No, you shouldn't buy a Ranger, the more people out there looking to buy Rangers the higher the price for me when I want to buy a Ranger.
1. In my opinion regular cab step side looks good, extra cab step side is not as nice looking, no not really a problem to park extended cab
2. pickup trucks have the aerodynamics of a brick with a parachute attached, so MPG is not great, 4cylinder will be best, 2.3l engine, will give as good as it gets, which won't be 30mpg, maybe 24 highway with automatic, 26 with manual trans.
4 cyl 2.3l won't be found in an Extended cab after 1997, only regular cab and only 2 wheel drive.
4 wheel drive were V6 only but regular or extended cab, expect under 20MPG with a V6
3. yes 2006 and up will have less problems, 10 years and older are when any vehicle needs more care, although 2002 and up 2.3l Rangers were fairly reliable long term
4. step side was a trim not an option so many were made
5. higher the lift the lower the MPG, laws of aerodynamics, so up to you
6. 12,000 miles per year is average, higher means longer trips which is better than shorter trips, I tend to like a higher miler than lower, lower could mean it sat alot or, was in the shop being repaired, lol, all the time.
Ranger chassis are good for 400,000, engines and transmissions can't be predicted since maintenance is a BIG factor, a car with "records" usually means it was well maintained but you never really know.
Ford Dealer will do a used car inspection for $125-$175, money well spent.
If seller won't allow inspection then walk away and consider yourself lucky.
7. all pick up trucks get rusty in the rear leaf springs, where they salt the road in winter or near the ocean this can happen fairly quickly, you just need to look.
But Rangers have no more common rust issues than other trucks or cars for the area they are driven in.
8. the simpler the vehicle the less problems and easier they will be to work on
No AC, no power windows, no power door lock, no cruise, manual trans, would be best.
The more "things" anything has means the more "things" that can break, that applies to all things in life
Last edited by RonD; 07-30-2016 at 04:51 PM.