I purchased my 2004 Explorer new in December of 2003. I bought the basic XLS model and planned on using it for the short drive to work and the occasional trips out of town. It has been reliable until just last week when the ABS light, Service Engine, and the wrench light all came on at the same time. The cruise control also failed. The throttle body had to be replaced along with the rear wheel speed sensor. The vehicle has 32,000 miles and has been driven with care. Somewhat disappointed with the vehicle. Fortunately the Ford Service here was quite professional and had the vehicle back running in a couple of days.
Liked the wider, exterior design compared to the older models. Easy to operate cruise control. Good gas mileage for an SUV, averaged 18.5 MPG.
Better quality and dependability. 5 yr 50,000 mile warranty would be nice to show that Ford is serious about making a quality production and not just BS on commercials.