I've owned this car since October 1997, buying it with about 11,000 miles. It now has over 203,000 miles and still running strong. The 302 V8 is a strong and efficient runner, with a strong and durable transmission. Pre-Ethanol highway economy 22 MPG. Post-Ethanol highway economy 18 MPG. Very practical car, tows 5500 lb loads with ease, plenty of ramp torque, and horsepower to run up hills with ease. Recurring issues: this car eats up upper/lower ball joints, water pumps, radiators. Subwoofer not a standard size. On the plus side: 190,000 miles on a fuel pump, 170,000 miles on the air conditioning system. Engine, tranny, fuel system, computer top notch reliable on this car.
Bought mine with 135K back in '01. It now has over 300K and has been the perfect vehicle. Still looks fantastic, interior has a small 1 1/2 inch tear on the driver seat's side. Has never left us walking. Same transmission, water pump, rear end. The only big things replaced are a/c and radiator. Both done by me and all maintenance also.
I bought my 96 in 98 with 14000 miles on it. 12 years and 160,000 miles later and it never had a breakdown. The transmission never gave me problems. Only problem after many years was the link to the auto transmission and the back door lock had problems that I never took it in for. I did most of the scheduled maintenance myself and I'm no real mechanic. Great vehicle from Ford.
I have 200,100 miles on my SUV. I purchased my 1996 with 108,000 miles for $3200.00. I have put 92,000 miles on it. I have had to replace upper ball joints, tires and routine oil changes, battery, alternator. Other than that I got more than my money's worth still running strong. I purchased 70,000 tires thinking they would outlive the truck. Now I need new tires.
I bought my Explorer XLT with 59k miles on it and 3 years old. It is now 14 years old with 280k miles on it. The only major repair I have had was replacing the AC 2 years ago. I think it was about 1000 to replace it. I am searching for something else now because I am worried it might be on its last leg. Who knows, it may last another 100k miles Definitely recommend an Explorer!