I bought the Explorer new in April 1995. It now has 137K miles and is running really good. Had to replace the transmission at 85K (Ford helped with the cost) and upgraded to the 5 speed. Replaced all ball joints at 90K and lowers again at 134K. Other than that, followed maintenance schedule and oil changes every 3K miles. The engine still runs smooth. It's amazing after 11 years of driving how tight this vehicle still is. No rattles or squeaks, just a nice firm ride. Waxed every year and the paint is literally showroom new. This is a well built quality vehicle. I've had five guys including myself and all our golf gear in here with no problem. And it's great in the snow!
Vehicle is the right size, ability to hold lots of cargo, reliable, nice looking and absolutely great in the snow.
Lower maintenance costs and improved gas mileage. I have the 3.73 limited slip differential (with towing pkg) and because of this get 1-2 miles less per gallon. I get 20-21 mpg highway, and 15-16 mpg overall, but I live in SE Wisconsin with reformulated gas which gives you about 10% reduced mileage.