"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."
"I love this truck. I got it new in 1996 and have now owned it for 20 years. It has never left me stranded anywhere. I have put approximately $2000.00 in repairs over the 20 year period. I don't think that is too bad. The tailgate and bumper on the back are starting to rust but that is about all. I plan on finding a new bumper and tailgate and driving this truck for another 20 years."
"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'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 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!!!!!!"
"Where do I start with this truck? It's a 94 2.3L/manual trans XLT SuperCab that I picked up from a friend (his dad's company truck) just after spring break 2003...with 209,500 miles on the ticker. I just had a great feeling about this truck as I really needed the extra cab space for my restaurant deliveries.
All I have had to do was really one all-out tuneup and a going through of all the brakes. One coil pack went bad and I had to get it swapped to pass emissions, needed a cat converter because of that, a heater core (~30 minute job) and little else other than gas and oil changes. Oh, that driveshaft carrier bearing that grenaded and had the driveshaft flopping around underneath...eh, 279,000 miles or so was a good run for that one.
I have had offers to buy this truck and maybe I'd upsize, but I can't find it in myself to do so. It does all I need it to do and it does it well.
The trans is solid. No leaks from those rubber plugs near the shifter yet. Did rebuild the bushings, since I knew the one time I could spin the shifter around was not a good thing. Easy job.
Engine...all I have owned is 4 cylinders up to my Crown Vic Police Interceptor, so to me the engine is more than adequate for A to B driving. Heck, it still doesn't use a noticeable amount of oil at this point. You just can't be afraid of 4000-5000 RPM shifts, which you'd see if you have a tach cluster (I swapped one in and kept the correct odo reading--easy job). It will peg the speedometer, but won't do it quite as quickly as say a Mustang GT. Oh well.
Quality? Eh, mostly hit, but some miss involved. The center armrest? Like almost all the others, cracked in half. Actually, that's about he only thing on this truck that was a miss. No auto trans with the vacuum modulator that goes bad...and destroys the trans.
I think the engine is tired, though, so until I start keeping track of fuel consumption again, I don't think it's seeing ~25 MPGs average of days past, but I do drive enough to where it seems it sucks down gas a little more these days when I glance towards the fuel gauge. I think a valve tap is present and some days the truck seems to respond to the GO pedal just a little slower than others. The alignment is off, so I have to check that out as well.
All in all, I ignore family when they say I should get a newer Ranger. I don't have to deal with 7-hour heater core changes on the 95-later trucks, I can pull check engine light codes with a couple of paperclips, I don't have the DOOR AJAR problems with the sticking door jamb switches, I don't have the AC vacuum and blend door issues that crop up in the later trucks, nor does the odometer stop working because the cheap plastic gears strip off and although I'd think of swapping a v6 into my truck one day (the v6s do chug some gas, though), the 8 spark plugs on the 4 cylinder aren't that bad to deal with.
This has been a tremendous truck. Period. At worst, I use the cop car and rest it some more until I toss another engine in it. I just may keep my promise to drive this one until the wheels literally fall off of it."
"1st vehicle bought from a dealership. 266,000 miles on it and still ticking. Standard transmission and for 20 yrs only general maintenance. Wish I could get another this good. Plan to help it survive so my 1st grandchild can drive the vehicle their parents learned to drive on."
"I have had the truck over a year. Bought it with 145000 miles on it. So far, I have replaced the water pump and timing belt, both original. The overall fuel mileage varies from 18.5 to 21.5 mpg. Most of the driving is in "town" for short distances. On the interstate at 70mph, I got around 27mpg.The cab is small, making a big grocery or shopping expidition out of the question. A tonneau cover would greatly enhance the usability of the truck. I would recommend the truck to anyone."