I purchased my 97 Ranger in 2004 with 75,000 miles, in 2011 it now has 145,000. The clutch needed replaced when we bought it, also had the slave plate fixed in 2009. Those were the 2 biggest expenses. Being in Ohio, rust has been my only enemy. I've replaced rusted broken parts as needed, and this thing still runs like a champ. You will be in the shop 2-3 times a year as it gets older, but they're not expensive trips. Gas mileage is excellent around 23-24 with mostly city driving.
I bought the truck in summer of 2008 and Its now at 160k miles and still running strong, I've only replaced the leaf spings from the abuse ive put the truck through. It takes sh!t and smiles
The truck bed
it needs a metal blend door, the plastic one breaks and leaves you with no heat for 3 winters until you find that its not worth the 1200 the mechanic wants to fix it. Just cut through the bottom of the plenum and change the door yourself, took me about 45 minutes with a dremel and 20 bucks.
Bought for $2,800 with 118k miles. Have never had a problem except with neutral safety switch not making contact and shifter knob coming off (its the 5 speed manual 2.3L). Runs great and is very fun to drive. I'm not a big fan of the sag in the front, but that seems standard with most rangers of the time. It has problems with uphills but nothing major. You can get some serious bounce and slide out of the back which is fun on occasion. I have never gotten lower than 24.3 miles to the gallon and I keep up with it everytime I fill up. It came with 14 inch rims which is a shame because there are not that many off road tires for that size, but i can always upgrade. all in all, an awesome truck!
Small cab heats up fast in the winter, can really fly out of stops, reliable, comfy seats, and decent sound
better gear ratio, little more weight in the back, more BHP
V6 5 speed. I bought this used in 2001 with 50,000 miles on and have put 135000 on it still running strong. Had to replace the clutch at 130000 miles. Other than that had no mechanical problems. Truck has not been babied at all. Missed oil changes, driven hard, and still always starts and runs.
Reliability, practical size, and the utility of a truck
I purchased my Ranger with 43000 miles on it in 2002. Five years later I'm approaching the 100000 mile mark. I bought this truck as inexpensive transportation to get to and from work. I paid $5900 cash and don't regret it. I haven't had to take it in for anything other than oil changes, new tires and a new battery. Replacement tires and parts are very inexpensive and easy to find. My annual out of pocket for maintenance is about $100 per year. The EPA rates the fuel economy of the 4 cylinder (which I own) as best in class. I don't recommend the 6 cylinder if you are looking for good fuel economy because it is worst in class. Cheap, reliable, good mileage- great so far!