Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport

2003 Ford Explorer Sport
List price
$3,749

Pros

  • Strong V6 engine, sporty two-door body style.

Cons

  • Not as versatile as most SUVs, hobby-horse ride quality, aged platform.

Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport for Sale

Ford Explorer Sport 2003 XLS 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)
146,000 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer Sport
XLS
List$3,749
Est.Loan: $77/mo
View Details

Get more for your trade-in

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.

Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.

See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Way past its expiration date. There's no logical reason to buy this truck.

vehicle overview

Introduction: 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. After all, the Jeep Cherokee lasted 18 years. But we don't think the Explorer Sport has that kind of staying power.

In 2001, Ford designers went for a rugged "No Boundaries" style for the Explorer Sport by giving the two-door Explorer the chiseled front fascia of the Sport Trac crew cab, along with flared fenders and lower body cladding. But underneath the stylized exterior, the Explorer Sport still rides on the old Explorer platform that dates back to the early '90s. The four-door Explorer, meanwhile, was comprehensively redone and improved in 2002.

Do not be mistaken. There is little "sport" in the Explorer Sport. Sure, most shoppers in this category aren't looking for an ultra-stiff canyon-carver, but the Sport's constant rocking and swaying practically leaves you seasick after a quick jaunt to the grocery store. A 2003 Explorer offers dramatically better handling and performance. We can only hope that the Explorer Sport moves to the new Explorer platform sometime in the near future.

Luckily for Ford, there aren't many other choices for two-door SUVs. If you gotta have a two-door, your choices include the Isuzu Rodeo Sport or the two-door Chevrolet Blazer. Compared to that motley crew, the Explorer doesn't look so bad. But with so many nimble and roomy mini-utes on the market, it would be a shame not to consider them first before this aging relic. According to Ford, the Explorer Sport is meant to attract young first-time SUV buyers to the brand. You know, the kinds of people likely to drive way too fast in a vehicle with a short wheelbase and high center of gravity. Kids, please, get an Escape.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: The two-door Explorer Sport comes in two-wheel- or four-wheel drive, as well as three different trim levels: XLS, XLT and XLT Premium. The XLS trim (late availability) includes power windows and locks, styled steel wheels and single-CD audio system. The XLT adds aluminum wheels, power mirrors, a cassette/CD audio system, remote keyless entry, a tilting steering wheel and speed control. With the XLT Premium, you'll get bright-finish aluminum wheels, a premimum floor console with a front power point, rear audio controls and rear climate vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic on-off headlamps, a power-adjustable driver seat, front tow hooks (4x4 only), side steps and an overhead console.

Major options offered on the Explorer Sport include the Convenience Group for the XLS, the Premium Sport Group and Comfort Group for the XLT, and heated leather seating for the XLT Premium. You can also get a six-disc in-dash CD player, a power moonroof, front side airbags and a limited-slip differential. Powertrains and Performance: The Explorer Sport is powered by a 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 manual is offered only on the most basic XLS models; all others come equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. Shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive is optional.

Safety: Antilock brakes are standard, and side airbags are optional. The Explorer Sport has received a perfect five-star rating in front and rear side-impact testing by the government. However, it has a low two-star rating in rollover resistance (the four-door Explorer earns three stars). Neither front crash tests nor IIHS tests have been performed.

Interior Design and Special Features: 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. 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 previous-generation Explorer since 1995. Driving Impressions: 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. 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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Ford Explorer Sport.

Excellent little SUV!!
19 Little One, 10/22/2015
I purchased my 2003 2 door Explorer Sport in 2004 with 12,000 miles on it. It is now 2015 and it has over 250,000 miles on it. I would buy this vehicle over and over again. I take very good care of it, get my oil changed every 3,000 miles and my tires rotated every other oil change. Since I have owned this vehicle I have only had to replace my alternator. I have gone through 3 sets of tires... the first being Michelins from the factory, then I went with the cheap ones and did not like the ride at all so when those wore out I went back to the Michelins and got my smooth ride back! I just can't say enough good about this vehicle. Before I purchased this 2 door, I had a 4 door Ford Explorer when I had kids to haul all over the place and that was a charm of a SUV as well. When the kids flew the nest, I decided that I wanted just a little more of a sporty look, so I traded in my 4 door for the 2 door. I do not have 4 wheel drive and I live in Minnesota. I have been driving this vehicle for 11 years now and there hasn't been one time that I would have even used the 4 wheel drive. Love, Love Love this sporty looking SUV. Do not hesitate to purchase one if you get the chance to.
2003 Ford Explorer XLT Sport
davem2003, 1/19/2014
I purchased my 2003 Ford Explorer Sport back in 2006 truck was 2.5 years old and had 32'000 Miles on it. I am a Heavy equipment mechanic so I service my own vehicles. regular oil changes every 3000 K, front rear diff t-case oil every 50'000 K, I have replaced brakes many of times approx. every 40'000K fronts and 60'000K rear, I tow a 3500 l b trailer a few times a year across country in summer rest of driving is around town, Truck now has 172'500 K on it and still runs well, I've also replaced the tires twice and battery once everything else is all original!! This vehicle does everything I ask for.
Keep on Truckin'!
jdoss1961, 6/14/2014
I bought this a couple of years ago at a buy here- pay here for way too much money, but I have been pleasantly surprised, at the reliability of this vehicle! I have had to do some repairs on it, but nothing major, driveshaft, hoses, and spark plugs, not much else! Not bad for an 11 year old Truck with 170,000 miles on it!
low maintenance & reliable vehicle
capecodcuda, 8/31/2011
02/2011 i took my 2003 ford explorer xls sport in on trade, for a street bike i had on craigslist. its my daily driver. i driven it all around florida, with friends. it's very comfortable driving. i have a 5 speed manual & would have to admit it is fun to drive too. the 4.0L v6 has great power. especially, going through the 3:73 rear end in my truck. maintenance has been very minimal. i am mechanically incline. so, i service my own vehicles. i inspect it daily & services as needed. when i first got the truck i had several minor things to repair. due to previous owners neglect. one common problem with these vehicles is the coolant thermostat housing unit a dealer item $80. i would recommend!
Write a consumer review of your vehicle for a chance to WIN $100!

Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed automatic
Gas
203 hp @ 5250 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed automatic
Gas
203 hp @ 5250 rpm
MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed automatic
Gas
203 hp @ 5250 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed automatic
Gas
203 hp @ 5250 rpm
See all Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover2 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2003 Ford Explorer Sport
Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Overview

The Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include XLS 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLS Rwd 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Rwd 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Premium 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Premium Rwd 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLS Rwd 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M), and XLS 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport XLS is priced between $3,749 and$3,749 with odometer readings between 146000 and146000 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 Ford Explorer Sports are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2003 Ford Explorer Sport for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2003 Explorer Sports listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,749 and mileage as low as 146000 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport.