I have had this truck for over a year now and have only had to replace the front brakes. This has been a very reliable truck and I would definitely recommend it if your wallet can afford the 15 city and 18 hwy mpg on the 4.0 model. It's not a speedy truck but more of a torque monster. This is a bit of a disappointment unless you're towing something. I barely notice whenever there is any weight on the truck. Overall a quality and reliability make this this ideal small truck.
I bought this Ranger (my 4th or 5th, can't remember) 5+ years ago (2011) with 82K miles on it. I paid $7000 for it at that time. It had been owned by a maintenance fanatic and was absolutely as-new. Every service had been performed on schedule. It now has 111K miles on it and the maintenance has been kept up in the same manner. I've had no problems with it at all. The 4.0 engine has had full-synthetic oil since the first change. Other than regular maintenance, my only expense so far has been for a new battery and a set of spark plugs.
This truck has all the toys: power windows, locks, automatic transmission, A/C, cruise-control, the Pioneer sound system etc., and everything has always worked as it should. The Ruby Red metallic finish still looks new even though the truck has been parked outside for the last 5 years.
Driving impressions: I love driving this little hauler! It has a heavy duty lumber rack, the first thing I do to any truck. I regularly haul 500 pounds of beams and other long items on the rack and another 500 pounds in the bed, and the truck never complains. It gets 20 mpg all around driving (very little city) and 22-3 on long trips. My only complaint, and that's a small one, is that compared to my last Ranger, a '91 with the 3.0 engine, I can feel no better performance from this 4.0 engine, the 3.0 engine was physically smaller and far less complicated so easier to service, and the '91 got a consistent 24 mpg.
Nice and quiet, handles well, the ride is great considering the hauling capability. I have a heavy-duty lumber rack on the truck and it often gets some amazing loads on it, which it handles fine.
When I bought the truck, it had gone about 5000 miles on a set of new tires. Now, 27,000 miles later, they still look almost new, with no uneven wear. This speaks well for the trucks suspension design.
Low-speed acceleration is impressive. Highway acceleration, not so much. It surprised me that on a regular trip I do which includes miles of 50-65 mph mildly curving highway up and down mountain ranges, this thing is flat-out floored to keep up with normal highway traffic. Pulling up a long, mild incline at 55 or 60 mph, when the hill gets a little bit steeper, the truck just keeps slowing down. If I mash the throttle to the floor, it will shift down, make a whole lot more noise, but not go any faster. And this is with no load in the truck! It's been that way since I've owned it.
Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints about this truck. Oh yeah, one little one. The seat cushions are really hard, but I fixed that with a foam chair pad. The backrests are great for me.
That 4.0 SOC engine gets 18-19 mpg in mixed highway/town driving and 20-22 highway. For a truck, I'm happy with that. I do use premium gas, however, and the mileage is enough better to offset the cost of the gas, plus it performs noticeably better all around.
The transmission is terrific. Shifts solidly but smoothly and always right when it should.
On a Ranger Forum I subscribe to, there are complaints about timing chain issues on high-mile engines, and getting to the rear timing chain (yes, the right one is at the back of the engine) means removing the engine, as in expensive. I'm hoping that my oil-change diligence and that I keep the RPMs to a reasonable level will make this a non-issue.
I really like the convenience of the rear doors, although as other have mentioned, they are cumbersome in a parking lot with skinny spaces.
Bottom line: I can't think of a truck I could buy for this money that I'd rather have.
Learned my lesson with my first Ranger and got the super cab and 4L SOHC engine. Bucket seats are a big plus for comfort. This truck is fun to drive, unfaltering reliability, and reasonably economical for a vehicle with over 200 HP.
i love ford rangers. i drive a ZR2 at work all day it is
not all what made to be it has been stuck in the
mud 10 or 15 times. I have not been stuck at all. I
HAVE PULLED a suburban ot of the mud in 4 wheel
low and it didn't have a hard time.
After Highschool graduation it was time to upgrade over my 86 Silverado. I knew for a while I wanted a Ranger, Im impressed with way my truck handles and drives. The 3.0 is a good mixture of performance and fuel effiency. Its a solid little truck, that looks as good as it drives. The extended cab is perfect for transporting all my gear to and from school. It can hold all my fishing and camping supplies inside, out of the elemets. The Edge package gives it an awesome stance. I opted for the 2 wheel drive, over the 4 simply for the fact that I dont plan on doing any serious off-roading in it.I upgraded the head unit and rear speakers, simply because Im going through my loud music phase.