1996 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 from North America




The air conditioner never worked in any of my rangers (3, 2 94s and a 96). I'm not going to nit-pick every little thing that went wrong on a 20+ year old truck. But most of the things that went wrong were my fault. With basic maintenance the 93 to 96 Rangers are outstanding trucks.

General Comments:

Every Ranger I had came with a 2.3L engine and a manual transmission. They're not fast but won't die. I've loaded them up past the roof with firewood, loaded down with drywall and tiles, and they don't give up. They're simple and cheap to work on, and great on gas.

Inside they're as comfortable as a small mid 90s truck is gonna be, but I always had the XLT. The XL package is pretty basic and doesn't offer much, but I'm sure it's just as good of a truck.

Overall they have always been good, reliable transportation and ready to work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2019

8th Feb 2019, 12:37

A 10/10 rating in "performance" for a 4-cyl Ranger?

1996 Ford Ranger XL 2.3 from North America


A great, reliable, and inexpensive ride


Needs a tune up, and the dome light doesn't work. But great truck for travel or in-town transport.

General Comments:

Reliable, comfortable, and economic. Great for a first car. Easy to learn the manual; I wouldn't ever go with an automatic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2015

1996 Ford Ranger XL 2.3 from North America




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


Lean, mean, economical machine!


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