I have had no problems with this vehicle. It has been a pleasure to own.
After owning 2 Explorers, I have found the Tribute to be much easier to maneuver. I get 23-25 MPG on the highway when my speed is 70-75.
You have to remove 3 headrests to fold the backseat down--maybe that has been fixed by 2009. I also wish I had audio controls on the steering wheel. The 2009 model has ESC and many more airbags...a good reason to trade up.