Pros: "Durable and reliable but it does drive like a truc"
Cons: "likes starters."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this vehicle brand new off dealer lot. Have owned it now for 21 years and have spent very little on repairs. It is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned in the 50 years I have been driving. Would have liked to replace it with another Mazda or Ford Ranger truck but they don't make either of them anymore."
"this is a copy of a ford ranger. It has been very dependable. get 22 miles to the gallon in town and on the freeway it gets 27 miles to the gallon. it has alot of miles so the engine is burning a quart of oil every 2nd filup. which is about 600 miles."
"Best lil truck I have owned. My list of things to say about this truck are to long. To sum it up. When it boils down to what matters like reliability, safety, fun, great on gas. This truck was built right, at 103,xxx I haven't had but little minor things go wrong. Very cheap truck But Not a cheaply built truck. I absolutely Love this truck and hated it at first because it was ugly but i grew on to it once i got to drive it and realize how much more money is in my pockets after filling up. I highly Recommend this truck. I just sold my 04 1500 ram 5.7L which costs 125$ from e to full to 45$ a week on gas I'm saving $400 just in gas. My wifes happy"
Cons: "Poor in winter weather. Comfort for tall people."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought this truck off a friend for $700. I was originally going to get it into good running condition and sell it for a different vehicle. But once I started driving it I realized I liked it.
It needed a front bumper and a tune up.
Most of these old Mazda B series trucks and Rangers are in desperate need of a tune up and complete fluid change.
Air filter (Not a high flow filter)
Oil & oil filter
Seafoam (through brake booster vacuum hose)
Cap & rotor (for 1994 like mine)
Thermostat & gasket
Coolant system flush
Transmission fluid (5 speed takes Mercon 3)
Transmission shifter rebuild kit
Rear differential fluid change (I used Mobil 1 synthetic 75w90)
Its slightly underpowered for my location in the Ozark hills. It has a slightly hard time pulling large hills in high gears but its not a major problem. Its just noticeable.
With the power problem some might benefit from fixing a stretched throttle cable which is very common. A Google search will show some ways of fixing it with a zip tie.
The 3.0L version that I have after a complete tune up is very satisfying. I constantly get 20-23mpg. Once you factor in the MPG the small lack of power is very understandable.
At first I did a complete tune up and I was wondering why I was still getting poor mileage (14-16). The only thing left to look into was the MAF (mass air flow sensor). I cleaned it with alcohol as instructed and reassembled it. Immediately I noticed a huge increase of MPG and it started running even better. It was not even that dirty which was surprising.
The reason for not running a high flow air filter is because it will make the MAF dirty quicker.
The transmission must be serviced with a shifter bushing kit. That's very important as if its not (or you don't inspect it to make sure everything's ok) all the broken pieces can fall down into the transmission. Mine was already like that and when I went to drain the fluid the pieces came out. I don't think it damaged the transmission as it still shifts good but I'm lucky. If you have a floppy shifter these bushings are the culprit.
Also on the transmission while you have the shifter out and replacing the bushing kit (or inspecting it) there are three rubber plugs on the back of the transmission on the top that can be seen through the hole in the floor for the shifter. You will need to get the metal plugs that replace these as these three plugs leaking are the main killers of these transmissions.
If one is in need of more power (like I'm after) then look into getting some Mornana 1.8:1 roller rockers. They are $450 but will make the truck perform much much better and the power will feel adequate.
The truck handles very well. I have new wheel bearings, calipers, brake pads and rotors. And that helped quite a bit but the truck handles fairly good with some use on the front end components.
The 3.0L (B3000) is the best engine in my opinion because of the MPG and power. 2.3L has the MPG but is gutless and the 4.0L has the power but not the MPG.
The open differential in these trucks is the biggest downfall. It doesn't take much snow or even wet grass to stop the 2wd models.
I have hauled over what is recommended with this truck but only after FULLY servicing it. After everything was done. It has plenty of power in the lower 3 gears to haul 900-1200lbs in the bed. It will squat some but with some care it can be worked.
Its a very reliable truck as that's the number one thing I like about it. Its also easy and cheap to work on. Parts are easy to find and quick to change out."
"This truck is very reliable. I have never been stuck in the truck, 4x4 always works great. The parts for this truck are pretty cheap. They only thing I have against these trucks is a lack of power. Exceptionally if you are towing even a little trailer. But other than that I really like these trucks. Never failed me once. pretty good on gas around 20 mpg"
"This truck is amazing. I have it for 17 year only with letter issues easy to fix. Right now the only thing that I fixed from it was the Air Flow Mass Senson and I installed myself. For 17 year of service, what else are you expecting for."