2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 328 Total Reviews
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Lemon SUV
By Cosmos on 07/13/08 16:51 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This SUV was purchased used. It has had an unusually high maintenance cost. The most expensive costs have been associated with the rear end humming that exists on 2002 to 2005 models. I am on the 4th rear end and the problem still exists. My local Ford dealership has given up and told me to live with the noise. The front wheel bearings failed, the universal joints failed, a back window motor failed, the main light switch failed, there was a problem with the emergency brakes, and I can not turn off the head lights! This vehicle has less than 70K miles.
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5 year review
By Brant on 07/07/08 08:51 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Our XLT is now 5 years old with 75K miles. The car has been relagated to light duty and occasional use due to the awful gas mileage (12-19 mpg). The car has been very reliable with only a minor recall (rear window glass pins) and one bad valve cover gasket. The ride is trucky and the car is slow and ponderous but by 2003 standards, not bad. Highway comfort and utility is great and the car is a comfortable long distance cruiser. The gray monotone interior has held up well though the cloth seats love to attract lint. Unfortunately, with crossovers now on the market and the lousy gas mileage, this car is fast becoming obsolete.
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Looking for something new
By Megan on 06/04/08 07:36 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought my Explorer in 06 used with 54k. I noticed while test driving there was a sort of howling sound when I went about 55mph, but didn't mind it much compared to my Neon I was trading in for it. Since then, I have had problems with one of the rear windows working only when it wants to, I've not been able to put the shifter in reverse multiple times, the mechanism to recline the seat has also came off many times.The seal on the rear window has came off and I noticed this when I found water in the back. My a/c is out as I speak, so I will be taking that in, although I had it recharged at the end of last summer. I've kept up on maintenance and it is not paying off as it should.
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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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My Explorer
By Douglas Gregor on 05/06/08 10:45 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This Explorer w/Sport package is now nearly five years old. We had no need for the 3rd row sea but the step boards were a nesssesity for my wife. The alloy wheels give better appearance as well as being able to clean easier. The grey plastic bumpers and wheel mouldings show no damage as painted ones would have due to minor scrapes. In 36,000 miles I have only had to pay for GOF and wheel rotations and the full 30,000 Ford rec. service.
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Pretty good truck
By amo on 04/24/08 18:58 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought my Explorer with 33,000 miles, now I'm approaching my 2nd year of owning and have 98,000 miles on it. Very comfortable for driving 100 miles each way to and from work. My alternator went out at 60,000 miles. Replaced battery. Bought the truck and the A/C wasnt working and had to have it serviced twice, now the A/C finally works. Stereo could be better, I replaced the speakers with inifintis. The brakes need to be replaced again: got them done at 36,000. Annoying clicking noise when moving at a slow speed. Poor gas mileage. I'm going to a Honda soon.
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mechanical junk
By edsel on 03/19/08 06:05 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

we bought this vehicle with 29000 miles, at 42000 the differential started howling, after many phone calls to ford and and a refusal to allow them to charge me $1700.00 to repair this they conceded to repair the differential if i would pay for a wheel bearing that they claimed was bad but that the noise from the differential prevented me from hearing. now at 58000 miles the parking brakes have and i quote "have disentigrated" ford claims this is normal and happens every 2-3 years on this vehicle regardless of mileage but it isn't a quality issue so for $450.00 they repairing it with the same ford quality parts that failed in the first place. can't wait to get it back so i can trade it in.
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Ford Explorer 2003
By Ballestero on 02/05/08 18:23 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I have this Ford XLT 4x4 since 2003 and never had to repair anything. I currently have 80,000 and all I've changed is tires, spark plugs and serpentine belt, oil every 3,500 miles. I can not ask for anything better...great truck. I feel very safe when I have my family with me. I believe that some things happened because of driving style and care of any car. My only problem is a development of squeaky noise in the front end and I've found what was, nothing of inportance, easy to fix. It is the lower control arm bushing that dries with the weather, WP40 did the job
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