This is a review for sarahs 2004 ranger edge, super cab. engine is a 4.0 SOHC V-6, tranny is a 5R55E 5 speed automatic. milage is a little over 16,000 and she has owned the truck for about a year and 3 months. ill break the review up into 4 categories: interior, exterior, drivetrain, and ride/suspension.
The interior, while dated, still looks and feels pretty good for the price range of the truck. there are a few quirks and it is getting tiresome looking at the same dash for almost 10 yrs but the overall layout is very nice. the guage package isnt bad with a white guage face. what isnt so good is the lack of other guages like a voltmeter and (fake) oil pressure guage. the radio/HVAC layout is, overall, clean and to the point. all the ***** are in easy reach and are labeled for easy identification.
the door panels absolutly SUCK. i am 5'11" and 190 lbs and the door panel is a knee knocker. i ALWAYS come out with a bruised knee on a long road trip. the seats for 2004 are new and are quiet hard and unsupportive. makes for sore legs and back after a long trip. the higher back of the front buckets is an annoyance and is very uncomfortable. the rubber floor is a huge plus and the interior noise is minimal. the rear jump seats are a cruel joke and the jack placement is terrible. her truck had an annoying rattle from the jack area since new which, until a few weeks ago, drove both of us crazy. after numberous attemps to fix the rattle is finally gone. the rear cargo area is nice and spaceous but the rear seats and jack needs to go.
the stereo system is a new for 04 mp3/CD player which a nice feature. we had a few problems with the CD player but after a trip to the dealer for a repalcement all is well...for now. the sound is on par with an entry level system but should have a little better highs and mids for the mp3 headunit. a set of components would be nicer with a dedicated tweeter located on the pillar so the woofers can concentrate on the mid-bass/mids. the bass isnt bad aside from have 6x8s all around and no additional sub-woofer.
While the basic styling dates back to 1993, the new for 04 ranger front fascia is a revised version of the 2001 re-styled ranger. its nothing more then a re-hased verion with a pronounced grill and square fog lights. the front bumper cover sits to low and is supsectible to being drug off objects. the fender flares on the Edge suck, feel flimbsy and rattle occastionaly.
overall fit and finish is supurb for the most part and this particlar ranger is painted with Sonic Blue. this color just glows and is an eye catcher. the added 4 door option is a wonderful feature and makes the 3 door and non-opening super cabs seem primitive. i did noticed some wind noise and a little body panel mis-allignment where the front and rear doors meet.
the chassis and under carrige could use some work. the "standard" side steps are terrible and make entering and leaving the vehicle worse then without them IMO. the torsion bars hang down to low and the front end needs to be an extra 2 inches higher. i have seen a lot of 01+ ranger with a sever factry rake and this one is no different.
The 4.0L SOHC V-6 and 4:10 gearing of the truck make for an exciting drive. mated to the smooth, crisp and always in the powerband 5R55E autmatic tranny this truck is a stop light stormer. similiar experience with a 2003 Explorer sport 4.0/5r55e/3:73 geared rig are disappointing. the 4:10s make the lack of lower end torque non-exsistant in the ranger. stop light to stop light accel is brisk and reqires little go peral. merging on highways/interstates is effortless and passing is a breeze. stomp the skinny pedal and ur off like a rocket.
the 5r55e is a revised version of the al4d/4r44e/4r55e and is one of the best auto trannies ford ever made. the shifting is smooth and crisp and the tranny seems to always be int he power band needed. one really gripe is when after a hard accel when letting of the throttle the RPMS stay up for approximatly 2 seconds after a downshift. something i dont like and doesnt seem normal.
the borg warner transfer case is a tried and tested BW series and is a strong unit. with a low range of around 2.70:1 it easily allows the ranger to go into any situation and come out successiful.
The torsion bar/leaf spring suspension of the 1998+ rangers is a little brother to the 1997+ F-150s. the torsion bar front lacks linieral travel and flex. the ride is very harsh and feels more like one is riding in a old style horse drawn carrige. on a lighter note the front set up is excellent for handling a twisty section of road and rides alright at highway speeds. the rear leaf spring suspension offers good travel and flex with a middle line ride.
off-road the suspension really hampers what one can do. with the minimal wheel travel up front, off-road ride is harsh and can be tricky with the lack of travel. the rear travel makes up for it and takes the slack for the limited front travel. the ranger does very well off-road however and is a great choice for a weekend wheeler/daily driver.
overall the Ford Ranger Edge is a nice pickup for the price. peppy engine, greant automatic tranny and good 4wd system makes for an excellent truck for a mulitidue of tasks. if u dont mind a rough ride and a few interior issues this is one helluva a truck and is the only compact still in the market.
what ford needs to change on the ranger is add a coil over front suspension, offer an updated interior and add some new seats. while a new body style would be nice, this package is still realitivly sweet for the price.
PS: please dont comment on spelling and grammer issues. if a mod wouldnt mind cleaning it up, that would be great. im not an english major and typed this out at 1am in the morning