Used 2003 Ford Explorer

2003 Ford Explorer
List price
2003 Ford Explorer

Pros

  • Independent rear suspension, comfortable seating for up to seven, strong powertrains, foolproof Control Trac 4WD, available rollover protection system, optional stability control system, DVD-based entertainment system.

Cons

  • Low-grade interior materials, quirky ergonomics.

Used 2003 Ford Explorer for Sale

Ford Explorer 2003 XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
123,135 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLT
Buchanan Buick Chevrolet GMC
49.4 mi away
List$6,988
Est.Loan: $143/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
This reliable 2003 Ford Explorer XLT comes with a variety of features, including anti-lock brakes. It comes with a 4 liter 6 Cylinder engine. This one's a deal at $6,988. Want a SUV 4X4 you can rely on? This one has a crash test rating of 4 out of 5 stars! The exterior is a gorgeous mineral gray clearcoat m. Don't sit on this decision for long...schedule your test drive today! Contact Information: Buchanan Automotive, 1035 E Main St, Waynesboro, PA, 17268, Phone: (717) 762-3141, E-mail: chevy@buchananisbetter.com. Our Guaranteed Credit approval is backed by a check for $100.00 if you don't ride home in your next vehicle or take your written approval with payments and terms home to review we will cut you a check! Many Certified Pre Owned, commission free
Ford Explorer 2003 XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
0
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLT
(1)
Leckner Ford of Marshall
23 mi away
ListNot Listed
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Ford Explorer 2003 XLS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
130,498 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLS
Thomassen Family Automotive Center
26.8 mi away
ListNot Listed
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Ford Explorer 2003 XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
213,769 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLT
Goldstar Motor Company
37.3 mi away
ListNot Listed
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Ford Explorer 2003 XLS Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
217,697 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLS
Upper Marlboro Ford
43 mi away
ListNot Listed
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Ford Explorer 2003 XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
1 miles
Used 2003
Ford Explorer
XLT
(3)
Affordable Auto Maryland
44.8 mi away
ListNot Listed
View Details
Dealer Notes
Recent Arrival! Clean CARFAX. 4WD.2003 Ford Explorer XLT XLT 4WD 4.0L V6 SOHC Flex Fuel

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Ford's Explorer is one of the best midsize SUVs on the market, made even better for 2003 with the addition of a DVD-based entertainment system and a dedicated Off-Road Package.

vehicle overview

The Explorer debuted in 1990 as a 1991 model, and achieved instant success in a market that it ultimately defined, if not created. At the time, the trend toward functional, compact, four-door SUVs was in full swing: Jeep Cherokee was first to offer this kind of vehicle in 1984, but Ford, GM, Nissan and Toyota all followed suit at this time. Based on the Ford Ranger pickup, the original Explorer had the winning combination of size, style and utility that people wanted in an SUV. It came as the volume-selling four-door or a less popular two-door, and replaced the Bronco II in Ford's lineup. Initially, just XLS and XLT trim levels were available. In 1992, an Eddie Bauer edition joined the lineup, and a Limited model followed shortly thereafter. Explorer's first major revision occurred in 1995, when it received a new front suspension, revised styling and a new interior. This iteration soldiered on through 2001 with few changes, but by then accusations that the Explorer suffered a high incidence of tire failures and subsequent rollover accidents had tarnished the brand. Ford blamed tire supplier Firestone for equipping the Explorer with flawed Wilderness AT tires, and initiated a massive recall to replace the original equipment rubber. Firestone blamed the Explorer's design and Ford's recommendation that the tires be inflated to a relatively low 26 psi. Neither company publicly pointed fingers at consumers indifferent to the dangers of overloading vehicles, expecting a truck to handle like a car, failing to monitor tire pressures or dismissing the importance of seatbelts as possible contributors to blowouts and deaths. For 2002, just as the Explorer rollover debacle was winding down, Ford debuted the completely redesigned Explorer. A substantial improvement over the original, the new truck had a wider track, longer wheelbase, independent rear suspension and seating for up to seven adults. It should have been a runaway success, but the Ford-Firestone media fight kept buyers away from showrooms and forced Ford to offer cash rebates and low-interest financing to keep sales afloat. Notably, the two-door model, the Explorer Sport, and a four-door pickup version, the Explorer Sport Trac, are based on the aged first-generation platform. The new Explorer platform is used by the four-door model only. The 2003 Ford Explorer is little different from the 2002. Minor trim revisions have been made to the core model lineup: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. Sport versions of the XLS and XL debut, and a new NBX model is introduced with special trim and equipment designed to appeal to active outdoorsy types.

