I bought mine with 186k miles, 5 speed stick shift and everything worked great on her, and it kept on going for the 14 months i owned her, i live in Las Vegas where most cars can overheat, she never did (except for the time in which a 21 year old hose broke, replaced the hose and refilled the antifreeze, good as ever). Only malfunction it had was a alternator gone bad, and it took me 3 belts to figure it out... my bad... We arrived in the US and owned absolutely nothing, except for her, so she pretty much hauled us and all of our belongings from our first apartment to the next one, she never left us hanging not even when the belts were broken because of the alternator's pulley getting stuck (bad bearings i was told). Parts were always available at any local auto shop, and they were also cheap, which is great too... We changed the oil every 3k miles, and i changed the spark plugs a couple of times, i also did the front brakes when i got her. Only problem was the famous ford power steering leak, and a couple of noises here and there. It did pass the smog check when i had to register for the first time, and guess what, it did it again the next year without any hiccups, i saw my neighbors having to spend money on their newer flashier cars, and i did nothing to her, she passed without any effort, and the last tune up had been like 15k miles before. A really comfortable ride, even for our family of four, of which 3 are taller than 6', a bit tight on the backseats but could easily go from Las Vegas to L.A. without having to stop and stretch the legs. The best part is that i sold her for a profit of a 50%, so i can say i'm a happy customer, and needless to say i'm getting another ford, i'm sure i'll continue to be a happy customer for the years to come. Glad to keep up buying american instead of imports.
I have heard negative things about Explorers but in five years have not experienced them. I get 23 mpg hwy, which makes it the perfect travel car on my Ohio-Tenn trips for school. It conquered everything I threw at it as an immature 1st time 4wd owner (seriously I'm surprised this car is not stranded in a certain mudpit in Middle Tennessee). The most comfortable car, will haul it all, routine work - brakes,belts,etc. is dirt cheap (and I am a poor college student!). I have 155,000 on it now, a third of which is my doing, without a headache. As expected, transmission wear was easily solved with Lucas trans-fix additive. An $8 bottle has worked miracles for 17k miles.
I bought this truck in 2005 after originally wanting an Expedition, but I absolutely love it. I am still driving it but am looking for something new. It got me through college several states from home and a huge move for a new job even more states away from home. It has been very dependable, however it is just getting old and many small annoying things are starting to go wrong with it. For spending most of its life in Midwest winters it has surprisingly little rust on the body and still looks great. I regret having to get rid of it but it has served its purpose very well and is an extremely comfortable ride. I definitely want to stick with another vehicle about the size of this.