2002 Ranger New Car Test Drive
Redesigned for 2001, the Ranger sports revamped front styling, a bulging hood and aggressive fender flares. The designers borrowed elements from the larger F-150 trucks and used them to strengthen the Ranger's visual cues and streamline the package.
The Styleside design sweeps a continuous line from tip to tail, but the Flareside version carves a recessed step into each side panel immediately behind the cab. The notch accentuates a rounded rear fender. Indentations in the bed support partitions to segment cargo.
The Edge focuses on a monochromatic treatment, with a power-dome hood bump that hints at a powerhouse beneath. Edge also features protective bed rails and four tie-down hooks. An optional bed extender flips out and rests on the tailgate, like a U-shaped cage of tubular stainless steel. It won't keep much dirt in, but it will sure stop your kayak from sliding out. An optional ($895) hard tonneau lid unfolds in separate front and rear sections, divided by a central vertical partition, with a lock added on the forward bin for security.
The Ranger's cab was revised for 2001. The most noteworthy improvement is a newfound quietness. Previous Rangers consistently set the standard among compact trucks for spacious, comfortable accommodations and convenient features. The latest models build on that foundation with new seat designs clad in new fabrics, a revised instrument panel with tachometer supplied at all trim levels, 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 inch) bed behind that. Two small side-facing jump seats may be added to the cab's rear bay; each folds down from the back wall. Two optional rear-hinged doors allow easy access to the SuperCab's rear quarters.
The Edge 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 six-CD swticher. Our SuperCab Edge test vehicle also featured the optional Power Equipment Group ($405), with electric assists for windows, locks and mirrors, plus remote keyless entry.