2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

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Old Faithful
By tykesmom2007 on 03/04/14 09:25 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I've owned my 2003 Explorer XLT for 11 years now, and have had no problems whatsoever. Although "Old Faithful" is now a "second car" (I bought a 2014 Escape SE for my 100 mile commute to work), it still tows boats, hauls canoes, transports the dogs, and is our favorite vehicle for camping trips. I've never had any trouble with this SUV, and plan to drive it 'til it drops - maybe in another 300,000 miles or so!
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2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 V6, Great SUV
By smithhh9156 on 09/23/13 19:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

We have a 2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 v6 2wd with 113k. Love it! We have had 0 problems with it besides the oil temp gauge going out. Has leather that's in nice condition, only tear is on driver side and probably one inch long, but really thin. On the side of the seat... We have 3rd row also.
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PLEASE DON'T DO IT
By kararnmi on 02/04/12 07:28 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I just took my Ford to the dealership, it has only cost me about $2500 in problems up until now, the quote for repairs of things like rear differential, transfer case, ect $6238!! They must be out of their minds. So for $38000 new the truck lasted to 135,000 miles. Disgusting. I will NEVER buy a Ford again. I went back to Chevy and maybe just buy a Honda or Toyota next time. My friend just turned in her Camry with 400,000 miles on it and STILL running. Have you ever heard anyone say that will a Ford or Chevy without replacing the motor or trans? No.
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Not worth the money!
By michelle n on 03/28/09 14:00 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I purchased this vehicle three years ago, with only 30,000 miles. I had to replace the brakes/rotors all around, shortly after purchasing, all four wheel July, and I just found out that I needed all of these items replaced again. This thing had 17" wheels, and I had to replace them every 10 months. The transmission had a whine in it, there was a clicking noise and a really loud roaring sound in the front, drivers side. The cruise control didn't work. It would frequently take spells of not starting. It would grind really fast, like it had been flooded, and I would just have to sit and wait for it to start. It was quite roomy, but it was hard on gas and tires, and very expensive to fix.
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Would buy another
By Chesette on 05/22/08 08:47 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

Coming up on 100k miles in a few months. No real issues to speak of. Hangs up a little when shifting from drive to park. Has been very reliable (minimal repairs & pretty minor at that). Gets about 16 miles to the gallon in town, about 20 on the highway.
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Same old Ford product
By pjg69ny on 05/11/08 10:47 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I owned a 1996 explorer and it was a gas guzzling rattlebox with inferior quality built into almost every aspect of its existence. I figured the newer models would fair better so I bought a 2003 xlt used with 40k. I now have 52k on it and it rattles just like the 1996 with no visible inprovement, the interior materials are inferior and show wear prematurely. The seats are not very compfortable. This truck sucks down gas if I drive very slow and 55 mph I get 15 mpg, if I drive normally its about 11 or 12. The 2003 seems more reliable mechanically but I am afraid as I surpass 52k. Overall I would not feel good about buying another for product. It also has a very poor resale value.
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Never Again
By Chris on 05/07/08 18:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I purchased my vehicle new and have been religious about maintenance since day one. I can honestly say this has been one of the worst car experiences of my life. I've had numerous problems beginning with just 15K miles including power window motor failure - leaking tranfer case(30K) - ball joints (40K) - paint defects (50K) - strut joints (70K) - transmission failure (100K) and alot of other things. All this added up to incredible unforseen expenditures - the tranny being $800 alone. I have never towed with this vehicle, not drove it harshly. I stayed with this car way too long Lesson's learned the hard way.
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Don't buy an Explorer
By Brian Millar on 11/19/07 21:40 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I took very good care of our 2003 Ford Explorer (even took it to the dealer for the 30K checkup). At 59,500 miles and just under 5years, the transmission went out. The dealer wouldn't cover the replacement since Ford only offered 3yr/36K power train warranty at that time. The transmission specialist I took it to, indicated that he sees transmission problems all the time with Ford Explorers
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Impressed
By Mike on 10/04/07 11:19 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

We bought our Explorer used with 16000 miles have no trouble with it except for the shift interlock at 18k and the rear end at 30k. The dealership was excellent in both cases. They replaced the rear end with no hassle (I took it in for a roar in the rear) after first trying to replace the bearing. Overall I have driven it on long trips through the mountains and love the responsiveness of the engine, comfort, and average mpg. Impressed after hearing a few horror stories. Would purchase again from the same dealer. I think the dealer makes a big difference.
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Love our Explorer
By chris on 09/19/07 21:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

We are thrilled for the most part with our 2003 XLT. We needed something big enough for 5 people and chose the Explorer. It is a blast to drive, when we have gone on trips we have gotten as high as 27 mpg on the highway. It is comfortable and spacious. We have had no problems except occasionally when we put it in reverse it will jerk. I have read some reviews and disagree with some of the negative ones we are very pleased for the most part. We pull a 21 ft travel trailer and forget it is behind us. However the interior trim does look some what cheap, but that is just ford!! We will buy another Explorer if need be. It is built Ford tough!
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