1997 Ranger

Consumer Reviews

1997 Ford Ranger

$486 - $7,598  MSRP Range
1997 Ford Ranger

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

14 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.2 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.9 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.1 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.9 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.1 out of 5 stars Performance
4.2 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

Have You Driven the 1997 Ford Ranger?

Write Your Review
Write Your Review

What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 14 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

1997 Ford Ranger

by Danger-ranger from Laramie, Wyoming on Mon Apr 23 2012

These are the best little trucks there is. I had a 1997 ford ranger, 4 cylinder, 5 speed. i sold it for $1750. (almost what I bought it for) they keep their value even with 144,000 miles on it. And it still ran like new. I bought another 1997 ranger and just finished a 900 mile trip straight through with no resting. And it never missed a lick. Ranger is a awesome truck. I would recommend it to anyone.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

A modest hero for everyday life!

by AngelenoDad from Los Angeles, CA on Thu Oct 20 2016

This was my work truck for the first ten years I owned it, then I changed careers and put more unloaded freeway miles on it (as opposed to heavily-loaded city miles). Also used it to haul gear for our Scout troop, put a decent number of rough offroad miles on it: my son and I even took it on a couple of jeep trails, even though this is the 2.3L rear-drive manual-tranny model. I have some offroad experience & was able to keep us out of trouble, and was once again impressed at the way my little truck rose to the occasion. Our kids are grown now, I work at an office not a jobsite, and we are downsizing, so we don't need a truck anymore: we have to sell it. I'm afraid my Ranger is pretty beat up now: the seat seams are starting to rip, it's got scratches and body-panel damage I never bothered to fix, and a 3" hole punched clean through the passenger-side floorboard when I ran over someone else's broken axle on a dark deserted highway in Nevada? we've had a lot of adventures, and they have left their mark on this baby. I've had to replace the heater core a couple of times, and the power steering pump once (a friend of mine burned it out while panicking on a steep icy mountain road), and I finally replaced the clutch too, but aside from that, she's held up admirably. The odometer reads deceptively low, just 127,000-ish, but a lot of those miles were very rough miles... and she's still going strong. I looked up these used-car value estimates and reviews to see if I could get a decent price, and was delighted to see that others had had similar experiences to mine: the '97 Ranger really is a kind of Energizer Bunny. Certainly no hot rod? I've spent the better part of two decades climbing the 395 north of Lee Vining at 40mph in third gear, so that hasn't changed since the truck was new. ;-) But if you just need a truck that will handle daily life, plus any added abuse you might throw at it (like accidentally exceeding the load rating by 600lbs, and hauling that load 10 bumpy miles), you can't do better than this baby.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

I have a 97 Mazda b2300

by RonJones from Knoxville on Sat Jul 08 2017

I have a Mazda b2300 which is the same thing as a ford ranger. My little truck has over 258k miles and is still running strong. I love my truck! I have used my truck for everything from hauling heavy trailers to driving around the USA. I do maintenance for a living all over the country and my truck handles it all like a dream.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

4 out of 5 stars

Fun pick-up with a comfortable interior

by Greenwich Professor from Greenwich, CT on Thu Apr 06 2017

Real value...The car drives really well...Has four wheel drive..Rear jump seatsare a little cramped...OK for adults for very short trips only...Smaller children are OK for longer trips...Gas mileage is excellent...Overall, a very good smaller alternative to the monster pick-ups that are so popular.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

What a trooper!

by Caboose from Cincinnati, OH on Sun Jan 31 2010

This little truck has been a solid friend. I've got the 2.3-4 cylinder model. It is rear wheel drive with a small engine, but we're not talking about a race car here(yet people still call this the baby Hemi). This puppy has withstood every abuse I've thrown at it. Current mileage is 154k and I have no problem driving it on long highway trips because it is in such good shape. The beating up I gave it? Daily commutes to muddy construction sites for several years - at 5:30 or so in the morning. Many of those were 3 hour round trips. Before the dirty hauling and heavy commuting, my little buddy took care of me in a really hilly little city where I drove as a hormone addled 20-something. Despite my occasional recklessness and general heavy handedness at the wheel, it has stood up SO well. Other than basic maintenance, I've just now(152k miles!) replaced the original clutch. Whew. Oh and the windshield, but that was totally stupid. Lesson learned: don't park so close to a roofing job. Hah! Without a doubt, my little buddy is gonna do 250k or so before I finally can't see the road anymore, because of the sunflowers growing up from the mud-caked floorboards. Love my truck. Rangers: if you treat 'em right, they'll last forever - or until someone drops something REALLY big off the roof.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

22 out of 23 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

Good Buy

by Birkey from Kokomo, IN on Fri Apr 13 2007

I've had mine for 2 1/2 years and haven't had to fix a thing. The only thing I don't care for is it's V6 4.0 liter engine with only 2 wheel drive. You can pass people with ease but the lost fuel mileage and spinning out on loose gravel gets old. If you want power, make sure to get it in 4 wheel drive. Other than that, it's a well made and easily maintainable truck. The interior is comfortable and having controls on the steering wheel is a plus. Worth every penny!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

No problems from this truck

by FJ fan from Hickory, N.C. on Thu Apr 26 2012

Have owned some Fords in the past and all have been really good vehicles. My '97 Ranger has been an excelent performer, although with the 4 cylinder it's no speed demon so I don't drive it like I'm trying out for the NASCAR truck series. It came with an optional handling package and that little truck handles as good as most sports cars. A great everyday driver that I will hopefully keep for another 15 years. Great truck!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

4 out of 5 stars

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

by PICKUP MAN 87 from PENSACOLA on Thu Mar 18 2010

I HAVE OFTEN HEARD FORD BE CRITICIZED AND DEGRADED HOWEVER AS THE FIRST FORD I HAVE OWNED I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT HAS BEEN AN EXTREMLEY RELIABLE VEHICLE OVER 115,000 MILES AND STILL NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCIONS FOR THE MONEY YOU JUST CAN'T BEAT IT.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

4 out of 5 stars

Great little truck

by Happy with Ford from Boise, Idaho on Tue Aug 01 2006

For the money this has been a great reliable truck! I have owned small Toyota pick-ups, which cost more, and both the Toyota and Ford have had comparable reliablity! I think that the Ranger has a more "solid" feel when driven down the road it does not feel like a tin can! The controls are well thought out and easy to reach and use. I think it worth noting that after 105,000 mile this truck has needed nothing more than regular maintenance and as of the last oil change was only 1/2 quart low at 3000 miles with no oil being added during that time. I have had toyota's that didn't do that well!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

19 out of 21 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

Great little truck

by Ranger owner from Placerville, CA on Wed Apr 30 2014

I love my 1997 Ford Ranger. It's fun to drive and handles good. It's a nice size truck that easy to see out of and park. It has a big enough bed the haul the things I need to haul. It's good on gas with the 2.3L and 5 speed. The truck is easy to work on and I've had few problems with it. It has 131K on it now. I have seen the 2.3L go a lot of miles with few problems. That is why I bought a Ranger with the good old American cast iron engine.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

Next
1 2