"No frills were originally installed on this truck - no A/C, no power windows/doors/seats and no cruise control. The seats are built lower than they should be but overall the truck is very comfortable. New tranny & clutch @ 285,000 miles. I *average* 25mpg & can get up to 30mpg highway. Very few rust spots despite 15 years living near salt air."
Cons: "Driving in snow. Passenger room in back of cab."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Great little truck. Bought it with 237k 2 years ago and is still running great. Just normal maintenance ( clutch @ 251k, brakes, and oil changes). Great gas mileage (20-25mpg). Not the greatest to drive in snow. Its really light in the rear end but you just have to use common sense driving in the winter. Extended cab is nice. I'll never have another truck without one. Sucks to be the third or fourth passenger though. Tight spot back there."
"Bought used about 6 years ago with 60K miles on it It now has over 214,000 miles on it. 4.0 V6 very strong but I have to really massage it to get over 20mpg. I change oil and filter every 5000 miles and usually do not
have to add between oil changes. AT has slipped between the 2nd & 3rd gear shift ever since I've had the truck. I've tried a little
tighter band adjustments in addition to additives after each 30k mile oil change to no avail. Once the shift has been made it holds so I've just learned to live with it. Mechanically very tough & reliable and the body shows very little rust even with all the salt the city, county and state use. Finally had to replace ball joints just recently. Had problems with power lock switches, door lock sensors, and htr/AC fan
switch. I feel this was a supplier problem for Ford. The blend air door broke on the htr/AC and would have cost over $400 dollars to replace it because I would have had to buy the complete airbox form Ford , Instead I installed a mechanical water valve in the heater water hose ($10) Carrier bearing going out for 3rd time but don't know why. Hardly ever drive thru water except in town but only 4-6 inches deep. Except for the electrical problems mentioned earlier, these units are by far one of the toughest vehicles I've ever seen and I feel an outstanding value; and I consider myself a GM lover."
"SO glad I bought the extended cab. It makes it so much more comfortable and useful. 4 liter engine turns slower at highway speeds than the 3 liter, so even though it was more expensive, I think it gets about the same mileage, 18 around town, better/unknown on highway. 4.0 also included 4 wheel ABS that I think saved me from an accident at least twice. 100,000 miles and still running strong, as well as not using a drop of oil between changes every 5K miles. Only weak point is for all the rangers of this era, rubber tube connecting gas tank with filler fails and it's $300 at Ford. When I get to it, I'll have a muffler shop fabricate a steel replacement and connect with simple, straight, gas hose."
Pros: "rides a little rough but its a good work truck."
Cons: "few minor dents in the bed, 3 small rust spots."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought it used, I'm the third owner. The interior could be better but its all holding together. The seat has some burns in it along with a small cut in the side. Shifts good its a little hard into second though. The engine runs very good. Never been thrashed on. New radio. The a\c doesn't work but the heater will drive you out. Steerings great. The biggest problem with it was the thermostat, that's been replaced."
"I've had this truck a little over 6 years now, and i love it. I have had very few minor issues, all under 50 dollars, but overall it's been a very good truck. I own the 1994 Extended cab stepside splash model, and i have people asking me about it all the time. This vehicle would be perfect for a first vehicle, or a daily driver. Mine usually goes about 120-150 miles a day, and it gets great gas millage."
"This is my 3rd Ranger. First Ranger '86 long wheel base 4cyl automatic, good truck but needed to trade for a van. Second Ranger '89 6 cyl 5 speed 4whl drive king cab- still own- won't sell. Third Ranger '95 king cab 2whl drive 4cyl 5speed- grew up with the woman who bought it new, she sold it to my nephew. Both easy drivers. I gave $2000 truck had 112,000 original miles. Love my Ranger. Not for sale"
"Ford Ranger xlt, supercab, 2wd, 3.0, 5 speed
The cab is very comfortable for a compact truck. The seats are very nice and if you don't like them there are a wide variety of seats from luxury vehicles that will easily swap right in. The rear, with it's fold out seats, allows for nice storage room or 2 additional seats. With the two rear seats and the split bench in the front the supercab is advertised to seat 5. This is possible, as I do it all the time, but it is not comfortable at all. On the other hand, with only one passenger, it is the most comfortable compact truck I have ever been in. Overall the supercab is great.
