1998 Ford Ranger XLT 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SB
I bought my 98 in 2001 and have had it for 17 years so far. About 132k on it now and the only major mechanical repair was a clutch at about 100k. I didn't much like the original seats so I changed it to Explorer Eddie Bauer fancy electric leather seats and full console. MUCH nicer in there now. Of course I gave up on the dome light and the key fob years ago and it's been in the body shop a few times but I'm still happy with it and intend to drive it indefinitely. Now that it's 20 years old the AC needs recharged every couple years and the blend door under the dash has gone bad. (vids on youtube on how to cut the housing and stick your hand in there to adjust it manually) I also had a 2000 Mustang 3.8 much of that time and it was dead reliable. Would recommend either of them to somebody who needs basic transportation on the cheap.
This is a great type of truck for throwing something like rocks or items from the grocery store in the bed, there is plenty of space for that. Ok shifting gears, this is not a truck that you will haul a boat with. (Go get an F150 or Silverado or Ram for that) but you can tow small trailers with it with a towing capacity of 2,000 LBS. We use a small trailer and we have a weed killer pump on it that we use. As far as comfort goes, don't expect to be carrying a party of people with this truck. I have a regular cab and the middle seat isn't even a seat it's...something with a seatbelt in the middle. And even if I was going to take a third person they would sit uncomfortably because the stick is in the middle (5 speed manual) I do know that the extended cab has 2 jump seats in the back that were really designed for kids probably. So don't expect to have adults back there. Reliability is great and I've done very little maintenance on this truck with 86,000 miles on it, and when I needed to the 2.5 liter engine is real simple and easy to work on. As far as safety goes, there are no side impact airbags you just have one on the steering wheel and one for the passenger which is plenty seems how this is a small truck. The insurance is higher then some mustangs made because people crash them all the time...don't know why, so if your looking at a truck that is the EXACT replica of this one, you'd want the Mazda B3000, nobody has these trucks and the insurance is REALLY CHEAP. Overall I love my Ranger it's a good first car for me.