why not to buy a ranger truck

2ebra2ebra Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Ford
I have owned a two wheel drive 2002 Ford Ranger for about a year and a half, and I wouldn't advise it for anyone. The ride is so stiff that hitting a bump of any size while driving over 35 causes the vehicle to shift 6" or more to either side and possible loss of control. The truck sits up too high for a two wheel drive truck that makes it more likely to roll over. It is no wonder that small trucks are considered the most dangerous of all vehicles. The ergonomics are so bad that I can't see the speedometer, gages or warning lights without craning my neck. And I am the standard size male (5'10")that vehicles are usually made for. The passager compartment fan only operates if outside air is selected, so if u are following a truck belching exhaust u must put up without heat or fans until u pass. Both of these problems are probably not a problem if u have air conditioning and tilt stearing wheel, but I didn't have to have these options in my last vehicle, a Geo Prism (toyota corrola), to have the same conveniences. When u turn on the compartment light, it shines right in your eyes from the reflectance of the mirror, and the 4 cylinder engine is so weak u must down shift to get up a small incline on the interstate.
   The tires that came with the vehicle were Firestones, a company that has killed hundreds with their Firestone 500 of 20years ago, and then the more recent mass killing by Firestone.
   As far a dealer support, the gas cap was defective when it was new, but the dealership would not give me a replacement without me leaving the vehicle for a day. And when i bought the vehicle, i was told that i would get the college graduate $500 rebate and 7year 70,000 mile warrantee,but was cheated out of both of those. The dealership prices for a locking gas cap and other items were a obvious price gouge.
   The only big advantages are the low price and the reliability that is better than average, but no way close to Nissan or Toyota.


  • kg11kg11 Member Posts: 530
    You didn't know how it drives? You didn't know you couldn't see the instrament pannel? You didn't know how much power it didn't have or how the fan works or what tires are on it? YOU DIDN"T KNOW what rebates or warrenty you were getting when YOU signed the contract?

    Did YOU choose the vehicle and sign the contract or were you forced to buy it at gunpoint?
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    When you purchase a vehicle you must be aware of its limitations. I own a Ranger pickup and 4wd sport sedan and a 350+ HP muscle car and expect different thing from each. Ranger is a small rear wheel drive pickup, therefore it will not handle as a front wheel drive car. I personally got the Ranger because the Nissan and Toyota was more like a car. Pick up truck is for hauling thing and the Ranger does it well for a reasonable price (by the way I am not a Ford fan). As for the engine, it has good torque and hauls a load very well. As for sitting high, very nice this way I can take my load on my property where I want it. As for not seeing the gauges: I guess you did not test drive.
    Sounds like you did not do your homework before buying the vehicle, and for letting the dealer get way with what you say (if it is true) that is a shame. I would pursue the problem through the regional Ford rep.
  • 2ebra2ebra Member Posts: 2
    Well I guess the moral of the story is not to buy a vehicle after working all night. That is my only self defense anyway.
     Oh, I thought some other things about the ford that i don't like. The turn signal will not stay on unless the wheels are exactly straight, just like a ford that my family owned about 40 years ago, and a problem that i haven't encountered in a car or truck since. And when u use the autowash feature for the windshield, the water doesn't come out until the windshield wiper and gone across once and possible damaged the windshield. Oh, and i tried to trade it in, last year, and they offered me $3000!!! So much for retaining value.
      But i think the ranger would be best for a farm or other work person that needs the high ground clearance, average reliability, and a very low price. The prices that they are offering them for right now is ridiculously low, I just wish that I could have bought one for the lower price. If one was going to get a Ranger, U might as well get a 4 wheel drive model, beings how u all ready have the disadvantages and advantages of the high ground clearance and unstablility.
    When i bought the vehicle, i was planning on getting a used MR2 Toyota for most of my driving, and only using the Ranger for Camping with Flip-pack topper. But I keep worring about layoff, so haven't completed the second part of the plan.
      Now that I own a house, I can't seem to get along without the truck, and with such low resale value, will probably keep it for 10 or 20 years till it dies.
  • kg11kg11 Member Posts: 530
    so you don't wear out the truck commuting and have to drive whatever you replace it with to Home Depot or the campground.

