2005 Ranger New Car Test Drive
The Ranger's exterior appearance has changed little since 2001, though minor revisions for 2004 included a raised power dome hood and subtle changes to the front end.
We find the door handles a bit hard to hang onto; they snapped away from our fingers when we were in a hurry. An optional bed extender ($195) flips out and rests on the tailgate, a U-shaped cage of tubular stainless steel. It won't keep dirt in, but it will sure stop your kayak from sliding out.
Full-width Styleside beds sweep a continuous line from tip to tail, while sporty Flaresides carve 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 models feature a monochromatic treatment. Edge also features protective bed rails and four tie-down hooks. The running boards/stump guards look tacked on.
Ford Ranger offers spacious, comfortable accommodations and convenient features. The seats were upgraded for 2004 with sculpted bolsters and higher seatbacks for improved comfort.
Regular Cab models get a cloth bench seat that can squeeze three aboard. The seat splits 60/40 for access to the space behind it. Also available are optional cloth sport bucket seats and leather-trimmed bucket seats. A 7-foot bed is available on XLT Regular Cab Styleside models.
SuperCabs offer a larger 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 SuperCab's rear bay; each folds down from the back wall. Two optional rear-hinged doors (standard on Edge 4x4s) allow easy access to the SuperCab's rear quarters.
A tachometer is supplied at all trim levels. The center pod for climate and audio systems uses large, easy-to-use rotary dials. In addition to the 510-watt system, Ranger offers a 290-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD/MP3 system with nine speakers and an integrated power subwoofer.
Edge adds a textured rubber floor cover for wash-and-wear convenience. A 60/40 split bench is standard, but bucket seats with black twill bolters are optional. The fabric in the Edge seemed tough.