2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

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Tailgate Recall
By Bob on 03/19/10 09:57 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

They need to recall the tailgate on this model for design defects relating to the crack at the emblem. Dealer says no. If not a design defect, why the design before and after this year include only the glass that would lift. Nearly every vehicle of this type has the crack at the emblem located on the tailgate. Can be fixed to the tune of nearly $800 at my cost.
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couldn't believe
By Cynic on 03/16/10 10:01 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

couldn't believe that I would love an American built car/truck so much. no major issues, owned for 6 yrs. rides good (knock on wood), handles good, reliable (again knock on wood - don't want to jinx myself). :-)
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No more new cars
By Connie on 03/05/10 08:29 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Considering I've got 127,000 miles and looking back over the last 7 years of ownership I would have to say I've been somewhat pleases with this car. Unfortunately I'm having both front wheel bearing done now plus brakes and I'll be out $1500. The rear end whines horribly and you can't hear anyone talking but I'm not paying for the repair. Others have done it and problem returned. At least my tailgate cracked in warranty and they replaced it 4 times but it cracked again and I'm stuck with it now. I managed to keep a spare but won't bother putting it on. I'll need ball joints soon too. It's only worth $3500 on a trade so I'll hang on but no more new cars for me. Just not worth it.
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Transmission Fiasco
By idahojoe on 02/23/10 13:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Bought new off the lot and the car would shake violently over 60mph. Ford finally replaced the complete rear drive train due to defects. Guess what, started shaking again about a month later. They replaced it again. Now at 80,000 the transmission that was "replaced" is toast and the radiator cracked.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
BEST PERFORMING SUV I EVER OWNED
By TONY ZAMPARELLI on 02/02/10 18:49 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

This truck has always been fun to drive. On the highway it is very nimble. Changing lanes is very predictable. Their is plenty of power when needed inpart to 3:73LS AXLE that allows for faster acceleration. The auto fwd feature can be annoying with the slight hesitation in grabbing the pavement when the rear wheels slip. But it does do the job. I prefer to keep in full time 4 wheel drive in heavy snow. It's a nice easy truck to drive. I've had very few mayor problems with. I replaced the flywheel at 85000. Theirs been no engine problems. It does have the second set of tires and second set of brakes.
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Reliable
By Larry on 01/26/10 10:48 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Does exactly what you need it to. Fits the wife, kids and dog and tows a trailer great. Does awesome 4WD donuts in the snow. No engine or tranny issues. Goes through rotors and pads fast (every two or three years). Replaced tires once. Replaced battery once. Replaced rear wiper motor once. Crack in plastic rear door near wiper as others have noted. Always starts, never stalls.
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Done with Ford
By Mike on 01/12/10 09:42 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Bought this car new for my wife, she loved it! Year 1 had to replace the brakes, $200 JUST for the rear pads no labor(repeat annually). Year 2, air bag sensor broke - 'fixed' 5 times still broken. Year 3-4, transmission went at 55000 miles, just past warranty $3000, front wheel bearing went $600, CD player jams can't use it anymore. Year 6, front wheel bearing gone again and just replaced the battery a second time. If my other car were paid off, I'd buy a honda or toyota today.
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Real SUV
By T. Gregory on 01/03/10 14:44 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Bought it used with 28000 miles on it. Was real impressed with the ride, not mushy, felt like a real truck, solid. Handles very well, plenty of power, 4X4 worked perfect everytime, exellent in snow. I sold it with 69000 miles on it, never once had any sort of problem with the vehicle other than replacing the battery. I would definately buy another Explorer, worth every penny I spent for it.
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great suv
By explorer on 12/31/09 14:42 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I purchased this vehicle with 56k and it now has 62k and so far no problems. The thrid row seat is actually usable and provides more room than a family members 04 tahoe. Great handling and mpg on the hwy and decent city milage. I take very good care of my explorer and I also expect nothing less than great reliablity, I am not rough but not easy on my explorer. As long as you follow the recomended services then the explorer will provide you with a long life.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Happy but with issues
By Bob White on 11/16/09 18:05 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

A fine, tight, smooth running vehicle. Unfortunately the rear-end is so weak it was whining at 8000 miles and needing replacement. The transmission started shifting improperly at 25000 miles. I don't believe a vehicle should need a new rear-end and transmission so early. I have a Toyota with 325000 miles and it is running better than my explorer. I love my explorer but very unhappy with the mechanical bills, over $4000 within 175000 miles. Other gripes include new brake pads yearly, electric window that has not worked since new, door ajar light on most of the time, and ABS sensors failing.
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