The Ford Ranger, a long-time favorite in Ford’s lineup, has seen significant evolution over its lifespan. Initially known for its ruggedness and reliability, the Ranger has adjusted well through the years, keeping pace with modern drivers’ demands. It’s not just about raw power; the Ranger has diversified its engine options to cater to various needs. While not as large as the legendary F-150, it’s rugged enough to handle challenging terrains; it’s also comfortable for city driving and long trips.
With the versatility of being a daily driver and rugged off-roader, the Ranger has garnered a loyal following over the years. On top of that, compared to other trucks in its class, the Ranger often offers a competitive price point. Additionally, Ford usually equips the Ranger with the latest technology and features, ensuring drivers have a modern driving experience.
If you’re looking to purchase this midsize pickup truck, you’re probably wondering: how long do Ford Rangers last? If you know your Ranger’s lifespan, you can have the foresight to budget for potential replacements or major repairs. Furthermore, knowing can help you determine whether it’s more cost-effective to invest in a new vehicle or continue maintaining the current one.
For today’s post, we tackle the overall lifespan of the Ford Ranger and determine if it’s a good long-term investment to purchase a high-mileage unit.
Just How Reliable is the Ford Ranger?
More often than not, a reliable vehicle is also a long-lasting one. Although Ford isn’t exactly known to top the lists of the most reliable car manufacturers, the Ranger is one of its shining beacons of reliability – thanks to its solid build and utilitarian nature.
As per RepairPal, the Ford Ranger has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it as the 3rd most reliable model in the midsize truck segment. Moreover, this truck has an average annual repair cost of $615, which is above average compared to other small trucks in its class. However, what makes the Ranger stand out is the frequency of repairs. RepairPal says the average rate of unscheduled repairs for the Ranger is only 0.2 times yearly.
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However, that’s not to say that all Ranger models have excellent reliability. In fact, we recommend avoiding some Ranger model years due to the high number of complaints and known significant issues. For example, the 1999-2003 Ford Ranger models are notorious for their electrical and transmission problems. Many owners bemoaned the Ranger’s faulty transmission and spent thousands on repairs or replacement. With that said, the Ranger boasts strong reliability ratings, but reliability will vary from one model year to the next. Based on reliability records, older models (before the hiatus) tend to have more significant issues than new ones.
How Long Do Ford Rangers Last?
Despite an eight-year hiatus, the Ford Ranger is considered one of the longest-lasting models in Ford’s stable. Although the older years were riddled with major mechanical issues, the revived third-gen Rangers are looking to continue the truck’s reputation for reliability.
While it’s impossible to predict the actual lifespan of your truck, various sources and owner accounts say that the Ranger is more than capable of crossing the 200,000-mile threshold. Many Rangers were retired at around 250,000 miles due to the rising cost of repairs, but if you’re willing to stick to it, this truck can reach up to 300,000 miles.
On a related note, many owners from the Ford Ranger subreddit have shared their high-mileage trucks with over 200,000 miles. One person said that Rangers are well-known to surpass 300,000 miles with regular maintenance. They believe 180,000 miles aren’t a deal-breaker if the vehicle has been well-maintained and priced right. Another Redditor stated their Ranger has 201,000 miles and still runs perfectly and only had to replace regular maintenance items. They also mentioned rust issues, which they attribute to being in the Midwest.
Meanwhile, another user cautioned that it can have issues if a Ranger isn’t treated right. They mentioned their 2001 3.0 4x4 Ranger with 120,000 miles needed a new motor, rebuilt transmission, new rear end, and other parts due to the previous owner’s neglect.
The general sentiment towards the Ford Ranger’s reliability is positive in many of these discussion forums. However, like any vehicle, this depends on individual experiences. At the end of the day, regular care and maintenance trumps everything in extending a vehicle’s lifespan.
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How Many Miles are Too Many for a Used Ford Ranger?
Again, the main factor for considering a used Ford Ranger is how well it’s maintained. Mileage consideration depends on the year model of the Ranger. For instance, 150,000 miles might be a lot for a 2009 model but not so much for a 2000 model. As mentioned, Rangers can reach up to 300,000 miles if properly maintained.
While the Ranger has a stellar reputation for longevity, it’s not a bad idea to stick with used Rangers under 100,000 miles. Common sentiment indicates that between 100,000 to 150,000 miles is when more maintenance items might be needed; as such, many would be cautious about purchasing a Ranger with over 150,000 miles unless it’s for a project or a beater.
Also, the model year of the used Ranger may dictate its potential problems. Older Ford Rangers were unfortunately riddled with major reliability woes involving the engine, transmission, and electrical system. If you can help it, limit your shopping list for post-hiatus Rangers since they have better reliability scores.
Is a Ford Ranger a Worthy Investment?
How long do Ford Rangers last? We hope this guide has helped you find what you’re looking for. But is this small pickup truck worth it as a long-term investment? Well, it depends on what you want from your vehicle. If you’re looking for a beater, an older Ford Ranger is an excellent pick, especially since these trucks come with affordable price tags in the used car market. Plus, it can last you a long while. Otherwise, sticking with newer models (2019+) might be better for better reliability and modern features.
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