I own a 1997 Ford Ranger XLT 4cly. with 99,000 miles to this day. It's been very reliable as the engine, trans, and so on. Only had small problem with frnt brake slide pins outside of normal maint. It has one major exterior flaw: rust! I did wash the underbody every spring; it still rusts. I'd swear Ford designed this truck's frame to rust out. I suppose if I lived in another state besides Maine (and snow & salted roads) this would not be a problem, or would it.
Gas mileage about 24-31 mpg in mixed driving, power, and it hauls a two place snowmobile trailer with ease. Never has left me stuck on the side of the road like my Sable.
Better rust protection for frame components, and front brake parts.
I purchased my 1997 Ranger new. I bought a compact 4 cylinder standard transmission truck I like. It's not a power, gas guzzling demon, like some of the V8 and V6 trucks I looked at. This truck has been reliable over the years and only had small problems. I had to replace the brakes, tires, and one oil seal in the rear axle. This Ranger rides like a truck on bumpy country roads, but on the interstate it's not bad. Still I know I'm driving a truck. The only complaint I've got is this: steep hills require downshifts, but it's only a 4 cylinder engine. I'll keep the Ranger till I have to junk it
The 1997 Ranger isn't a bad truck, just
a little on the small side. If it were
a little bigger in the cab and bed it
would be nice. Had to remove the heat
shield from the muffler as it kept
coming loose and the engine has been
making a rattling noise for about 20k.
But still runs great...
For a RWD with a 4 Cyl it has decent
power and payload...