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 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.
What can I say? 217K miles so far and still going strong. 2.5L engine, 5 spd manual. Changed the timing belt & clutch at 155K and checked everything....solid little truck. The interior is getting some wear, the ball joints will probably need replacing soon as will the shocks (hey, > 200K miles on ORIGINAL parts ain't bad) but the truck burns NO oil, still has decent power (tho I'm sure the compression has to be down a bit...) and rides fine. Paint still pretty good, and the interior, tho showing some wear, still is decent. Heck, think I'll buy another one...
Reliable....has taken me from the deep south to northern Canada....not fancy but gets the job done.
Better breathing engine, better cloth in interior. Bit anemic on hills...next one will be extended cab for legroom (I'm 6'3" tall...). More use able "spaces" for stuff.
Bought this truck used. It has been a good runner - so far. Awesome on gas mileage. During this winter I've been getting easily 24 mpg with 400 lbs of sand over the rear axle. Summer I've been getting very close to 30 mpg, 28 to 29 is common for me. Tricky in the winter months being rear wheel drive. The rear end always goes to the right sending me heading into oncoming traffic driving up an icy slope. The 3.0 liter Vulcan V-6 is starting to get a bit noisy with being almost 110k miles. It rides quiet for a small pickup. Cruise control button on the left side is loose. The EGR system could be upgraded too a more reliable system.
5-speed manual overdrive versus the auto. Seats are exceptionally comfortable. Instrumentation.
Doesn't matter, Ford is dropping the Ranger. But a limited slip differential as standard equipment on all pickups. Better EGR system that replaces the DPFE sensor. Considerable larger fuel tank. Mine completely empty is only 13.2 gallons. A real working oil press gauge.