2003 Ford Ranger

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Change year or car

$13,645

starting MSRP

2003 Ford Ranger

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2003 Ford Ranger trim comparison will help you decide.

2003 Ford Ranger review: Our expert's take

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The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Ford’s financial woes have delayed progress on an all-new Ranger pickup, despite the upcoming threat of all-new Chevrolet and GMC small trucks. So what can the company do to continue to keep Ranger sales strong?

Smart marketing. Such as the test truck, the Ranger Tremor Plus. It’s essentially the same old Ranger, but add P235/70R-16 tires and alloy wheels, white-faced gauges and a 485-watt Pioneer Audiophile stereo system that can leave you bleeding from the brain, and you have something Ford dealers can sell as new.

In fact, Ford seems to think these special sound systems have a life beyond the Ranger. You can get a “Mach 1000” sound system in the Mustang, and you can get an Audiophile package on the Focus.

The Tremor comes only with a 154-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine, the medium-sized powerplant for Rangers, sized between the 143-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder, and the 207-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6, and only with the five-speed automatic transmission.

The transmission is a very good one and helps maximize the engine’s available power. The Ranger’s four-cylinder is reasonably strong for its size, but the 3.0-liter V-6 is the standard engine for the extended cab model. The 4.0-liter is certainly the most powerful of the trio, but the 3.0-liter is fine unless you do much towing, or if you want four-wheel-drive. The Tremor comes only in rear-drive.

The Tremor also deletes the little flip-down rear jump seats to make room for some of the sound equipment. The Ranger is not available with four full doors – in the United States, anyway – and the extended cab uses a half-door design that opens front to rear. If you want four full doors and a back seat, Ford salespeople will point you to the Explorer Sport Trac.

Inside, the Tremor is reasonably roomy and surprisingly comfortable. Though the basic architecture of the Ranger hasn’t changed for years, engineers have done a good job in refining the suspension to offer nimble handling and a much smoother ride than Rangers had a few years ago.

The Ranger’s base model is the XL, and it’s for fleet sales. Upgrade to the Edge or the XLT and the truck gets nicer, and by the time you get to the Tremor, you have a pretty complete package that includes air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and power accessories.

As you upgrade, the prices rise, of course. The base Ranger lists for less than $14,000, but our Tremor started at $21,210, and with a few options and transportation, the bottom line was $21,945. Savvy marketing will continue to move Rangers, but when GM’s new small trucks arrive for 2004, it might take more than that.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.3
  • Performance 4.2
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

I love this truck

I bought a 2003 xlt Supercab 2dr 4wd 4.0L manual a few weeks back and I love it. I installed LED dome lights and rear side seats and so far all the work I've done has been very easy. I came into the truck knowing nothing about drum brakes, but got both sides fixed up very easily. the truck has great power for the size and I don't see myself wishing I had more. the one complaint I do have is that the speed is capped electronically at 90 mph, and from what I've found an ECU tune is needed to get rid of it. Great truck and I definitely don't see this being the last ranger I buy

2.7

I don’t really know. It’s still in the shop.

I needed a backup vehicle. I wanted a small pickup. I hope it works out for me. I like what I’ve seen so far and test drove it.

5.0

Great trucks , this is my 5th Ranger.

I'm in the painting business for 40 years and I only drive Ford Rangers. These trucks are strong workhorses and last a long time. I get tired of them before they get tired of me.

See all 63 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ford Blue Advantage Gold
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Gold Certified: Ford models up to 6 years old with less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12-Month/12,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Blue Certified: 90-Day/4,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Powertrain
7-Year/100,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Powertrain Limited Warranty Blue Certified: Available Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Dealer certification required
Certified 172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 2003 Ford Ranger articles