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

1997 Ford Explorer SUV

Average Consumer Rating

148 Total Reviews

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Great Explorer
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By B. Glenn
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

OK here goes for all of you with bad reviews. I've had this car for 7 years and currently drive it every day. It now has 328,000 miles on it and continues to start and run each day. Yes, Ive had problems, transfer case, sensors, intake gaskets, but this vehicle has been used and used hard. I pull a boat 20 weekends/year and still use this one as my primary traveling vehicle for vacations. Ice cold A/C, pushrod V6 has been great, interior is comfortable (back seat could be better), very few electrical problems; I'm thinking about replacing it but having trouble parting with it. Compared to a similar GM suv owned by another family member, this suv handles more like a sports car.


Favorite Features

Size, comfortable front seats, handling characteristics (rack and pinion steering) ride (decent for a 4wd), safety.


Suggested Improvements

Better back seat, more insulation ( a little noisy), better gas mileage (I know it's an suv, but could stand some improvement).


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Got a Good One!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mv
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV


Review

I purchased my SUV new and have been relatively happy with it. I got a good one! I've owned my Explorer for almost 12 years, have more than 224,000 miles on it (original engine and transmission) and it's held up pretty well. Only persistent problem seems to be a roaring in my wheel bearings, which I've had serviced a few times. Other than that this was a good purchase that has paid for itself over the years. Standard service intervals were always stretched (e.g. oil changes every 4,000 to 6,000 miles) - perhaps that is the secret to this longevity. I've owned three Fords before this one, and I hope I can make my next purchase a Ford also.


Favorite Features

Cloth seats which adjust easily!


Suggested Improvements

Sturdier fabric on steering wheel covering, and middle console vinyl! Once the middle console gets a small crack it will quickly escalate to a large tear, then totally rips away!


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blown engine 60k miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pete
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

Worst care ever owned. Engine just blew due to broken timing chain and only had 60k on it. Always maintained well above average. Manifold gaskets went, fuel induction problems almost every other year. Real treat. Buy American. Original owner and treated it like a baby. Apparently it did not help.


Suggested Improvements

If you have one, burn it before it eats you out of house and home. At 60 years of age, first car that didn't make it to 100,000 miles.


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Explorers are great.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ManyExplorers
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV AWD


Review

This is my third Ford Explorer, and obviously I have had good luck with them if I keep coming back to the same vehicle. It is also my first V8 model, and I do like it quite a bit over the previous V6 models. Highway mileage is actually better than smaller motor, although city driving is worse. (V6 got 12 city, 16 highway...V8 gets about 10 city, 19-20 highway) Extremely reliable, although it has been my experience that Explorers chew the tires off of themselves prematurely. Do not buy high mileage tires, Explorer suspensions will "cup" the tires long before they are worn out. Overall safe, comfortable, reliable vehicle.


Favorite Features

Have had one cloth interior, and 2 leather interiors, leather is only way to go in these. Exceptional sounding factory stereo, V8 has decent power (would never buy a V6 again after having a V8) Great looks! Interior design quite roomy.


Suggested Improvements

Suspension redesign in 2002 took care of tire wear out problems, my biggest gripe with them. V6 mileage awful after having V8, but hey, it's a SUV, if you don't like the mileage, drive a car! Ride quality somewhat poor, even by SUV standards.


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1997 Explorer XLT
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By tm
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I bought my Explorer used in 1998 with 21,000 miles already on it. I took very good care of it and kept up with all the main fluid changes myself. I drove it every where. I now have 210,000 miles on it, with the original transmission, can you imagine, a Ford... and it is still driveable! During my time with the truck since 1997, I have replaced basic wear and tare items and some basic mechanical itmes (3 oc sensors, some part in the front suspension area, sv joint, the driverside door handle, the a/c leaks. However, the transmission is finally starting to slip, the check engine light is on, the 4x4 trasnfer case, the 4x4 lights are flashing, speed sensor is gone bad. Will buy a newer Explorer


Favorite Features

The overall handling. The 4x4 traction works excellent ever since I had the truck. I felt very confident in the snow as long as you have good tires!


Suggested Improvements

Continued improvement in overall quality


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