Used 2003 Ford Explorer SUV Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

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329 Total Reviews

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FORD fan for life! :)
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Karen
on

Vehicle

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


Review

We bought this car [used] five years ago with 22,000+ miles on it. It has served us perfectly well in all of this time until its untimely demise in an auto accident a few days ago. I walked away from the accident with not one scratch. With an impact of more than 45 MPH, it could have been much, much worse. "Built FORD tough..." Yes INDEED! In addition to the car itself, the fact that Ford did not take any of the government stimulus money keeps me faithful to such a sturdy and independent organization. Sure, nobody's perfect, but FORD is perfect for me! I am in the market for a new car and am searching far and wide for another FORD to call my own! :)


Favorite Features

Third row seating, safety features, 4WD options, sound system, smooth ride and overall family friendly styling.


Suggested Improvements

Improved gas mileage would be about my only suggested improvement.


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2003 ford explorer xls
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jl_curtis
on

Vehicle

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


Review

i have owned my explorer since 2004 when i bought it from the dealership. it now has 169,000 miles on it and still going since it is my daily driver. i have had no problems, other than the back plastic panel, but it was hit by a baseball when it broke, the engine and transmision both are strong and smooth and running very well. would recmond to anyone.


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Most Reliable vehicle I've ever had!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jimmyz26
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I've owned a Nissan, Mitsibushi, and a Pontiac, and have to say Ford is best vehicle I've had yet! I've had far less issues with my Ford Explorer and love driving it. I bought it in 2006 and put 37K miles on it. It currently has about 75K miles and only had routine maintenance on it. My only complaint is the crappy gas mileage 15mpg. The rear panel recently cracked, but you can avoid this. I had sprayed winshield washer fluid on it during a very cold Colorado winter day. The repair is outrageous, close to $700. The handling is excellent and the ride roomy and comfortable. Well built inside and out. Engine has plenty of power and 4WD is nice. I plan on keeping my Ford for a while.


Favorite Features

Lots of room. Comfortable ride. Great handling. Engine runs smoothly and has plenty of power. Running boards and fog lights are nice to have. 4WD is great in snowy conditions.


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Won't go past 100,000 miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By johcar
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Nice enough vehicle except access to the back seat in the 2 door model is close to zero since the driver's seat only moves forward/back 2". I'll never have a two door SUV again. With only 80,000 miles on it, the timing chain(s) are making noise. Apparently it was a recall issue that previous owners never took care of. It is expected to go out at 100K or so. Repair bill is $3200.00. Ford should honor this recall even though it's ten years old. I feel like I got screwed here, and I was happy with two previous Rangers, -a 98 and 01.


Favorite Features

The ride is very rigid. I'm used to it but it's a bit much. Can't really get to the back seat from the driver side. I have to crawl through the back hatch to lower the back seats. I do like the simple switch to go into 4x4.


Suggested Improvements

Visibility is limited at the top of the windshield with that temp/compass housing then the bulky mirror below that. Add a GPS and looking for places/addresses or sight seeing makes this the wrong vehicle. The shorter wheel base is quite noticeable on the freeway making steering quite touchy. I doubt towing a trailer could be safe.


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Second Owner of a 2003
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lassentrailer
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought my Explorer from the same dealership that sold it to the original owner, and that owner had followed the service schedule to the letter (as shown in the Carfax report). It had 101,000 miles on it when I bought it in 2013, it's got 118,000 miles now. I don't much like trucks, being a sports car kind of driver, but I really like the Explorer (which btw handles WAY better than you'd expect, due no doubt to the IRS. I have emulated the first owner's habit of maintaining the snot out of it: new brakes/rotors, transmission flush and fill, cooling system the same (differentials and transfer case next). I am quite happy with my Explorer.


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