I've had my Explorer Sport for several years & and now at 133k & several WI winters later its still running well. The alternator is the only significant part that's failed. Keep up with the regular maintenance & you shouldn't have problems. Perfect for driving around town & for hauling things. I'll probably be replacing this one with another '02 or '03 since those were the last years for the 2DR.
The 4WD is great in snow & off road situations.
Make the towing package a standard feature. Also the interior quality could be improved.
I purchased new; after 124,000 miles I have not touched the motor. It is a V6 and have never added oil between changes. Except for replacing tires, brakes, and front ball joints the car is all original. It is sad to see the rating on not just Ford, but all American vehicles. I have had 6 Ford vehicles and 2 Thunderbirds 89 & 95. Both over 125,000 miles. 2 Town Cars, 92 was sold at 135,000; the 98 I still have with 93,000 miles. The V8 does use oil, but the V6 on one of T-bird's and on the Explorer never used oil.
Good strong motor, good car. too bad they get a bum rap.
Get the V8 to quit using oil. I had a 1954 Ford V8 and that never used oil. I also still have a 1967 Olds V8 100,000 original miles, never used any oil.