2009 Ford Ranger Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Ford Ranger was new.
In order to appreciate the 2009 Ford Ranger's performance, you have to take it for what it is: a capable off-road and work truck. If you're looking for daily-driving comfort and refinement, you should check out other compact pickups.
- "As an everyday driver, though, the Ranger doesn't make much of a case for itself. But if you're among the relative few looking for either a stout, economical work truck or a nimble and capable off-roader for weekend adventures, the Ford Ranger certainly has its charms." -- Edmunds
- "If you need a compact pickup that is inexpensive to own and operate, the 2009 Ford Ranger is one of the best. Available in everything from base two-wheel drive to highly capable off-roader, the Ranger is one tough truck." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
Under the hood, the Ranger provides two engine choices: a 2.3-liter 143-horsepower I4, or a top-of-the-line 4.0-liter 207-horsepower V6.
Despite recommending the V6, most reviewers have more criticism than praise for the engines. Standard with each engine is five-speed manual overdrive transmission; a five-speed automatic with overdrive is optional.
- "Rangers with the 4.0 V6 have good power, especially at low speeds. This engine works nicely with the 5-speed automatic transmission." -- Consumer Guide
- "When equipped with the 4.0-liter V6, the 2009 Ford Ranger offers solid acceleration, but it feels underpowered with the base four-cylinder." -- Edmunds
- "Although not the most powerful in its class, the 4.0-liter engine provides the Ranger with brisk acceleration and a 6,000-pound tow rating when equipped with the 3.55:1 rear axle and automatic transmission."-- Kelley Blue Book
- "The five-speed has well-spaced ratios, a longish throw shifter that never misses, and an easily modulated light clutch." Motor Trend
Handling and Braking
Reviewers generally feel the Ranger rides adequately for a truck, though it's bumpy over ragged pavement and can't measure up to competitors when it comes to comfort and refinement.
- "The 2009 Ford Ranger's handling and road manners have seen improvement through a series of suspension changes that include stiffer bushings, springs and shocks. As a result, the Ranger's rear end does not bounce around as much as it used to and the steering response remains firm." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Rangers are quite capable off-road, especially when equipped with the FX4 package. Ride and handling characteristics on pavement are tolerable, but when the Ford is driven back to back with newer offerings from Dodge, GM, Nissan and Toyota, the Ranger's age and lack of refinement show." -- Edmunds
- "Decent for trucks. Ranger and B-Series jiggle on rough roads but absorb big bumps pretty well. Ranger FX4 versions have a surprisingly civilized ride for "off-road" models. As usual with pickups, bumpy corners can cause rear-end hop without a substantial load in the bed. Otherwise, Ranger and B-Series handle competently, with good steering feel and directional stability" -- Consumer Guide
- "There's a fair amount of truck bounce with Ranger, those off-road shocks not helping much on our crumbling city streets." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- In a comparison test, the Ranger "outstopped the other pickups with no drama" Motor Trend