Bought my Explorer new and have loved it for almost 11 years. It has performed like a champ on LA roads and in mountain and snow conditions. Recently, had to have radiator replaced 3x. It seems the new replacement Ford radiators are no good. They have each still been under warranty but the last one was only one day from being out of warranty. Sadly, I now plan to replace my Explorer because I don't want to chance having to replace the radiator again on my dime. This truck has really hauled everything for me and rides especially well when the back is loaded. If you are thinking of a '96 Explorer I say go for it. Mine still performs well & looks great inside and out.
Reliability, Truck-tuff with comfortable car-like interior.
Heater vent needs to be moved so that it doesn't pump directly on your accelerator foot. I have literally felt like I was burning my foot in order to get enough warmth in the cabin.
We bought our 96 Explorer XLT used with approx. 65K miles. Shipped it overseas where we drove it ALL OVER Europe and put over 70K trouble-free miles during the 3 years we were there. Just regular maintenance. My 18 year old daughter now drives it and it has almost 140K miles. Still young with lots of long miles left. This has been the most dependable vehicle we have owned.
We just passed 195,000 miles on this car and it still runs great. It has served my family well. The only problem we've encountered is a squeaking noise in the suspension that we cannot get rid of. It's a "cosmetic" problem as it doesn't affect the ride or handling. The body is great, not a sign of rust on the car that spent its first five years out in the elements of the northeast 24/7 (no garage).
The 1996 Ford Explorer XLT (V6) has definitely been the finest car I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few. (My dad says "I can't believe that car has been so good to you!" He's jealous). I bought it used with a little less than 75K miles on it, and now it has over 180K, and still running strong. No major mechanical problems, and has never went one morning without starting right up. I've been all around the country with it. The value on paper is soooooo far below what it's REALLY worth! I would recommend this fantastically-performing car to anyone who wants something reliable, roomy, nice-looking, and lovable.
Rear air, solar tint, power everything, Premium sound, peace of mind, kicky acceleration...what's NOT to love?
I haven't had any near-rollover scares, but I've heard this can be a problem in these cars. Personally, I think the 1996 XLT is perfection.
Original owner, love this vehicle. I will cry the day I have to get rid of it. I've had NO issues, repairs, etc. other than regular maintenance or the occasional cracked radiator hose or seal deterioration (at 10 years old, this is expected). In attempts to improve gas mileage, I added K&N air filter, open cat-back exhaust with 2" pipe, and performance spark plugs, boosting from Std 160 HP to about 180. The occasional tow of 750-1000 lbs. and the random off-road experiences make this a fun ride. It turns 180 on a dime, I've seen no other car make turns like this one. I've never managed to get the EPA fuel rating, and this, to be honest is the only problem I have, with 14/17 mpg city/hwy.
U-turns on a dime, virtually maintenance free, sporty, solid performance and durability, super fun.
EPA fuel rating are a lie. Don't expect 18/21, you get 14/17. Solid step bars, rather than hollow, would prevent early rusting of steps and bumpers.