I purchased my 2008 explorer 17 days ago. This is my 6th Explorer since 91. The 2008 model year is nicely styled, although personally I like the 05 much better - much classier look opposed to the chrome bars and round gauges. At first I hated the center mounted shift knob but my hand rests on it when using the arm rest, so its actually comfortable. Like others have said, interior parts are cheap. Overall I like Explorers, but this 08 has had a number of issues. In 17 days of ownership (bought with 16,200 mi on it) a speaker died, a part in the catalytic converter system failed and needed to be replaced, and the no cap gas cap filler neck had to be replaced due to improper sealing.
I have never had problems with past explorers, so did I just get a bad one, or should you overlook the 08? Favorites: Exterior styling, comfort, drivability, safety, size, height, availability of parts for when it has problems, and durability.
improve quality of interior parts, better gas mileage, re-think the no cap tanks - its cheaper to replace a gas cap then the filler neck to solve a vapor seal issue (mine was done on warranty), and improve the very large blind spots not helped with the rear seat head rests even when folded down.