List Price Estimate
$1,172 - $2,361

Used Explorer for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

1996 Ford Explorer appraisal values can range from $480 - $1,904.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Since its introduction in 1991, the Ford Explorer has resided at the top of the sport-utility sales heap. With good reason; the Explorer combined style, comfort and room is one go-anywhere package. The modern day Country Squire, some have called it, after the segment leading station wagon of the 1950s.

Last year, Ford gave its golden child a makeover, including a new suspension, revised four-wheel drive system and dual airbags in the restyle. Four-wheel antilock brakes made the list of standard equipment in 1995 as well. What didn't make the cut was a more powerful powerplant, to do battle with the V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 200-horsepower V6 found in the Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy.

This year, Ford squeezes a 5.0-liter V8 into the engine bay of the Explorer, available in two-wheel or all-wheel drive models. Putting out 210 horsepower, the engine option includes a limited-slip differential. A long time in coming, the existence of the V8 will ensure the Explorer's position on the sales charts for years to come.

Simply stated, the Explorer is a more refined vehicle than the competition at Jeep and General Motors. The interior goes quite a ways in instilling a quality feel that is missing from the Grand Cherokee and the Blazer. An organically sweeping dashboard houses radio controls that can actually be operated without a magnifying glass. Materials feel and look rich. Rear seat comfort surpasses Chevy, and entry/exit is easier than Jeep. Explorers offer more cargo capacity than most rivals. Exterior styling is a subjective matter; we think the fender skirts on the Eddie Bauer make the Explorer look pudgy. Chrome wheels, standard on the Eddie Bauer, ought to be a treat to clean for drivers in the rust belt.

The Explorer's standard 4.0-liter V6 is the puniest engine in a domestic sport-ute. Acceleration is fine from a standstill, but step on the gas at 50 mph and not much happens. That's not good news when there's a need to pass or merge. We recommend the V8 unless your travels are limited to around-town taxi duty.

Other changes for 1996 include a revised Eddie Bauer accent color, the deletion of the standard cargo net, and the addition to the options list of an integrated child safety seat. The two-door Expedition model, which looked to us like the automotive equivalent of George Foreman after a bout with several McDonald's Big Macs, has been axed in favor of a Premium Sport Package. Let's hope the meaty fender flares went away with the Expedition moniker. Luxury-oriented Limited models get 15-inch alloy wheels and an exclusive paint color.

Unlike the reworked Chevy Blazer, Explorers retain a distinctly truck-like character, which could be either a bonus or a demerit. They're tough and solid, and easy to maneuver--though steering is a little slow and ponderous, and the body leans through tight corners. Braking is excellent, and the suspension has a compliant attitude, but Ford's sportster can bounce around, and even grow woozy over uneven surfaces.

Jeep's Grand Cherokee is more sporting in flavor and feel, while the Chevy Blazer offers excellent value. Ford's Explorer straddles the middle ground in between, providing most of what people want most of the time. Guess that's what makes it so popular.

1996 Highlights

For the 1996 Ford Explorer, the long-awaited V8 AWD versions are available in XLT, Eddie Bauer or Limited Edition flavors. An integrated child safety seat is optional, and the Expedition model has been replaced by a Premium trim package for the Sport.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Ford Explorer.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Guess I Got One Of The Good Ones
Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV
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.
1996 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8
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.
Im never giving up this car!
Julian Novoa,01/15/2018
Limited 4dr SUV AWD
I own a 1996 ford explorer limited with the 5.0 302 v8. We owned it since 2001 with 37,000miles now it has 166,000 miles we take it on road trips all the time and never has left us walking. The limited trim is absolutely luxurious and the alloy limited wheels are just pure style. I recommend this car to anyone who wants a v8 and a luxurious inexpensive SUV.
Great SUV
Michael J,07/24/2010
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!


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Ford Explorer

Used 1996 Ford Explorer Overview

The Used 1996 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV. Available styles include XL 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD, XL 2dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, XL 2dr SUV 4WD, XL 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD, Limited 4dr SUV AWD, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, and XLT 4dr SUV AWD. Pre-owned Ford Explorer models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 160 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Ford Explorer comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Ford Explorer?

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 1996 Ford Explorers 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) 1996 Ford Explorer for sale near. 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Ford Explorer.

Can't find a used 1996 Ford Explorers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Explorer for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,066.

Find a used Ford for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,747.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Explorer for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $15,457.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $24,859.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Ford Explorer?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Explorer lease specials