My 2003 is my third Ranger. I started driving Rangers because I needed a truck, but I refused to drive a 10MPG nightmare. My Ranger is equiped with the 16-valve 4-clylinder engine and 5- speed auto trans, which has adequate power to motivate this 3000 pound truck. When I test drove various samll trucks, I found the Ranger roomier yet sportier than than any other truck priced below $15,000. This is the first Ranger I purchased instead of leased, and I have now owned it for 6 trouble-free years. I wanted a truck that I could get brand new for a payment of less than $300.00 per month. Frankly, I cannot think of many vehicles that are so inexpensive and yet so desirable to own.
1) Fun-to-drive: zippy engine, sharp handling, easy to maneuver. 2)Low operating costs: cheap on gas, repairs, manintence, and insurance. 3) Comfortable: intuitive ergonomics, more elbow room than most small trucks, good A/C, comfortable cloth coutour seats, easy-to clean vinyl floors.
Engine is apt to ping, and the 5-speed auto sometimes hunts for the right gear. I'll get a new Ranger when Ford offers a plug-in hybrid version. And a crew cab? The only small crewcab Ford offers is the Explorer SportTrac. It would be cheaper to buy 2 basic Rangers than to buy 1 of those.