

2019 Ford Ranger

The 2019 Ford Ranger may not seem to have a lot of problems according to statistics, but there are a few significant issues that make this model one of the more notorious model years in the past few years.

CarProblemZoo.com cites the electrical system as the leading culprit behind this model year’s complaints.

The 2019 Ranger had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 104 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2019 Ford Ranger are the following:

  • Paint chipping when new
  • Rear camera stopped working
  • Infotainment screen freezes
  • Fuel tank pressure sensor; engine light

2011 Ford Ranger

According to CarProblemZoo.com, airbag defects were the most frequent issues of this particular model year, this was due to the notorious Takata airbag recall – a potentially life-threatening defect that could cause the airbags to explode and fire off metal shrapnel.

The 2011 Ranger had a total of 26 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 239 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2011 Ford Ranger are the following:

  • Airbag Recall
  • Ford taking an unreasonable amount of time to address the recall
  • Timing chain tensioner failure
  • Intermittent gear issues when cold

2008 Ford Ranger

Much like the 2011 counterpart, the 2008 Ford Ranger was also plagued with safety-related problems.

Airbag problems were the most reported issues on CarProblemZoo.com, most of these reports are related to the Takata airbag recall.

The 2008 Ranger had a total of 48 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 332 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2008 Ford Ranger are the following:

  • Airbag Recall
  • Ford taking an unreasonable amount of time to address the recall
  • Air conditioning won’t shut off
  • Windows shudder
  • No heat

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 Ford Ranger

This group of Ford Ranger models have been lumped together due to a lot of similar reports and complaints.

Unfortunately, Ford did not seem to be able to address the most frequent problems, such as transmission failure, frame rotting, rough shifting, and loss of acceleration. 

This group of Ranger models had a combined total of 367 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 2,976 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of this group of Ford Ranger models are the following:

  • Transmission failure
  • O/D light flashes
  • Shifting problems

1999 Ford Ranger

The 1999 Ford Ranger, as far as CarProblemZoo.com is concerned, is the most problematic individual model year, with a total tally of 809 problems, wth tire problems in the lead by a wide margin, followed by airbag failure and structural defects. 

The 1999 Ranger had a total of 95 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 809 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 1999 Ford Ranger are the following:

  • Erratic temp gauge caused by cracked cylinder heads
  • Tire blowouts
  • Frame rust
  • Wipers activate by themselves
  • Shifting problems

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Ford Ranger model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. Listed below are complaints and problems listed for each model year: 

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
2022 Ford Ranger27
2021 Ford Ranger224
2020 Ford Ranger235
2019 Ford Ranger16104
2018 Ford RangerNANA
2017 Ford RangerNA1
2016 Ford Ranger51
2015 Ford Ranger3NA
2014 Ford Ranger31
2013 Ford Ranger9NA
2012 Ford Ranger61
2011 Ford Ranger26239
2010 Ford Ranger10160
2009 Ford Ranger12173
2008 Ford Ranger48332
2007 Ford Ranger43277
2006 Ford Ranger29300
2005 Ford Ranger25321
2004 Ford Ranger43422
2003 Ford Ranger62266
2002 Ford Ranger59380
2001 Ford Ranger71573
2000 Ford Ranger78714
1999 Ford Ranger95809
1998 Ford Ranger45602
1997 Ford Ranger31425
1996 Ford Ranger8416

What Problems Do Ford Rangers Have?

Based on the information we have gathered online, here are the most common issues that you may encounter with a Ford Ranger:

  • Rough shifting
  • Overdrive light flashing on and off
  • Engine is misfiring
  • Erratic shifting

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Ford Ranger?

The Ford Ranger is one of the better options in the midsize pickup truck segment, ranking second overall with a score of 7.7 out of 10, alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

However, there are also a lot of great alternatives:

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Ridgeline8.3$37,640 – $45,070City: 18 /Highway: 24
Chevrolet Colorado7.7$25,435 – $44,200City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 18 – 30
Ford Ranger7.7$25,980 – 39,730City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 26
GMC Canyon7.7$26,800 – $45,000City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 30
Toyota Tacoma7.3$26,700 – $48,840City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 20 – 24
Ford MaverickNA$19,995 – $25,490City: 23 /Highway: 30
Hyundai Santa CruzNA$23,990 – $39,720City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 27

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: 25 Best & Worst Ford F-150 Years (With Facts & Stats)

References

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/ford/ranger

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Ranger/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/ford/ranger/

https://www.edmunds.com/ford/ranger/

https://www.kbb.com/ford/ranger/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/ford/ranger