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.
Abysmal gas mileage. Handling is sloppy in corners.
The 1998 Ford Explorer gets a restyled tailgate.
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Ford Explorer.
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Most dependable car I've ever owned
XLT 4dr SUV AWD
I will keep this short. I have owned this vehicle since 1999 with about 20K miles on it. It now has 225K miles on it. Other than common perishable parts like tires and brakes, I have had to replace the 02 sensor, the alternator, the exhaust (because it rusted through the cats), and the gas filler fuel neck (because I broke it getting too rough with the gas hose). Most all of these went near the 200K mile mark. That is IT. You wanna talk about a reliable vehicle worth the money? I either got a really good one, or Ford built these right.
4.88 out of 5 stars
LOVE my Red Pig
XLT 4dr SUV AWD
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
4 out of 5 stars
Good car if maintained
Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD
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.
The Used 1998 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV. Available styles include Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV, XL 4dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV AWD, Sport 2dr SUV, XL 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV 4WD, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD, and Limited 4dr SUV AWD.
Pre-owned Ford Explorer models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine or a 5.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 215 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1998 Ford Explorer comes with rear wheel drive, four wheel drive, and all wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.
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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.