1998 Ford Ranger

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$11,485

starting MSRP

1998 Ford Ranger

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

7 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1998 Ford Ranger trim comparison will help you decide.

1998 Ford Ranger review: Our expert's take

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The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Pickup truck door wars are underway in earnest. For $595 Ford now offers the option of four doors on its extended-cab Ranger SuperCab Splash and XLT models.

This is one of the first compact pickups to be available with four doors. Mazda sells a similar version badged as the B4000, and it, too, is available with four doors. Ford will soon be the first company to offer four doors on all three of its pickups.

Side doors on extended-cab trucks are becoming as common as four-door minivans for one simple reason: They make living with the truck easier because access to the space behind the seats can be gained from either side of the vehicle.

That can be crucial when you are carrying a couple bags of groceries or want to coax Rover inside for a trip to the vet.

The back doors are hinged at the back and open out 90 degrees once the front doors have been opened. They have vertical beams for added strength, and actually contribute to the vehicle passing the government’s 1999 side-impact standards.

Even though the Ranger SuperCab’s passenger compartment is 3 inches longer this year, the area behind the back seat is still small. Center-facing, fold-down jump seats, complete with seatbelts, will accommodate two small children, but mostly the extra space will be used for dogs, luggage or any other cargo you don’t want riding outside in the weather.

The passenger-side airbag can be turned off with a key, which means you can carry children, or child safety seats, in the front without fear of injury from the airbag.

The Ranger Splash 4X4 I drove was loaded and as plush as a Ford Explorer, with which it shares many components. It was tight and solid, without any creaks, groans or rattles. For 1998, the hood is lower, the rear window larger, the frame is fully boxed for more strength and the front suspension is now the same wishbone style found on the Explorer. As a consequence, the ride is smoother, more supple, and there is room for a V8 should that be needed at some point in the future.

Our test truck was equipped with what is my powertrain of choice: The 4.0-liter V6 and five-speed automatic transmission. The five-speed automatic is a jewel because its additional gear spreads the power out evenly and that gives smooth acceleration. Shifts are as smooth as most passenger cars and cruising is relaxed. The 4.0 V6 has adequate power (158 hp) and torque for carrying moderate loads or pulling small trailers.

New to the four-wheel-drive system is what Ford calls Pulse Vacuum Hublock (PVH). PVH reduces noise and vibration and makes disconnecting four-wheel-drive simpler than before.

Inside, our truck was equipped with the optional sport bucket seats, some of the best seats Ford offers regardless of model. They are comfortable and supportive without being too firm or too soft. A large console with two large cupholders and a storage bin sits between them. The console lid doubles as an armrest, which is handy.

By giving the Ranger buyer the option of four doors, Ford has put it ahead of other compact trucks in terms of convenience and usefulness.

Price

The base price of the SuperCab Splash was $19,695. Options included the five-speed automatic transmission, 4.0-liter engine, four doors, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, 3.73 axle ratio, power windows, power mirrors, remote keyless entry and sport bucket seats.

Its sticker price was $24,995.

Warranty

The basic warranty is for three years or 36,000 miles.

Vehicles for The Star’s week-long test drives are supplied by the auto manufacturers.

Point: Adding four doors to the Ranger SuperCab expands its usefulness and versatility. Even though the space behind the seats is still small, it can now be accessed from either side of the vehicle.

Counterpoint: The only drawback to the fold-down seats is that are only large enough fo very small children.

SPECIFICATIONS:

ENGINE: 4.0-liter, V6

TRANSMISSION: automatic

WHEELBASE: 126 inches

GVWR: 4,960 lbs.

BASE PRICE: $19,695

PRICE AS DRIVEN: $24,995

MPG RATING: 16 city, 20 hwy.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 3.7
  • Performance 4.1
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.0
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Great little truck for its size

Great truck for comfort on long rides and for hauling pretty large loads. Will carry a load of rocks while pampering with great A/C and music from CD, cassette, radio. Stock sound system is impressive. 4wd may have problems after 20 years but just needs new vacuum lines and works fine. Taken care of, this truck will last for decades.

4.6

Best vehicle I have ever owned!!!

1998 2.5L manual step side. I bought it used for next-to-nothing. Interior and exterior are in great shape, runs great and is not as uncomfortable as some would have you believe. I mean, it's not luxurious but for the $$$, c'mon!

4.1

It just keeps going and going and going

I bought my Ford Ranger new in Maryland in 1998 for $13k. At the time I had just moved to a rural location from the dc suburbs and I wanted a cheap truck to help me haul my trash to the dump and get some hay for my wife’s 3 pigmy goats. Over the years I put absolutely no money in it, didn’t change the oil for years at a time, and certainly never did any other major or even minor maintenance. It was the cheapest Ranger on the lot, a 2WD (but with limited slip rear differential, what Ford at the time called 4x2), and a 7 ft bed instead of the typical 6. It had AC, and it was a manual, and that was it. Fast forward to 2019 and the truck is still here. Not only that, but it’s now in Alaska! My wife and I built a house in Alaska, and while we haven’t moved there full time, we spend all our vacations here. After a couple trips to Alaska it occurred to me I was getting fleeced by Hertz and Avis each trip. So I drove up the Ranger, 5k miles one way, and now each time we come up I grab the Ranger from a storage lot and drive it around while we are here. I did the first major maintenance in 20 years before I drove it from Maryland to Alaska, spent about $4k to replace the spark plugs, brakes, ball joints on a couple of wheels, but even the mechanic who did the maintenance couldn’t believe in how good a shape it was. Before that everything on the truck was original, at over 200k miles. Now it has $250k miles, the clutch is still the original one. I did a couple of extra changes when I got up to Alaska, I installed some air bags on the rear suspension so that I could put 600lbs or so of Sand bags over the rear axle for traction, and installed an engine block heater for the sub zero weather, and got some studied snow tires. The truck has done amazing up here. The limited slip rear dofferential and the clutch have made it surprisingly effective on the ice and snow. It tackles the many dirt roads of Alaska with no issues. The standArd 2.3 L I4 engine Is not super powerful by any stretch but is a good match to the truck and most importantly never strains. Each time I come back after a few months I check the ground under the truck and still no leaks. This little truck feels like it will last forever. And it’s not an exception, ir is amazing to see how many rangers from the 90s are still on the road. Ford made an amazing little truck with the Ranger, I’m glad I have One.

See all 29 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ford Blue Advantage Gold
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Gold Certified: Ford models up to 6 years old with less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12-Month/12,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Blue Certified: 90-Day/4,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Powertrain
7-Year/100,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Powertrain Limited Warranty Blue Certified: Available Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Dealer certification required
Certified 172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2006

Mazda B2300

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2002

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1999

Mazda B2500

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See all 1998 Ford Ranger articles