This vehicle makes for an excellent commuter car. MPGs are competitive, Stick shift makes driving fun. This most definitely isn't the family car. Cargo? Sure. Engine's too small for serious jobs, but it'll handle most household needs. Passengers? You only get two, and it's not very comfortable. Performance? Lacking, unless you want to rev high. Fun? Absolutely. You really feel the road in this truck. Between this and the manual trans, my commute is rather interesting these days.
I have three friends with Ford Rangers in slightly older models who all rave about what good trucks they have been, and they all LOVED my "new" (2004) truck. Their ownership of a Ranger definitely influenced me to buy one, and after driving it for a month now, I couldn't be happier with the way it handles on the highway as well as down the small back streets, the comfort of the seats for long periods behind the wheel (I commute 66 miles a day to work), and the overall mileage during these rough times of high gas prices. It runs no differently with the (ice cold) air or heat on, and I am thrilled to finally own my own Ranger. It's just the right size for a (professional) woman who also likes to play hard on the weekends, and the perfect height to retrieve groceries or other items from the bed when I am dressed-up for work. I am also pleased to find that it has no weird blind spots to negotiate when I am driving in traffic, and all of the controls inside are easy to understand and/or program without much difficulty. The only thing I miss is the extra room a back seat provided, but I am getting used to it now. All in all, I am delighted with my "new" truck from CarMax - who are an incredible company and back their vehicles with a full warranty & roadside assistance plan, and who treat you as you should be treated: like a valued customer, coming to them to buy a car - not some sucker to sell a lemon to and act like they are doing me a favor! It was also the first time I didn't have a panic attack in a car dealership for fear of getting ripped off... again! They were a delight to deal with and I was really, truly in and out of there within two hours - just as they claimed I would be. No games - no hassles - no rude or annoying salesmen - no rush or pushiness to sell you a car - no kidding!!! I love my new truck! I loved the purchasing experience just as much!
Second Pick-up I have owned-really like it but its a little too small in cab for a 6' 2" person-no storage at all in regular cab-wished I had the extended cab but I like the 7' bed. With 4.0 V6, barely gets 20 mpg, but it has power. With an eight year old in middle -it is too cramped! Ford should have made armrest into an add'l storage for CDs,etc. Rough ride-it was made for a Brinks Security truck with big tool chest on back-without the weight it bounces too much. But I still like it for carrying furniture and stuff!