The 3.0 is a very reliable engine. Mine is on 111,000 miles and running strong with no previous problems. It is not uncommon to find these engines running with more than 300,000 miles. The 3.0, although bullet proof, is an absolute dog. It has a very narrow power band, and very poor low end torque. With the 3.0's lack of power, it is still able to light up the rear tires in any condition with the exception of dry pavement, which says a lot about the Rangers traction. With that lack of traction and an absence of front ABS, driving in any kind of weather gets a little scary. Another effect of having a power plant under the hood that produces no power is the need for low gearing. The Dana 35 with 3.73 gearing makes for nice city MPG, but it also makes the little 3.0 scream on the highway. At 45 mph in fifth gear the engine is running at 2000 rpm, and the engine makes a loud droning noise above 3000 rpm, which you will need to be at if you are on the highway. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel and that light takes the form of decent gas millage. I get on average in the low 20's mpg, but my record is 28 mpg.
Basically this truck is only good at getting you where you want to go. It won't turn heads and you won't have any sort of fun, but it will get you there. I would take the 97 Ranger any day over the Dakota or S10 of the same year. The comfort, gas milage, and dependable engine makes this truck a very good choice."
"I have had a 97 Ranger extra cab for 8 years now. It's got 117,000 miles on it and has been mostly reliable.
I must have one of those cars you hear about and hope to never own.
I call it Ghost in the Machine.
I have had many issues with the AC leaking, and the kicker is the electrical system. The wipers will come on by themselves when I driving, the cab light comes on the same way and has been doing it for the last 6 yrs, best of all when you have on the AC and the blinker on and turn left at a light with some acceration it will blow a 30amp fuse. It's happen to me 3 times in the last year and a half. It kills the truck so I carry 2 spair 30 amp fuses so I don't get stranded again. I have had it looked at and they can't find the problem.
I just replaced the clutch and am going to get rid of it now. I would not take the chance of buying it again just from the experance that I have had."
Cons: "Not identifiable by external design, basic feature"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Ford Ranger is designed for convenience and reliability. Both luxury and performance are not major players in the composition of this vehicle. Yet, what it lacks in ostentatiousness it makes up for in its robust operation."
"I have owned this truck for 2 years. It was a gift from my dad for my first car. I didn't get my license til I was 18 and learning stick with this thing was fun!!I've never had any major problems with it. Only main maintenance like new brakes oil filter fuel filter tires etc. Only down side was my driver side arm brace broke and it leaned for a while and it was hard finding a cheap replacement at a junk yard but other then that its been really good to me!!I would recommend this truck to anyone wanting a decent reliable vehicle. Its not much for picking up speed since its a 4 cyl. but it does do good on gas. 22 in town bout 27-30 on highway depending how fast you go."
"I bought my Ranger XLT flared fender style used with about 45.000 miles on it 9 years ago. The positives have been that Ive had it this long without breaking the bank of any major auto repairs. I feel more safe in it body wise than I do with my Toyota pick up I used to have.
On the negative side, early on, I had a hose leak from the gas tank to the gas intake opening that ended up costing me 320.00 dollars just for the hose alone. Add dropping the tank to get at it etc and it cost me 800 bucks. I wondered for a truck and body style that is still in production, why this part was hard to find and so expensive?
Some of the electronics have bugs in them too,like the cab ceiling light, I have to turn it off because it stays on long after you have shut the door. The speedometer goes out after 15 minutes of driving now and I cant imagine how much that is going to cost to have the sensor replaced. I use the RPM gauge as my speedometer now.
