Bang for the buck
* Ride height was misadjusted from the factory. Bed was also misaligned. Dealer corrected both problems under warranty.
* Drivers side seat material is wearing abnormally. Ford will not cover seat materials under warranty.
* Most seriously (so far), the front brakes failed to engage while I was slowing to make a right turn. This happened at 9,200 miles. Even though I was driving at low speed and had begun braking early for the turn, the rear brakes were unable to keep me from entering the intersection. The dealer was not able to find a mechanical problem and theorizes the ABS system erroneously removed pressure from the front brakes, but unless something stays broken, it is very hard to fix. The problem has not recurred in 500 miles of in-town driving since then, but I am not letting my guard down.
Overall, I like the truck. Fast it is not, but acceleration is adequate. The 5-speed automatic shifts smoothly most of the time, although cutting out overdrive when decelerating can lead to a rough downshift. Fuel economy is fair, but I am averaging about 19mpg, so I am not too unhappy.
Creature comfort is where the truck shines. The fast-wearing seat notwithstanding, the ergonomics are excellent, with plenty of headroom and legroom. Indeed, the primary reason I chose this truck was its vastly better driver and passenger comfort than that of the 2002 Dakota Club Cab I would otherwise have purchased.
As for the sound system, I'm sure it's fine, but I don't listen to music or the radio much when I'm driving, so I'm afraid the Tremor package wasn't a sales plus for me. My girlfriend, though, loves it.
The best feature of the truck is the four-door arrangement. At first, I viewed that as a useless feature, but having lived with it for a year now, I have to say that having the twin rear-opening doors behind the seats has made this truck much easier to live with on a day-to-day basis than my Dodge Club Cab. Nothing beats having better access to the area behind the front seats, and even my die-hard friends with S-10 LS models concede that the extra door Ford adds above Chevy's three-door truck makes for a more versatile and useful arrangement. If you are considering a Ranger Supercab, splurge if you can for the four-door option.
I shopped around for more than a year before buying. The Ranger is not perfect, but to me it is a better value than anything else out there, including the Nissans and Toyotas.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th November, 2003