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Ford Ranger Models

The different generations of Ford Rangers epitomise what a compact or mid-size pickup should look like and how to perform as globally marketed light-duty vehicles.

This information and data highlights the history of the Ford Ranger with a chronological timeline of variants from 1983 through to the present day.

Ranger Timeline: 1983 to the Present Day

To a large extent, Ford manufactures and markets their Ranger pickup trucks for North and South America.

But, when Ford Motor Company first introduced the Ranger in 1983, it became a replacement for the Mazda-sourced Ford Courier.

Since then, the model line has rivalled both the Chevrolet S-10 as well its successor, the Chevrolet Colorado.

Put another way, the Ford Ranger was the best-selling compact truck in the United States between 1987 and 2004.

Even so, there were significant changes for the range from 2012 to 2018. They decided to retire the Ranger model line in North America and focus on the development of the F-Series light-duty pickup trucks instead.

International Ranger Models

Ford embarked on a joint development with the Mazda Motor Corporation in 1998. They started sharing the same assembly line and used many of the Mazda B Series parts until 2011.

The mid-size Ford Ranger (T6) range first appeared in 2011. It bridged a gap between the four-door Maverick and the F-150 trucks in North America.

Further global consolidation occurred when they started selling a single model range that eventually replaced the 1998–2012 models in North and South America along with the Mazda-derived Ranger sold in Asia-Pacific regions and Europe.

Heritage and History of Ford Rangers

1998: First Generation

Production of the first generation (international) started in 1998 and continued through to 2006. Most of it took place at the joint venture automobile assembly plant at Rayong, in Thailand. It kept the Ford Courier nameplate in Australia and New Zealand.

The three engine options included:

  • 2.6-litre petrol engine (producing 92 kW (125 PS; 123 hp) at 4,600 rpm and 206 Nm of torque.
  • 2.5-litre diesel engine (producing 60 kW (82 PS; 80 hp).
  • 2.5-litre turbo-diesel (offering 84 kW (114 PS; 113 hp) at 3,500 rpm and 280 Nm.

In 2006, it received two (2) stars of Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating. Even so, dual front airbags were not used in the actual safety test and they remained "optional" for purchasers.

2002 Facelift Models

The styling changed towards the end of 2002 to mimic the design of the F-Series trucks in the US. Several new features resulted in improvements to the interior trim. The facelift also included changes to the grille, headlights, and the front bumper.

But wait - there's more:

A new fixed gear ratio replaced the outdated variable ratio, and power steering became standard through the range. Ford also released the 2.5-litre common rail direct fuel injection turbo-diesel engine in 2005.

Having a dual-mass flywheel means the responses are sharper and it also helps to reduce vibrations. They used a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) to cut turbo lag and to extend the torque band.

Nowadays, common-rail architecture has become an integral part of Ford Ranger engines. The net result is significant improvements made in noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels.

2006: Second Generation

Australia uses the codenames PJ and PK for the updated 2006 Ranger models. They display some distinct styling from a former Ford Australia design chief.

This was also the time when Australia and New Zealand both dropped the Courier nameplate and adopted "Ranger" instead.

Remodelling the 2009 Ranger

The next major phase of refurbishments took place in 2009. The front and rear of the PK Ranger received some improved styling.

It also received a new three-bar grille, a redesign for the bonnet, and a reworked front bumper. The clear tail lamp arrived and there were design changes for the exterior mirrors and tailgate cladding.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak became the flagship with its sports trim and uprated interior. The seats and door panels took on a new design and the range came with an increased option for body colours.

2011: Third Generation

T6 P375 was the codename used for the third generation Ford Ranger pick-up when it became a globally-marketed model in 2011.

The T6 is a body-on-frame automobile platform that Ford used to replace their 1998-2012 model and the Mazda-based PJ/PK variant - sold mostly in Asia-Pacific.

So, the first unveiling of the "T6 Ranger" took place at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, 2010.

They started production around six months later and they started selling it in North America from January in 2019.

2022: Fourth Generation

The P375 ended up being the predecessor for the Ford Ranger P703. So, it became the fourth-generation international model and the fifth-generation Ranger for the North American market.

With a few revisions, they continued using the same platform designed for midsize trucks and SUVs (T6) and the vehicle made its way to the dealerships from November in 2021.

2024: Fifth Generation

In North America, the fifth generation Ford Ranger made its debut in May 2023 - two years after its global release. Nonetheless, this is the first time that the Ranger lineup will feature a Raptor version.

Pro Tip: Check out our pickup trucks comparison guide for a list of the key features and technical specifications available in the new models reaching the showroom forecourts this year.

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