This was my first new vehicle, my first four cylinder, and my first stick shift. I made the right choice. I bought the truck because of what it was, basic, inexpensive, and frugal. The turn signal stalk split at the mold seam at 12,000 miles, but that's not a big deal. It's 2wd but it will make it through deep mud, just don't stop. I've got a K&N filer and a Flowmaster exhaust installed which added very usable low/mid range power. I'm not a Ford guy, I grew up in a GM household. This little truck grows on you, my dad even likes it. Not bad for an old design is it?
Decent power, ergonomics are spot on, handles curves better than it has a right to.
All season light truck tires as standard equipment on 4-cylinder models, not passenger car tires.
Style is thick, brawny, efficient and descendant of the bull dog. Basic model does the job on hauling furniture, plants, groceries. wood, sod, bricks. No space is wasted Recommend that you get the electrical windows option; I installed after market windows and remote door locks and wished I had purchased the factory options with Ford. You should also protect your investment and get bedliner with Ford logo. The white paint is beautiful- like porcelein and reflects the 100 degree southern heat. For the low price, a very reliable and satisfactory long term investment. The MPG is really comparable to other 6 cylinder trucks as well as luxury cars! So you are in the ballpark.
Air Conditioning does the job in the closed regular cab-I feel real protected from the heat. The seats are simple grey leather imitation. Seats do not get hot and are roomy enough and solid-does the job like the rest. Close your eyes and you will not know if you are in an SUV or Lexus!
You need to up the basic price with options since they are necessary by today's standards. Remote window locks electrical windows, stereo are a must. You must get the best tires, since trucks work hard and are driven hard. The power steering does not turn easy enough for me.
I bought this truck as a second vehicle primarily for haulings stuff w/o ruining my other car. I bought a really stripped down version of it (air and auto only) about 3 mos. ago, and have been really happy with it. The ride is stiff and the transmission is somewhat unrefined, but still this truck was a very economical solution to my needs. While the 4-cyl engine won't win any races, the low end torque enables the engine to come through when I'm really loaded up. The 4-cyl. is noisy, the truck is loose in the rear on wet pavement :), the air conditioning works well, but I have inadvertanly knocked the truck into neutral when reaching for the radio controls (bad layout). I would recommend it.
The bed of course.
Get the radio controls out of the line of the gear shift. Add in some insulation to reduce the engine noise.
My son bought a Ranger in 2001, has 150000 on it without 1 problem, so I bought one last fall, think these vehicles are Fords best kept secret. My son has 3.0, I bought the 2.3, my gas mileage is a great.Years ago I had a 98 Nissan Frontier 2.4, the Ranger is twice the truck.
Mine is not listed. 2.2l 4 cyl, automatic w/air I strongly suspect that the vehicle was seriously wrecked before purchase. Clicking noise in the steering, rubbing noise in the front, bad mpg, painted masking tape behind the front grille, hood not aligned on ds with fender, missing rubber flap inside ds fender, erratic rough shifting, squeaking rear brakes, front of bed too flimsy to strap an appliance on it (you can push it in with your hand), near deaf service writers/mechanics cannot hear noises, 17 gal gas tank (should have been a 20gal), other problems.
The extra accessory socket, seats, tilt steering, radio, decent A/C.