1997 Ford Explorer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Ford Explorer SUV


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Ford Explorer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission
  • Horse Power 205 hp @ 5250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Ford Explorer

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Great cargo space, multiple engine options, and attractive exterior styling make this the best selling SUV on the market. The fact that the Explorer has dual airbags sure helps too.

  • Cons

    The base V-6 engine is a asthmatic when trying to pass at freeway speeds. The Explorer feels top-heavy in tight corners.

  • What's New for 1997

    The 1997 Ford Explorer receives a few appreciated improvements this year. A new SOHC V6 engine is now available, providing nearly as much…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (129 total reviews)

Amazingly tough!!!

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

Bought this 1996 XLT as a first car for my daughter to learn how to drive and then I was going to sell it. Well guess what....I'm going to do some maintenance on it and keep it for myself. The 5.0L motor is amazing and the transmission shifts like it was new (this vehicle has 185,000 miles on it). It still gets 18 mpg in the city and about 23 mpg on the Hwy. and has absolutely NO oil leaks!!! I'm Impressed!!!!!

Driving on snow storms

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

This is not a good SUV to drive on heavy snow high ways. Specially 4x4. I spinned twice and hit on the edge of the highway safety guards. I was driving 30mph on a 70mph road. Please use 2 wheel drive on high ways when its really bad on roads.

Still working

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

Bought my 4.0L, 4dr, 4wd, auto XLT as a new loss leader from the Sunday newspaper auto section in 1996 for $23k. Had to replace a blown head gasket twice. First time was my fault because thermostat was bad and temp gage wasn't working so engine overheated & blew the head gasket. 2nd time was just from age & I was able to save a few thousand by doing the labor myself (~$700 in parts & machine shop work on the valves/heads). Now has 157k on it. Transmission is starting to slip but I understand that's normal wear & tear with this many miles. Other than that, just had the usual, tires, alternator, brakes stuff. The truck has been a workhorse.

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 1997 Ford Explorer Review

What's New for 1997

The 1997 Ford Explorer receives a few appreciated improvements this year. A new SOHC V6 engine is now available, providing nearly as much power as the 5.0-liter V8. Also new is a five-speed automatic transmission, the first ever offered by an American auto manufacturer, which is standard on V6 models equipped with automatic.

Talk About The 1997 Explorer

1997 Ford Explorer Discussions See all Started By

I have a problem, I have a 1997 explorer XLT 5.0L 4dr 4X2 it does not have anything showing the fuse layout both covers are plain jane the only thing it has is numbers nothing else. I guess that was o...

My wife and I have a 97 Explorer XLT 2WD, with about 62k miles on it. We noticed a knocking sound whenever we would brake towards the fron of the car. We took it in and they said it was the brakes. So...

My 1997 Explorer exhibits sluggish braking for the fist couple of stops when cold. The truck has new Motorcraft pads on all 4 wheels. Zero fluid leaks, good rotors, what could the problem be....