2000 Ranger 2.3l would be the first Duratec(Mazda L) engine in a Ranger, these "officially" started in mid-2001 model year, so you must have a late 2000.
2.3l Dual over head cam(DOHC), strong and reliable engine
The 2.3l Duratec engine was made for Front Wheel Drive cars with engine mounted sideways, there is a cooling system hose and fitting on the back of the engine.
When mounted in the Ranger this hose and fitting are impossible to get to without removing the transmission(or pulling out the engine), so if you ever do have the trans out replace this hose and fitting as general maintenance.
2.5l would be the last of the LIMA engines in Rangers, another reliable engine but not as much power as the 2.3l Mazda L engine
2000 and 2001 Rangers had a bad connector under drivers seat area, in 2000 it is called C309, in 2001 it is C340.
These corroded and caused odd ball trouble codes.