We bought our 1994 Explorer from my wife's uncle and it has been outstanding. I keep thinking I should replace it with a new model but this one is so good I just can't bring myself to do it. My son loves driving it to college so who knows maybe in another year or so we will replace it...even though I doubt we would really need to do so.
4X4 features are easy to use.
More horsepower...the new ones have it so Ford listened on this point.
I have heard negative things about Explorers but in five years have not experienced them. I get 23 mpg hwy, which makes it the perfect travel car on my Ohio-Tenn trips for school. It conquered everything I threw at it as an immature 1st time 4wd owner (seriously I'm surprised this car is not stranded in a certain mudpit in Middle Tennessee). The most comfortable car, will haul it all, routine work - brakes,belts,etc. is dirt cheap (and I am a poor college student!). I have 155,000 on it now, a third of which is my doing, without a headache. As expected, transmission wear was easily solved with Lucas trans-fix additive. An $8 bottle has worked miracles for 17k miles.
Fold flat rear seats perfect for camping. Easy to maintain, oil easy to change, Unbelievable what all you can pack inside.
Only thing that ever went wrong - my rear window wiper fluid stopped spraying. My depression quickly faded as I had only used it twice in five years.
My 94 Explorer has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. When it had 144,000 miles on it, I drove it cross country, from CA to NC, hauling a load inside. It now has a little over 148,000 miles on her, and she runs like a champ. Small windshield leak, and axle seals are staring to go, but other than that, an awesome vehicle.
Durability, on-the -dash push button 4X4, rugged looks, better gas mileage than a Tahoe, or other SUV's.
I bought it used. With all the necessary repairs, the extended warranty would have helped. So much expensive repair work was needed that I would have been better off buying a new SUV. 4 wheel drive went out soon after purchase, engine sensor was very expensive, door wouldn't open and another door handle was going too, transmission went out too. Add me to the list of folks who will never buy another Ford product.
That it will soon be replaced.
Fix the awful quality problems or terminate the product line.