Despite dwindling sales in a dwindling segment, Ford's Ranger refuses to pack up. For 2010, the compact pickup looks unchanged on the outside, but beneath the skin it gains some new electronic gubbins to help make it more competitive.
In the main, the trucklet soldiers on into its next model year with a larger complement of standard safety equipment. Traction and stability control (AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control in Blue Oval-speak) will be built into every 2010 Ranger, along with new side airbags designed to protect the head and torso.
The rest of the package continues essentially unaltered, with Ford continuing to wave the Ranger's banner as America's most fuel-efficient pickup (the base 2.3-liter four-cylinder nets 21 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway).
Rumors have persisted that the Ranger might be euthanized ahead of its Twin Cities production plant's scheduled closing in 2011 – and indeed, just yesterday word came down that the truck's assembly lines will be idled for an additional two weeks due to slow sales. But the added investment in safety equipment for 2010 would seem to indicate that the Ranger is likely to soldier on until the plant's scheduled closing date. Click on the jump for Ford's official press release.