I've had this truck for about 10 years, she had around 50k miles when I acquired her. She now has 200k miles and still runs like new. I'm not a Ford or Chevy or Dodge person, I firmly believe that how well you maintain a vehicle is far more important than who put the parts together. Sure I've done a lot of maintenance (fuel pump, timing belt, alternator, shackles and hangers) including all of the regular stuff (tires, regular oil changes), but that is to be expected. I would still feel comfortable driving this truck across the country, more so than most vehicles ten years newer. I've invested a lot of money into things such as premium audio with bluetooth and European smoke headlights and a brushguard just to make her feel new again and caught up with the times. I'm also a really big guy, tipping the scales at nearly 400 pounds, and I have tons of room in the driver's seat and the seatbelt fits with plenty to spare. She's hauled anything I've thrown at her, far more than she is rated for. Pulling a trailer results in a pretty slow speed since she only had 119hp from the factory, especially trying to go uphill, but she has never once overheated. I had a 2004 Durango Limited with the Magnum 5.7L V8, and I've had a 1987 Mustang 5.0, so I do miss the raw power those muscle engines bring, but this 2000 Ranger is my favorite vehicle that I have ever owned.
15 year review 243k miles XL 2.5L 4cyl 5-speed man
written on 03-12-2016
XL 2dr Regular Cab SB
Bought new. Very simple vehicle with power steering, 5speed manual, but no A/C. Followed scheduled maintenance closely. Only 3 major repairs - replaced radiator ( cracked plastic connectors ), timing belt at 180k miles, and replaced clutch at 215k miles. 2.5 4cyl engine is still tight - burns no oil. Mileage on truck evenly divided between city, high speed freeway ( over the Sierras and Cascades mountains ) and 2 lane rural highways in the Sierras.
Gas mileage ranges from 20 to 22mpg in city
and 25 to 29mpg highways, with the best mpg on slower, smoother 2 lane highways.
Best features are the mechanical reliability, excellent visibility, 5 speed manual, and ease of entering and exiting the fairly room cab.
Worst features are the slow acceleration ( "C'mon truck!! Let's Go! ),
lack of proper hand brake ( the all-or-nothing parking brake is worthless for holding the truck in place when starting up steep hills ), and poor traction/control in snow and ice. In winter, I put on studded snow tire on all 4 wheels and load 500 lbs. of sand bags in the bed between the cab and rear axle (never put all the weight behind the rear axle - it will lift the front wheels ). The Ranger does OK on level or slight slopes, if driven with caution, but is "squirrelly" on steeper grades and curves due to its narrow stance, high center of gravity, and light front end.
I will note that although the little Ford Ranger was well worth the modest price I paid for it (great reliability, 5speed manual, ease of driving) it is now starting show its age. Specifically, there are minor but annoying electrical problems that are hard to diagnose and repair. The dome light often stays on after closing the doors tightly but when it will do so and how long it will stay lit is unpredictable - possibly a short due to frayed insulation. The same is true for the door ajar buzzer which also comes on at random times. Be aware that on older "modern" vehicles -ie. early 2000, that random electrical problems may be more of a problem than the more obvious problems of bad water pumps or dead alternators. Modern cars are now as much an electrical appliance as a mechanical device.
I bought this truck used in 2003. It has been the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned. Gas mileage isn't that great (20 mpg), but a very strong performer. The 4.0 L V6 comes in very handy when you need it. Great acceleration for passing truckers on hills in the mountains. The 4WD has performed flawlessly in the winter, and I have pulled lots of people out of ditches and towed them up icy hills. The only things I've replaced on this truck are the front brake shoes (80,000 miles), a couple sets of tires, and the windshield. The only modification I had installed was a dual exhaust cat-back for $300, which greatly improved the power.
I have owned 3 Ford Ranger pick up trucks and this 4.0L truck was the worst vehicle I have ever owned. This 2000 Ranger with a 4.0 L and 4 wheel drive was awfully. Bad gas mileage and very poor reliability. I had to replace the head gasket at 100,000 miles and now the engine block is cracked. I bought this truck used and I am not sure how the previous owner took care of vehicle. I always change the oil ever 3000 miles and tried to maintain the vehicle. Unless Ford builds a better truck I will look at other brands before I ever consider another Ranger.