Ford Ranger has been America's best-selling compact pickup for 17 years running. While the entry-level pickups from other manufacturers have moved up in size, roominess, features and refinement, the Ranger remains the only real compact pickup. Bottom line: It's getting long in the tooth but it's still a good truck. It's now sold largely on its low price, with cash rebates to sweeten the deal. Retail prices for basic work trucks start below $15,000. Recent upgrades have improved this truck. The suspension was overhauled for 2004 with improved bushings, springs, shocks and tires all designed to improve the ride quality, and the brakes were improved for 2003. Last year saw some interior and exterior revisions as well. The result is a solid compact pickup. A Ranger equipped with the German 4.0-liter overhead-cam V6 leaps off the line and runs quickly to speed. An optional five-speed automatic available complements each available engine with close ratios for better throttle response when accelerating, towing a trailer or driving off road. For 2005, some new packages are available. The Ranger line is diverse and offers a wide range of options. Edge, Tremor, and FX4 models are available, with upgraded audio and wheel packages. There are Regular Cab and SuperCab extended-cab bodies, but no crew cab.