1997 Ford Ranger XL Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Ford Ranger - Consumer Reviews

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1997 Ranger Consumer Reviews

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97 Ranger 4cyl 5 speed still runs great 143k
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dalebass3
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Extended Cab SB


Review

I bought this truck 2 years ago. I knew it needed a slave cylinder just didn't realize it was inside the tranny. So I had a mechanic buddy do it and replace the clutch and rear main seal while he was at it. Has run great since. Only problem is the A/C. It wasn't working when I got it. Found a big hole in the condenser and then it worked for a couple days but then sprung a new leak in another line with the new found pressure. This seems to be a pretty common problem. Engine runs great for its age. I see a ton of these on the road


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Reliable with manual, reasonable repairs for age
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 97rangerlou
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab Stepside SB


Review

I purchased my 1997 Ranger XLT Flareside in 2003 with about 60,000 miles. 5 speed manual. It now has 198,000 miles. The only time I had any trouble that prevented me from running was around 120,000 when the alternator went out. That was an easy repair. Other issues: Replaced original clutch two years ago around 175,000 miles. Instrument cluster lights started going out around 150,000 and are all out now. I haven't seen a way to get to them besides taking apart the dash. Door chime issue hasnt' been solved, but I haven't spent time on it. I believe now the fuel injectors need to be replaced.


Favorite Features

Manual transmission, good low end. Even I can change the oil myself. Handles good enough even in the snow (add extra wt. over rear axle and slow down). Runs well on highway. So far has always started and run with one exception above.


Suggested Improvements

If Ford could produce this exact model again (I wish they would), chase away the electrical ghosts. Figure out a way to keep the radiator support panel from rusting out.


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my 97 ford ranger xlt 2.3 automatic tranny single cab
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By coltay69
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab SB


Review

I bought the truck in june of 2011. It was a decent looking truck , i have put brakes,tires,shocks,fuel pump,sending unit. timing belt,cam shaft seal,cam seal,rear main seal, oil pan seal, valve cover seal, water pump,all dashboard lights,AC asymbaly line, still has leak somewhere in AC, door switch due to inside light stayed on, new battery,new cataylac converter, i have put so many parts on this truck, its cost me over 17,00 in parts alone. Friend did work, when will it end. I know i am forgetting many parts. when is it going to stop, suspension on truck is horrid. front end jumps when hits small anything in road, nothing wrong with it. its the way it was built,now needs window regula


Favorite Features

Favorite features, honestly i can't say anything. The ashtray for us smokers is all wrong, due to cup holder, i just don't really like anything with truck, i didn't have enough room to say i changed out both sides with new window regulators. I changed the spark plugs, expensive plugs and wires and still not any better on gas. I hate the way the suspension is due to jumping exspecially on rail road tracks. I really don't have anything nice to say about this truck. Head lights got so fogged up and could not be fixed so had to do that. It cost a fortune due to oilpan gasket took taking it off the motor mounts, rear main seal took taking tranny off ,


Suggested Improvements

Sorry but i must say the suspension is number 1 that needs to be changed. I had fuel pump and sending unit changed and now it takes forever to put gas into it. A monster truck pulled in at same time while i was gassing up, he said dang, your still pumping and i pumped 42 gallons and payed for it already. Its a decent looking truck but its not cost effective in fixing things. Motor mounts must come off to change oil pan gasket. wow and water pump and timming belt is a huge job on this. I had a 94 honda civic that was cheaper and much easier to fix. My truck is single cab, 4 cylinder which needs better gas milage, and it only has 120K on it. Fl vehicle and rust all over bottom


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Love my ranger
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mapplema
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab SB


Review

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.


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Great Truck all around
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vand
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Regular Cab SB


Review

I bought this truck in 2001 with 60K on it. It was an excellent, excellent truck. I replaced the alternator around 100K and did normal maintenence on it other than that. It started up every time, fun to drive (although the rear-wheel drive could be a little tricky if the roads were slick), used and abused it. The light bulbs behind the display went out slowly over the years--no big deal. I loaded all kinds of things in this truck over the years. It got great gas mileage. I had owned it for 10 years and put 90K on it when I was rear-ended and the truck was totalled. It could have been a much more serious accident, but the solid construction of this little truck saved me.


Favorite Features

It was a simple, bare-bones truck. No power anything! It was great though. Nothing to break. After bringing a lot of mud onto the rubber floor a few times, I actually hosed out the interior floor. Like I said, other than scheduled maintenence and a new alternator, it never needed anything.


Suggested Improvements

I wished it had a cup holder more than once. I also wished for power-steering when I was trying to park in a tight space.


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Still running
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By taylorc
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab SB


Review

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


Favorite Features

The truck bed


Suggested Improvements

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.


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Reliable and fun
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Daniel
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab Stepside SB


Review

I purchased my truck when I was 16 for 2000 dollers with 120,000 miles. Since then i've put another 90000 miles on it for a total of 210,000 miles with no major hitchs. The truck is quite peppy out of the hole but lacks top end power. I've had mine up to 110 on a long downhill stretch. Back end is a little light which makes it fun to slide around but scary when over driving a corner.My ranger is two wheel drive and will get stuck in grass if it is wet. This truck needs a limited slip deferential to counter this problem. Cabin of truck is spacious if you are under 6 foot tall. Over all if you are looking for a nice reliable truck this is it. 13 years, 210,000 miles later, and no rust.


Suggested Improvements

Needs Tac and a limited slip differential


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Awesome Ride
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By James
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab SB


Review

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!


Favorite Features

Small cab heats up fast in the winter, can really fly out of stops, reliable, comfy seats, and decent sound


Suggested Improvements

better gear ratio, little more weight in the back, more BHP


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Not bad
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jason94519
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XL 2dr Extended Cab SB


Review

Had the truck for a little over a year, put almost 12,000 miles on it and not a hitch. Bought it with 142,000 and was a bit weary, but got a great cost and I know the Ranger reputation to be good.


Favorite Features

Reliability - hasn't hiccuped yet.


Suggested Improvements

Power. That is the one thing that I can't stand about this truck. I have the 5 speed manual, and there it is the most sluggish thing I've ever driven. But it gets me where I'm going, even if I have to downshift on a slight grade.


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Has never failed me
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Kevin
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Regular Cab LB


Review

This is my first truck. I got it when I turned 17 and it has been a great car. I don't take care of it and I drive it like I stole it, but it keeps on going. Starts every time and never leaves me stranded. I even wrecked it and I still drive it today without replacing anything but the windshield. It has some problems with the gas line. There is a crack in the filler neck hose so I lose gas onto the ground every time I put gas into it and I only get 17 mpg. It idles pretty rough too. Its pretty fast for a 4 cylinder with the the aero dynamics of a brick. Overall this has been a great truck and I'm content with it.


Favorite Features

Comfortable seats, Color(Dark Red), Reliability, rear sliding window, folding center console, Cd Player (stock cd/casset player), Interior looks great and it very similar to the current rangers interior, I love being high off the ground and this truck sits pretty "]


Suggested Improvements

More power, better speakers, tachometer should be standard, more space in the cab would be nice, I don't see the point in a long bed ranger(mine is a long bed and it looks a little awkward), Better gas mileage (even without the gas leak the gas mileage is low for a 4 cylinder), Brighter Headlights


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