Used 2002 Ford Explorer Sport
Edmunds' Expert Review
Put a fork in this one, because it's done.
Last year, Ford updated the two-door Explorer Sport with minor suspension and moderate styling changes. But an update wasn't enough. The Sport rides on the old Explorer's platform, which dates to 1990 and might become the subject of an intense NHTSA investigation. As we wrote after driving the revised 2001 Sport, "put a fork in this one." In other words, it's done.
Two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models in a single two-door bodystyle are available, powered by a stout 4.0-liter SOHC V6 engine that generates 208 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque (203 and 237 with the standard manual transmission). This translates to decent, if unrefined, acceleration. A five-speed automatic is available.
Ford designers went for a rugged "No Boundaries" style for the Explorer Sport, blending the chiseled front fascia of the Sport Trac SUV/pickup thingy with flared fenders and lower body cladding. For 2002, 16-inch alloy wheels are standard. The Sport's short wheelbase, narrow track and high center of gravity mean that you'd better not take its name too seriously. This truck is ungainly, at best, under most driving conditions.
Buyers can outfit a Sport with four primary option groups: Convenience, Comfort, Leather and Premium Sport. Convenience includes cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry and a cargo shade. Comfort adds a six-way power driver seat, cloth low-back bucket seats with an upgraded center console, rear climate and audio controls and an overhead console with compass and exterior temperature readout. Leather adds just that: leather upholstery. Go whole hog (and really, who wouldn't?), and the Premium Sport group gives you foglights, bright aluminum wheels, meatier tires (4WD only), tow hooks and the all-important side step rails for the maximum machismo look.
Inside, the Explorer Sport's front seats are surprisingly comfortable perches from which to while away time. The 50/50-split rear bench seat accommodates adults, but is a hassle to crawl into and out of. It can be folded flat to allow more space for cargo. Maximum cargo capacity is 71.4 cubic feet.
For safety, the Sport comes equipped with second-generation front airbags, and child safety seat-anchor brackets. The instrument panel features a snazzy gauge cluster with white dial faces and metallic plastic trim, but otherwise is identical to what's been installed in the Explorer since 1995. This year, Ford makes a stereo with both CD and cassette players standard. Optionally there's a Pioneer six-disc in-dash CD player, power moonroof, front side airbags and a limited-slip differential.
Logic and the law of product cycling dictate that Explorer Sport's days must be numbered. But as long as consumers buy them, Ford will keep building them. The Jeep Cherokee lasted 18 years. We don't think the Explorer Sport sports that kind of staying power.
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Features & Specs
Used 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Overview
The Used 2002 Ford Explorer Sport is offered in the following submodels: Explorer Sport SUV. Available styles include Value 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Value 2WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Choice 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Choice 2WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Premium 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Premium 2WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Value 2WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M), and Value 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M).
What's a good price on a Used 2002 Ford Explorer Sport?
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.