2003 Ford Explorer configurations

The 2003 Ford Explorer is available only as a four-door model in XLS, XLS Sport, XLT, XLT Sport, NBX, Eddie Bauer and Limited trims. The XLS comes standard with an automatic transmission and a CD player for 2003. The XLS Sport includes alloy wheels, side step bars, wheel lip moldings, an upgraded center console and floor mats. XLT models get a chrome grille and metallic interior accents, while XLT Sport adds special platinum gloss exterior trim and 17-inch machine-finished alloy wheels. The new NBX model includes special exterior trim, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a Yakima roof rack, rubber floor mats and a cargo area liner. Eddie Bauer also receives 17-inch wheels this year, while Limiteds are upgraded with chromed exterior trim, chrome wheels, a leather-upholstered center console cover and new wood grain interior trim. Major options on the Explorer include a six-disc 290-watt sound system, rear-seat climate control, a power moonroof and a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system. There are also a number of safety-related options available.

2003 Highlights

For the 2003 Ford Explorer, sport versions of the XLS and XLT debut, along with a new trim level called NBX (No Boundaries Experience). The NBX includes special exterior trim, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a Yakima roof rack, rubber floormats and a cargo area liner. All-wheel drive is newly available on all but the NBX model. XLS models come standard with an automatic transmission and a CD player for 2003, while XLT models get a chrome grille and metallic interior accents. Eddie Bauer models have satin-finish 17-inch wheels this year. Limited models get upgrades such as chromed exterior trim, chrome wheels, a leather-upholstered center console cover and new woodgrain interior trim. A tire-pressure monitoring system is available on Limited models. An Off-Road Package including underbody skid plates, suspension upgrades, front tow hooks and unique wheels debuts. Finally, a rear seat DVD-based entertainment system will be available later in the year.

Performance & mpg

Standard on all Explorers is an SOHC V6 engine making 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Optional on all models except the XLS is a 4.6-liter V8 engine good for 239 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission and two-, four- or all-wheel drive is available with either engine. The rear wheels propel 2WD models, while 4WD models have Ford's Control Trac system, which automatically sends power to the front wheels when the rears slip. Properly equipped, an Explorer can tow a maximum of 7,300 pounds.

Safety

Four-wheel-disc ABS is standard. The Explorer can also be outfitted with a Safety Canopy system of airbags that includes a rollover sensor. Power adjustable pedals are optional on XLT, while a reverse sensing system can be added to all but XLS. Advance Trac stability control is optional on all trims except XLS, but is not available on AWD models. A tire-pressure monitoring system is optional on the Limited. In government crash testing, the 2003 Ford Explorer received a four-star protection rating for the driver and a five-star rating for the front passenger. Side-impact testing has not been conducted, but the NHTSA gave the Explorer three-star rollover rating, good for an SUV. In offset crash testing, the IIHS gave the Explorer a "Good" rating and called it a "Best Pick" in the SUV class.

Driving

Any Explorer is a joy to drive, as far as SUVs go. Taking much of the credit for this praise is the rear independent suspension, which provides a smooth ride and nicely planted wheels on rough pavement. Power from either the V6 or V8 engine is acceptable. Though a true all-wheel-drive system is newly available for 2003, we see little need for it; the Control Trac 4WD system works transparently to distribute power to all four wheels as conditions warrant. The Explorer is also comfortable, with space for up to seven passengers.

