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Reliable workhorse

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 12/8/2016 Travis

I have the Mazda badged version of the '94 Ranger (B3000), identical except for body cosmetics. Bought it used w/ 75K miles almost 20 years ago, now has 183K. The 3.0 V6 is pretty anemic, especially climbing hills on the freeway (often I have to downshift to 3rd gear), but gets job done. Truck is super reliable -- replaced 5-spd. manual trans at around 130K, because grease monkey at lube joint didn't tighten drain plug, or fill up after draining. Costs: $700 for rebuilt trans found online and $200 installation with mechanic friend. Compare that to the $4K or $5K it takes to replace a modern auto trans in many vehicles. But you can't find manual trans anymore... brakes, shocks, wheel bearings, master cylinder, idler pulley and tires have been replaced -- normal wear and tear for a vehicle this old. I was thinking of getting something newer, but the horror stories of maintenance with these computerized wonders terrifies me ($1500 to fix power sliding doors on minivans, $9K to replace sensor deep in the bowels of a Toyota engine... it goes on and on). I decided to keep this "antiquated" jewel until it collapses into heap of scrap metal -- simplicity and cheap maintenance are values I do not care to sacrifice for any level of costly, power-assisted, processor-driven convenience!

Average Rating : 5

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