I bought my 97 used at my cousins car lot and I loved it since day 1. Mileage and power was a little low but the k&n high flow air filter does help a lot. The only repairs I've done are your usual high wear items like brakes, shocks, tune up and 3000 mile oil and filter. I have great power and get around 15-18 mpg. Great interior space. This one is a joy to drive and I must say very safe to own. My dad saw an accident with a newer one that went into the rear of full size car that totalled the car and the suv was still very drivable. Since this accident my dad has finally bought an Explorer and he just loves his 98 explorer sport to death and now is a loyal explorer owner.
Lots of space and comfort. Great power., Handles like a car if driven correctly. Explorer is really built Ford tough if you have witnessed the accidents that me and my dad have saw.