Used 1996 Ford Explorer SUV Consumer Reviews - 133 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1996 Ford Explorer SUV

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133 Total Reviews

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"til the wheels fall off"
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MacDaddy
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV


Review

Bought new. XLT w/Leather, moonroof, JBL, etc. Routine maint w/oil changes every 3.5K mi. V-8 is powerful enough, but times have changed. Still can drive 100 MPH all day & stays cool. New CD changer. Wore out armrest & had it re-covered, then the coolant leaked out the very same day, but temp gauge never went up. Suspension is a little rocky when empty.Cost to repair etc., is about the present wholesale value (174K mi), so put in a crate motor for $5K rather than buy a new SUV. Beats a car payment. Sunroof rattle on bumpy roads that I fix with matchbook. Great stereo & acoustics, comfy (I'm 6'5"), AC blows ice cubes,tows 2 jetskis so effortlessly, you barely notice them. Keepin' it!


Best Features

Front Seats, stereo, reliability, engine & tranny, sunroof, GREAT AC.


Worst Features

Independent rear suspension. Another 100 horsepower. Better stock roof- rack.


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Great daily driver...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 6spdGTO
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I have owned my Explorer for a year and a half now, with no major problems. I bought it to take my GTO off the road. It needed some work at the time of purchase: Front wheel bearings, a starter, thermostat, IAC motor, brakes and BF Goodrich All- Terrain tires. Recently, the transmission began acting up, but it is most likely an issue with a shift solenoid and separator plate gasket which is common in these models. Should be an easy fix. Due to it's short wheelbase, it also offroads great and is fun to drive in the snow or snotty mud. Over all, a great truck. After I drive the wheels off of this one, I will certainly buy another.


Best Features

Ability to shift-on-the-fly from 2x4 to 4x4 hi and lo, bulletproof engines and differentials, cheap to operate and maintain, decent highway mileage.


Worst Features

V6 models should get the beefier V8 transmission, nicer interior materials and fit and finish, a more powerful V6 would be nice.


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Going the distance with it
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Dweeze
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Explorer SUV Sport 2dr SUV 4WD


Review

Bought this SUV new, out of necessity, in 2005 when my 1987 Bronco II died on the highway Xmas night with 140K miles. Nearly 14 years and 164K miles later, I have never once regretted that decision. The original engine is still as powerful and the original transmission is still as smooth as the day I drove it off the lot. It is showing signs of age, however, as some of the interior hardware is beginning to fail and the rust is creeping up underneath the rocker panels. Despite the extremely tempting offer to ditch this SUV in the "cash for clunkers" program, I am sticking with my Explorer until the bitter end. The scrap metal heap would not be a fitting end for such a reliable vehicle.


Best Features

Handling & maneuverability; engine well matched to transmission; still looks better than any SUV out there


Worst Features

As others have mentioned, the rust will probably spell the demise of this vehicle before its engine and transmission days are done.


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Never let me down
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Ted Sz
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I bought my Explorer XLT 4WD new 13 years ago. I've maintained it myself for 151,000 miles. I've changed the AT fluid and filter every 30,000 miles and have had no transmission issues. It does chatter when dropping out of OD, but only when another transmission fluid change is due. I've always used Mobil One ATF. I recently did a lot of work on it because, although it's worth less than $2K on the books, it runs like new. I replaced the upper and lower ball joints last fall. I also found an A/C leak and fixed it myself. My brother the HVAC pro pressure tested, evacuated and charged it. Blows ice cold again! Heater blend door is a common failure, $9 part and about eight hours labor!


Best Features

Good looks, comfortable on long trips, reliable. The Cologne V6 is rock solid. I also have the 2.8L Cologne in my 1976 Mercury Capri II.


Worst Features

Better rust proofing in the rocker panels and rear wheel lips. Better design on heater blend door. Everything underneath that is powder coated should be galvanized instead.


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TANK
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By red
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Explorer SUV XL 4dr SUV


Review

This is my first American vehicle and will NOT be my last (Ford). This thing is a WORK HORSE. I pull a 3500lb trailer every weekend and it has done this for the last 3 1/2 years. Very reliable. I have 130k on it and look forward to 75k more


Best Features

Reliability


Worst Features

tighter suspension. Better looking trim inside


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