Searching the Web, I came across this site and felt compelled to put in my two cents worth. I too own a '95 Ranger XLT 3.0 extended cab automatic. No, it's not perfect, but this by far, has been the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. I am 61, so needless to say, I have owned several cars (including Japanese) and trucks throughout my life. I bought the Ranger used in '97 with 40K miles. I bought it because I liked the looks and because, for several years in the 90's, Consumer Reports recommended the Ranger over the Tacoma in every aspect, except for reliability where they rated both the same, better than average. Though, today I would not own one, I have nothing against the Japanese cars. It is a fact that they consistently excel in reliability, something Detroit seemed to have ignored for many years and, in my humble opinion, the reason why the Big Three are now in trouble. Ford, though, did something right with my model year Ranger, as 190,300 miles on the odometer proves it.
I cannot tell you what failed in the first 40K miles of this Ranger's life, but in the next 150K miles that I owned this truck, here's what has failed:
1 - Wipers would come on intermittently. Windshield wiper module was replaced under extended warranty by dealer at 60K miles.
2 - Heater valved leaked at 100K miles. Since it was very simple to get to, I replaced it myself. The part was $14.
3 - Except for the gas gauge, all the other gauge lights have gone out. This is difficult to fix, so I installed a small set of three-led spot lights for night driving. This is annoying, since no other car I have owned ever had this problem.
4 - The Mass Airflow Sensor failed at 189K. Again, since it was simple to replace, I did it myself. The part was $107 from Auto Zone. This failure caused the Check Engine light to come on and the transmission to shift hard, also the exhaust smelled bad. I thought for sure it was the end of my truck, but once replaced all is back to normal again.
The battery, serpentine belt and spark plugs were replaced 5 years ago. But I consider this normal maintenance, as brakes and tires. NOTHING else has been replaced under the hood. Not even the hoses. The transmission and rear axle are original and working fine. Total for unexpected repairs in 11 years and 190.000 miles is $121. Kind of incredible, isn't it? Not bad for a so called "Fix-Or-Repair-Daily" product.
To summarize, I have been very pleased and impressed with my Ranger's reliability and the low cost of maintenance. It continues to run like the first day I bought it. It is still quiet, has no rattles and feels solid. People can't believe it is 11 years old until they look at the odometer, then their usual comment is that it was probably made in Japan or with Japanese components. They can't believe that it was made by Ford.
(Before I start, I'm the owner of a 1995 Ford Ranger. 2.3L, 5-speed manual. Had the truck since it was 2 years old. Truck currently has 140,000KM about 88,000 miles)
I love my '95 Ranger. It's by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. It has been extremely reliable, and has never left me stranded anywhere at all. The paint is still original, driven in every Canadian winter in the 10 years I have owned it.
The original battery lasted until 2003.
The original alternator lasted until 2005.
The original paint still shines, and has no rust, not even under the doors, or under the floor.
The original back brakes lasted until 2006.
I'm still on the original clutch.
I'm still on the original exhaust, although replaced one donut gasket in 2005, a little soot was around it, minor leak I guess... easy fix.
Replaced all the shocks in 2006. They still rode fine, but were looking rusty.
(Here are the very few bad things)
I had the "classic" door chime stays on bug, but for nine years, have cleaned the door latch with degreaser every two years, then lubricated it with lock lubricant, and it has never bothered me again.
The clutch pedal became loose (side to side motion) a month ago. Still works great. I have heard other people with this problem, and who have fixed it with a new bolt, etc, but am waiting for warmer weather to fix it.
All Toyota boys need to get over themselves.. I'm going out to buy a Cheaper and more reliable Ranger this weekend... For the price you pay for a ranger and how long it lasts is unbeatable..
I own one, and the only things that have gone wrong are the headliner and fuel pump. It has been a good solid truck and I would have no reservations buying another one. Is it perfect? No. It is a compact pickup. It suffers from the small cabin, but it fits me well. My next pickup will be a Ford. Preferably a 150 with a manual. But this little Ranger will be in my driveway for a long long long time to come.
Having owned 4 Rangers since 1992, I feel that no other small truck comes close in reliability. None of mine every cost me one penny in repairs, and my last Ranger was over $7000 less than a comparably equipped Tacoma. Throwing away 7 grand for ad hype is not a habit of mine.
Yeah and I bet most of these surveyors have not even owned a Ranger. There are many great personal reviews on the Ford Ranger, so Ford must be doing something right.
Just ask the owners and stop relying on a survey system that is usually biased anyway. I have owned 4 Rangers and so have friends and family and they have nothing but good things to say about them, and so do I. I can't say anything about the Toyota Tacoma, I heard it's a great truck, but I still like the Ranger.
I have experience with both the Ranger and Tacoma. My Brother owned a 95' Ranger 4 banger for years, and I still own a 96' Tacoma 2.4 liter 4 banger. The Ranger was fairly reliable, but it was also sluggish in comparison. These were both manual transmissions. Here's my pros and cons.
Ranger: The good
1: Has a more rugged bed.
2: Seats are a bit more comfortable
3: Comes with more standard stuff (for example my Tacoma doesn't have intermittent wipers.)
4: Relatively reliable.
1: SLOW. At least the 4 banger in my brother's was.
2: Pain to work on. His had EIGHT spark plugs and they were impossible to access
3: Ancient pin style brakes.
Tacoma: The Good
1: Fast. Mine literally whipped the pants off my brother's
2: Pretty easy to work on. I also felt that the fit and finish of the engine components was a lot better.
3: Rock solid reliable. 250,000+ on mine so far and no problems.
1: Truck bed a bit flimsy. I use mine for hauling all kids of crap, and the bed has quite a few dents.
2: Cheap plastic interior. I think this truck was meant for fleet service. The interior shows.
3: Missing some basic amenities: My wipers are only 2 speeds: slow and fast.