Y2K Chevy S-10ZR2 vs. Y2K Ford Ranger XLT Off-Road

johnson33johnson33 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I am currently looking for a compact Pick-up that
does well both on-road and off. I have narrowed it
down between the Chevy and Ford. I would like to
know your opinions on which is a better vehicle
(price is not really an issue)...I am concerned
with the build quality of BOTH (heard both bad and
good about each)...which is more comfortable and
rides better and which is better off-road. I am
kinda partial to the Chevy, but I would still like
to know..Thanks for any help


  • keith24keith24 Member Posts: 93
    Man, you just don't know the can of worms you're opening up here! I've been truck shopping as well, and you wouldn't believe the opinions that you'll get from some of the regulars. It'll probably wind up to be a "...my truck is faster than your truck" argument. But, anyway . .

    Just remember to take EVERYONE'S opinion with a grain of salt. Or, you can do what I did. Test drive each truck. If the dealer will let you, drive them home for a day or 2. That way, you can really see what it'd be like to live with each one from day to day. I guess the dealer's think if you drive it for a couple of days, you'll just be overwhelmed with the "new truck fever" and be more likely to buy on the spot. (sales pressure)

    Good luck! If the dealerships you go to are anything like the one's here in Arkansas, you'll need it!!

  • ncsu74ncsu74 Member Posts: 2
    I'd agree with keith24 about taking test drives and deciding for yourself but, since you asked and with price not being an issue, I'd go with the ZR2. I've driven mostly Chevys for over thirty years so you can assume some bias on my part. I'm currently driving a 92 S10 4X4 extended cab with 125k+. Radiator, alternator and AC compressor were all replaced within last 10k but never any problems with engine or drive train. I'd estimate less than $1,000 in total repairs to this point. Driving is 80% on road with some towing of cotton and peanut trailers around the farm and driving along the Outer Banks beaches of NC every chance I get. My daughter had a 98 Blazer w/the ZR2 package until she totaled it a few weeks back with 27K miles. Fortunately, everyone involved was uninjured so I feel its a pretty safe vehicle regardless of the insurance institute's report. She now has a 2000 ZR2 on order. I've also been well satisfied over the years with our local Chevrolet dealership. I'm sure if I'd had any problems there, my opinion of GM vehicles would be affected. For all of this, when we go out for the evening, the vehicle of choice is usually my wife's QX4 Infiniti. My advice - drive'em all, try to establish a relationship with the dealer for whatever you choose and don't get too concerned with anyone else's opinions. Good luck.
  • scottssssscottssss Member Posts: 147
    My Family is a GM family ALL the way. When i decided i wanted a compact pickup my first thought was the S-10. it has a little nicer look and was a little cheeper. But on further research i discovered that the s-10 is the most Unreliable compact pickup on the road. In consumer reports reliability ratings the 4x4 s-10 was off the chart on the bad side. At least the 4x4 Ranger was average in reliabiltiy for all cars. That was the reason i went with a Ford.

    ps. thank god my dad didnt disinherit me :) probably would have if i bought a tacoma
  • rwhitrwhit Member Posts: 3
    Ordered a ford ranger 4wd, 4 door, off road package flareside, all the goodies. However i think that the dakotas are a little better looking i ordered my ranger because of lease payment { my dad's a dealer] but if it was just about trucks i think the dakota quad cab wins hands down although i have heard that dodge is not all that reliable compared to ford trucks. I hope that my ranger will turn heads but dakotas just look tougher and sporty but then again the cost a lot more than rangers. food for thought . I should mention that i intend to customize my ranger a tade to make it stand out. Would like to hear everyones thoughts. Also i haven't got mt ranger so don't have it to brag about yet but in a few weeks i'm sure i'll have plenty to say good or bad.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    rw, think I have spoke with you before. Too bad your leasing. One change that makes the RAnger look a ton better is changing those Firejunkes (tires) to a P265x65R16 or a 31" tire. Tires make a huge difference on how a truck stands and looks. My Ranger with 265 all terrains looks great. Take a look around your town I'm sure there is someone with 31" tires or 265's on their Ranger.
  • rwhit1rwhit1 Member Posts: 6
    Have been thinking about getting bigger and better tires but i have a few questions firsr can you mount a bigger rubber [tire] on the factory rims or do you need new rims and rubber? Second how much is a sett of 31" tires cost? Third how much ride difference and mpg?

    Thanks in advance!

    Would like to see your guys rangers post online sites or e-mail me [email protected]
  • dannygdannyg Member Posts: 131
    Yes, larger tires will affect mpg...both real and indicated.

