Excellent experience. In 108,000 miles, I've replaced the starter solenoid, cracked windshield and the torque converter seal. Of course I've gone through a couple of batteries and one thermostat. The design of the cooling system was well engineered. There is a bypass channel around the thermostat. When the thermostat failed closed last summer the engine indicated temperature never reached the redline. The original tires were terrible, had 2 of them come apart prior to the recall. The truck still has the original exhaust system and has never failed the TX annual state inspection. Overall, except for gas mileage, super pickup. In 1996 gas mileage was not that important.
6'-10" bed. Overdrive. Power mirrors & locks. Engine size and reliability. Cooling system. Clearcoat -still looks brand new (when I wash it). Very reliable oxygen sensors (never replaced).
Hard to improve a vehicle that has reached 108,000 miles with no major problems and the original exhaust system.