Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Ford Explorer SUV - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

148 Total Reviews

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Not bad at all...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Q
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I have only had my Explorer for 3 months now, but no major problems. It has high mileage, so the things that I will need to replace are expected when an SUV reaches this mileage marker. Roomy, comfortable seats, and it is fun to drive. Ford designed these Explorers to rev high off the line if you give it some gas, and that is what they do. Just wish it got a lil' better gas mileage, it's only a V6. It would be nice to have more horsepower and acceleration too. Ford has got to do something about that, I mean come on ... Pontiac makes a V6 that kicks out 260hp and still gets good gas mileage.


Best Features

High revving from a standstill, the 5 speed automatic transmission. What took Ford so long to make a 5 and 6 speed transmission? If Ford had done this years back, they would still be running the show, but that's what happens when American auto makers decide to play the game of tortoise and the hare.


Worst Features

Ford could have given the Explorer more horsepower in the base V6, it is a pain when trying to pass someone on the highway and you can't do it quick enough because of the Explorer's lag in the 50-70mph range when trying to downshift to accelerate.


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I still like my Explorer
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By GPDMTR25
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV


Review

I still love to drive my Explorer. I've never had a problem with mine although several of my friends have had minor problems with theirs. I was worried about getting an American made car so I purchased the extended warranty. I've never had a reason to use it though. My second car is a convertible Mini Cooper which is a blast to drive but I still use my Explorer to do all of my main driving because I like it so much.


Best Features

It has all the bells and whistles on it.


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Wonderfully Designed, Fair reliability
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Neill
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I truly enjoy this vehicle. It gets me to my critical job when the city is on snow emergency, with ease. The Auto 4x4 is great, as is the layout of the entire car. Rear heating is also an added plus. As far as comfort and design, this car is a winner. When it comes to reliability however, this car has issues. My tranny had to be rebuilt at 98k miles, suspension system is falling apart despite replacing shocks at 112k, also numerous little rattles/alarming noises from the engine have had to be administered to. Overall, I enjoy the car.


Best Features

Power lock toggle in cargo area, rear seat ac/heat, dashboard layout, radio buttons (nice and easy to use while keeping your eyes up), auto on/off headlights, auto 4x4 , temp/directional display, comfort of seats, driving position allows for arm to rest while driving.


Worst Features

I simply wish the car was built with slightly better reliability in mind. My car seems to seek its friend, the local mechanic, too often. Offroad capability [currently nonexistent] could be vastly improved.


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Fun!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Scott
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV


Review

My Explorer was a lot of fun, I had to sell because of MPG - horrible - 10 to 12 MPG with 5.0 V8 on a good day. All the extras were enjoyable too. The paint started coming off in a few places and the stereo started shorting out at the same time. Overall, I put 168,000 miles on it and only had small repairs along the way.


Best Features

The sporty look and all the extras


Worst Features

MPG and stereo = BAD!


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Scoring my Explorer
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bud Denno
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I purchased my Explorer new in California and have made 5 cross- country trips to the east coast before settling in Maine in 2002. I have had the following major maintenance; Replaced ball joints, replaced brakes (front and rear) twice, turned the rotors once and replaced them once. I personally change oil and filter every 3000-4000 miles. I pulled a loaded tandem wheel trailer from Calif. to Maine without incident. The four wheel drive has worked flawlessly (and frequently). Overall, I have been very pleased with the vehicle, however, I must admit that gas mileage is the biggest disadvantage. Around town I average 15-16 MPG and on trips I have gotten 20-21. It is now for sale.


Best Features

Comfortable seats style and interior spaciousness powerful V6 engine functional accessories


Worst Features

Improve fuel economy quiet down the engine noise improve ride (rides like a truck)


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