Ford Ranger, real world fuel economy

Messages
2,229
Location
West Michigan
am thinking about trading my silverado for a late model ranger (2006-2008). thinking about the 4 cylinder regular cab version, 2 wheel drive with the 5 speed a/t. what was the first year for the 5 speed automatic? are they reliable? i occasionally tow about 2,000 lbs on a single axle utility trailer. i've noticed most if not all 4 cylinder/automatic ranger's come with 4.10 rear gears. what can i reasonably expect for fuel economy and will a ranger so configured tow 2,000 lbs.? TIA fellas!
 
Messages
9,918
Location
Birmingham, AL
The 5-speed auto became standard with all engines in 2001. They are very reliable trucks. They routinely go over 200K miles with little more than basic maintenance. With the 2.3 Duratec, automatic, and 4.10s, I would expect roughly 23 MPG city and 28 MPG highway if you don't have a lead foot. With the manual transmission and 3.73s these trucks can easily get 30 MPG+ on the highway. It depends on your driving style and where you live, but you won't find a modern truck that gets better fuel economy than a 2.3 Duratec Ranger. 2,000 lbs. shouldn't be a problem. All 2001+ Rangers come with trailer light wiring standard. The maximum towing capacity for the rear bumper is 2000 lbs., but class III hitches for Rangers are only $100-$150 new.
 
Messages
1,251
Location
Austin, TX
I was fixin' to reply but Simple_gifts remembers our conversation. :) My 06 came with a flat 4 way connector and a step bumper ball mount. The ball location is a hair too high but should be fine for occasional use.
 
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6,917
Location
NH
A good friend of mine had a newer( 06 or 07 can't recall )4cyl 2WD RC Ranger and saw at best low 20 MPG figures highway. He now has a V6 4WD Ranger( 08 )and sees the same MPG.
 
Messages
9,918
Location
Birmingham, AL
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
A good friend of mine had a newer( 06 or 07 can't recall )4cyl 2WD RC Ranger and saw at best low 20 MPG figures highway. He now has a V6 4WD Ranger( 08 )and sees the same MPG.
Either something was wrong with the I4 truck or he had a serious lead foot.
 
Messages
5,466
Location
Buckley, Wa.
I've got a 2002 Ranger with the 4 cylinder and manual tranny. Very reliable vehicle and performs as I expected (already owned a Ranger previously). I've gotten an average MPG of 26 with mine. This was achieved while driving in town and highway so I would imagine nearly 30 would be easy if all highway. As for towing the 2,000 pounds? Well, it will do it but I wouldn't expect it to do it very fast or up long steep hills all that well. I towed a single trailer with a large 3 person watercraft before. The bed also had some heavy items in it so I would say my total load was over 2k pounds. It did just fine for me but in all honesty I wouldn't want to do it for more than a few hundred miles at a time. Very slow and straining up steep mountain passes (I live out west where a pass is a common thing). Overall the Ranger is a great truck, especially in the 4 cylinder version because the price is low, the vehicle is VERY reliable, and the MPG's are great. In my opinion it's the best economy truck on the market.
 
Messages
10,851
Location
Phoenix
I have a 2000 Ranger 4 cyl/5 speed. It's the old 2.5L and with 143k on it and other than brakes/tires/oil changes/tune-up I have only replaced the sway bar links, alternator and a speed sensor. It really has been a reliable truck. It doesn't get the best treatment being the only truck and spare vehicle, but it does everything it is asked. That said, it is slow, the ride is lousy and the handling sucks. But it is the cheap, stripped down, work truck version - and for that it is perfect. Oh and it gets 25 MPG in mixed driving.
 

JTK

Messages
13,153
Location
Buffalo, NY
 Originally Posted By: dishdude
I have a 2000 Ranger 4 cyl/5 speed. It's the old 2.5L and with 143k on it.... ...That said, it is slow, the ride is lousy and the handling sucks. But it is the cheap, stripped down, work truck version - and for that it is perfect. Oh and it gets 25 MPG in mixed driving.
Yep, that's about what we experienced. My dad had a 1998 2.5L, 5spd, 2wd shortie. Purchased it used around 2003-04 for $3K. No air, no nothin'. A farm tractor tough, reliable little truck. So unbelievably doggy, the first time I drove it, I kept checking to see if the P-brake was released. Once you get up to speed it's what you'd expect. I couldn't imagine using it for a long hywy run, or loaded up in the bed, but for the use my dad in his 70's put it through, it barely scratched maybe the low 20mpg range. It road like a lawn tractor as well. It's all subjective, but it's the last vehicle I'd buy if your main goal is economy. Joel
 
Messages
1,967
Location
Sudbury, ON, Canada
 Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
A good friend of mine had a newer( 06 or 07 can't recall )4cyl 2WD RC Ranger and saw at best low 20 MPG figures highway. He now has a V6 4WD Ranger( 08 )and sees the same MPG.
Either something was wrong with the I4 truck or he had a serious lead foot.
I hear the same thing in regards to my Yaris, except that I hypermile...
 
Messages
9,918
Location
Birmingham, AL
 Originally Posted By: JTK
 Originally Posted By: dishdude
I have a 2000 Ranger 4 cyl/5 speed. It's the old 2.5L and with 143k on it.... ...That said, it is slow, the ride is lousy and the handling sucks. But it is the cheap, stripped down, work truck version - and for that it is perfect. Oh and it gets 25 MPG in mixed driving.
Yep, that's about what we experienced. My dad had a 1998 2.5L, 5spd, 2wd shortie. Purchased it used around 2003-04 for $3K. No air, no nothin'. A farm tractor tough, reliable little truck. So unbelievably doggy, the first time I drove it, I kept checking to see if the P-brake was released. Once you get up to speed it's what you'd expect. I couldn't imagine using it for a long hywy run, or loaded up in the bed, but for the use my dad in his 70's put it through, it barely scratched maybe the low 20mpg range. It road like a lawn tractor as well. It's all subjective, but it's the last vehicle I'd buy if your main goal is economy. Joel
I had a 2001 2.5 manual. It had more HP than older 2.5s, but not by much (119 HP). I never had a problem with power. On the highway it would get around 28 MPG if I kept the speed around 70-75 MPH. I took it on several trips from NC to AL and back, and many more trips between Charlotte and Chapel Hill, NC. I had this truck through my teenage years, so it hit the 97 MPH limiter frequently (still had some go left too) and it was never shifted below 3K RPM. The worst MPG I ever got was 17, all city and off road driving. The best MPG I got was just over 29. The 2.3 Duratec was a big step up, but the 2.5 was really no worse than any other small truck I4 at the time. They were not meant for speed, just economy and reliability. If you try to shift at 2500 RPM, it will seem doggy. The 2.5 doesn't redline until about 6250-6500 RPM, so you won't do any harm by shifting above 3K RPM.
 
Messages
5,466
Location
Buckley, Wa.
Yep....my previous Ranger had the weak 2.5L in it as well. But hey....it ran and did what I asked of it. The newer 4...the 2.3 is a bit better.
 
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