This is a great vehicle, it handles well, looks good, and the gas mileage isn't bad for a small truck (I get 24/mph, highway/city). I have over 120k miles on it, and so far no problems. I would highly recommend this vehicle.
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 bought my Ford Ranger STX brand new off the lot. I had it in the shop one time because my power steering pump went out. It was about a month after I got it and it was all covered under warranty. I tried after that to run it harder to make whatever was going to break; break, so I could have it all fixed under warranty... but nothing has broken. 5 years later, my truck is still nice red and shiny and runs strong. I have taken good care of it and it has taken good care of me. I use Ams-oil series 2000 0W30 motor oil in it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Overall, I use my truck for a back and forth to work truck. I used to drive 1 hour round trip but my new job I drive it about 20 minutes round trip now. I also use it in the summer for small masonary jobs. I have the bed Rhino lined which is a great investment. This truck is durable and tough for it's small size. I fit in it well and I am 6'4 and about 195 pounds. It has plenty of head and leg room. Now as far as luxury, I wouldn't drive this thing to California from Ohio and back. The engine would handle it well, but being a regular cab, it would get a little cramped. But the engine transmission and differential is strong. I have only replaced oil and a power steering pump. If that's as bad as it'll ever get... I'm pretty lucky! LOL