1997 Ford Ranger Reviews

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.3 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carChevrolet S-10

Summary:

Most reliable small truck on the road

Faults:

I had to replace the rear shackles on the bed, timing belt because it was dry rotted, brakes and ball joints.

General Comments:

This truck is one of the most reliable trucks on the road. Not a lot of power, but I haul around 800-1000 pounds all the time in the bed. Easy on gas, and most Rangers I've owned go 200,000 miles.

My advice is check for shackles being rotted out before you buy. There are two sets; one on the front of the bed, and another at the rear. That's the only real issue I've had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2012

10th Jan 2013, 15:11

Yeah, the same thing happened to me with the shackles. I hear it's because of the design that water tends to stand in those areas, but other trucks suffer from it too. My truck irritates me with small issues, but keeps on running.

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.0 V6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired135000 kilometres
Most recent distance139000 kilometres

Summary:

An excellent machine, which I would recommend to someone looking for an excellent machine!

Faults:

Battery died, which needed replacing, at about 137000kms.

Beyond that, I have had no issues needing replacing, beyond, of course, regular maintenance.

General Comments:

A great machine! It's my first car, but I love it!

It lacks a CD player, which I've remedied with an FM transmitter.

Seats are quite nice, although the back seats are a little cramped for my larger friends.

Perhaps not the most power, but it certainly has enough for what I need! (I made it up to 160 km/h, but slowed down when I decided that if something went wrong... it would go REALLY wrong.)

I hit a deer with it at 100km/h (about 60mph). Blew the airbag, punched in the grille, and killed the condenser on the A/C. Damage appraised at $3200, and my insurance wanted to leave it a total loss. They only offered me about $3500 for it, which sucked, because to me, it's worth a lot more than that! I wound up fighting with them, and they've repaired it!

A little less than 140,000 kms on her, and she's got a long way to go!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2012

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3L from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.3L Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance126000 miles
Previous carMazda B2200

Summary:

Not perfect, but won't leave you stranded!

Faults:

As anyone with Ford experience knows, they are certainly notorious for electrical issues.

The dome light gets stuck being on, which could drain the battery, so I just keep a tap light in and the fuse for the dome light out.

The door ajar buzzer goes off every now and then when the door is shut, which is why the dome light can get stuck on.

The main mechanical issue that is ongoing is the check engine light. This is the second Ranger I have owned (1997 Mazda B2300, same $&!%, different day). The code that comes up is some generic one about the factory air intake system (in the Mazda System too lean). The only two things I haven't had looked at are the fuel injectors and vacuums. Runs fine with some hesitation every now and then. It's a 4 banger, so that isn't a big deal.

For those with experience with trucks, things that typically go bad are the shackles in the leaf springs. Had those replaced about two years ago; kinda pricey, but I know some people now who can fix it for less; that was $800. Put new shocks and springs on it, and new ball joints.

Overall, I think I have put about $2000 in it since buying. Hasn't left me stranded, and has handled a half dozen moves.

General Comments:

It is hard for me to recommend this truck, just because of the electrical issues and the Check Engine OBD issue.

I have very low expectations for cars and trucks, so I can I live with all these, and still love my truck. I understand how some other people can't. These trucks do last, and are built better than GM trucks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd January, 2012

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 47 reviews