I bought my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT brand new from the dealer, and it gave me many good years. About 3 years ago, though, it began giving me issues. I ended up consistently putting money into it nearly every month. Honestly, the body began to go before the engine did... but once the little things started going wrong, it added up very quickly. The last thing to happen was a cracked thermostat housing, once I fixed that, I sold the truck.
I really loved my Explorer, would recommend one, and bought a new one after selling my 1998. It did have awful gas mileage, my 2009 gets better mileage than my 1998 ever did.
I bought the XLT on Nov 2007, it now has over 200,000 miles and still rides great, purchased in California and imported into Mexico, no major mechanical problems, in fact I just replaced the gas pump, it still had the original manufactured in 1997. Minor problems with the locks and one repair to the cooling system, other than that just the regular maintenance, around 320 miles per gas tank and engine is really strong, no problems with cold or hot weather. People where I live stops me and ask me if I sell it cause it stills looks really. I have the XLT 4 door and changed the gauges to the white ones from the sport myself. I love my truck !
Style, really strong engine, fun to drive. Comfy on long drives.
Better electrical locks, the driver side has being replaced twice and the passenger side once.
I have owned Fords all of my life. This was our first and only SUV purchase. We bought it new and have only had to make routine maintenance repairs mostly. I did recently repair the door latch on the driver's side, but other than that it has been batteries, tires, brakes, and so far no tune-up. I will complain about two items: the stereo display and the rough ride. The display on the stereo went out right after the warranty ended and I know this has happened on many other fords. The ride is very rough, but maybe I just need to break down a buy new shocks. We have owned a Honda and a Saturn, both of which lost their transmissions at 80K miles, so I feel the explorer was a good choice for us.
Reliability, decent power for a V6, parts are cheaper than imports, nice family vehicle,
Bought a '98 Ford, had a good vehicle history. Every time there was a little rattle or squeak, I'd take it in to try and maintain it. Bad thing: about 3-4 times a year something major happens. Fuel injector sticks and can't be fixed. A/C went out, antifreeze line ruptured, check engine comes on for no reason, and yesterday dash lights blinked out a couple of times. Sometimes parts just fall off - literally. Have to have it aligned about every six months. Spent over $3000 per year in repairs, and it still needs more work. Like the design, but I won't buy another one.