2008 Ford Ranger Regular Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Ranger Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 143 hp @ 5250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Ranger

  • The 2008 Ford Ranger is affordable and competent off-road when properly equipped. But due to its aged design, it falls short in many other areas, making just about any other small or midsize pickup a better choice.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Solid performance from 4.0-liter V6, very capable off-road with the FX4 trim.

  • Cons

    Cramped interior, choppy ride, subpar handling and braking, dated interior design, lacks modern-day safety and convenience features.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Ford Ranger soldiers into 2008 with only minor changes. A new, more aerodynamic front bumper design improves fuel economy slightly, while trim levels have been reduced.

Full 2008 Ford Ranger Review

What's New for 2008

The Ford Ranger soldiers into 2008 with only minor changes. A new, more aerodynamic front bumper design improves fuel economy slightly, while trim levels have been reduced.


The Ford Ranger went past its expiration date around the same time "Walker, Texas Ranger" went off the air. Like the Chuck Norris cheese fest of martial arts meets modern West meets cop drama, the Ford Ranger enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1990s when it was still fairly fresh -- especially compared to GM's compact trucks. But unlike Walker, the Ford didn't have the good sense to bow out at the dawn of this decade. And also unlike Walker, the truck Ranger doesn't have the ability to drop-kick its competition, lagging behind in most areas, from driving dynamics to available passenger space.

Although we think most buyers would be better off with one of the newer pickups in the compact truck segment, the 2008 Ford Ranger is not a bad way to go if you're looking for a dedicated off-roader for weekend hi-jinks. In off-highway settings, the Ranger's shorter wheelbase and smaller overall size become advantages. As a work truck, the available 7-foot bed is certainly an asset.

As an everyday driver, though, the Ranger lags behind significantly. Today's compact trucks offer more powerful engines and larger crew cab body styles, the latter more comfortably accommodating rear seat passengers. The Ranger's inward facing jump seats are a quaint reminder of days gone by, but are terrible as a seating option. Safety features and interior design are also deficient.

If you're not a hard-core off-roader and don't routinely carry 7-foot-long 2-by-4s, there's little reason to consider the 2008 Ford Ranger. Trucks like the Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are easier and more comfortable to drive on pavement, and all offer roomier cabs with more conveniences and safety features. In total, we'd much rather spend time watching Chuck's Ranger on TV than driving Ford's outdated pickup.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck available in regular-cab and extended-cab (called SuperCab) body styles. Both are available in XL, XLT and Sport trim levels, while the SuperCab can be had in FX4 Off-Road trim. A 6-foot bed is standard on all cab styles and trims, but a 7-foot bed is optional on the regular-cab XL and XLT.

The XL is sparsely equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, a 60/40 front bench seat (vinyl with regular cab, cloth with SuperCab) and an AM/FM stereo. The XLT adds chrome exterior trim, air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. These items are optional on the XL. The Sport is similarly equipped but adds unique styling elements, a class III trailer hitch and different wheels. The FX4 Off-Road adds two-tone paint, 16-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, heavy-duty shocks, a limited-slip rear axle, skid plates, full power accessories, keyless entry, bucket seats with center console, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and cruise control.

Options on the XLT and Sport levels include bucket seats, leather upholstery, rear-folding jump seats (SuperCab only), full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, tilt steering wheel and upgraded stereos. Satellite radio is optional on all Rangers.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Ranger lineup includes three engines. The base engine is a 2.3-liter inline-4 with 143 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a 3.0-liter V6 rated for 148 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. At the top of the engine chart is a 4.0-liter overhead-cam V6 rated for 207 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a standard five-speed manual and an optional five-speed automatic, and most models offer a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. Equipped with the Class III towing package, Rangers with the 4.0-liter V6 can pull a maximum of 6,000 pounds.


The 2008 Ford Ranger comes standard with four-wheel antilock brakes. In government crash testing, the Ranger earned four out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. SuperCabs received four stars for side-impact protection, while regular cabs earned a full five stars. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal offset crash testing, the Ranger earned an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest on a scale of four).

Interior Design and Special Features

The Ranger's interior was last overhauled during the Clinton administration -- and the first term at that. At least the Ranger's ergonomics are quite straightforward, with easy-to-use controls. Front seat comfort is acceptable unless you're of tall stature. SuperCabs can be equipped with an extra pair of access doors and small, inward-facing rear jump seats. As you'd expect, these seats are suitable only for children on short trips (or for people you don't like). For work purposes, the optional 7-foot bed is the longest available in the compact market.

