The Ford Ranger has a history longer than the night and even longer than Her Majesty’s. Except for the Ford, Ranger II was the first international Ranger we got in Europe so let’s throw down the mic and jump to the bar.
I said Ford Ranger II is the first Ranger but that’s not really true because Ford had the Mazda brand under its own tyranny. And that meant that the Mazda BT-50 was the perfect victim for Ford’s first pickup truck to be sold in Europe because Americans don’t know how to build a pickup truck that small, just like there are no guns or sodas in the US at 0.5 liters. Instead, they knew how to bring the chassis and toughness of American pickup trucks, to which they linked Mazda engines and that’s how the Ford Ranger II came out.
If the next generation Ranger is more for tarmac than off-road, the first Ranger is an off-road beast but incredibly weak on the tarmac. Whether we’re talking about cornering or going more than 10 km/h, the Ford Ranger II and Mazda BT-50 are among the worst cars you can choose. But if you’re hauling wood, pigs, bears, entire cabins, the Channel Tunnel, or delivering Harvey Weinstein’s dinner, then these two cars are among the best you can choose.
We continue on the American trend and throw the Ford Ranger II under the train, even though it would probably survive such an impact. In fact, it certainly wouldn’t survive, because these two pickups haven’t heard of safety testing or safety systems or the word safety at all. So far, we have a proper American truck with non-American engines.
Ford Ranger II Engines
- 2.5 TD of 143 horsepower – Nowadays it’s common practice to put car engines in commercial cars, see the case of the Amarok or Doblo or any van essentially. Here we have an engine brought in from Mazda’s commercial vehicle division, and it shows. The engine has no specific issues and spins forever. Not necessarily fast, but to infinity.
- 3.0 TD of 156 horsepower – Because if you want faster, then you get the 3-liter version. Although I don’t necessarily understand why you need more power, in a truck made to carry a week’s supply to a cabin, in any weather, at any GPS coordinates, however unlikely they may be. But it’s good to know it exists and that it can.
Ford Ranger II General Issues
- The engines may be capable and fit for duty, but the transmissions unfortunately are not. Whether we’re talking manual or automatic transmissions, there will be issues and they will be short-lived.
- As I said earlier, terms like “comfort” and “safety” have not reached the Americans.
- Because they’re so good, they’re also overpriced on the used market. Seriously, I looked at the prices and some people are asking prices that make you wonder if they are on a THC-based treatment.
- You really need to check the truck super carefully, from the 4×4 to the chassis and everything underneath, because nobody buys something like that to drive it on the riviera.
Ford Ranger II Verdict
You give a penny, but you know you don’t have it anymore. A legendary car in terms of reliability, but it also comes at a commensurate used cost. Still, it was a successful experiment and profitable enough to convince the Americans to insert another coin in and come up with the Ford Ranger III, a car that was very popular with us and a completely different animal from this generation.
What engines do you recommend? Anyway, on the market, you can only find 2.5 TD with 143 hp, but if you somehow get lucky and find one, the 3.0 TD is much better for this farm tractor.