Just bought this ranger knowing it had a noisy transmission. Once it came out of the shop I fell in love with it. Easy to park, easy to drive and very quiet (fords always are). Plenty of torque from the 2.9 L V6. Twin I beam front suspension, rock solid and rides like a car down the highway. Don't know about the fuel mileage and really don't care if it only gets mid teens. If you're looking to buy one make sure you get one with the Mazda transmission not the Mitsubishi transmission, as the Mazda is cheaper to rebuild and source parts for. No point in throwing away a good running gas engine, but if i can wear the V6 out i plan on a 4BT cummins swap. Great trucks. Built Ford Tough.
Handy is every situation. Truck just almost drives itself.
If purchasing a 4WD unit, spend a little and buy manually locking front hubs. Installing these will keep the truck from spinning the front drivetrain until you lock the hubs in, resulting in better fuel mileage. But if you happen to get stuck you will have to get out to lock them in. Small trade-off.