1997 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0 V6 from North America


This bad truck eats those little street racers for breakfast!


Replaced the air-conditioning refrigerant that eventually leaked out (around $20 with a do it yourself kit).

Passenger side power window is slow when being rolled up.

General Comments:

Awesome Truck! This baby will boogie down the road! It has more than enough power thanks to the 4.0 V6.

This is a great truck with a very comfortable and plush interior.

The extended cab has two fold down seats that are not very comfortable for long rides unless used by a child or a small person.

Overall, the Ranger XLT extended cab is built well, and looks like it too. It is a tough truck!

The only downside to this model is that most accessories such as wrap around grille guards, are very hard to find. Almost every accessory is available for the 1996 and older, or the 1998 and newer models, but not for the 1997 model.

I love this truck!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2003

1997 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 I-4 from North America


A functional, reliable, underpowered overachiever


Bottom of door armrests pulling from door.

Center fold-down armrest padding is split and will not latch properly anymore.

Third brake light leaks into cab.

Chrome finish on front grille surround is weathering off.

General Comments:

Overall, the truck is great. Coming from an S-10 Blazer from the early 90s, the fit and finish of this truck is astounding.

I bought this truck used. Most, if not all, of the faults listed above can be attributed to the previous owner, except for two. Nearly every Ranger I have seen has the armrest pulling away from the door as well as the broken console latch. Seems these are nagging problems.

The truck is functional. You can operate the radio with minimal movement from the stick shift. The cab layout gives you the impression you've driven the truck before, even if it's your first time. You reach to where you think something should be, and there it is. The rear glass is a bit tricky to open while driving, but once you get used to it it's no problem. The 12V Accessory port caps could have been a little better designed. Rather than make them removable and storable, they are on little plastic clips so they dangle whenever anythings plugged in. But these little quirks are nothing in the grand scheme of the truck.

The truck is reliable, to say the least. If you're a shade-tree mechanic, you should have no trouble with basic maintenance. Expect to buy 8 spark plugs though, as the engineers at Ford felt a 2 plug/cylinder head would help the admittedly pathetic performance of the 2.3 4 cylinder.

The rear end is light compared to the front, which is common among pickups. There is no posi-track, making the truck a "one wheeled wonder". Basically, if you get into mud/dirt/sand and make a rear wheel spin, you're stuck. But posi-traction (both rear wheels spin, also known as a limited slip differential) is a cheap and easy upgrade to solve that problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2003

18th Dec 2003, 20:12

Just to let you know, the 2.3 twin spark is a Ford design for lower emissions, a.k.a lean-burn. One plug fires as normal and the other one fires on the exhaust stroke. I think they were trying to make more tune-up money than performance.

1997 Ford Ranger XL 2.3L 4 cylinder. from North America


Independent and reliable


Gas Gouge. It was giving false readings.

General Comments:

I drive a lot. I also have a really bad sense of curiosity. So if this truck is still handling as great as it is now, that's saying something.

All Ford Rangers act differently. Mine is sensitive. The steering, the handling and the brakes are sensitive. It doesn't take much.

I take this truck off-road a lot. It may not be a 4x4, but it doesn't need to be.

It has great suspension and shocks.

Though, I got mine used, so the previous owner had it raised a little bit as it is higher than any stock truck.

I have no complaints about my truck. It handles the speed and the turns really well. It glues itself to the ground when I'm off-road and the only times I have ever gotten stuck was when I was off-road, and it was my fault. If it was a 4x4, it'd be even more better.

And while this truck may not be a ricer, I have managed to outrun any other truck or car at the light. There are a few like Dodge, but this is only a 4 cylinder.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2003