There have been a total of four generations of this truck. They were from 1983 until 1988, 1989 through 1992, 1993 to 1997, and 1998 to present.
Engines have ranged from a 2.0 L inline 4 cylinder all the way up to a 4.0 L Cologne V6. They are generally considered underpowered for trucks, although there was a Ranger GT sport version featuring a 2.9 L engine and manual transmission.
The Ranger has seen a significant sales decline in recent years. Ford is planning a redesign in the near future, but they might have to scrap this truck unless they can find a way to turn things around. The Ford Ranger EV was an electric version of the truck sold from 1998 until 2002. Perhaps Ford should be looking into more alternative fuel options for its little truck.
You can find plenty of these on the used truck market, and for a fairly cheap price. They weren't that expensive when new, so it's no surprise that they can be found for just a couple thousand bucks used. They are even cheaper on eBay, an option I highly endorse.