1996 Ford Ranger XL 2.3 from North America

Summary:

FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC

Faults:

Driver's side bench seat started tearing, and got way worse.

Rear brake cylinder cracked off roading at 234,000.

Catalytic converter went bad/had holes at 224,000.

O2 sensors went bad around the same time.

Cylinders 2 and 3 started losing compression.

General Comments:

I escaped a nasty wreck in this thing with not even a scratch. The impact was so powerful, it cracked the engine block and wrinkled the tailgate (it was a head on collision BTW). I was going about 50-55.

Seats are really comfortable. They keep you in the best position for a truck, with an upright/straight back.

The Mazda M50D-R1 always shifts very smooth; synchros never went out. I'm pretty confident that the tranny would have gone 500,000 or more.

Really quick for being a 4 cylinder. For about 130HP, you really get more than what you pay for. That thing was the little engine that could. Handles like a horse off road. The I-beam suspension in the front definitely defined the quality of the truck.

I will never regret anything about it, except for that the base model came as standard without power steering or A/C.

Believe it or not, it got about 25 MPG city.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2013

27th Feb 2013, 19:59

The 1990s Ford Rangers were borderline bulletproof. It's sad that Ford stopped making them and opted for a much less durable restyling in 1998. Believe me, the 1998-2012 models were nothing but trouble for the most part.

28th Feb 2013, 20:04

There was no 2012 Ranger for public sale. Only a small number of 2012's were built for fleet sales only, likely most, if not all, bare-bones XL models.

1996 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 4 banger from North America

Summary:

Lean, mean, economical machine!

Faults:

Rear brakes at 161k miles.

Plugs and wires at 163k miles.

Rear end at 169k miles.

IAC at 166k miles.

Rust at cab corners and front bed seam.

Broken springs in driver's side seat.

Broken hinge on center console.

Throw-out bearing starting to go.

Cleaned MAF sensor at 168k miles.

Exhaust fell off the day I got it registered.

General Comments:

Pretty good little truck.

Good on gas (24 city, 29 highway, not even joking).

The 2.3 is a little underpowered when it comes to hills, but it'll usually hold 55 in 4th gear up a steep incline.

Mazda M5OD-R1 transmission shifts very smoothly.

Very little cab noise.

It's got a Thrush Welded muffler (Flowmaster knock-off) and sounds pretty decent for a 4 cyl.

It takes a little gas to take off, but you get used to it.

I put a K&N stock replacement lifetime filter in it, and it REALLY woke that little 4 banger up!

LOVES to go 70 mph! Really gotta watch the speedometer!

Can't haul much in the short bed, but who cares! I was getting 29 mpg before the snow fell and I parked it for the winter (and that's with a bad rear differential).

Not the quickest truck in town, but my friends tell me the passenger's seat is pretty comfortable!

I towed a car with it, and the truck said "Is there something behind me? Oh, it's a STRATUS being TOWED by ME! MUAHAHAHA!"

A little on the light side to be towing a Dodge Stratus with... you can feel an empty tow dolly behind 'em.

SCARY to drive on gravel (being it a standard cab, short bed truck).

EVEN SCARIER to drive in the snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2011

1996 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0 from North America

Faults:

Had to replace the battery and shocks at 110,000 miles; the shocks were in really bad shape.

General Comments:

This little truck is seriously dependable, and has not let me down. I have had more problems with my other cars, and they are newer models.

Lots of room in the cab for the driver and the passenger.

With a 4.0 engine, I can tow heavy loads and still have good acceleration power.

The only thing I don't like is the annoying door bell, and I waited too long to buy a Ranger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2010