Used 1998 Ford Explorer

1998 Ford Explorer
List price range

Pros

  • The Explorer is the best selling sport-ute on the market for a reason. A comfortable interior, three engine choices, and multiple trim levels mean that there is an Explorer for nearly any budget or lifestyle.

Cons

  • Abysmal gas mileage. Handling is sloppy in corners.

Used 1998 Ford Explorer for Sale

Ford Explorer 1998 Sport 2dr SUV
150,423 miles
Used 1998
Ford Explorer
Sport
ListNot Listed
View Details
Ford Explorer 1998 XLT 4dr SUV 4WD
0
Used 1998
Ford Explorer
XLT
ListNot Listed
View Details

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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 in 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 do, 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 one of the weakest engines 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 introduced an optional SOHC V6 in 1997 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.

Changes for 1998 are limited to revising the truck's tailgate. Nothing to write home about, especially when compared to the sweeping changes of last year, which saw the first-ever application of five-speed transmission technology in a truck. This five-speed is, in fact, 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 SOHC V6, this makes 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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Ford Explorer.

LOVE my Red Pig
3chooks, 1/7/2015
I bought my Explorer "used" in '99, with only 1300 miles on it. I truly lucked out! I bought it to pull my new Danish horse trailer (Brenderup) and as my commuting vehicle, which is why my wonderful Red Pig now has about 264K miles on it. ["Red Pig"? so named the first time I filled it up, having traded in a '96 Honda Civic coupe in the transaction]. It was my commuting vehicle as well as my trailer-puller until 6 years ago. Before the Pig was semi-retired, I was putting a good 22K miles on it per year; after, less than 3000 I am only now thinking it's time to find a successor for my beloved Pig. Very reluctantly, because I don't think anything made more recently will measure up
A great little truck.
burninrock24, 4/4/2011
The option for my model was not above. I drive a 1998 XLT 4x4 w/auto transmission. I bought the car for $3,000. with 146,000 miles on it two years ago as my first car. It is still running strong to this day. It has had it's usual maintenance, that is a given for any car of this age. Sure, it has it's quirks, but regardless, this is a great little truck that will never fail you.
Best truck I've ever owned
blasterrat, 2/1/2008
A great auto. Good gas mi.16/21, lots of cargo room, good design. Parts are expensive. Never been stuck and I do a lot of off roading. I would definetly buy another if I could afford, new price is ridiculous. Overall i am really impressed by this truck.
Good car if maintained
Welderman, 6/19/2009
The Eddie Bauer AWD Explorer is a reliable car if properly maintained. I have never had problems with the drive train or engine (88,000 miles). It gets an honest 18.7 mpg at 55-65mph and the car is over 10 years old. My major maintenance was replacing rusted brake lines and rear brakes when they failed from corrosion. I'm big so I find it very comfortable, especially the leather bucket seats as do passengers in the back seats. The A/C is used a lot in the South and it works great. Change the oil every 5000 miles and change the transmission oil every 50,000 miles. Flush the radiator out when you change the transmission oil and it will last a long time. Built Ford tough.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
205 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
12 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
215 hp @ 4200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
160 hp @ 4200 rpm
See all Used 1998 Ford Explorer features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Acceptable

More about the 1998 Ford Explorer
Used 1998 Ford Explorer Overview

The Used 1998 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV, XL 4dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV AWD, Sport 2dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV, XL 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV AWD, and Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD.

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