Let me first just start off by saying this is one of the most tough and reliable vehicle you will ever get your hands on.I am the original owner, and it's still rolling on at 248,000 miles as the family car! It does it all, tows a ski boat, hauls ass up to Mt Hood over 20 times a year "never had to chain it up with winter tires", and has even seen numerous off-road trails. Just recently my son rear ended someone at a stop light. Just barely dented the bumper while completely totalling the poor Nissan Versa in front of it. These things are steel bricks not some Mexico aluminum or whatever the hell they make them with now. Yes it gets terrible gas mileage averaging around 12 in the city and 15 in the highway, but that's not really a problem for me when repairs have been absolutely minimal and cheap.They truly don't build fords like they used to and these were made back in the day when SUVs were actually TRUCKS and made in the US of A. If you are considering buying one of these as a first car DO IT! And try to get the 4.0 SOCH with 4x4 for the best reliability and power.
I bought my explorer for $1000 for my first car in august of 2012 with 154,000 on it. Let me tell you this is a badass truck with a lot of power. I drove it pretty hard, commuting back and forth to school every day for a semester doin about 70 miles a day offroading some weekends and going up to the mountains in west virginia, and using it as a utility vehicle this spring for my landscaping business. Not the most reliable but it was 15 years old, replaced camshaft position sensor, cat flange gasket, alternator, radiator blew and overheated engine and made #4 cylinder thereafter but hell engines made today would be toast after overheating. Recommend getting owner records before buying
V8 power, cheap to buy, comfortable and spacious interior, plenty of room to haul cargo
Better interior build quality, door springs, radiator, bigger steering wheel, wish they had made this a real 4x4 on the v8 equipped model and not full time four wheel drive
My Explorer is a 1997 Automatic 4x4 coming up on 180k miles, and it has honestly never failed me. I know that every time I turn the key it will start, and any time I need it to perform it does. Just 2 days ago an older couple got their Kia stuck in a steep ditch and dug their tires in the wet mud, I towed them out just fine. I tow my 3 ton boat without issues, and the high torque V6 never fails me next to a ricer at a red light. The 4x4 is great out on the beach, and even the backwoods trails. I agree with the other reviews, the gas mileage is just horrible, but other than that, I can't complain. I've had no mechanical issues, the ride is decent, and for the money, this truck is priceless.
ControlTrak 4-Wheel-Drive, power sunroof, rear A/C controls, Class IV towing package
obviously the gas mileage, and maybe a better roll bar for those tight corners... It can get a bit scary if they catch you by suprise
My dad bought me a 1997 Ford explorer about 6 months ago. Pretty much my only gripe with it is the poor fuel economy. Other than that, it's fantastic. I have an XLT with the V8 and AWD. I am yet to have used the AWD in the snow, but the V8 has supple power and (for a truck) smooth power delivery. The driver and passenger seat is comfy. Overall, a great purchase.
10 way power seats... wow.
The two-way liftgate is a bonus.
Plenty of rear cargo space.
And the build quality is outstanding.
No rattles or creaks, and everything still fits tightly.
The headlights could be brighter.
that's about it.