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.
We've had this car about five years and really had very few problems with it. We call it the 'snow beast' as its awd is fantastic in the snow. I've had a couple other 4wd trucks and this is just much more competent in poor conditions. It has the 302 V8 and can pull a trailer without complaining and is comfortable to ride in and drive. It beats you up at the pump, but it averages about 17mpg in mixed driving, so it's not much worse than your average minivan, suv, or pickup truck without awd! It beats the Jeep Cherokee I had prior to this by about 4mpg and it had the 4.0l I6 with part time 4wd,
302 V8, steering wheel climate control & radio buttons, great AWD system, very reliable.
Improve gas mileage? None really. Pretty satisfied with the vehicle.
I bought my XLT Explorer new in '99 and am now going to sell it after 128K miles. I have never had any major problems. I changed the thermostat once and the alternator once, but $800 in repairs over almost 8 years isn't so bad. The ride is bumpy. The power locks are about worn out and the radio randomly switches to CD randomly, but it's an old SUV. What do you expect?
Room for cargo and myself. Easy in/out in front and back. Rugged good looks. High ride. The keypad on the door is the best. I lock my keys in the truck at a ball game and use the keypad to get back in. That way I don't have to lug keys around all day. It's great!
I'm only getting rid of it because I want a fancier look to drive people around in. I will miss it greatly.