Pros: Nimble, handles well for a truck Reliable, makes a good beater truck
Cons: Choppy ride, underpowered, average fuel economy at best
I purchased my 2001 Ranger 2.5L new in the summer of '01 and its been a very dependable truck. However, its not without its faults.
1.)Rough ride. Its bouncy ride is a constant reminder of how bad Michigan roads are. This combined with endless traffic and construction problems around here can be a nasty formula for road rage.</br>.
2.)Fuel economy. Gas mileage is OK. I regularly check my mileage and the best I ever get is 24 MPG on a long trip (all highway miles) on a warm summer day. After 4 years, I've decided the four cylinder was not worth the trade off. (see below)</br>.
3.)The engine. I have the 120HP 2.5 OHV motor. Make no mistake about it, this proven engine is bulletproof. I speak from experience as I have had a '94 Ranger 2.3 which was basically the same engine with a smaller stroke. I put on over 200,000 miles on it. As I write this my 2.5 has 70,000 miles and runs perfect, and I beat the crap out of it doing delivery work around Southeast Michigan. However, its by no means a good performance choice. I have found it to be woefully inadequate for Detroit's expressways. The 5-speed transmission is almost a must, avoid the automatic with this engine.</br>.
4.Some minor annoyances: The seatbelt locks way too easy. I still like to turn around to see whats around me because I just don't trust those dreaded blind spots and when the belt locks I just can't move much. Someone can irreversibly cause an accident this way. The ignition chime: very annoying. Whenever I clean the truck I like to leave the radio on, and with the driver's door open, it just won't shut off. Also, if you don't have your seatbelt on it will keep going off for at least 10 minutes. In the older Rangers you could just pull it out underneath the ash tray. Here, you have take apart the dash. Forget that. As you would expect with a compact truck, there's not much room for more than one passenger. Not much room for carrying around a lot of stuff in the cab either. However, like on all post '98 Rangers, the extra couple of inches added to the cab definitely makes it more comfortable.</br>.
In all, if you're looking for a vehicle to just get you from point A to point B, the Ranger is a decent choice, although I'd avoid the 4 cylinder and regular cab models. Its great for hauling around a lot of weight and can really take a beating. </br>.