    If you go to a larger tire, you're going further for every revolution of the wheel compared to the stock tire. Your odometer will thus understate the actual distance travelled. In my own case, I figure about 9%. So you'll need to adjust the odometer reading when calculating mpg.

    Large tires will also increase rolling resistance and wind resistance and thus decrease real mpg. I'd estimate only about 1 mpg for my old Ranger since I didn't get too "radical" with my tires. Others on edmunds.com have reported about 2 mpg less.

    Since my 4x4 Ranger is so old (1985), I won't participate in the Chevy-vs.-Ford debate. But I hope this helps!

  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    If you have 16" rims the P265 75xR16 will fit just fine. The bump stops and turning radius are fine on mine. When I went into the tire shop the guy claimed up and down the tire would not fit. I demanded he try and walla! He learned somthing new that day. If you have 15" rims a 31" tire will fit also.
    Yes, MPG is decreased about 1-2mpg, and ride is a bit rougher now. The Firestones are NOT offroad tires. YOu take the chance with the 4ply of easily tearing or puncturing your tire when your out in the middle of nowhere. Some tire stores will take your Firestones in as a trade or credit towards a larger tire if the Firestones are virtually new. This is how I did and and it only cost me $275 for a set of 4 Goodyear 8ply all terrains. The tread pattern is much more aggressive. Believe me the Ranger looks 10x better with a set of 265's or 31" tires on it. This one reason why Toyota's looks so good and seem to stand taller than the Ranger. But after you put the larger tires on the Ranger it all comes out in the wash.
  • yotaboy1yotaboy1 Member Posts: 6
    I agree these tires make the ranger look good, and I'm sure it could help performance (assuming the truck is geared right), but the ford still sits too low. I don't want to make this a "my truck is better than yours" thing but I'd like to point out that even with the 265's your rear is 3 inches lower than my toyota's. In many off-road situations this could make a lot of difference. If your looking for an off-road truck you may want to look at the toyotas. But since you said you've narrowed it down to the ford and chevy I'll assume you ruled out the toyota, nissan, dodge etc. If I had to choose between chevy and ford I'd go with the ZR2 chevy. I've driven both the ford and chevy and I liked the chevy better for comfort and performance. I also think the ZR2 looks better (the wide stance looks tough). A friend of mine recently bought a ZR2 ext. cab and he loves it. The only complaint I've heard about the ZR2 s-10's is poor gas mileage. I don't know many people with a new ranger so I can't comment on their performance other than my test drive. I suggest you drive both and see which one feels right for you. Good luck
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    yotaboy, where do you get 3" difference in clearance from? I have a friend who has a Tacoma TRD. First thing we did was compare trucks side by side. My Ranger has P256x75R16's on it his has the stock 31" from Toyota. The Tacoma has maybe a 1/2" advantage. WE saw this with our own eyes. Where are you measuring from?
    What performance numbers are we talking about? 0-60? gearing? Don't forget a ZR2 will also cost about 3K more than a comparably equipped Ranger. And the Ranger has a better reliability rating than the S-10 period. This is no secret either. Check Edmunds, Consumer reports, carpoint, JD powers.
    Toyota is overpriced, overrated, over the hill, and most of all finishes LAST in the crash test at www.crashtest.com, and carpoint.
  • yotaboy1yotaboy1 Member Posts: 6
    vince8: For ground clearanceI was measuring from the lowest point on my rear to the ground. I did not actually measure a ranger but the numbers I've seen in print and on web sites show the ranger ground clearance to be about 3" lower than the toyota. case in point: check edmunds numbers. The base 4wd tacoma has 10.8" on 225x75x15 tires, and the xlt ranger 4wd has 7.5" on 235x75x15 tires. Here the ranger is running slightly larger tires and still has 3.3 inches less clearance. Assuming the 225 and 235 tires are as close as upgrading the ford to 265's and the toy to 31's you will still see a 3 inch difference. I too looked at my truck next to a ranger. I can say there was a noticable difference but I don't know if it was 3", it looked more 1.5-2" but I'm going by published data not my tape measure. As far as performance I meant overall performance mainly off-road. I didn't buy a 4wd truck for 0-60 times I have other toys for that:):)
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Toyota takes their ground clearance measurements from the highest points not the lowest. This is no secret. It is posted in the Ranger vs Tacoma room by a Tacoma owner.
    From what I have seen with my Ranger with 265's the Tacoma with 31" tires has probably a 1/2" advantage. I do have to say, I sure wish Ford would stop putting those damn Firejunkers on the Ranger and offer some real all terrains like Toyota/Nissan/Chevy
  • dberrydberry Member Posts: 22
    No most of them aren't as flashy, and not perhaps the best off road tire. But, I can say from experience that they are probably the most reliable. I ran one with a slow leak for about a year (20,000 miles) got tired of pumping it up once a month, found it had taken a small nail.

