The Ford Ranger falls far short of modern pickup-truck standards. It's ungainly and stiff-riding; has a rough, noisy and inefficient engine; plus a cramped and uncomfortable cabin. The interior is crudely finished too. Compact dimensions and a usefully sized bed are the Ranger's only pluses.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. ESC and side air bags standard from 2010.
Road Test

The Ford Ranger falls far short of modern pickup-truck standards. It's ungainly and stiff-riding; has a rough, noisy and inefficient engine; plus a cramped and uncomfortable cabin. The interior is crudely finished too. Compact dimensions and a usefully sized bed are the Ranger's only pluses.

Seating
3 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.3-liter 4 (143 hp)
  • 4-liter V6 (207 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Ford Ranger owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"AC stopped working last year. Will get repaired soon."

Anonymous, MB (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"The temperature control on the air distribution system does not operate and the air conditioning works only on MAX setting. The cooling deck of the air distribution ducting only carries hot air unless the MAX setting is selected."

Charles T., NV (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The A/C is permanently on. Even if you switch to OFF, it is still on. Husband will not fix."

Anonymous, NY (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

"Will have repaired when ac is done"

Anonymous, MB (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"temperature control switch stopped working. could not adjust temp"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Heater system

"Had no heat. Mixer door motor screwed"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The dash controls going from heater to ac failed at about 35000 miles but warranty had expired. $300 to replace failed switch"

David B., NC (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"one of the control motors failed"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"No heat"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"cooling and heating supply not controlled by damper. the damper is not working."

Charles T., NV (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"Heater motor quit. Expensive $900 labor."

C R., TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"heater always on"

John D., CA (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The heater valve that lets in the hot water stopped working. Repaired it at a local garage."

John F., CA (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"I have the standard climate system in my Ranger. The A/C works and supplies cold air only under the Max Air setting on the control. I also cannot control the heat side of the climate control system. It is not a problem in winter in Michigan but during the spring, summer, fall seasons I cannot shut the heat off or dial it to a lower setting or temp. The heat is on full blast on standard A/C setting, heat, or vent. I believe there is internal damper stuck or inoperative. I purchased the truck in Jan. 2016 but did not realize the problem existed until April when the weather began to warm. The dealer I purchased the vehicle from would do nothing for me. That dealership is off my list for future purchases."

Laurel R., MI (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Did not heat in first 15-30 minutes. Once it begin to heat, system blew in barely warm air. Some heat settings did not deliver heat."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"heater puts out hot air in all control positions except for max AC."

Anonymous, VA (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Heat level control sticks, more in winter than summer."

Anonymous, (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Heater system doesn't work. A/C works all the time I suspect the control switch may have broke with a previous owner. I haven't had it checked mostly due to the short distance I go on most trips."

Anonymous, FL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"After maintenance on car, a refrigerant leak developed. Cooling was not available until the leak was repaired and cooling system recharged."

Anonymous, TN (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The molding on the sides curled up and detached from the side"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Last year the hood just faded. I have had continued paint pitting and surface rust on front end along with rear bumper including running boards"

Ken K., AB (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The paint is peeling in various spots one the body"

E S., ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Rust

"A spot of rust started at the center of leading edge of the roof, right above the windshield rubber trim. The rust did not originate from under the windshield trim, nor the windshield itself. That area of the roof had been covered by 3M paint prote"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"very little rust have a friend in the body business andhe detaiils every year."

Joe P., WI (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"Both rear wheel wells are rusting out from the enclosed area to the outside. paint is bubbling out around the areas."