Interior

Depending on the model you choose, the interior trim of the Explorer can range from bland to close-to-plush. All the controls are neatly arranged, and the gauges are clear and readable, but it's function over form. It's feasible to carry two adults in the third-row seats, but choosing the third-row option also reduces available cargo space. Seven-passenger Explorers max out at 81.3 cubic feet of cargo space, while five-passenger versions offer a more competitive 88 cubic feet. The folded seat also makes for a slightly sloped load floor, so if you value cargo-carrying capacity over people-moving ability, stick with the five-passenger version.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Ford Explorer.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Still loving my 2003 Explorer at 188,000 miles
Jennifer,09/02/2015
This has been a very reliable vehicle for my family. It is my daily runner back-and-forth to work (22 miles each way), as well as our long distance driver (frequent trips out-of-state). With almost 200K miles, I thought maybe I'd start having problems, but so far I've had to put very little into it. I bought it at 100K miles and since then have had issues with electronic things like the security alarm would go off when the doors were locked and after trips to local dealerships with no answers, out local repair guy disconnected two sensors in the doors. The lights don't come on now when you open those doors, but it also fixed the issue with the alarm going off for no reason. Other fixes have included a new starter just a few miles ago, but mostly I've only ever had wear and tear things need replaced like brakes and rotors. I have a third row seat that isn't used often, but when we do haul other family and friends with us, I love that extra seating. The storage is fantastic and the front seats have plenty of leg room. The back seat isn't as roomy as my daughter would prefer, but she travels well back there. I average 16-18 miles per gallon between high way and city driving. I am struggling with how long to keep this great vehicle. I paid $7500 for it in 2009 and the KBB value is currently $3600. It has very little rust (although a problem of this year Explorer is the back hatch cracking under the glass). It did have one crack when I bought it and now it has two. I really do love this trust worthy vehicle!
Old Faithful
tykesmom2007,03/04/2014
I've owned my 2003 Explorer XLT for 11 years now, and have had no problems whatsoever. Although "Old Faithful" is now a "second car" (I bought a 2014 Escape SE for my 100 mile commute to work), it still tows boats, hauls canoes, transports the dogs, and is our favorite vehicle for camping trips. I've never had any trouble with this SUV, and plan to drive it 'til it drops - maybe in another 300,000 miles or so!
Second Owner of a 2003
lassentrailer,04/09/2015
I bought my Explorer from the same dealership that sold it to the original owner, and that owner had followed the service schedule to the letter (as shown in the Carfax report). It had 101,000 miles on it when I bought it in 2013, it's got 118,000 miles now. I don't much like trucks, being a sports car kind of driver, but I really like the Explorer (which btw handles WAY better than you'd expect, due no doubt to the IRS. I have emulated the first owner's habit of maintaining the snot out of it: new brakes/rotors, transmission flush and fill, cooling system the same (differentials and transfer case next). I am quite happy with my Explorer.
Best suv ever
devildog8821,08/22/2014
I absolutely love my explorer had it for 2 years and no major problems bought it when it had 75000 miles on it and it now has 115000 miles. One thing I learned is its not the vehicle it's the driver that makes stupid mistakes. Just cause its an suv doesn't mean it's meant for off road use. I also disagree with the gas mileage I have the 4.6 v8 and it gets 17.2 in the city and 24 on the highway absolutely love the fact that when I fill it u p it says 387 miles to empty and it only costs about 65 to fill it up. Absolutely love it!!!
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
210 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
210 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
13 city / 18 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
239 hp @ 4750 rpm
MPG
13 city / 18 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
239 hp @ 4750 rpm
See all Used 2003 Ford Explorer features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover2 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Good

More about the 2003 Ford Explorer
Used 2003 Ford Explorer Overview

The Used 2003 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV. Available styles include XLS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLS Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Sport 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLS AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Sport 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLS Sport 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Sport AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLT Sport Rwd 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLS Sport Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLS Sport AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), XLT Sport Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT Sport AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), NBX 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer Rwd 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), Limited AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), NBX 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited Rwd 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), NBX Rwd 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A), NBX Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and Limited Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Ford Explorer?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Ford Explorer trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Ford Explorer XLT is priced between $6,988 and$6,988 with odometer readings between 123135 and123135 miles.

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 2003 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) 2003 Ford Explorer for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2003 Explorers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,988 and mileage as low as 123135 miles. 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Ford Explorer.

Can't find a used 2003 Ford Explorers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Explorer for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,958.

Find a used Ford for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,836.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Explorer for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,372.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,837.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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