I am long-time Ford fan. Have owned three Explorer, hands-down one of the best products ever made by Ford. Plan on buying an '06 soon. Will definitely get the 4 door next time, but the two-door is very maneuverable in city traffic. Easy to park, very reliable.
Bought used w/20,000 and am now up to 170,000 - no major problems. Replaced the ball joints was the biggest cost item. The Explorer has always started and is great in the snow, 4WD is superb and easy to operate. Had a Jeep Cherokee, which also was great in 4WD, but the Explorer is much more comfortable and roomy. Visibility is also very good. Worth a lot more than it's valued at, not sure why it gets any low ratings (because It's American I think).
Great room, comfortable. 4WD is great.
Bouncy ride, center storage bin is awkward, improve the ball joint design.
I had a 1999 Ford Explorer XLS, by far the most amazing truck I''ve ever had. It made its noises in the suspension and so on but it was to be expected with the way I drove. It was really fast 0-50 and then getting from there up was a little slow but still not an issue. I recently tottaled it unfortunately after investing a good amount of money in it. I spun it 3 or 4 times and then flipped it 3 to 5 times and then into the woods and walked away scot free only little cuts from the glass a bruise on the shoulder from the seatbelt and a bump on the head and cut from glass. This car saved my life. I very, very highly recomend it for first time drivers
The v6 engine was good on gas. Sounds system wasn't too horrible either
Improvement in suspension. Kinda noisy and not too smooth of a ride all the time
I've had my Explorer Sport for several years & and now at 133k & several WI winters later its still running well. The alternator is the only significant part that's failed. Keep up with the regular maintenance & you shouldn't have problems. Perfect for driving around town & for hauling things. I'll probably be replacing this one with another '02 or '03 since those were the last years for the 2DR.
The 4WD is great in snow & off road situations.
Make the towing package a standard feature. Also the interior quality could be improved.