Base model with manual transmission & no extras, which makes me very happy now with the price of gas. My fourth small pickup, and the best by far for comfort, fuel economy and handling. Have not missed the 4 wheel drive at all.
Comfortable seats, ABS brakes, fuel economy in high 20's, nice handling truck, base CD sound system is great.
This is my third Ranger. I bought it, I have loved it, I have taken care of it, and had fun with it. Now I have 65,000 miles on it and problems are getting bigger and more expensive. To start at 30,000 front windows not lining up and had tracks replaced by dealer (still having same problem), next at 40,000 miles, dash light goes out. $2.00 bulb + some absurd amount to install (still not fixed), next driver's side unlock button works when it wants (who knows), now O/D Off light flashes, told transmission needs rebuilt and it wants to skip gears, $1500.00 and this appears to be a known issue. I am now looking at a Nissan and Toyota.
Alcoa Rims & BFG Tires All Terrain AWESOME! Still on original set.
Use quality parts and fix things when they are a known issue i.e.: O/D light flashing -- transmission part. The suspension is too stiff and makes the truck rear-end jump when hitting pot holes. The seats are nice but comfort could be improved still. I do like the lumbar though.
I have really enjoyed owning this vehicle. I drive twisty, hilly roads a lot and I felt the handling in this truck was very sporty. I love precision of the rack and pinion steering. Only had one significant problem; at 60,000 miles electronic 4 wheel drive module would not switch vehicle into 4x4. Gas mileage was not so great (16.5 mpg) but my truck had 4.10 gears in rear.
Precise steering, great power from V6. Just the right equipment with nothing more.
Extend the cab to allow my children to sit facing forward.
Second Ranger; had a '97 with 73,000 miles on the original brakes with 25% left. '02 had an oxygen sensor go at 25,000 covered under warranty. Getting 20 mpg on the highway with cruise set @65+ back doors are still tight at 40,000 miles. Fun truck to drive. Will probably buy another in a few years.