Even after new tires and shocks I felt the ride is not very smooth compared to a Chevy S 10. But I feel the engine is more reliable than a Chevy product. Most of my friends own Fords or Toyotas."
"This truck has a very smooth ride. Very dependable. The 3.0L V6 engine has just the right mix of MPG vs Power. And if it ever does break down the parts are very inexpensive. The only downfall is the oil pan has the frame crossmember right under it so to change the oil pan gasket you have to lift the engine."
"I bought my 5 speed, 4cyl./2.3.l, short bed 1995 Ranger XL from a used car dealer for $1000 about 3-4 years ago. It now reads at over 270,000 miles, though the odometer has almost entirely stopped working.
It has been relatively easy to work on and parts have been easy to come by. Apparently, these trucks have bad FUEL FILLER NECKS almost across the board, which, if you can replace it yourself, is not costly.
This vehicle has gotten me across the country (3,000 miles at a time) four times now and has been great to jet around town in. It drives great light or carrying a load."
"My dad bought our 94 Sport Supercab in 1996 from a Florida Orange Grove Owner. 4x4 fleet truck. now has 97,000 miles . kept mostly in the driveway for emergencies. Needs to be driven more to keep it running better, but that's my fault, not the truck. Seat sits a little low for tall people. But engine runs great. 4.0 v-6 mileage is ok for the size. lots of pull. 4x4 is not a true off road vehicle according to the manual, but I call the truck Billy because it will go anywhere, just like a mountain goat. (Billy Goat! get it?) Money well spent by my dad two weeks before he died from Cancer. He wanted my mom to be able to safely get around in bad weather after he was gone. I would highly recommend Ford Ranger over competitors if you can fit in it. It's not for very heavy or very tall people. For normal size folks who need a small truck instead of a full size, this is the way to go. Mom is thinking of buying a 2011 to replace it just because she wants a new one before she passes on. I think she wants to be able to give it to my son when he gets his license in 11 years! I'm sure a Ranger bought today will be here for him in year 2022. How's that for forward thinking!"
"Can't kill a Ranger! Had an '86 till it got wrecked by someone else. Bought this '94 with 50k on it ten years ago, put 100K on it myself since. Only thing different was a radio change and replacing the starter (which had only jiggled the bolts loose and one snapped off, but was still starting). Subjected daily to Houston roads and what passes for roads inside the refineries around here. Burns no fluids, slow starts due to towing package, what can I say...probably the most durable small pickup out there for the money. Just wish they would come out with a 4-door model. But then again, why fix something that ain't broke! (Too bad GM and Dodge never learned that lesson...)"
"I bought this truck about a month ago. 14 years old and it has absolutly no problems! Just a little rust. Runs great. I've had about 4 different people, all having more knowledge about vehicles than me drive it, they all said it was a great truck. Will own this thing til it dies!"
"I purchased this truck with my husband 14 years ago. Let's just say some things last longer than others - - and it's the best vehicle this single, gal has ever owned. Cost efficient, low maintenance, the interior accommodates all 6' of me, and there's no need to call on anyone if I need to haul something. Ranger Rick and I have traveled across desert, snow, hills, and miles and miles of open road without one breakdown. My Ford truck is a keeper!"
"The truck never left me stranded on the roadside. I replaced a lot of mechanical parts...timing belt..clutch..waterpump..thermostat...plugs, wires, steering box seals, ball joints, rear main seal.
The bottom line on these little trucks is:
----> The FORD twin "I-Beam" front suspension is the worst idea for suspension ever built.
The ball joints will completely wear out ... so you better save up about $500 to have them replaced."
"I bought a 1996 Ford Ranger that had 120,356 miles on it for $4,995 and it has never let me down. I'm the type of guy who is REALLY rough on trucks. I take it off-roading alot and let me tell ya, I have never owned a more reliable vehicle.
2 Thumbs WAY UP!!!!!!"