I bought mine new and as a young driver, really put it to the test. It was honestly driven like it was rented--it 'may' have even gone a bit airborne at one point, it was off-roaded plenty, and it really stood up. It hit a deer at highway speed and the body held up -impressively-, just needing a headlight and the grille replaced. It was also rear ended a few times and not only was I never injured, but it rarely needed repairs. It was a small tank. It had the inline 4 engine, manual transmission, and no power windows or locks and it was fun to drive. It had approximately 200K on it when one of the engine cylinders developed a problem but we kept driving it anyway with the three functioning and it did just fine. It was pretty good in weather given it was a 2WD small pickup but it was also pretty reliable. We had to put a new starter into it in later years and at about 180K I think we had to replace a couple of the gears in the transmission and the clutch. The parking brake did go out on it around 200K miles as well as the A/C. The A/C wasn't a big deal because it had the rear slider. One of the leaf springs went when it was around 15 years old and the rear differential was the final nail in the coffin at around 225K miles. It's a great starter vehicle because it takes a BEATING and keeps going. I did a lot of trips that were 3-4 hours long though and it was quite comfortable to ride in. The fuel economy was pretty good, even to the end.
We were expecting to pay $275 to get the fuel injectors cleaned out but someone at our local AutoZone showed us a quicker and arguably better way to get it done. We put one can of Sea Foam in the gas tank and another directly into the engine through one of the vacuum lines, and then we went from having 6.75% of the total emissions being CO to only 0.02% after the smoke completely cleared! It hasn't done that good since it was new, and back then we didn't need emissions testing. This truck is such a faithful servant to us that we would rather repair or replace whatever might go wrong than start all over again. Not having a car payment is tops.
No car payment since we paid it off and we have not taken out a title loan on it ever. The ultimate level of toughness displayed over 20 years. It's so easy to get the emissions test passed on it when it's happy. It doesn't burn gas to excess like our V8 F-150 from 9 years later. Plus, when we bought it, we got it for less than $10,000! That's something that no new car can claim today and only a couple since we bought ye olde Ranger.
Please go back to making these so that people who don't need a backseat but need something that is both reliable and fuel efficient can not have to waste their money. For people who need a backseat bring back the Extended Cab models. There really isn't anything I don't like as long as the whole family doesn't need to go somewhere in it (we bought an F-150 because of that and it's equally rock solid.)
Overall this truck has surprised me. I'm a Chevy lover and yet i like this truck. Very comfortable and great on gas. Despite i have the two wheel drive version it love the mud. No major problems with it. 189,000 miles and still going strong.
this is my first car and its the best. I bought it froma mechanic friend whom the second owner had sold it to him because it neededa new trnasmission. Since i got it i love it. Have neverhd a problem and it runs strong. Haveing it standard is great. I will mssit when i gt my second car. But i highly sujest it to all
I bought this little truck to do some light hauling and running about. It is the 2.3 engine with a 5 speed and although it won't set the world on fire powerwise, it will cruise with traffic on the interstate at 75mph with no sweat and in town is just fine. It runs perfect and handles great, especially the way it turns (real tight) and has absolutely NO squeaks, rattles or noises. Rust free and the paint is still shiney. Cranks right up and is eager to go. The A/C will freeze your jaw off and the defroster works fast! Great brakes and suspension. I totally love to drive it and actually take it out more than my new Explorer with the 4.0. The 8 plugs is because the engine is a semi-hemi design.
Fun to drive and very agile around town. Gas mileage is good at around 24mpg overall. Good looking design and love the size when parking. Tough, simple and cheap to keep. The engine compartment will easily accept a 5.0 V- 8 and there are kits on the market, thats next! Above all else...it's a FORD!
Easier seatbelt functions and locations. Needs a power point access for 12volt as the lighter in the ashtray is not easily reachable for cellphone chargers. More glove compartment space. Of course more power would be nice out of the 4 banger but its not a race truck!