Driving Impressions

When equipped with the 4.0-liter V6, the 2008 Ford Ranger offers solid acceleration, but it feels underpowered with either the 3.0-liter V6 or the base four-cylinder. Rangers are quite capable off-road, especially when equipped with the FX4 package. Ride and handling characteristics on pavement are tolerable, but when driven back to back with newer offerings from Dodge, GM, Nissan and Toyota, the Ranger's age shows.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Who needs luxory

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger SPORT 2dr Regular Cab SB (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

I love all these people that complain about how the ranger is simple and outdated. Technology means nothing when your vehicle is in the shop because the state of the art traction control system has a computer malfunction. This truck is always reliable because of its simplicity which is reflected in the low price. You can easily spend more money for a Toyota Tacoma but at the end of the day the ranger is more reliable and will get you from a to b for less money. They are also very easy to do self repairs on which also saves money. If you want luxury buy a lexus they cost just about the same as one of those loaded cushy f150s

Best value/most honest pick-up out

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD Styleside SB (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

I purposely looked for and purchased a base XL 4WD regular cab pick-up. Mine came from a N.C. dealer who used E-bay as the primary sales tool. My expectations were rather low because of the heavily discounted price and the low equipment level, but I was happily surprised. For such an old design, the basic utility and honesty of this truck really stands out. I'm completely satisfied.

The only compact left, and

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab Styleside SB (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

This was my first new vehicle, my first four cylinder, and my first stick shift. I made the right choice. I bought the truck because of what it was, basic, inexpensive, and frugal. The turn signal stalk split at the mold seam at 12,000 miles, but that's not a big deal. It's 2wd but it will make it through deep mud, just don't stop. I've got a K&N filer and a Flowmaster exhaust installed which added very usable low/mid range power. I'm not a Ford guy, I grew up in a GM household. This little truck grows on you, my dad even likes it. Not bad for an old design is it?

Ford ranger 2008 reg cab

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab Styleside SB (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

Style is thick, brawny, efficient and descendant of the bull dog. Basic model does the job on hauling furniture, plants, groceries. wood, sod, bricks. No space is wasted Recommend that you get the electrical windows option; I installed after market windows and remote door locks and wished I had purchased the factory options with Ford. You should also protect your investment and get bedliner with Ford logo. The white paint is beautiful- like porcelein and reflects the 100 degree southern heat. For the low price, a very reliable and satisfactory long term investment. The MPG is really comparable to other 6 cylinder trucks as well as luxury cars! So you are in the ballpark.

Downsizing worked out!

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab Styleside SB (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

I sold my 2003 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4 X 4 with Hemi & ordered my Ranger XLT 4 Banger with auto & all options. In short, I love this truck. Average 24 MPG, fun to drive and think Ford should put time & effort into the Ranger's future! I am a happy Ford Customer!

Fine little truck

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab Styleside SB (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this truck as a second vehicle primarily for haulings stuff w/o ruining my other car. I bought a really stripped down version of it (air and auto only) about 3 mos. ago, and have been really happy with it. The ride is stiff and the transmission is somewhat unrefined, but still this truck was a very economical solution to my needs. While the 4-cyl engine won't win any races, the low end torque enables the engine to come through when I'm really loaded up. The 4-cyl. is noisy, the truck is loose in the rear on wet pavement :), the air conditioning works well, but I have inadvertanly knocked the truck into neutral when reaching for the radio controls (bad layout). I would recommend it.

Talk About The 2008 Ranger

2008 Ford Ranger Discussions See all Started By

Just picked up a new 2008 ranger w/ 60 miles on it. It was between a new ranger and an 04 tacoma. The sticker on the ranger was 16.5k and on the tacoma 12.9k. The tacoma had 34k miles on it, and wa...

Can anyone explain to me whythe official EPA mpg on the Ford Ranger 3.0 and 4.0 liter engines has varied so much in the past seven years? I am interested in purchasing a used Ranger in this range of y...

I have F Ranger 2008, 3LDiesel. I live in Mozambique, so no dealer around here. A staff member filled my Ranger with Petrol. Luckily I realised and did not start the motor. I drained the tank, flushed...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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