I love my '97 Explorer, but it has been giving me problems lately. Bought it from my parents; they put 96K miles on in it 7 years. Around 97K, a month or so after I got it, the tensioner went; had to spend 4K to replace the engine. The car failed emissions test, had to pay $200 for a new part plus service. Recently the fuses have been blowing. Fuel economy stinks since I replaced the engine- <15 city. Love my car but may replace with more fuel efficient/reliable car once I can afford another. Positives are: great towing, lots of space, comfortable, safe.
Love the cosmetics. Radio is great. Seats are comfortable. Panic alarm works from 3 city blocks away.
Build a more fuel efficient engine and extend warranty for a faulty engine part.