    By the way my Ranger is a 91 XLT Supercab 2wd, just a couple hundred shy of 200,000 miles. Still Mechanically sound
  • tinmanjtinmanj Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 Ranger Off-Road. I would have to agree with most of the other people that have posted. Going to the dealer and test driving the competing models is the best way to find what you want. I personally don't like the styling of the S-10 but it's just an opinion. I've got the loaded Ranger, 4 liter, 4.10 gears, all the accessories. As far as performance unless someone plans on taking the truck out and really running it hard through the mud, woods, I don't think you would see much of a difference between the Ranger and S-10. The 4.0 puts plenty of power on the road and handles great. As far as testing the off-road durability I haven't had a chance accept running through some fields and mild trails and it definitely goes. The 265 tires actually make the truck higher than the Dakota's (parked side by side with my buddies)and the 4-door option is definitely a bonus. Anyway, it is a matter of personnal preference, but also money comes into play. The sticker on mine was 24500. Talked the dealer down and got an awesome deal for a truck with 3 miles on it. I think the comparable ZR2 is going to run a few grand higher on the sticker.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    I just unloaded a 1991 Chevy S-10 4x4 automatic.
    Total miles 160K. Frequent oil changes with only Valvoline. Ok, as far as 4x4 capability the truck was champ even at 160K. Went through mud, snow, ice, etc...without much trouble at all. Drawback was that the Rangers had (still have?) a little more ground clearance than the S-10's. Plus side is that I never experienced tranny problems like some of my Ranger buddies. I personally enjoyed the S-10, but most friends that had similarly equipped Rangers were pleased with their trucks too. Get the truck you want, at the proce you want, with the options you want. I'd just be a little leary of Ford's tranny problems from what I know.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    What tranny problems? Please post links.
  • scottssssscottssss Member Posts: 147
    this room has the making to be more volatile than the taco-ranger room... Vince play nice ... at least they bought american..
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    I will, I just want this person to support their acusations that ALL Ford Rangers have tranny problems.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Ok, first off - do the digging on your own. I'm not going to post links on here all day, but from my experience I know several people who have had a lot of tranny problems with their Ford's...be it a Ranger, Explorer, or Taurus. All Fords? No. By the same token - lot's of S-10's (and Chevy trucks in general) have electrical problems. All Chevy trucks? No. You're going to find problems with any vehicle, but my .02 is that until Ford builds a tranny that runs, I'd look elsewhere unless you absolutely have to have a Ford. I've had 2 Ford's in my lifetime and I personally would never buy a Ford product again. But that's just me. Just be leary of Ford's tranny problems. And Vince, don't act this came out of the blue. Ford is notorious for bad trannies.
  • scottssssscottssss Member Posts: 147
    just searched you tsb's and the ford tranny is mentioned a couple times... once for a new Kit, not a problem, once for a flashing O/D light, oncde on how to check the tranny fluid, one tranny fluid usage chart.. and the Big serious one...uh OH looks like one little leak... No Tranny problems there... Anyways, mine has a MAZDA tranny in it anyway.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    These are individuals that have had problems, NOT a full blown recall order from Ford. All Fords don't have transmission porblems as you are trying to portray. Yes, I agree there are some owners that have had problems, but every manufacturer has transmission problems.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    By the way, if you are trying to show the S-10 being more reliable than a Ranger your waisting your time. I will fill this board with TSB's, recalls, and owners having problems with S-10's. Any educated buyer knows the S-10 ranks the lowest in reliability.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Dude, you started this when I mentioned I had some friends with Ford's who had tranny problems. That wasn't good enough for you so you asked for proof. I provided proof and now THAT isn't good enough. Ford's have tranny problems, ther's no denying. Ford Motor company can't build a reliable tranny. Go do a search on the Explorers and read about all those folks with their tranny problems. Oh wait, that still won't be enough proof. Ranger's blow. Buy a real truck, not a sqeaky rattle trap with a stone age 4 wheel drive system. Ok - next topic, Vinny.
  • scottssssscottssss Member Posts: 147
    not one tsb or Recall on a tranny... big problems obviously
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Nope, just real problems from real consumers. Obvious indeed. Add that to this from carpoint's
    road test review:

