I've owned my Explorer since buying it new off the lot in mid-97. Looking back on it, this car turned out much better than expected. It drives smoothly and relatively quietly. Unless you plan to race through the twisties or zigzag through traffic, it handles quite comfortably. On the downhill side of the depreciation curve, it sure is economical to operate. Just replace the usual wear and tear items - tires, brakes, filters, doodads - and save money for other toys. Can't beat it.
Good power for passing and merging. Inexpensive to operate. Good body integrity and paint. Style holds up okay. Great utility with folding seats.