    I have a GMC2500HD ($36k POS) that I use only for towing and handyman stuff,and a Corolla that I commute with @ 35 mpg. If the Toyota would pull the 7700lb boat I wouldn't need the truck. If the truck got better than 8 mpg (city) I might not have bought the Toy.

    BTW; My wife's '98 Mustang's turn signals work fine but the windshield washer does the same thing as your Ranger.So does the GMC and Toyota
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    ...here's the way it is. Every model automobile, van or truck will have a certain percentage of units manufacturered that will develop one defect. Still another percentage will experience two defects, and still another percentage will have three...so on and so on.

    Some models will have higher or lower percentages of problems than others. There is no such thing as a perfect make or model.

    While I understand that problems with new cars or trucks bring various levels of unsatisfaction to the buying and owning experience, your unhappiness as led you to become overreactionary. You now think that every Ranger is built just like yours, and you are now on a campaign to persuade others that theirs, too, is a POS. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you would like everybody to hate the Ford Ranger because of your experience.

    Based on what you have written, your issue is not really with the Ford Ranger, but with the service support you did (or didn't) receive. That, too, is most unfortunate, because I know people that have had Ford Rangers and have had very good service from them. I am not being an apologist for the Ranger or Ford. They have their design, assembly, and component quality issues, but a lot of Ranger owners are more than satisfied with them.

    Sounds like your dealer isn't standing behind you and/or you are not making yourself annoying enough with the dealer or the Ford Motor Company. Try to work with the dealer to resolve the issues and if that doesn't bring satisfaction, there's arbitration or the Better Business Bureau.

  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    I guess you will take your time on your next purchase, right?
  • unclejimunclejim Member Posts: 1
    Looking at buying a used 2000 Ranger XLT 2 dr standard cab LB from dealer. 2 wheel drive, 3 L engine. 23,000 miles. NADA Retail $9,900 and trade in value $7,900. Negotiating somewhere between. Very clean almost like new. I'm taking it to my repair shop for full review before sealing deal. I checked with carfax and it came back with a clean report. Anything I should really pay attention to before I buy this truck.


    Uncle Jim
  • junk1nyotrunkjunk1nyotrunk Member Posts: 3
    Check the TSB reports on Edmunds site under ownership/maintenance/tsb reports. They'll list most of the Ford acknowledged problems with the specific model you're about to buy. Try to find out if the major problems on the TSB were already taken care of so you're not stuck with a problem later that should have been fixed a long time ago. Also do a quick background check on the dealership through BBB's website, Better Business Bureau. You'll want to know that if you have a problem, they'll be there to help you fixed it once they've sold you the truck. Good Luck.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Member Posts: 218
    I really love my '02 Ranger XLT FX4, but I hear ya on the darn turn signal stalk....I find myself constantly fighting with the thing, it almost encourages you NOT to use your blinker when making a turn!
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___I am currently looking for an 03 Ranger 5-spd manual w/ AC, Cruise and Tilt, and Cloth seats given the $4,000 rebate when financed through Ford Credit. I have a few questions that I hope some of the members can answer before I pull the trigger.

    ___First, does anyone know of any restrictions on their credit program? I would simply like to pay it off after the loan paperwork goes through to receive the extra $1,000 but I have not asked the dealer what the fine details are just yet.

    ___Second, I see two different MSRP prices for the 03 base when searching local inventories. One at $13,395 and one at $13,645. Was there a price increase mid-year?

    ___Third, there doesn’t appear to be any Rangers with the exact options I am looking for so I will probably settle for a base w/ A/C alone. Any one think this is a stupid move given what they have experienced for themselves?

    ___Fourth, has anyone ever had a cruise installed after the fact? I have seen prices like $1,700 for A/C after the fact so that would be a total waste but what about cruise? Is there all that much to it with costs rising much past the $250 + mark?

