I don't see this truck as being reliable if it needs a transmission rebuild at 150,000 miles. That's not that many miles compared to a Tacoma. The transmissions' in Ranger's are notoriously bad. I'm a mechanic and I've rebuilt a number of Ranger transmissions, most of them only had between 130,000 and 180,000 miles.
@ the comment above... that's why I reccomended a 5 speed tranny if possible. I hate automatics... especially in used vehicles as they have almost never been maintained properly (as was the case with this truck).
Both 5-speed and auto transmissions are good. If you see in the original review, it would appear she changed the oil, but never transmission fluid in 150k+ miles.
My new 1999 Ford Ranger XLT 4X4 with HD suspension flex fuel from the dealer blew the head gasket, with no warning, last June of 2010 at 139,000 miles. Replacement cost was $4,400 for a new rebuilt engine and starter.
The diodes in the original alternator went out a few months later, along with the two year old brand name battery.
The engine seized while driving with the cylinders filling full of oil & coolant, while others seized to the block walls according to the mechanic.
I have driven all of my vehicles (Opel & GM) over the last fifty years over 300,000 miles each, and never had an engine go bad like this. This is my first Ford and last. I figure if I pay real close attention to Consumer Reports Vehicle Survey they come out with once a year, I should be able to acquire a good used vehicle for my last retirement wheels when needed. $800 to replace an oil pan gasket is a rip! Replacement of front brakes & rotors every two point five years was never part of any vehicle I had before either!
I have a 99 Ford Ranger 2.5L 5 speed with 195000 miles, and the only thing I have had to replace is the IAC valve.
This truck is tough. It's slammed on the ground and takes a beating everyday. But a year and a half later and 30,000 miles, this truck still runs strong. Great job to Ford.