    Satisfaction: Remains high in spite of owners' complaints about reliability problems.
  • scottssssscottssss Member Posts: 147
    EVERY SINGLE CHEVY TRUCK gets the worst possible reliability rating from consumer reports, cant just be a fluke...
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    The S10 is known for its terrible reliability/quality its no secret. Its all over every review/consumer reports/consumer digest/www.aldata.com and more. Chevrolet is redoing the S10 for 2001 or 2002 I believe and it will make a difference. Chevy has new straight 6 engines in the horizon to cure the bad rep of the S10. For now, the Ranger wins, hands down.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    But it's the Ford owners who post their woes - at least that what the majority of the boards have on them. "My ranger this, my Explorer that..."
    That sure says Ford is reliable. Seen too many unhappy people with Fords, including myself, to ever own one again. Chevy, Dodge, Toyo, Nissan - anything but a pushrod Ford truck.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Links to messages on a message board? This somehow shows us that Ford can't build an automatic transmission? Uh, sure.

    My brother-in-law had his tranny on his '87 Ranger start slipping out of gear at 145K miles. I might attribute more of this to his never changing the tranny fluid and driving the truck like a bonehead, though.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    One reason I chose the Ranger over the S10 was the interior. The Ranger had better build quality and ergonomics-subjective. At 20K miles, NEVER a squeak or rattle.

    The S10 seemed a bit cheesy and cheap-looking. That handle in front of the passenger? What's that? Big turn-off to look at that thing. I can't say how well the interior would hold up, though. S10 owners? Any squeaks and rattles or breaking, substandard parts?
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    "...anything but a pushrod Ford truck." Hmmm...
    But a pushrod Chevy truck would be...OK? Please explain.

    Cygnusx1, you may be able to convince us that you,
    as an individual, had a problem or problems with Ford products. However, you will never convince us that all Ford products are as bad as you seem to think they are. Vince8, Scottsss, Cthompson21, and myself are all satisfied owners of Rangers or B-Series trucks. There are thousands more like us. If you believe that we all made a mistake in our purchases, then you are very naive, my friend. Oh well, battle on Don Quixote. And good luck, you're going to need it...
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Visit www.therangerstation.com and see the hundreds of statified Ranger owners, along with visiting other links to other Ranger sites showing more satisfied Ranger owners. The Ranger hasn't held its #1 spot for 13 years for no reason. I would think if the Ranger were a terrible, unreliable truck its sales figures would plummet and Toyota/Nissan/Chevy would skyrocket. With its new 4.0 SOHC V6 coming this summer/fall sales are going to climb even further. I am so glad Ford finally came out with a more powerful V6 to compete with the Toyota 3.4 and Chevy 4.3.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Don't care whether I convice anyone or not. I'd say you're blind if truely believe Ford is reliable in *any* of thier products. Consumer Reports just aired their consumer ratings - ratings by actual consumers - again, the Ford Windstar tops the list as the least reliable and biggest piece of junk on the planet. Main problems - ahem....tranny. I'm glad you've had luck with your Ford. I no of nobody who has. I think al of thier products are at the bottom of the dometic barrel. Junk.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    From the Ford Enthusists Site

    Question: I recently bought a 1990 F-250 SuperCab XLT Lariat Centurion 4x4. It has the 7.3l diesel and the E4OD transmission. Up till this truck I have never owned a truck with an automatic transmission, can anyone tell me any does and don'ts? Also I have heard rumour that this transmission is prone to failure. Is there any sustinance to this?

    REPLY: I owned a 95 f-350 crew cab 4x4 with the auto and the 460 gas.I used this truck for work both on and off road. My average G.V.W. averaged about 9000 to 9500 lbs. The tranny went at 56,000.Fortunately I purchased the extended warranty and Ford repaired it no questions asked. The service writer did inform that there were some problems with that tranny.On a better note I am now driving a 96' ,same package,same workload, 72,000 mi. no problems.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 99V204000

    Manufacturer: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Mfg. Campaign #: 99V204000
    Year: 1999
    Make: FORD TRUCK
    Model: RANGER
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 322
    Manufactured From: DEC 1997 To: DEC 1998
    Year of Recall: '99
    Type of Report: Vehicle

    Vehicle Description: Electric vehicles. The transaxle may have been manufactured with the park detent spring misaligned. If the spring is misaligned, the park mechanism may not engage when the shift lever is placed in the park position.

    If the park mechanism does not engage and the vehicle operator has not applied the parking brake, the vehicle could roll free as if in neutral.

