Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV

1997 Ford Explorer
List price range
1997 Ford Explorer


  • Great cargo space, multiple engine options, and attractive exterior styling make this the best selling SUV on the market. The fact that the Explorer has dual airbags sure helps too.


  • The base V-6 engine is a asthmatic when trying to pass at freeway speeds. The Explorer feels top-heavy in tight corners.
Ford Explorer years

Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV for Sale

Ford Explorer 1997
Used 1997
Ford Explorer
Graham Cadillac
80.5 mi away
ListNot Listed
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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.

We think that there's a good reason for this. Simply stated, the Explorer is a more refined vehicle than the competition at Jeep and General Motors. The interior instills a feeling of quality 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 look and feel rich. Rear seat comfort surpasses Chevy, and entry/exit is easier than Jeep. Explorers offer more cargo capacity than most rivals, and five passengers can ride with ease. Exterior styling is a subjective matter, but we think that the Explorer is one of the most attractive SUVs on the road.

The Explorer's standard 4.0-liter V6 is the puniest engine found 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. Fortunately, Ford has introduced an optional SOHC V6 that offers nearly as much power as the V8, for a lot less money. We recommend this engine over the other two engine choices due to its great power and affordable price.

Other changes for 1997 include swapping the four-speed automatic for a new five-speed automatic on V6 models. This five-speed is the first ever developed for an American passenger vehicle. Ford claims that the additional gear, which occurs between the former first and second gears, allows for more precise shifting, allowing the truck to move uphill and off-road more authoritatively. When combined with the optional V6, this should make the Explorer much more fun to drive.

Unlike the reworked Chevy Blazer, Explorers retain a distinctly truck-like character, which could be 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 Explorer can bounce around, making occupants regret the Denver omelet they had for breakfast.

Ford has a philosophy of building vehicles that everyone can be happy with. Sure, the Jeep Grand Cherokee feels sportier, and the GMC Jimmy looks cooler, but the Explorer has just the right amount of class and ruggedness to make it America's best-selling off-roader. If you are thinking about buying an SUV, chances are you've already checked out the Explorer. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and find out why there are so many of these trucks on the road.

1997 Highlights

The 1997 Ford Explorer receives a few appreciated improvements this year. A new SOHC V6 engine is now available, providing nearly as much power as the 5.0-liter V8. Also new is a five-speed automatic transmission, the first ever offered by an American auto manufacturer, which is standard on V6 models equipped with automatic.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Ford Explorer.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

97 Ford Explorer EB AWD
Truck is a beast. Yea it does suck gas but if you drive like a normal person, you'll be fine. Pushing 265000k; truck is still on the road. No leaks little rust, but very reliable. SAfe for the kids and easy to drive. This is one of my favorite style of trucks; has alot of room inside while disguising it on the outside. doing little cosmetics to eventually sell, already have 3 265K..Love this Truck. AG
Ford Explorer XLT V8 AWD
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
Our Best Vehicle Ever
We have had our '97 Explorer XLT AWD V8 since new and it's now 12 years old and has 169,000 miles. This is by far the longest we ever have kept a car both in terms of time as well as miles driven. This truck just keeps on going. We use it every day from mundane things like commuting to/from work to bigger things like camping vacations, driving trips and trailering loads. No major repairs in its history - just the usual things like battery, brakes, and tires.
1997 Eddie Bauer Explorer
This has been the worst purchase I have ever made. The quality on this truck is terrible! I have averaged $200-$300 per month in repairs not including normal wear and tear items tires and brakes. Nothing has ever been cover and both Ford and the dealership have refused to help in any way. I cannot stress enough how poor the quality is of this vehicle. I cannot wait to get rid of it and I will never buy a Ford product again.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV features & specs


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 1997 Ford Explorer
Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV is offered in the following styles: Sport 2dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV AWD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD, XL 4dr SUV 4WD, XL 2dr SUV 4WD, XL 2dr SUV, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD, XL 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, and Limited 4dr SUV AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV?

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 1997 Ford Explorer SUVS are available in my area?

Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Ford Explorer SUV.

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Can't find a used 1997 Ford Explorer Explorer SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Explorer for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,415.

Find a used Ford for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,463.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Explorer for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $15,432.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,142.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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