2002 Ford Ranger Reviews - Page 8 of 14

2002 Ford Ranger LX 4.0 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4.0 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired16785 miles
Most recent distance50000 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

Alright transportation when its running

Faults:

Clutch had to be replaced at 23000

Starter went out at 25000

Blown head gasket, this was a major repair

Seats ripped.

General Comments:

This is an OK truck, other than not being very reliable it is OK transportation. this truck doesn't get very good gas mileage and doesn't have very good acceleration. now I can see why people say FORD stands for fixed or repaired daily. I wouldn't buy another ford vehicle if someone paid me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th February, 2005

2002 Ford Ranger FX4 level II 4.0 SOHC from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4.0 SOHC Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired43 miles
Most recent distance30384 miles
Previous carFord Ranger

Summary:

What a blast to drive! Great 4WD truck

Faults:

Bilstein shock leaked oil, dealer is replacing under warranty.

Super flexible off-road suspension does not handle fast turns like 2WD, but it will go anywhere.

It's black and I live in Florida, no garage.

Turning radius is 44 ft.

General Comments:

This FX4 is my third Ranger, and my favorite. My '86 and '93 were good 2WD trucks, but nothing special. This fully equipped off-road version is well thought out and a pleasure to drive!

The biggest improvement to comfort is the lumbar adjust bucket seats. The Bilsteins make the ride very smooth on and off-road. The 4.0 winds up to 5600 rpm and sounds sweet, passing power is good.

I chose four wheel drive because I tow a 20ft. sailboat around the state of Florida and some boat ramps are difficult to pull up. Limited slip rear would have been enough, but 4WD seemed like it would be fun and came with better seats which are nice for long road trips. Towing is no problem at all with this truck! And four wheel drive lets me use any ramp I find even if it is covered in sand.

As for off-road equipment, it is hard to beat this package from any manufacturer. 31x10.5x15's on forged alum wheels are stock. Great articulation helps climb hills and ruts with no problem, but a noisy mud tire would help instead of all terrains BFG's (factory) which are surprisingly quiet. Three skid plates and a torque sensing limited slip are great factory equipment.

Of course a little more power would be nice, but there's no need to back down from full size pickups at a traffic light. Five speed auto and 4.10 gears do the trick! The auto is really smooth and works well with the higher revving SOHC engine. Tires will spin if you stomp it, lots of fun!

Folding back seats are small, but all that rides there are guitars and amp. Interior is plain, but so what? The view is great out in the woods. Sound system is clean and fairly loud.

My previous two Rangers had the five speed manual tranny, I will not buy one of those again for towing (slave cylinders failed). Four wheel drive hurts mileage, I can get 17.5 around town unless I go off-roading on the way home from work (I have a hard time behaving like an adult in this truck).

It has 30k miles now, and do not plan to buy the extended warranty. It is as reliable as my others. I'll just buy the service manuals, I plan to keep this one after it is paid off.

I rated it an 8 for performance not because it runs a fast quarter mile, but because it does everything else so well. Driving the interstate or in deep thick sand, I just point it and go. I did get it stuck once in a steep mud hole soon after I got it, so until I change tires I'll just avoid that particular hole! Practice and experience has prevented a repeat, plus I bought a portable air pump so I can air down before I get stuck.

Running costs are not as cheap with 4WD, but my mileage is better than most any other I talked to. Tires and regular maintenance of the extra differential and transfer case will add up, but it was at least $8000 cheaper than a comparable F-150 and I got zero percent financing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2005

18th May 2005, 20:38

Thanks for the very well written review, sealed my decision to go with the Level II Ranger over the ZR2 S10.

20th Jun 2010, 00:54

I wrote the original review here 2 years after I bought this FX-4 in Feb 2003, and I am still very happy with this now 8 year old Ranger. It has 115K miles, and is on the second set of BFG A/T's, which are 32x11.5.

The only things that have failed are the DPFE sensor, which cost under $50, and the Torsen differential, which I replaced with an Auburn ECTED, very expensive. I will not buy another helix gear differential like the Torsen, which failed after hitting washboard at full throttle at over 60 mph, causing wheelhop. Truck comfortably handled the dirt road, but a few days later I was backing out of a parking spot and heard a big bang. The diff casing (not the axle housing) had exploded, but I was able to drive it carefully to work for two weeks while I ordered the ECTED from AMP performance.

Last year I added an SCT switch chip programmed by Doug of Bamachips. The programming takes advantage of the high compression ratio of the stock engine to get about 8% more power when running 93 octane. It will spin the tires easily with the Bamachip torque tune, and the highway gas mileage is slightly better with premium, as high as 22mpg with the 32" A/T's and ethanol gas.

Around town gas mileage is terrible with the chip turned on, because I can't keep out of the throttle, it's so much more fun to drive. 10% ethanol cuts my mileage by 1.5 mpgs. When I buy real gasoline in Georgia, I always measure the improvement. Best I got before the chip and before ethanol was 21.5mpg.

One of the things I like best about the new programming is the way the automatic transmission shifts. The chip increases the line pressure to firm up the shifts and to cause downshifts without pushing the gas pedal as far. This makes the truck much more responsive, along with the increase in torque.

So here my eight year old Ranger is still running great, looks good, and has plenty of life left... and it's paid for! I still endorse this platform as a great value in a truck. Aside from the experimental nature of the Torsen in a production vehicle and my deliberate abuse of that differential, this has been another totally reliable Ford for me. I will buy another... someday!! This one has at least five years of regular service ahead before I turn it into a hobby truck.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 48 reviews