Bought this as a winter vehicle. Wasn't looking for an Explorer but the price was good ($2,400) for what I got. 119K miles, ZERO rust (rare for Northeast Pennsylvania), and no fluid leaks. The underside is unexpectedly clean. So far I had to put in an AC comp. clutch, steering bushings, EGR sensor and front rotors. I also replaced the horrible stock speakers. I've heard horror stories about the tranny (main concern before buying) so I bought an extended warranty. Mine is OK except when its cold reverse takes a second or 2. Going to change the fluid. It has push button 4WD but manual hubs... replaced before I bought. That's another common problem, so I've heard. Overall, I'm happy with it.
Styling... liked it ever since watching Jurassic Park as a kid. Simple interior with nice touches (courtesy lights). No airbags. Not a crossover or cute ute but a true SUV that can go off the beaten path if needed (A rarity these days). Plenty of space. Ride height. Handles better than expected.
More power... the 302 V8 in the 1996-2001 would do nicely. Powered versus manual sunroof. Reading lights in sunroof equipped models. Lit power switches. Can't gripe about the MPG as I have a Cobalt as a daily driver. Bigger glove box.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.