2003 Ford Ranger XL 3.0L V6 from North America
A good, cheap, reliable basic truck that is cheap and easy to maintain
Clutch wobbling at 10000 miles, factory defect and warranty fix.
Engine oil leak (dealership error with oil filter). Fixed under warranty.
Serpentine belt and tensioner at 40000 miles.
The 3.0L V6 starts easily and accelerates well, especially with the 5 speed. Gas mileage hovers around 20-22 mpg with the 6.
The 5 speed shifts easily and has smooth clutch action, better than most American cars I've driven. It's geared for low end torque and pulling power. So, while the truck won't win a lot of races, it will definitely pull a rated load without slowing down.
Handling is nimble and good for a truck, at the expense of ride, which is punishing at best. Noise level is fairly low, and there are still no rattles and squeaks almost 7 years later.
Seating is adequate at best for two. The cab is tiny and cramped, although fine for one or two commuting.
Climate control and the controls at large are logically laid out and easy to use. They're very similar to the Ford Explorer and the Taurus. Everything is within easy reach of the driver.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th January, 2010
Bought an '03 XL with the 16 valve 4 banger brand new, out of the dealer. Wanted the base model, with the exception of having a dealer installed A/C.
The truck has been very forgiving due to some 'overlooked' maintenance schedules, yet has always started up and taken me to Point B every time!
So far the only parts replaced were the battery and tires (which lasted some 70K miles, thanks to proper rotating intervals). I highly recommend Continental brand tires, they're the best tires I've come across so far.
Back to the Ranger, now at 80K miles I have to replace the valve cover gasket, because I have oil leaking into No.3 spark plug hole. However, I have heard of horror stories from other fellow Ranger owners, from fuel pump failure, to electrical glitches. My mechanic friend thinks they're junk, and is quite surprised that my truck has lasted this long without undergoing major repairs.
For me, I got the truck because it was the best value for the money that I had. I did my shopping, and other makes were way too much for me, being that I wanted a base model (Toyota dealer wanted $22K for their no frills model). I can only mention that this XL is worth the $15K I spent, my first ever vehicle bought new. A bit underpowered, but adequate for me, and the gas mileage is superb.
Now that I'm 'semi retired', it's time to give my truck a good once over, since it's been overlooked in maintenance. I do consider myself fortunate, and I would definitely follow the maintenance schedules the next time I purchase a new truck.
I'm starting some 80K miles too late, but I'll be awaiting for the parts to wear out. In all, a good truck for the price, and I would recommend the Ranger to anyone, and would most likely buy another one when my truck goes out to pasture.