1996 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 gas 4-banger from North America
Get the V6 4WD options. its worth it!
The only thing changed by previous owner did was change the oil and air up 4 tires (not the spare) So I had to:
Clean engine compartment (1/8 inch dust, just sprayed off with a hose)
A brake cylinder went foul, which caused a pad to go foul, which caused the rotor to become fine metal shavings on my tire at about 1/16" per mile. Not a big problem except for the rotors were the hubs which meant changing bearings and everything. (BIG pain in the tush).
The geniuses at Ford put 8 spark plugs on the 4-cylinder engine (should have put DOHC on the underpowered crapper not dual ignition). Then they put the fuel rail over half of them. Then they put the intake manifold over the fuel rail! Then they nestled the back of the engine too close to fit a socket on the rearmost 2 bolts on the manifold...
This really isn't that bad of a truck, except that the 4-cylinder's absolutely worthless (about 100 horses). I got worse mileage than the larger V6 driving granny-style, and it didn't get any better on the highway because of wind-resistance ~18/20 city/hwy. If you've got a heavy foot, don't even consider this engine: that wee little engine'll suck the 18 gallon tank dry in about 5 minutes if you let it.
2wd kinda stinks, but the stick shift makes up for it (rocked it out of a ditch with 1 back wheel nearly off the ground and open differential :-p)
Other than the spark plug issue and my own choice to get a 2WD truck with a 4-banger this is a great truck, fun to drive, with plenty of space in the cab (I'm 6-4 and had space, and made 4-hour trips non-stop w/o cruise control)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th April, 2005