2003 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: New Explorer

2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

332 Total Reviews

XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L V6 FFV 5-speed Automatic)

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New Explorer
By akscott on


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


Nice, roomy vehicle that probably rides better than previous model, but still is much stiffer than a car. Front row seating is comfortable and second row is OK for trips. 3rd row is only for kids and maybe short trips by willing adults. Around town gas mileage with V-8 is pretty sorry; I get 13 mpg with combined street and freeway rides. Highway mileage seems to be about 19 mpg. Eddie Bauer model is pretty loaded with options, but interior appearance is not very "upper class" - lots of plastic. Radio/CD player has good sound (in Eddie Bauer upgrade model). No mechanical problems, except driver's side seat heater quit after 3 weeks (not a big deal in Houston).

Best Features

Roomy front seats; Adjustable pedals. V-8 engine is much smoother than the V-6. 5-speed automatic transmission is very smooth. Dual zone A/C works well, with vents in console for second row.

Worst Features

You have to buy 3rd row seats to get overhead A/C vents; Gas mileage is pretty poor in town; I think Ford could do better. Side curtain air bags were not available, even though Ford was adverising them (except by order from factory).
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