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.
This has been the best vehicle I've ever owned. After 157,000 miles (mostly commuting), I've not had a single mechanical failure. My only expenses have been maintenance. I drove it on a 12 hour trip and it was as comfortable as any car I've ever driven.
I got this truck in Feb. '05 with 179,800 miles, after I got my license. I'm not really a truck person but it was the only thing my dad would let me drive for insurance purposes (the insurance is kinda cheap even with full coverage). After driving it a month I had to get the brakes checked; turns out it was nothing, no major problems. I worked at Six Flags which is about 20-30 minute drive from my house. With the 3.0 engine you don't get much pick up until 2nd gear. Not for long trip, after 4 hours of driving brakes smoke when stopped even if you don't use them that much.
I really don't have a favorite feature.
More power in the engine, better fuel economy -- I only average 19 mpg.
I've owned and been around full size GM trucks for a long time - a true Chevy guy. But I needed a truck (1st house rehab) recently, and couldn't afford a new one. A friend of mine offered me his old 1994 Ranger with 150K on it for cheap money, so I figured "why not?". Well, I'm glad I did! This comfortable little truck (2wd Extended Cab 4.0 5-speed) runs beautifully, is great on gas (20/24), has no problem hauling whatever I need, and has no rust after 150K of Rhode Island winters (road salt galore). It does need an Idle Air Valve, and it probably needs a new A/C compressor, but it has been good to its previous (original) owner, and it's forced me to change my opinion of Ford.
Smooth, strong engine. Gas mileage. Storage room (Xcab).
Pillars between doors and extracab are unnecessarily wide and obstruct vision - safety issue. Mirrors buzz due to poor design and are too narrow. Cupholder molded into gearshift cover is where my leg needs to be - somebody slap the guy who 'engineered' that one. Locking rear axle would be great.
I bought the truck in 1998 with 50k miles on it and it is still running great. It's kind of rough on bumpy roads. I've only had to replace the battery, brakes, and electrical components at 100k miles. I'm not a big Ford fan, but it has gotten me through the years without any major problems. And of course I had to put 30 inch all terrain tires on it.
Off road capabilities. Good power(4.0 V6). Reliability.
Gas mileage is poor. I don't even get 20 miles to the gallon. Could be the bigger tires.