    ___I own a landscape business and currently use an absolutely stripped 97 Nissan 2x4 P/U I paid just $7,200 for brand new. It’s now shot w/ just under 100,000 miles now so its time for something new and the Ranger appears to fit the bill after reading the Edmunds forums and reading the specs. I will use this as a commuter hauler for picking up the kids and all of their stuff from college given the Corolla can’t haul all the junk and the MDX is not quite as miserly as what the Ranger appears to achieve w/ a manual.
    ___Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
    [email protected]
  • dchinndchinn Member Posts: 64
    I purchased mine in June 03. $3000 rebate w/ the $1000 on the Ford Motor Credit Corp. You can hold onto the loan for 2 months and pay it off to save on the interest charges and max out on the $1000 FMCC rebate.

    As for options, mine was just plain (no extras). If U add AC on yours, it will be more anemic than it already is for a 4 cyl. Once you look at the cruise control, it would be better to look at the XLT. Since U had a Nissan w/ no AC and survived, it's best to buy the Ranger XL w/ nothing on it. Otherwise, the price will climb. My suggestion will be a Nissan XE Frontier base model w/ AC for $9988 (including rebates)West Coast Price. The extra room in the back may be worth it to U.

    I'm not sure where U live, maybe the military discount is still in effect. I will be receiving another $750 on top of everything else (3 weeks from now). It will take 6 weeks after the dealer submits the paperwork. Hope that helps.
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Hi Dchinn

    ___Sorry for all the dumb questions.

    ___I spoke with the sales lady a few minutes ago as well as went over some of the details ... Hopefully this will help some other perspective buyers other than myself as well.

    ___She did say I could take the Ford Financing for 1 payment and pay it off for the extra $1,000 off which matches exactly what you said. Great news!

    ___There also may have been 3 prices on the Rangers this year? I have 2 quotes below invoice right now and they don’t match each other either? As for MSRP/Invoice pricing, they are all over the map. Here is what she offered me so far:

    A Black XL 5 Spd. Manual for $10,429 after $4,000 rebate. This included A/C, 60/40 cloth, and a full size spare (what a waste that is). $12,763.00 was the invoice on this vehicle. Dealer with that invoice would be $10,217 after the $4,000 rebate. Cruise can be added after the fact for $300.00. Sounds Ok so far at ~ $210.00 over Invoice?

    A Black XLT 5 Spd. Manual for $10,900 w/ A/C, Cloth seats, and the Chrome exterior package. With the current late 03 invoice according to Edmunds 11,038 would be the invoice?

    ___I called the local Nissan dealer not expecting much but he is searching for a Nissan Frontier King Std. w/ the Basic Gear package (A/C and AM/FM/CD) thanks to your lead. I just don’t know how close he can come to that magical $9988 price including A/C you have available to you on the West Coast? Did that West Coast price include destination? The rebates for the Midwest Nissan dealerships (I live just north of Chicago) are the same at $2500 off. With that rebate, even Edmunds is showing the Frontier in the $11,800 range after destination :(
    ___Thanks again for your reply as well as any others that might be able to help me out before I pull the trigger later on tonight.

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
    [email protected]
  • dchinndchinn Member Posts: 64
    The rebate base XL price (no mil rebate) was $7988. With 8.25 sales tax and license/reg fees, destination charge, the OTD price was about $9700.

    The $9988 Nissan price was w/ rebate excluding the destination charge, taxes and fees.

    Dislikes-My vinyl seats are simular to sitting on a leather couch where the center rises up vs. the sides. I don't like the small limited use spare. At least I can rotate all 5 tires to insure good working order. Question is are AC and cloth seats worth an extra $2500 to U? For me no. I just roll down the window to cool off. Since I don't drive long distances, seats are fine. Your call!
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Hi Dchinn:

    ___After hearing your price from earlier this year, I think I am going to hold off for an 04 in early spring. That’s when I need it anyway. I can only hope the 04’s will have a similar rebate available at that point in time. Currently, the 04 XLT is just $79.00 more than the 03 XLT when comparing invoice to invoice. Now if only that extra $3,500 comes around when I need it?