    Dealers will inspect the transaxle and any with misaligned park detent springs will be replaced. Owner notification began July 28, 1999
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    That's the best you can come up with? Transmission problems in a Windstar and an F-350 work truck?

    By your ridiculous logic, I could say that:

    I had a Olds Cutlass Supreme Int'l with a HO Quad-4. The head gasket blew and cracked the head at 75K miles (this is true). This makes a Chevy S10 a terrible truck because the head gasket will blow and crack the head.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Hmmm... 600 rangers affected on those 2 of those 3 recalls out of the 400,000 produced each year. That amounts to a whopping .15%, which is 1 out of every 700 trucks built.

    It doesn't actually state how many rangers were affected by the throttle cable recall.

    Why don't you post the recalls that affect the S10?
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    I knew I shouldn't have bought that electric vehicle.

    Hey spoog jr. we get it, Nissan's are the best LOL!!! and Ford sucks. Now run along little boy.

    NISSAN!!!!! HAHAHA what a joke.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Hey Ranger Owners - this should make you feel
    good. The latest 2000 Consumer Reports Reliability
    Ranking ranks the Ranger (and I quote) "Worse Than
    Average". In fact, only two trucks ranked in the
    "Above Average" category for reliability. Tacoma
    and Frontier!! And before you go spouting off about how it's a biased ranking you'd better think
    again. The results are taken from surveys by actual owners. That's right - Ranger owners ranked their own trucks "WORSE THAN AVERAGE" LOL! What a hunk of junk. Where are all the satisfied owners??? Oh, that's right, they're all at the repair shop because their Fords won't run. LOL! Hava nice day......worse than average...
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    If you go back far enough and read you'll see that the topic switched from not only the hunk-0-junk ranger, but to Fords in general. Total heaps. All Fords. Have a nice day.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Even the ranger station lists all the problems with the A4LD tranny... and I quote "Premature wear or a repeat failure of the converter hub, bellhousing bushing, converter seal and/or pump assembly.... and..... "If you have repeated front seal blowouts on A4LD's it may not be a problem with the seal or the quality of your work. Your could have a bad bellhousing."

    And..."A4LD - Premature Converter Bushing Failure & Seal Blowout."

    And for the manual tranny we have - "The hydraulic clutch, slave cylinder/throwout bearing is another item you should pay close attention to. After time, the slave cylinder fails to release the clutch completely. If you are having trouble shifting into 1st and reverse while stationary or if your truck creeps forward with the clutch pedal depressed the slave cylinder/throwout bearing is probably at fault. Unfortunately there is no easy fix here as the transmission must be removed to replace the combination slave cylinder and throwout bearing."


    Thanks Rangerstation, for clearing that up. More proof the Ranger is just a top notch vehicle. Gosh, scratch the surface and in minutes you can really find a lot of great info on Ford and their wonderful Ranger. LOL.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Go to www.carpoint.msn.com and visit the reliabiltiy data section on the RAnger. Compare to other trucks in its class also. Who do you believe I guess who you want to believe. Visit the S-10, yikes!
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    I don't own an S-10.

    But I'd buy one way before I Ford Ranger. Also
    Dan Hareud's Review of the Ranger at MSN Carpoint says the following

    Satisfaction: Remains high in spite of owners'
    complaints about reliability problems.

    (there's that nagging reliability problem again, darn it)

    HANDLING The base Ranger has a soft suspension and
    undersize tires, while 4WD Rangers have the
    opposite handicap; its suspension is too hard and
    tires are too big. In either case, handling leavesmuch to be desired.

    STEERING Much too slow. The wide turning radiusreally hampers maneuverability.

    4-WHEEL DRIVE It's rather crude

    FUEL CONSUMPTION The V6s burn a lot of gas.

    This truck is notorious for problems. Further voiced by the latest survey results. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    You don't (or maybe have never) even own an S10, Tacoma, Frontier, or Ranger. And, you're all over these boards bashing Rangers?

    Hmmm... I think we have the definition of "Trolling" demonstrated to us, fellas.

    Oh wait! You owned some "lemon" Ford umpteen years ago. And, you can read magazines and websites! I guess that just makes you a great source of information! All of that experience and wisdom!

    If you actually have something useful to contribute or debate, please do. If not and just want to post garbage, please don't.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    You don't think spoog Jr's redundant posts are useful? I really appreciate reading the same links for the umpteenth time. Keep posting cybersux and don't forget to list all the links you found on your own on every topic. Oh, you already have. Talk about not having a life!
  • superjim2000superjim2000 Member Posts: 314
    couldnt have said it better myself. (modvptnl)
This discussion has been closed.