1996 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: 1996 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8

1996 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

130 Total Reviews

XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L V6 5-speed Manual)

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
1996 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8
By HeZ777 on


1996 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV


I've owned this car since October 1997, buying it with about 11,000 miles. It now has over 203,000 miles and still running strong. The 302 V8 is a strong and efficient runner, with a strong and durable transmission. Pre-Ethanol highway economy 22 MPG. Post-Ethanol highway economy 18 MPG. Very practical car, tows 5500 lb loads with ease, plenty of ramp torque, and horsepower to run up hills with ease. Recurring issues: this car eats up upper/lower ball joints, water pumps, radiators. Subwoofer not a standard size. On the plus side: 190,000 miles on a fuel pump, 170,000 miles on the air conditioning system. Engine, tranny, fuel system, computer top notch reliable on this car.

Best Features

Power train torque/power and reliability. Paint quality. Driving position and visibility are great. Handling very good (keep tires at 32 - 35 psi) for an SUV. Excellent JBL sound system.

Worst Features

Odd size JBL subwoofer has no easy replacement, can't get parts. Upper/lower ball joints, water pump quite problematic and expensive to replace. Replacement MOOG parts no better for reliability. E-10 Ethanol has driven fuel economy down from 22 MPG HWY to 18 MPG HWY. No known fix yet.
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By cindybee
on 08/04/12 12:10 PM (PDT)

I purchased my 1996 Ford Explorer XLT when it first came out. IT'S A CLASICALLY BEAUTIFUL CAR - ELEGANT WITH ULTRA STRONG BONES. I still have it and named it "Annie, my little travel pal". I have been through thick and thin, trials and tribulations in regards to terrain and weather and have travelled and also moved family, friends and myself with Annie. She has never failed us. Periodic maintenance and cleaning, and an occasional love pat on the steering wheel is key! THANKS TO FORD MOTOR COMPANY!!!! luv ya!!! Will buy another explorer, when its time to bid farewell to this one.

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