Used 2001 Ford Ranger Regular Cab Review

Edmunds expert review

Despite its substantial age, the 2001 Ford Ranger is still one of the wiser choices in the compact truck market.

What's new for 2001

Most notable for the 2001 Ford Ranger is the availability of the Explorer's 207-horsepower, 4.0-liter SOHC V6. In other engine news, the flexible-fuel feature on the 3.0-liter V6 has been dropped and there will also be a new base 2.3-liter four-cylinder coming soon after the model-year introduction. ABS is now standard on all models. A new Edge trim level has a monochromatic appearance, which includes color-keyed bumpers and wheel lip moldings. Exterior changes are numerous. All models get a new grille, bumpers, and headlamps, while the XLT 4x4 and Edge get a new hood and wheel lip moldings. Four colors are new as well as an optional in-dash, six-disc CD changer.

Vehicle overview

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 a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. A 3.0-liter V6 (no longer flexible fuel) is standard on 4WD models, and the Explorer's SOHC 4.0-liter V6 is now available packing 207 hp at 5250 rpm and 238 lb-ft at 3000 rpm. That's a 47 hp jump over the previous pushrod 4.0-liter motor.

With the larger V6, acceleration is now even more sprightly, especially from a standstill or when merging and passing. As before, the big engine comes only with the five-speed automatic transmission. Rotary-knob controlled four-wheel drive is a unique pulse-vacuum system.

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 standard rear doors on SuperCab models 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. ABS is standard on all models, and the passenger airbag can be shut off using a dash-mounted switch.

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 and Toyota Tacoma models. The Dakota is slightly larger and offers V8 power, but we still recommend a look at the updated 2001 Ranger.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.