    ___As for the XL vs. XLT packages, the XLT now includes A/C + adds 60/40 cloth split bench, full carpet and mats, AM/FM/CD, front door pockets, front reading lights, dual vanity mirrors, and cargo area light for just $776.00 more. On the XL, the A/C alone is a $553.00 option. The cloth bench seats are a $187.00 option, the AM/FM/CD player is a $234.00 option, and the rest is not available. The XLT appears to me to be a pretty good bargain ... today at least.
    ___Thank you again for your replies. I can only hope for a decent rebate on the 04’s early next year or I probably won’t be driving a Ranger :(

    ___Good Luck to you

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
    [email protected]
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___20 days later and I now also own an 03 Ranger ... I had a little kicker incentive by the name of the X-Plan to do it but after all was said and done, I received an 03 Ranger XLT w/ its included A/C + the Tilt and Cruise option for just $9,692.32. This came from the well advertised $4,000 in rebates plus the X-Plans extra $1,000 rebate and just $25.00 over invoice. What a deal and Thank you Ford.

    ___From the above, I just had the privileged experience of purchasing a brand new Ford Ranger for my small business. Not only were the sales personnel far more honest and pleasurable to deal with than any I have dealt with at any local Acura and even Toyota dealerships, they were down to earth without any show, glitz, or waste.

    ___Since one of the Landscape vehicles is basically shot, I was looking for a 2.3 L manual tranny equipped Ranger XL w/ Air last month as has been posted previously. I tried to stay with a local supposedly HQ Ford dealership (Sessler Ford in Libertyville) with the possibility of a trade through other dealerships but I always came up a bit short of exactly what I wanted. There were quite a few XLT’s w/ 3.0 and 4.0 L V-6’s and Auto’s but very few 4 bangers w/ manuals including cruise and tilt. In fact none from what I could find locally and the sales lady mentioned the same ... Anyway, I saw a posting at work last night that the Ford X-Plan was offering another $1,000 on top of their already generous $4,000 rebate amounts if I purchased by 09/30. I arrived home this morning and found an E-Mail from the local supposedly HQ Ford dealership saying they would add another yada yada yada off there internet pricing if I purchased the vehicle with the huge rebates today. Big whoop. With the X-Plan however, all the BS is removed and you get the vehicle for what the X-Plan says you will ... Ok, I did a few searches and found the exact truck I was looking for (not exactly the right color unfortunately but I can live with that) from a dealership up near Milwaukee. I called the supposedly HQ local Ford dealership and said I found the truck I was looking for and if they could do a trade, I would be willing to purchase it immediately. The supposedly HQ local Ford dealership sales lady said she would call back within the hour. She did call back saying that they could not procure the Ranger from the other dealership because it was already sold and was transferred from another dealership as a trade already? I thanked her for her time and said I would call back if I found anything else further away. She said, “Well, we have an XLT w/ this and that and those options ...” and I told her again that I don’t want a loaded up XLT but only what I was looking for ... You would have thought she would have called the Milwaukee area dealership, right? I only gave her the dealerships phone number and the VIN for the exact truck in question! After I hung up the phone, I called the dealer (Hiller Ford) near Milwaukee myself. I spoke with a lady salesperson (Pam) that said, “Yes, we have that vehicle in stock.” Hmmm. Ok, I mentioned the X-Plan and she said that is even easier for us. She asked where I lived and I told her Illinois. She said we could do most of the leg work via FAX and I wouldn’t have to come until the following day if that was convenient for me? I said, “no, that is Ok, I can finish off the deal in person”. She said, “Ok, no problem, I will top off the truck and park it out front so you can test drive it as soon as you arrive.” She also asked that I make sure to bring my insurance card, 4 references including phone and address’ for the Ford Credit App, and a picture ID/work badge for the X-Plan paperwork. Great and off towards Milwaukee I drove ... At least the Cub’s game was on ;) I arrived and we made our introductions. She had the paperwork all laid out and the keys were in her hand. Yep, the same vehicle I had wanted equipment wise and similar to what I have test drove in the past. The only difference was that now it was $4,975 under Invoice, not just $4,000 off and $200 over invoice! As Pam and the sales manager (Carl) were performing the credit check and finalizing the paperwork, some of the salesmen and myself were watching and discussing the Cub’s at Atlanta (Go Cub’s Go!) on an older 25” TV. I didn’t need Internet access while I was waiting although I had to access the internet to pull a particular PIN number for the X-Plan paperwork which they provided nor did I need a Cappuccino and Croissants. I simply needed the sales paperwork to flow all the while the 25” TV supplied all the entertainment I could have imagined. Pam and Carl simply did all the bull work in the background without any hassles. Even while finalizing the signatures, Carl asked me if I wanted to know anything about an extended warranty plan. I simply asked at what point (miles and years) could I decide to purchase it down the road if I wanted. No pressure and maybe 20 seconds of time wasted on my part and the answer was provided. No more extended warranty discussion was ever brought up. In fact, Carl didn’t mention anything about protection packages except to cross them off the paperwork on his side of the desk. I mean how much less BS could I have asked for? No forced options, no MSRP, no extended warranty hard line, no protection package hard sell, no anything! Just here’s the paperwork and there you go. When purchasing the MDX, McGrath Acura in Glenview, IL. pulled some of this and they were the best up to the point Acura of Libertyville came though with an Internet deal of their own ... Why can’t all Acura dealerships perform like this small town Milwaukee suburb based Ford dealership? I don’t know what the service would be like at this small town dealership but given it’s a dealership; the only time a vehicle of mine will ever set foot back into their grasp is for a warranty repair or super special deal of some kind.

