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Despite its substantial age, the 2000 Ford Ranger is still one of the wiser choices in the compact truck market.
Four-door entry, five-speed automatic and optional flexible fuel/electric powertrains, thoughtful interior.
Room in extended-cab area isn't enough for adults, questionable front-end styling.
Available Ranger Models
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For 2000, the 2WD can be had with a "Trailhead" off-road style suspension package complete with larger tires and wheels, giving it the tough look of its 4WD cousin. All 2000 Ford Ranger models have new wheel designs, and the XLT 4WD Off-Road Group receives a stainless-steel front-suspension skid plate.
Whether it's image or utility that attracts you to a compact truck, Ford stands ready to seduce you into its strong-selling Ranger. The standard engine on 2WD models is Ford's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A 3.0-liter flexible-fuel V6 is standard on 4WD models, and a 4.0-liter V6 is available on all models. With the larger V6, acceleration is impressively brisk, especially from a standstill or when merging and passing. This engine is available with a five-speed automatic transmission. Its upshifts are crisp and barely noticed, with just a slight jolt under hard throttle, and downshifts deliver only slightly more harshness. Push-button four-wheel drive, if installed, is a snap to use.
Well-controlled overall, with good steering feedback, Rangers handle easily, corner capably, maneuver neatly, and stay reasonably stable on curves. Occupants aren't likely to complain about the ride, either, though it can grow bouncy around town. Gas mileage isn't the greatest with the big engine and automatic. The four-door SuperCab -- available in 2WD and 4WD -- makes it easy to access the storage compartment from either side of the truck, a big assist when loading cargo and gear. The optional rear doors hinge off the corner pillars of the cab and swing out 90 degrees from the doorsill. There are no B-pillars to obstruct loading.
Completing the Ford Ranger pickup line are regular cab, short- and long-wheelbase 2WD and 4WD models. The Ranger is equipped with dual airbags and side-impact protection beams. The rear doors for 2WD and 4WD SuperCab models also have side-door intrusion beams for extra safety protection. Four-wheel ABS is optional. The optional suspension package for 2000 2WD Rangers is called the XL Stance package. It includes the 3.0-liter flexible-fuel V6 engine, and Ford hopes to attract Ranger buyers who want that 4WD look, but don't need the off-road capabilities.
The 3.0-liter flexible-fuel V6 can burn 100 percent unleaded gasoline, E-85 (ethanol) or any combination of the two, meaning owners can fuel up on E-85 whenever it's available. When E-85 is unavailable, regular unleaded gasoline can be used with no detriment to performance. Ford's Ranger continues to be available as an Electric Vehicle (EV). Qualifying as a Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV), Ranger EV is based on the regular cab, 112-inch wheelbase model.
Ford has had the best-selling small trucks in the country for years. Fun to drive, sharp looking and well built, the Ranger delivers a solid compact-pickup experience. Its most serious competition comes from the Dodge Dakota, which is slightly larger and offers V8 power.
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