1997 Ford Explorer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Ford Explorer SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Explorer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 4200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 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 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

1996 1 owner ford explorer

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Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

When I purchased the 96 Explorer it was my 2nd one. I had a 91 2dr 4wd and sold it to my Dad. My 96 was fine till 55,000 miles when the odometer broke. It was already out of warranty and cost $1000 to fix due to it being one of a cluster . I had to repair the a/c twice costing $1000 each time. I replaced the radiator at $800. I've replaced the transfer case at $3500 and the Transmission at $2000. This vehicle is only used to go to and from work and school 5-10 miles away. Recently, my daughter was driving it on I-95 coing home from college and the engine failed costing me $400 to tow it home 71 miles. It appears it is only worth $2000 when running.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Can't complain one bit

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

I bought my 96 in 98 with 14000 miles on it. 12 years and 160,000 miles later and it never had a breakdown. The transmission never gave me problems. Only problem after many years was the link to the auto transmission and the back door lock had problems that I never took it in for. I did most of the scheduled maintenance myself and I'm no real mechanic. Great vehicle from Ford.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sure footed ride

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Explorer

92,000 miles on 5.0 L and it still looks and runs almost like new. Terrible gas mileage(16)and some engine noise. I've pulled a 16 ft box trailer all over, it has plenty of power and suspension, just doesn't have the long wheel base for stability.Love the short turning radius, tight suspension, and awd traction. No significant repairs other than the heater controls are shot, can't turn it off - damper? On the second set of brake pads and have just recently started noticing rotor warp on original set. Still uses zero oil between changes. On the second set of tires. Original muffler and suspension!! No rust. This vehicle has been babied, but it is still runs and looks great at 14.



Talk About The 1997 Explorer

1997 Ford Explorer Discussions See all Started By

dishiki
dishiki
07-17-2001
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...


wookie1
wookie1
03-01-2014
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...


threegoats
threegoats
04-07-2001
During a recent trip to the dealer, my 1997 Explorer returned unable to control the heat level (always on high heat) except when on Max. A/C. Could be a coincidence. I figure the vent door is hangin...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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