I've had problems with my 2002 XLS since I purchased it. The rear gate would not latch and they had to replace the whole gate. It took All American Ford a week to do that. Front driver side door leaks when driving on highway during rain shower. The transmission constantly slips and thumps in and out between gears at low speed. Noisy cab at speeds in excess of 55 mph. The interior dash lights come on and off for no apparent reasons. Dealership claims there are no problems. I don't like the cheap plastic bumper. It is like a bug magnet. Not very roomy interior for a driver that is 6'4" either. Overall, I had a Ford pickup truck before the EXPLODER and I think that mechanically, Ford missed it!
Body styling, Rear cargo room and hitch.
Better luggage racks, less plastic on exterior, better transmission and electrical system. Does not seem to be air/water tight. Lots of noise and leakage issues around doors.
I purchased my XLT 4x4 with 70,000 miles two years ago and I have had no problems. I have done the routine maintenance and all is good. Be sure to rotate tires every 5,000 miles, otherwise vibration ensues. Engine stronger than my old Cherokee, decent mileage even with my lead foot. Great in the snow and dirt. Very good looking, and pretty quick.
Strong engine, reliable, 90,000 plus strong miles.
Rear doors lock and you have to manually unlock them everytime to get kids out .
2002 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
This vehicle has been very good to me. The only possible drawback is the level of service I received from the dealer. They seem to have trouble getting the few fixes that I have needed right the first time. Luckily, I bought an extended full service contract on the vehicle, which I've probably broken even with for service repairs and oil changes. ($890/3yrs)
Comfort and power of the V8. Runs like a race car.
Interior door handles are difficult to reach in the back seat. Transmission has been ok so far (42,000 miles) but occasional odd sounds leave me concerned for the future. What can I say? - gas milage on a V8 is not great (12mpg). If you're not trailering, V6 probably makes more sense.