Ford Ranger: 2.3L I-4 vs. 3.0L V-6

rjw16rjw16 Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Ford
I'm going to be buying a Lower-end compact pickup truck in the next little while and i've narrowed it down to the ford ranger. The truck will be used for hauling light loads about once a month and towing a 1000lb. tent-trailer in the summer. Right now i'm debating whether i should get the I-4 or the V-6. What are you're opinions?

P.S. I don't like visiting gas pumps.


  • jtc411jtc411 Member Posts: 15
    I have a 98 ford ranger 2.5l and i get the same gas milage as my friends 3.0 v6, so i would opt for the v6, i would if i had the chance again, plus the 4 cylinder has a hard time keeping up
  • erkkilaerkkila Member Posts: 22
    rjw16, if you don't care how slow you are, get the 4. I am sure that it will be great on gas, but forget about any real power. I used to own a 1995 sonoma with a 4 cylinder motor and got rid of it after being sick and tired of being the slowest thing on the road, in addition to the truck being a major POS. I replaced it with a Mazda B3000 which of course uses way more gas than a 4, but also has way more power. I averaged maybe just over 30 MPG with the 4 and get maybe 22-23 MPG with the 6.
  • rjw16rjw16 Member Posts: 5
    thanks for the help
  • eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 645
    When bundled with a stick the Ranger 4 isn't THAT BAD on performance, but it's way better than that Cavelier 2.2 they use in the S10.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687

        I would say you check the differences where the I-4 is available. I believe it's available on the regular cab version, and not the extended cabs if I remember correct. And 2WD versions being they are lighter.

        Ford's new 2.3L I-4 (Mazda designed) is a very sophisticated engine. I say you should test drive one and notice the refinement and sophisication of it is light years ahead that what you will feel in the 3.0L Vulcan V-6. Not that the 3.0L V6 is a bad engine, it's just doesn't do anything special given it's displacement. The engine will soon be retired by Ford being it's just pointless to keep it around, when there's other, and better refined engines that can take it's place.

        The I-4's performance is much improved over the old 2.5L. You will notice the HP and TQ ratings are close to that of the V6, and considering the engine weighs much less, performance wise it'll feel almost the same. That 2.3L I4 can be tweaked numerous ways, to create HP and TQ, that can surpass that of the Vulcan 3.0L. IN the Mazda application it does 160 and 155TQ. Favored more for a car, Whereas in the Ranger, it favors torque over HP. Actually this engine can be altered to make much more powered, but Ford didn't want to place it TOO close, to that of the 3.0L, even though it's somewhat close.

    Fuel estimates for the I-4 are quite good, and I believe has the best numbers for any compact pick-up with an I-4. Just check the configuration that suits you best, and if it's available with the I-4, test drive and see if it fits your needs best.
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Member Posts: 833
    What year did the I4 engine from Mazda becom available. For what I need in a truck , this sounds like the right option. I'll take gas milege over torque for my requirements.

    my impression from 4 cyl engines are: if made in Japan they're very impressive; if made in the US by a US designe, they suck big time.

  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    That I-4 is Mazda designed/engineered. It became the standard I-4 engine on the Ranger I believe last year, Model year 2002, or 2001. It's the same engine thats standard on the Mazda6-i, and will be standard on the future Ford Futura sedan, Mercury clone, etc.etc. Ford will be phasing in that engine in numerous vehicles, including the next refreshened Focus, and Escape to replace the current 2.0L Zetec respectivly. This is also the same 2.3L that will be used for the Escape hybrid.

    Technically speaking, it's one amazing engine, in what it's able to acheive. It's NHV levels are comparable if not, bests that of the Accord/Camry's I-4s.

    NOTE: This is not in ANY relation to the dreaded 2.3L from the 80's that Ford used, so do not mistake it for that fiasco of an engine.

