Pros: Styling, price, reliability
Cons: Power, options, build quality
I bought a 2005 Ranger EDGE a little over a year ago, and I thought it was time I let people know what I think about it...
When I bought it, I had just crashed my 2000 Ford Explorer (which is very similar to the Ranger mechanically). I liked the Explorer, but I always preferred pickups over SUVs, so I looked into the Ranger. I wanted a 5-speed, and for a truck, the shifter is pretty good. What I found was a black Ranger with the 3.0L V6, and the EDGE package, along with power windows/locks.
What I like about it: The transmission makes driving it pretty fun, for the 150HP V6 that came with it, and cleaning the interior is an absolute breeze. There aren't nooks and crannies that dirt and crap can get stuck into, which makes for a tidy appearance. I also like the overall design of the interior and exterior (my only gripe being the discontinued production of flaresides... otherwise I would have bought one).
The engine has been dependable so far, although I would expect that from a truck only 15,000 miles old. I like how simple these trucks are. I know that if something were to break, odds are, I can tackle the repair myself, and that can save me a lot of money.
For a compact pickup, the room inside is very good. I'm 6'3" and I fit perfectly fine. Visibility
What I don't like: The tires that came on my truck just plain suck. There is no way around that. I got the 16" alloy wheels, which look pretty slick, but they came wrapped in Continental Contitrac tires, which don't seem to have any traction at all. You need to be very careful driving this truck in the rain if it came equipped with these tires.
The engine is some-what anemic. It has been referred to as "A dog, but a loyal one", and that's pretty accurate. However, Whipple Superchargers makes a supercharger for the Ranger that is sold through Ford dealerships, so if you want to spend about $3000 +labor, you can get about a 70hp boost.
Build quality also sucks. This truck's interior was designed in 1995, and it shows. It doesn't bother me, but for some, it will.
Things I would change, if I did it again: Overall, I like my Ranger, but there are a few things I don't like about it. First, is the EDGE package. I would not recommend getting it. The aftermarket for the torsion bar front suspension is bad. If I did it again, I would have gotten an XLT. I would have also gotten the 4 cylinder. The new Duratec has a nice aftermarket, and makes just as much horsepower as the 3.0. It also gets about 30 on the highway (Mine gets a consistant 20mpg, no matter how I drive. Weird, huh?).
I don't recommend getting the 3.0 engine. After owning one, I think that anymore, there should be two real options for the Ranger. The 4.0 SOHC if you want power (and it's got gobs), or the Duratec 2.3L 4 banger, if you want economy (and it's good at that). I believe that the only reason Ford still puts the 3.0 in the vast majority of Rangers out there is because it is a cheap engine to produce.
Anyways, I'll try to remember to post some updates as time goes on, since the Ranger hasn't changed a bit since 2004, and probably won't change again until 2009.