Anonymous, IA (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"rust issues seem to be a growing concern, with paint peeling on the rocker panels and around the area where the radiator is located"

Gary H., NL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Rust above the rear wheels on both sides"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Ranger was completely immobilized by software failures. It took several weeks to fix this problem."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The security system and electrical failed multiple times, locking down the vehicle and rendering the vehicle impossible to drive. I had it towed 4 separate times to the dealer, where it sat for several weeks as they tried to repair it. Vehicle was dead and sat at the dealer for about 10 weeks in total."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Headlights

"Electrical system enabling lights to be on day and night failed."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Horn

"The horn honks on its own when the weather is warm out never in winter but honks all the time in summer sometimes so often we have to unhook horn"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Interior lights

"No dash lights. Had to replace the switch that controls brightness of the dash/instrument lights and on/off the interior light"

Michael R., TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"Engine light kept coming on sporatically"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"window washer pump ceased working"

Charles T., NV (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Left doors squeak. Can't find source"

Anonymous, HI (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"driving at highway speeds creates wind noise in both doors where the windows meet the rubber mouldings in the door"

Gary H., NL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"the wind noise is from both doors ,and it appears to me that the weatherstripping is at fault, also the noise from the engine is very loud in the cab"

Gary H., NL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"air leaks around doors at highway speeds"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"when travelling at highway speeds there is a whistling noise which comes from the top of the drivers door"

Anonymous, NL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"while driving at highway speeds the noise of the wind in the drivers window or door sounds like the window is not fully up, or the door is is not closed properly, but after checking these issues, they are."

Gary H., NL (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Grinding sound and breaking intermittent as truck us comint to stop. Dealership says problem is with ABS system but cannot do anything because ABS working light does not come on nor the the problem showing up on computer diagnostic."

Pat H., MI (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Normal brake wear ar 90000 miles. Complete brake job preform"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"According to recent service at dealer, I was informed that front brake pads and rotors would need replacement at next service at only 47000 miles. I am very easy on brakes. As a former Ford parts & service director, I would think Ford is now using Motorcraft pads & rotors instead of premium Ford items"

David B., NC (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Replaced most likely due to wear and age"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Ford Ranger None)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"I ran into a rock ledge"

Anonymous, AK (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Bushings

"Failure fr. Stabiles rods"

Anonymous, ME (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

"I ran into a rock ledge."

Anonymous, AK (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"worn out seized on spindle"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"This was a recall that has been rectified"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Recall for airbags"

James R., MB (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"received recall on faulty airbag metal pieces. No service time available."

Pat H., MI (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"In January 2017, I received a recall notice on the passenger side air bag for total replacement. To date, the Ford Motor Company has failed to replace the air bag that will explode and may cause fatal injuries."

Charles T., NV (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Tranny slow to engage, clunk and slipping"

Ken K., AB (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"replaced trans.3 times ,was in shop 4 weeks,reason....poor rebuild job"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"In 2019 the transmission had been shifting funny and slipping for a couple years. Finally it didn't want to even move forward anymore. I had the transmission replaced with a rebuilt transmission that has a 100k mile guarantee. The vehicle runs fine now. No engine problems or other serious issues."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Was constantly slipping and occasionally would get stuck in a gear"

Anonymous, (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate handle brook, repairs $60"

Thomas M., FL (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

"The latches are made of plastic, which deteriorated and broke after very little use. Replacement parts, which are made of the same plastic, quickly deteriorate and break once again"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Windows

"The windows freeze shut regularly in the winter. They rarely work at all January and February. I need to open my door to access any drive-thru service."

Anonymous, IA (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"Thermostat failed. Technician charged $140 for NOT diagnosing the problem. Second inspection revealed faulty thermostat. Tech recommended replacing thermostat and housing (because the housing breaks???). Cost over $500. Total cost over $640 for a repair I used to do for less than $10 myself"

Peter O., SK (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Water pump

"Water pump cracked. Thee belt shredded & unraveled. Truck was disabled, it was repaired. The same problem reoccurred several times over 3 months & several repairs. Hasn't happened again in several year."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"The four wheel drive jumps out while under load going up hill"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Car would not advance when in gear"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Ranger None)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"CD ejection error"

Anonymous, NH (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"When the security system malfunctioned, the Display Screen also went blank."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 4.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"mass air flow sensor failure - sudden onset, expensive, part and labor approx $500"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"Transmission pan leak. Serramonte Ford wanted $1,600 to repair. Independent garage repaired it for $500."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Ranger None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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