We just passed 195,000 miles on this car and it still runs great. It has served my family well. The only problem we've encountered is a squeaking noise in the suspension that we cannot get rid of. It's a "cosmetic" problem as it doesn't affect the ride or handling. The body is great, not a sign of rust on the car that spent its first five years out in the elements of the northeast 24/7 (no garage).
The 1996 Ford Explorer XLT (V6) has definitely been the finest car I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few. (My dad says "I can't believe that car has been so good to you!" He's jealous). I bought it used with a little less than 75K miles on it, and now it has over 180K, and still running strong. No major mechanical problems, and has never went one morning without starting right up. I've been all around the country with it. The value on paper is soooooo far below what it's REALLY worth! I would recommend this fantastically-performing car to anyone who wants something reliable, roomy, nice-looking, and lovable.
Rear air, solar tint, power everything, Premium sound, peace of mind, kicky acceleration...what's NOT to love?
I haven't had any near-rollover scares, but I've heard this can be a problem in these cars. Personally, I think the 1996 XLT is perfection.
Original owner, love this vehicle. I will cry the day I have to get rid of it. I've had NO issues, repairs, etc. other than regular maintenance or the occasional cracked radiator hose or seal deterioration (at 10 years old, this is expected). In attempts to improve gas mileage, I added K&N air filter, open cat-back exhaust with 2" pipe, and performance spark plugs, boosting from Std 160 HP to about 180. The occasional tow of 750-1000 lbs. and the random off-road experiences make this a fun ride. It turns 180 on a dime, I've seen no other car make turns like this one. I've never managed to get the EPA fuel rating, and this, to be honest is the only problem I have, with 14/17 mpg city/hwy.
U-turns on a dime, virtually maintenance free, sporty, solid performance and durability, super fun.
EPA fuel rating are a lie. Don't expect 18/21, you get 14/17. Solid step bars, rather than hollow, would prevent early rusting of steps and bumpers.
My first truck. Big, bulky, gas consuming auto yet I can finally fit all along with my family. Mechanically sound and solid, I love the 5-speed manual transmission with hydraulic clutch - no problems there, good pick up yet sluggish if you do not know how to handle it. Clean and powerful engine. Explorer is extremely popular truck around and I was afraid Ford builds quantity and not quality - I guess I was wrong, absolutely no mechanical problems. The gas prices are the main concern as this truck likes to consume. I get better mileage with manual transmission but fill up costs me a bundle
5-speed manual transmission, good solid truck.
The switch between AWD to 2WD or 4WD, the switch itself reminds me of a wiper switch, should be more noticeable and more rustic.
After owning 4 Explorers over the years and living with their poor cornering, I was amazed at driving an All-Wheel-Drive version. No more slowing down in a turn 'cause you felt the "it's gonna tip over!" feeling. What a difference! It felt, and still does, like a big sports car. Very safe and secure feeling. Very well built. My ONLY complaint is the fuel economy! Typically 12-14mpg and 11 if all city. I don't lead foot (remember the Shell Answer Man commercials?). I'll never sell this one as in its extended life it will carry big things till the wheels fall off. I still love it.