2000 Ford Explorer Review

Pros & Cons

  • A commanding view of the road, multiple engine choices, one of the most comfortable and commodious cabins in its class.
  • Trucklike ride, poor gas mileage with V8 engine.
List Price Estimate
$1,206 - $2,399

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Edmunds' Expert Review

In spite of its ubiquity, the dated 2000 Ford Explorer can't compete with the other excellent midsize SUVs available.

Vehicle overview

Since its introduction in 1990 as a 1991 model, the Ford Explorer has resided at the top of the sport-utility sales heap. This is totally understandable, as the Explorer combines style, comfort and room in a go-anywhere package. The modern-day Country Squire, some have called it, after the segment-leading station wagon of the 1960s. In 1999, Ford sold 428,772 Explorers.

The Explorer's sales success, of course, has to do with America's big appetite for SUVs. But it's also a compliment to Ford, as the Explorer gets just about everything right. The interior instills a feeling of quality that is missing from the Chevrolet Blazer. An organically sweeping dashboard houses radio controls that can be operated without a magnifying glass. Materials in the Explorer look and feel rich. Rear-seat comfort surpasses Chevy, and entry/exit is easier than the Jeep Cherokee. Explorers offer more cargo capacity than most rivals do, and five passengers can ride with ease.

The Explorer's standard 4.0-liter V6 is the smallest 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. To compensate, Ford also offers an OHV 5.0-liter V8 engine that used to power the Mustang GT. While the acceleration with the 5.0-liter motor is improved over the base V6, it gives up a lot in fuel consumption. Fortunately, Ford introduced an optional SOHC V6 in 1997 that offers nearly as much power as the V8. In addition, this engine costs less and offers greater fuel efficiency. We recommend this powerplant over the other two motor choices due to its great power, decent fuel economy and affordable price.

Explorers retain a distinctly trucklike character, which could be a bonus or a demerit. They're tough and solid, 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 over rough pavement, 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 Toyota 4Runner 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 a sport-ute, 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.

2000 Highlights

For the 2000 Ford Explorer, a color-keyed, two-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel (with auxiliary audio, climate and speed control) is now standard on Eddie Bauer models. XLT Sport/Eddie Bauer/Limited models with 5.0-liter V8s receive a trailer-towing package as standard equipment. The XL is available only for fleet sales, and the XLS replaces the XL Appearance as the base retail model.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2000 Ford Explorer.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Shockingly Good
Bob Coviello,02/22/2016
Limited 4dr SUV AWD
I purchased this vehicle while hoping to find a good used 4Runner of the same vintage, but this one-owner SUV appeared with 166,000mi with a nearly new remanufactured engine (owner felt a new engine was better value than replacing both head gaskets, one of which was leaking) that looked exceptionally good, outside (not even a door ding) and with an interior that looked amazing, showing no real wear at all. A comparable 4Runner of the same mileage and year would have cost at least $2000 more than the $3300 I paid for this V8 AWD Limited that cost $41,000+ new (I have the window sticker). If I am careful I can get 18 city and 24 highway (Interstate) which I consider nothing short of outstanding for a V8 SUV. A former 6cyl Cherokee I once had only managed 16 city and 20 highway. The AWD with limited slip rear differential model does not have a 4WD Low transfer case, so I expected nothing off-road, but I easily followed a friend w/ a 4X4 4Runner through Arizona backcountry that looked impossible for an AWD, but the Explorer easily went up no drama and with zero wheel spin on any tire, whereas the 4Runner was skipping and intermittently slipping one tire or another. Even w/out a low range, it climbed with little throttle, and the temp gauge never moved. I don't plan going on expeditions with the vehicle, but I was amazed at how it did in conditions I thought it would fail at. Overall, given its high chassis mileage especially, it's tight and rattle-free and has been extremely reliable (I have the service records since new), and except for the head gasket problem, only the front shocks and upper ball joints were replaced (except for normal wear items like brake pads, wiper blades, etc.).
Fantastic Vehicle for Family Fun
Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD
I bought this vehicle used and currently have 130,000 miles on it. It needs a little front end work right now, but nothing that isn't expected at the 130,000 mile mark. The Explorer handles great in winter weather and also does surprisingly well off road for an AWD vehicle. I am an offroad hobbyist and use this to tow both a Jeep and a camper at various times. There is plenty of room for me, my wife and our three kids. I am most impressed with the ride quality while towing. It tows my 3000 lb camper like there is nothing there. We do have a class III towing hitch which helps. The 5.0 motor is awesome! Love that engine. Overall I love this vehicle and have been very impressed with its durability and reliability. Take care of it and it will take care of you. Every vehicle requires maintenance with aging. Just do the maintenance and you will drive an Explorer for a long time.
Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD
We are original owners of this car being our 2nd Eddie Bauer Ford EXPLORER 4X4 . Wife uses it as a commuter vehicle, I get it when anything is wrong with it....lol. We have 326k miles on the car. She commutes 30 miles daily 4 miles city 26 miles highway daily with vehicle. We got 350k miles out of the previous generation car before someone hit it and totaled it. You can get good mileage out of these cars if you dutifully maintain them. Husband has Ford Explorer Sport Trac for work around the farm and grounds. We also own VOLVO sedan Maintain these vehicles and they will last as long as we have had them. find a good mechanic after you have finished your first 100k with dealer service. Update February 2017 Mileage now 343K and still going...
Where did you get your SUV?
An SUV is not a mercades benz. If you want comfort, buy a car not a truck. I love my Explorer and have had several in the past 5 years. No breakdowns, no problems and great maintenance plan. As for offroad, it handles perfectly fine and has plenty of clearance. If you want to bounce around like a kangaroo, buy a Monster Truck with poofy tires. I stand 6'2" and get claustraphoic in vehicles. The Ford Explorer has more room in the cab compared to the Chevy-Blazer and Jeep- Cherokee. As for carrying room. We have 2 large dogs and the truck area is plenty of space for travelling gear as well as dogs.


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 2000 Ford Explorer

Used 2000 Ford Explorer Overview

The Used 2000 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV. Available styles include Sport 2dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, XL 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV, XLT 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD, XLT 4dr SUV 4WD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV, XLS 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV AWD, XLT 4dr SUV AWD, Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD, XL 4dr SUV 4WD, and XLS 4dr SUV 4WD. Pre-owned Ford Explorer models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 160 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2000 Ford Explorer comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Ford Explorer?

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 2000 Ford Explorers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2000 Ford Explorer for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2000 Ford Explorer.

Can't find a used 2000 Ford Explorers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Explorer for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,326.

Find a used Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,044.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Explorer for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,898.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 11 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $10,716.

Should I lease or buy a 2000 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