    Continued below ...
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Continued from above ...

    ___Anyway, the Ford Ranger XLT I picked up was a relatively stripped down 2WD w/ Air (included with the XLT package) as well as Tilt and Cruise. Out the door minus the taxes which I still owe to the Illinois state government it came to just $9,692.32. Not only do I like the truck for its intended purpose, the price is literally a steal. The seats are more comfortable then the XL and possibly as comfortable as the MDX’s leather! The main point I wanted to bring up here is that after purchasing an 03 Toyota Corolla LE in late 02 for $200 over invoice, the MDX in early 03 for $1,500 under MSRP (that is still a rip by today’s standards IMHO), and this Ranger for $6,202 under MSRP and just $25.00 over Invoice - $5,000 in rebates, the Ford dealership and deal was by far the easiest of the three to swallow as well as actually go through. Pam could have been my mom and Carl was just another guy like many of us just trying to make a living instead of flashing a fancy suit or watch all the while discussing how great the amenities of the particular dealership are ... Screw the amenities and the 15 minutes to explain them. I don’t want to be at the dealership for even 15 minutes longer than I have to and if I do have to, just get the work done yesterday. Even the Ford supplied Road Side Assistance appears to work similarly for the sub $10,000 vehicle as it does with the $40,000 Acura from what I see? Well maybe no an overnight stay assistance but I hope I will never have to use either ... All the above being said, I would also stay away from Sessler Ford in Libertyville now that I know how they operate.

    ___I hope that your next car buying experience is as pleasurable as mine was from this smaller town Ford dealership just outside of Milwaukee. I wonder if it has something to do with the beer they drink vs. the swill we drink here in the Chicago area :D

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    [email protected]
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    So,Wayne, do you think you got a good deal or what?
  • xcelxcel Member Posts: 1,025
    Hi Bolivar:

    ___Decent but it doesn’t sound as good a deal as Dchinn received last spring. I was going to hold off until the Spring of 04 myself until the additional $1,000 off + just $25.00 over invoice via the X-Plan came across my desk. It will also help with my taxes this year given it’s a truck for my landscaping business.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    [email protected]
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