Used 2003 Ford Explorer Consumer Reviews - 332 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

2003 Ford Explorer

Average Consumer Rating

332 Total Reviews

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2 time transmission victim
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wjohnstone74
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A)


Review

I owned this truck for 4 years.
In that time it blew two transmissions, all the wheel bearings, two sets of brakes all around, broke a rear spring, cracked rear hatch plastic, seized steering column, two doors that would not close in cold weather, a door that would not lock, a blown
coil probably other things too.
One of the worst cars I have ever known, reliability wise.


I did really enjoy driving it, engine was a fuel pig but really smooth.
4wd worked ok, it was basically full time, but only with rear wheel slippage.
I tried to get help from Ford when the second tranny blew, but nope.
So to heck with them, I own all Japanese now (Ridgeline and Lexus) and they are nearly flawless


Best Features

4wd, V8 - while a pig - ran flawless. Interior build quality, two tone leather, etc.


Worst Features

Perhaps reimburse the money I spent on TWO crappy transmissions. I told Ford I would buy an F150 if they did, but they didn't offer any help. I am now the proud owner of a flawless Ridgeline, which incidentally has 238,000km on it. So farewell to North American automobiles.


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do not buy this vehicle
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By hondacbr954rr
on

Vehicle

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


Review

safe vehicle but not reliable,have electricle gremlens that come and go,the rear end goes,(clucth pack),replaced twice still no good.not cheap.have only 60000k on it.


Best Features

none


Worst Features

must improve on quality. using cheap parts dont help.


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PLEASE DON'T DO IT
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kararnmi
on

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.


Best Features

roomy in the front


Worst Features

drive it into the river and report it stolen while you have full coverage


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Excellent car
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lapennell
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A)


Review

This is the first Ford product I have owned and it has changed my opinion of Ford. I have owned this SUV for about 5 years and have found it to be very reliable. I have done mainly routine maintanence. Of course the hatch plactic/glass is cracked like all other '03s. I have not had any transmission problems. I have replace a couple of wheel bearings. But, I now have 225,000 K on the car. It doesn't burn a drop of oil and goes through any amount of snow. I would highly recommend this make/model/year/engine.


Best Features

Comfort, heated seats, towing ability, and nothing stops it. Interior still looks like new.


Worst Features

Rear tailgate should be recalled. Engine light often comes on when nothing is wrong. Wiper springs could be stronger.


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Beware of Transmission Reliability
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By huemeister
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I and my family have been avid and loyal Ford customers for many years until now. Bought the Explorer new.
I was alarmed when I went to the web and the government site and saw many customers complaining about Explorer transmission failure. I called Ford Customer Relations and was met with indifference and no help.
I asked for a goodwill repair or discount and they flatly refused.
A transmission specialist said that Ford built a very bad transmission during that time and it is a surprise that there was no class action against them for a poorly designed transmission.
I am not going to say I'll never drive another Ford, but I will shop with their competitors. We now own a Honda CRV.


Best Features

handles good on the road decent gas mileage~ 18 MPG 3rd row seat is a good option


Worst Features

transmission is a bad design. It si shocking to see the many posts on the internet about this issue. I wish I had checked.


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