    Also, if you can't get much of a deal with a Ranger (I'm sure you will), you can try the Mazda B-series truck. Same thing, expect with Mazda, you have limited packages and configurations. They do have a longer warranty if that's a plus for you.
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Member Posts: 833
    from edmunds editorial review, it looks like the new I4 was introduced in 2002. Interestingly enough, Edmunds really has nothing to say about it as far as praise goes.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    I don't think they have tested it. I would think there's numerous other vehicles they'll concentrate on, than one that has carried itself with minimal changes, year after year. I'm sure if it were a V-8 added to that vehicle, it would be at the forefront of the "to test" list.

    You can try some other online publications, and maybe they have information on it.

    This is the link to Fords Media site, on an article discussing the new 2.3L engine.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    I have a 2003 Ranger with the I4 and 5 speed. Not bad for a little four banger, it can haul a good load and it gets 25+ mpg doing it. The only thing I noticed that I have to down shift more than a car would but that has to do with lower gearing which is not necessarily a bad thing
  • ronmcqronmcq Member Posts: 16
    My needs were the same as the first post. Light hauling, towing and good gas mileage. I test drove the Ranger regular cab and liked the truck but felt cramped. I found that Mazda had the same engine/drivetrain but with an extra cab. More comfortable with extra dry storage and small jump seats (for kids or short commutes) offering 5 passenger seating. At the time I bought, it was offered with a $3500 rebate plus the standard warranty is 4yr 50k miles. With 1 month on it I'm averaging 25 mpg in town. In postings on other sites I'm told it's possible to get up to 34 mpg on flat hwy. The only down side I've seen so far is availability of aftermarket upgrades. There are a few differences from the Ranger. Great truck, I'd buy it again.
  • rjw16rjw16 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the opinions guys!
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Member Posts: 833
    just bought a '98 3.0 reg. cab long bed. It was too good a deal to pass up. 62k mile strippy that needed a rear tailgate and front bumper....$3,000

    My first tank of gas registerred 20mpg, which is a pleasant surprise. for this price, I love the truck.
  • rjw16rjw16 Member Posts: 5
    thanks for all the opinions/help everyone!
  • bz1noxentbz1noxent Member Posts: 6
    I just bought my Ford Ranger compact without air conditioning. But when I called service and parts of Ford dealerships around my area, they told me it will cost me around $1700 to have it installed. And most Ford dealers here don't install the A/Cs. There are outside vendors who will do the installations.

    My question is, how come it will cost more to install it ($1700+) after you buy the truck than buying a truck with A/C option ($620)?

    Someone help, I know I got my Ranger cheap without it, but it's hot here in California?
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Numerous things need to be retrofitted to make it possible, whereas while manufacturing the vehicle, those items are left out because they are simply not needed. Thats where aftermarket companies make bulk of their profits, they know it's something needed, and you already have the vehicle, so they have you over a barrel. Best thing is ordering a vehicle with the options you need, FROM the get-go.
  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    You have the guage and instruments under the dash, the condensor infront of the radiator, the compressor that runs off the crank, lines that go into the dash, blower motors, freon, etc. 1700 probably also includes the labor to install.
  • bz1noxentbz1noxent Member Posts: 6
    Will it cost me less to install A/C after a year? I run a check of one vendor and they told me they don't have the parts available in another year and they may come cheaper. This is just one vendor and there's not a whole lot of them here. I called hours on end and there's perhaps one or two that do them for Ford. (I'm shopping for less).
  • deuskiddeuskid Member Posts: 20
    i just bought it from the original owner. on 52xxx miles on it. anyone know:

    at what milage the timing belt should be changed?

    belt or chain?

    is this an opposed engine: eg. if the belt breaks does it do damamge or not?

    this truck is totally cherry. i couldn't pass it up. like new.

  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    Just answered you in the other Ford Ranger forum...
    midnight_stang "Ford Ranger Problems" Aug 25, 2003 5:41pm
This discussion has been closed.