This is my second Ranger. Between the two I've owned I've driven a combined 400,000 miles over 20 years on the 2.3/2.5 engine with manual transmission. The first was bought new with the XLT Lariat package. The second is an XL bought with 65,000 miles in it.
This truck isn't a sports car. It isn't a luxury car. If you want these why are you buying a truck at all? It's a truck and it looks and runs like one. As it should. But it corners as well as my Spitfire and feels nearly as sporty with the excellent 4 speed/overdrive gearbox and peppy engine. And it's comfortable and pleasant in the cab though not a luxury car.
The interior is basic. It is well laid out and attractively designed enough, even in the XL base model configuration. In both my trucks the gauges are complete and well laid out. The seats are comfortable whether on longer drives or getting groceries. The interior is durable and well made. But yes, the extended cab would be nice for briefcases, groceries, dogs and so on. And this is not a family car or people carrier.
Know what it does better than any of the 17 or so vehicles I've owned before and during my 22 years of Ranger ownership? It starts, drives and stops with reasonable fuel economy every time. It hauls tools and material for my work and tows my tent trailer and small boat without problems. It costs little to maintain, being common and American. And repairs are extremely rare and pretty reasonable.
I'm terrible at maintanance. Over 400,000 miles I've changed oil at most a dozen times. Rotating tires or chassis lubes? Never. But both trucks combined cost something like $1000 in non maintanance repair at my mechanic's over 20 years. With my ridiculous neglect the truck simply just keeps going. Basically the bulletproof reliability of my Ranger enables me to afford the maintanance of British and Italian sports cars, to which the term 'reliable' will never be applied.
For me the manual transmission and peppy motor are just fun to drive as well. The handling and braking are good or a bit better than that. The ride is sporty. But they do bump steer when not loaded, and they are relatively noisy compared to a mid range passenger car or sport utility.
Resale? In my area, suburban Puget Sound, I could sell the truck I bought 7 years ago for pretty much what I paid for it. After 7 years of hard use.
These trucks are among the best things Ford ever made, itself a high compliment.
I bought an 01 Ranger 3.0 XLT 2wd and love it. After I bought it, I let my dad drive it to Springfield from Tulsa, and he floored it the whole way- blowing the head gasket, radiator, and water pump... so dont drive it like a race car. But after replacing the motor, cooling system, and other things, it runs like a dream.
I put a lot of performance parts in the engine when I had to replace it, chipped it and put dual straights on it with glasspacks and this improves the mileage 22city 37 highway!. The only problem is the delayed shifting in the aut trans. Looking for a new one that can handle the added torque and power. What kind of trans should I install? Im thinkin an F150 trans...
The suspension and trans are the worst things about the truck. Suspension is easily shot, and trans isnt that strong. But the overall power from the tiny v6 was impressive before I installed the new motor, chip, and performace parts. Another thing i do not like is how easy it is to lose grip on slick roads.
Keep the radiator and oil in tiptop shape! I overheated the other day and the radiator was fine, but the oil was low. So I put 4 quarts of oil in it and a gallon of coolant, and now its running just fine. Suggestion improvement is making sure there are no leaks, cooling system works right, and not driving it like you're in the 24 Heurs de LeMans race. If you decide to put a bunch of performace improving parts in the engine, do not over look the trans. The torque converter isnt all that strong, neither is the transfer motor, so when driving like a badass, its easy to drop the trans. I almost did, got 75ft of wheelspin and the O/D light started flashing. Now I got to be super careful when cold
I bought this Ranger two and a half years ago with 146000 miles on it. Now it has 162000 miles on it and it still hasn't had any major or even moderate problems it's entire life. The acceleration on the vehicle is outstanding with the 4.0L and it feels like I have a V8. The only lacking thing on the vehicle is the lack of room for people in the back and also the comfort of the back seats.
very comfortable front seats
very good mileage
I own a 2WD 2001 Ranger Edge with the 3.0L V6 and an automatic transmission with only 80,000 miles on it. So far in the year I've had it, I've had to replace the oil pan gasket (the 3L commonly has oil pan gasket problems, mine was pushed out from the pan/block seal at both ends of the engine), fuel pump (died), blower motor (died), blower resister pack (melted), dash lights (a few behind the speedo and tach died), and starter. And I've still got to replace the seal around the third brake light (leaks like a sieve), and the PATS system (not aftermarket, it's Ford's antitheft system - it often decides the factory keys are not right and locks the truck down in theft mode) Do not buy this truck
-Lighting it on fire
-Taking a long drive off a short pier
Seriously, don't buy this truck. It's nothing but a huge money pit in parts even if you can do the work yourself. Not to mention it has no power and only gets 13mpg if I hypermile it.
this truck is absolutely awful, everytime i drive it there is something breaking on it. Just got the heater valve repaired along with all the ball joints when i noticed a hole in my vacuum and also a strange loud creaking sound coming from my front wheels.
Truck is very prone to rust, and should be checked thoroughly before purchase.
Not to mention, very low cosmetic appeal when compared to tacoma or frontier.
Suspension is very stiff and leads to a very uncomfortable ride
Also horrible on gas.
Just plain a nightmare like experience, I will never buy a ranger ever again in my lifetime, or simply any American made vehicle. My uncle just hit 320xxx in his toyota which is a real truck.
Not humanly possible to improve something so terrible. Ford needs to close their doors to stop these death traps from ever leaving the lots.