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Unread 01-19-2014, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Ford Ranger as decent grad school vehicle?

Hey y'all,

I'm thinking about buying a car, but being that I'm in grad school, I don't want to spend a ton on something and be car poor for the rest of my time here.

I want something with reasonable utility to make it easier moving apartments and stuff, but I also want decent gas mileage. My budget is around $3000, and I'd like to keep it under 150k miles.

Being in Michigan, I've noticed that there are a ton of really cheap American cars and trucks available, but still most of them are from a time period that I wouldn't buy American... However, for whatever reason I've always liked the Ford Ranger. I've never driven one, but my friends who have had them always liked them and around here they tend to seem pretty well taken care of. I've found some 99s to 02s that fit my criteria, specifically the 4 cylinder with the automatic (I've even found a few with the five speed). I'm used to driving all sorts of vehicles (I learned on a 95 Odyssey, drove a Sierra 2500HD at my first job, and drove an 05 Forester when I was home during the summers in college. Now I drive whatever Zipcar has on campus, mainly Focuses and Civics), so I think I could get used to driving a small truck pretty quickly.

Thoughts?
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Last edited by laboitenoire; 01-19-2014 at 11:37 PM.

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Unread 01-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with a Ranger!
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Unread 01-20-2014, 02:37 AM   #3
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I had two friend with 98's with 4 cylinder and 5 speed manual, regular cabs. I am 5'11 and could never get comfortable in the regular cab, it doesn't allow enough movement. Also drive a 5 speed before buy one, with the poor seating position and the worst clutch feel I have ever driven its the only vehicle I have driven that I struggled to drive smoothly.

Just to give perspective I have owned/driven extensively the following: 1999 Dodge Dakota reg cab w/3.9L V6+5spd manual; 1988+1989 Ford Ranger reg cab 4cyc+5spd man; 1993 Ford Ranger ext cab 4cyc+5spd; 1994 Mazda (ford ranger lol) reg cab 4cyc+5spd; 2003 Chevy S10 ext cab 4.3L V6+5spd manual. And none of them acted anything like the two 98 rangers I drove. I have never driven an automatic in those, so I am sure it would be fine. Again check out the driving position if its a regular cab.

I do agree the rangers were great vehicles, of those above the 88/89/93/84 rangers/mazda all had over 200,000 miles on them. The dakota still is around and is just over 100,000 now. The S10 was traded in. My friends 98's one threw a main bearing at 160,000(don't worry they changed the oil every 25,000 miles), and the other was T-boned by a Navigator at 40 mph....just for note they tend to fall over when a small 40mph bump happens lol.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 02:12 PM   #4
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I would just like to add that I have a 2002 Ford Ranger. I have a regular cab, 4 cylinder 2WD version, 5 speed manual. I am 6'0 and I have plenty of room in the truck. I have driven several times with 3 people in the truck, and there is enough room (as long as you are well acquainted with the person in the middle, and comfortable shifting between their legs haha). I bought the truck with 200,000 miles on it, and it has been great for me. It currently has 237,000 miles on it, and it is still running strong. Only problem I have had with it is the rubber seal went out in the slave cylinder and drained all the fluid. Replaced the seal, filled the cylinder back up, and haven't had any other problems at all.
On another note, my brother has a 2000 Ranger, 5 speed manual, 4X4 V6. His has about 150,000 miles but he has never had any problems.
Growing up my dad had several rangers, and we have always loved them. If you change oil regularly and check other fluids, this is a great truck and should last you a long time. I have never felt the bad clutch feel in any of the rangers I have driven that lemans81 is talking about. They have always driven nicely in my opinion.

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