1996 Ford Ranger Owner Ratings & Reviews

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1996 Ford Ranger - Ol' reliable

Jason
Ellicott City, Maryland
Overall
5.0
Value
5.0
Performance
1.0
Style
4.0
Comfort
3.0
Fuel Economy
4.0
Reliability
5.0
The 1996 Ford Ranger is one of the most basic vehicles on the road today. And in our modern world of constant connectivity, that's a welcome blessing. The truck boasts a 2.3 liter inline four producing maybe 100 horsepower mated to a Mazda-derived 5-speed manual. More precisely, rather, a four speed with overdrive. In essence, you won't be going anywhere fast, but that's OK, because why do you have to drive top speed everywhere? Take it easy. The truck also features an AM/FM radio with cassette player, which is more than adequate for 2018. In addition to playing all your awesome tapes from the '80s, you can still use an adapter and play a modern CD or Mp3 device. Maintenance is a breeze on this thing. The Ranger was the most popular compact pickup in the 90's and also shared most of it... (more)
Story
One time when changing the plugs, I broke one and ended up extracting the broken bit and replacing that plug in the parking lot of a parts store.
Pros
The truck is so easy to maintain, and the parts are cheap. This means that owners save a lot of money because they don't have to pay the labor charges when taking the car to a mechanic. The truck also shares parts with many other Fords, so parts are cheap and easy to find. Considering its age, the truck gets decent mileage; I get about 25 mpg combined.
Cons
The truck is very slow. Also, the cylinder is housed inside the transmission housing, so replacing it requires removing the entire transmission. The driveshaft on the '96 extended cab is a two-piece unit, which means you have to worry about an extra U-joint and a carrier bearing, compared to the standard cab. And winter performance is abysmal; either get rear snow tires or weigh down the bed. Otherwise, it's very easy to fishtail.

1996 Ford Ranger - Ford tough miniaturized.

Ranger Owner
Baltimore, Maryland
Overall
5.0
Value
5.0
Performance
1.0
Style
3.0
Comfort
3.0
Fuel Economy
4.0
Reliability
5.0
It's an old, slow, somewhat rusty truck. And I love every bit of it. It's so easy to work on and parts are so cheap. It's also pretty handy, as well, especially in SuperCab form. The six-foot bed has just enough room to haul a decent load. The axle can handle a decent 1700 pound load (more if you upgrade the leaf springs, but don’t push it).There's just enough room in the cab for 2 people in the front and 2 more in the back (short trips, though). Everything about the truck is simple and no-nonsense, which is greatly appreciated in this tech-crazy world we live in. With the 5-speed, you can just focus on driving and that's such a refreshing thing in today's day and age. It’s basic transportation in a pure form; nothing unnecessary interferes with the driving experience. The truck gives ... (more)
Story
I once hauled an entire storage unit worth of stuff in one trip. Background: there was a charity donating people's unwanted junk to a family who had lost their home to a fire. A lot of people wanted to help out, but lacked the appropriate vehicle in order to transport the goods. That's where me and the truck come in. It was mostly furniture and some random boxes.
Pros
Older Rangers share many parts with 1st-generation Ford Explorers. Remember how many people had those things back in the 90s? Ford also build plenty of Rangers as well. The point is parts are cheap. It's also really easy to work on. The 4-cylinder engine actually gets roughly 25 combined mpg, which is comparable to large modern cars with naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engines.
Cons
Slow. I mean, you'll get up to speed, but it takes a moment to get there. Also, prepare to keep your foot down when the A/C is on full blast. Being an old truck, there's a lot of rusty bolts so take that into consideration when you're working on it.