My little 4 cylinder Ranger has moved me from NC to NY and back to NC. Hauled everything from couches (2 at a time) to camping gear to just me with no problems. This pickup is so easy to work with and on that it is a joy to own.
I don't have a favorite feature, they all compliment each other.
Make spark plugs easier to replace. That was my only problem.
I've had a lot of fun with this truck. But heads up on a few of the things listed below. I have owned it for 5 years and now have 120 thousand miles on it. I guess I can't be too hard on it.
Good pick up, flexibility of use, stereo, engine runs great!
HEATER CORE PROBLEM! I replaced it myself and still ended up spending around $500 and 15 hours on it. You have to remove the dash. Also, the gas mileage is like 15-17 Mpg. I want more from a little truck. Have had brake issues all along.
I have had this truck for nearly 9 years and have driven it 78,000 miles. Some drive train problems which can be expensive to repair at a Ford dealership. Not the greatest truck but fairly reliable and functional. Very stiff suspension which was softened in 1998 model year. First year for 5 speed auto which has worked fine. Gas mileage is poor at 15-20 and it only gets 20 out on the road. It has been great for hauling dogs and hunting. Seats are not all that comfortable. Even though it has a 4.0 liter engine it only cranks 160 HP and 225 lb/ft torque. Dismal compared to the newer engines.
Favorite features I added myself. Bedliner, camper shell and Class III hitch. It will go just about anywhere if you have the correct tires for the job.
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