I bought this new in 1996. Fabulous vehicle all-around, no issues, never been in the shop for any mechanical reason. I especially love the tight turning radius. It will do a 360 on a dime. My only complaint is the poor 14/17 mpg. I've never seen the 18/21 it was rated by Ford.
Sounds so simple, but I have the center and upper console feature, and I use it all the time. Great for storage in general. I'm always digging in it. Again, can't say enough about it's handling, overall power, and tight turning radius. It's the best looking 2-door SUV on the road today!
Can be a little loud at highway speeds with road noise; Also, the hollow steel bumpers and step-bars are showing signs of rust from the inside-out due to living in the North's high salted roads during winter, making it difficult to rinse away salt. Ford could have gone solid and saved this eyesore.
I went from a little import sports car to what seemed a "big" vehicle. I came to love it like no other vehicle I have ever owned. On snow and ice it handles beautifully. For an SUV it gets great gas mileage. I personally don't like 4 door SUV's because they seem too long and ugly so the Sport model was right up my alley. It looks cool, rides great, and is just plain fun to drive.
I love the body style of the 96. It's curvy enough to not look boxy, yet not so curved as to seem shapeless. It really is a great looking SUV.
I do agree that the back seats are uncomfortable. The passenger seat legroom leaves something to be desired if you are tall.
Personally, I don't care much for the car. I've spent nearly 2000$ in repairs for it! To begin with, I'm a very very cautious driver- I've never caused any wrecks, but I've been rear ended. And the car held up well in the collison- but a few times, when turning slowly even or taking a curve, the car nearly flips over and tilts. Other times, it stalls out and the car speedometer is wrong. When compared to other drivers going 40 the explorer seems slower. It also takes forever to accelerate. And it's a gas guzzler. It also has a very very very bumpy ride. I swear I could feel a pebble in grass! Not the best car in the world- especially for someone on a budget!
The 6 CD deck and padded bumper
Nothing- I could never drive an SUV again after driving this car.