I bought my '98 Ranger XLT used in 2002 with 55,000 miles on it at the time. Eight years late and 100,000 miles later, I have had very few problems. I've had to replace some belts and tend to general wear and tear issues, but nothing catastrophic. I average about 19.5 miles per gallon with 80% freeway driving. I always tell people I've had great luck with my ford, but then I knock on wood for good luck. *knock knock*
Reliability, decent mileage and longevity.
Even better mileage would be great. My transmission sometimes sticks between gears, but if I take my foot off the gas for a second, it jumps back into place.