If you want MPG, go for 4- or 6-cyl with a manual trans, and avoid 4 wheel drive. I bought this as a 3rd owner in 2016 with 112k and the only thing that didn't work was the cruise but got it fixed(adjustment cost $40). I keep it around 2500 rpm, windows up and A/C on, and get 25 mpg. The arm rest clasp is broken so it stays closed with velcro. The paint is holding up great and has no body damage. The interior was very clean. It handles well, rides smooth, and brakes easily. It does not accelerate quickly, but that's another gas saving feature! I can tow my filled 5' x 10' trailer like it's not even there. If I could improve it, I would make the side view mirrors bigger and relocate the cupholders.
I had this truck handed down to me from my dad, who has had it from 1996. He bought it from a private owner with 20k +/- , with the cruise control already not functioning. This has not bothered me though, I put about 30+ miles a day driving to school and back. My MPG stands at about 18-19 city, 22-23 hwy with the 3.0 V6. There have been no major issues with the truck, just routine maintenance, such as oil, brakes,fluid levels, etc. There is a oil leak at the universal joint, but its not major. at 110k, It is still going strong and I do not intend for it to quit today, or for that matter, a long time.
Fuel mileage, The "get in and go" attitude it possesses, low maintenance cost, reliable as any toyota.
sluggish takeoff, no room for more than 2 full grown people(I fit 5 16 year old friends with me in there, last time I'll do that!)
Bought truck from original owner, now has 278,000 miles on it. Burns no oil. Idles rough, check engine light pops up at random, has electrical problems - if you turn the wipers on they don't turn back off. 2.3 has no power at all and gets lousy gas mileage - 20 mpg average, even with the five-speed. It has 8 incredibly hard-to-change spark plugs - why 8 spark plugs on the 4 cylinder? rear spring hangers rusted off, even though there is not a spot of rust on the body.
extended cab kinda nice, but i'm not sure how i'd ever get a normal sized person in the jump seats, body styling nice
Have to reach for the shifter - needs moved back toward the seat some. Cup holders are in a weird spot.
I first took possession of my 1994 Ford Ranger XLT on 3/3/04. Overall, the truck has been quite reliable. In the almost 2 years I've had it, I have replaced the starter, idler pulley, fan belt, (broke when pulley seized), and rear leaf spring mounts. It currently has a power steering leak, and needs brakes, that's it. The total amount for all my repairs is about $300 over 2 years; not bad for an 11 year old truck.
The 4 liter V6 and the 5 speed manual transmission provide plenty of pep on the highway, and I really enjoying driving it. The extended cab and bucket seats allow my taller passengers to stretch their legs, while a guy my size can still drive.
The interior of the vehicle could be improved as follows: console between the seats, dual outlet defroster (mine is center output), and more lighter/power outlets. Exterior: tie downs in the bed (if any) are obscured by the bedliner.