I bought this truck with 135,000 miles on it and it now has over 220,000. It is still going strong and is completely reliable. Mine has the 5- speed manual. Besides normal maintenance items (brakes, clutch, tires, etc.) I have had to replace both cylinder heads (they cracked - a very common known defect in this particular Ford engine) and the A/C condenser ($450). Besides that, no other repairs. I have off-roaded it many times and it has always done well. It doesn't have much pickup off the line at all. Mileage is crappy, at 14 city/20 hwy. With the new heads, it does not use a drop of oil, which is unusual at this mileage, so the bottom end of the engine is bulletproof.
Good interior fit and finish. Still looks great after 18 years and no busted parts, like on a GM or Asian car.
Improve the horrible cylinder head design. Brakes stink.
I know raves about a 91 might not seem relevant to newer model purchasers, but I wanted to weigh in on the quality of Ford trucks. My family has never owned another brand. I'm the original owner of this Explorer, it has over 210,000 (hard) miles on it, and the alternator -- which went out last winter -- is the only major thing I've ever had to replace/fix on it. The power windows are starting to malfunction, but the ac/heater works fine, so I compensate. I want a new car, because I'm starting to hesitate to take this one on long road trips (still 4x in it though), but feel duty bound to run it into the ground first. I might actually cry when I have to let it go.
4WD. Reliability. Size -- back before Ford started making the Explorer huge for no reason. Fun to drive. Big enough for dogs and friends and tons of gear. Comfy seats. Can even sleep comfortably in it if need be (leaky tents, etc.)
My Ford Explorer is incredible! I have owned it for ten years now! It is a wonderful vehicle. As legend has it "Chuck" was one of the first manual transmission Ford Explorers to come off the assembly line back in June of 1990. The previous owner, a good friend of the family, heard from the dealer that this Explorer's manual transmission was hand built. And talk about craftsmanship! With over 200,000 km on him (he was purchased in Canada) he is still on his original clutch! Amazing! Even more amazing considering I learned to drive a stick shift using him! He can haul cartons, kids, groceries and everything in between. And so easy for a do-it- yourselfer to repair!
Love the 4x4 and low buttons. The incredible storage capacity has to be seen to be believed. I have packed entire six foot tall bookcases, a six foot tall armoir and countless boxes in the cavernous Explorer.
The electric rear windows failed to operate a couple of months ago. So, I ordered an inexpensive kit on Ebay to fix them. Considering this is almost an eighteen year young truck, I have no complaints at all. Replacement parts are readily available.
I was given my '91 Explorer from a friend. The car had been sitting for 2 years without the doors even being opened, much less started. I opened the door cleaned the battery terminals and cranked the car, it started right up and has ever since. It's amazing after sitting neglected that long it started right up and I detailed it and it came clean and the paint even shines as does the leather. It's an amazing car; I got mine for free but I'd recommend anyone buy an Explorer!
Reliability, classic design.
Better power window motors, tighter fit of interior/exterior components.
Had my Explorer about 6 years. Outside of a few mechanical problems which may be expected by the time a vehicle reaches 130,000, I have no complaints. I take it to rugged and remote desert areas with confidence, sleep in the back when I camp, haul plywood, lumber, bricks, plants, fertilizer, furniture and occasionally even people in the back and it is big enough and strong enough to handle them all and I can still turn on a dime and 4WD it through narrow places where the big ones can't go. It is a true SUV; its utility is excellent. I'd buy a new SUV but NOBODY makes a vehicle that puts it all together like my Explorer -- believe me, I've looked at them all.
Versatility, utility, 4WD, turning radius and fold-down-flat-and-out-of- the-way rear seats.