2001 Ford Ranger Review
Fresh styling, more power fire up Ford's popular compact pickup.
The 2001 Ranger is distinguished from last year by its revamped front styling, a bulging hood and aggressive fender flares.
Stylists at Ford borrowed design elements from the larger F-150 trucks and applied them to 2001 Ranger models to strengthen all visual cues and streamline the package. As a result, the Ranger wears smooth new sheetmetal forms with a definitive new face in front and wheel blisters on flanks.
Ranger's strong face sparkles from new multi-beam reflector lamps flanking a large honeycomb grille underlined by a thick bumper with round fog lamps and central air intake port.
Sides show rolled shoulders and flat panels interrupted by etched horizontal character lines and the ripples of flares articulating front and rear wheelwells. The Styleside design remains flat in continuous line stretching from tip to tail, but the Flareside version carves a recessed step into each side panel immediately behind the cab and the notch accentuates a rounded rear fender. With the SuperCab extension, a tall and narrow side window mounts in the panel behind each door's window. Indentations in the bed support partitions to segment cargo.
The new Edge trim designation focuses on a monochromatic treatment with body-colored bumpers and hood raised in the power dome bump that hints at a powerhouse beneath the lid. Two-wheel-drive Edge editions reflect the elevated stance of a four-wheel-drive truck because the jacked-up suspension of the 4x4 Ranger is aboard. Ranger Edge adds protective bed rails and four tie-down hooks, and an optional U-shaped extension device in three-bar tubular stainless steel flips out from side pivot points to rest on the tailgate folded flat as a bed-expanding brace for longer loads of cargo. Also, an optional new hard tonneau lid unfolds from front/rear sections divided by a central vertical partition, with a lock added on the forward bin for security.
The Ranger's cab has been revised for 2001 and more features have been added. The most noteworthy improvement -- a new quality of quietness -- cannot be seen because the additional baffles and insulation that surround the passenger compartment are concealed in the structure. Previous versions of Ranger consistently set the standard among compact trucks for spacious, comfortable accommodations and convenient features. 2001 models build on that foundation with new seat designs clad in new fabrics, a revised instrument panel with tachometer supplied to all trims, and a revamped center pod for climate and audio systems with large easy-to-use rotary dials.
The Regular Cab carries a bench seat that can squeeze three aboard. The SuperCab offers an interior storage bay behind the front seat, with a 6-foot (71.8 inches) bed. Two small side-facing jump seats may be added to the bay; each folds down from the back wall. Optional left and right rear-hinged doors for the SuperCab create easy access to rear quarters.
Ranger's new Edge treatment, designed for active lifestyles, adds a textured rubber floor cover for wash-and-wear convenience. The bench splits 60/40, with side bolsters for outboard positions and a center armrest that folds down and contains a pop-top storage bin. Seats in our SuperCab Edge had cloth center sections surrounded by satin vinyl on the bolsters, and they felt luxurious. Deluxe interior components also come with the Edge, including air conditioning and an audio kit with in-dash CD deck, but the SuperCab Edge used for our drive stocked optional power controls for windows, locks and mirrors, plus a six-disc CD switcher.
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