Used 2003 Ford Explorer Consumer Reviews - 337 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2003 Ford Explorer

Average Consumer Rating

337 Total Reviews

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Won't go past 100,000 miles
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By johcar
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Sport 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Nice enough vehicle except access to the back seat in the 2 door model is close to zero since the driver's seat only moves forward/back 2". I'll never have a two door SUV again.
With only 80,000 miles on it, the timing chain(s) are making noise. Apparently it was a recall issue that previous owners never took care of. It is expected to go out at
100K or so.
Repair bill is $3200.00.
Ford should honor this recall even though it's ten years old.
I feel like I got screwed here, and I was
happy with two previous Rangers, -a 98 and 01.


Best Features

The ride is very rigid. I'm used to it but it's a bit much. Can't really get to the back seat from the driver side. I have to crawl through the back hatch to lower the back seats. I do like the simple switch to go into 4x4.


Worst Features

Visibility is limited at the top of the windshield with that temp/compass housing then the bulky mirror below that. Add a GPS and looking for places/addresses or sight seeing makes this the wrong vehicle. The shorter wheel base is quite noticeable on the freeway making steering quite touchy. I doubt towing a trailer could be safe.


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Old Faithful
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
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Reliability
By tykesmom2007
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

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!


Best Features

Great towing power, reasonable gas mileage for its size, good sized cargo area, extremely dependable


Worst Features

I could have cried when I saw the new model Explorers! Nothing like this tried and true truck in my driveway! The new Explorer is a beautiful SUV, no doubt, but it just doesn't give off that "trucklike toughness" that I love in my Old Faithful!


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2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 V6, Great SUV
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By smithhh9156
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

We have a 2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 v6 2wd with 113k. Love it! We have had 0 problems with it besides the oil temp gauge going out. Has leather that's in nice condition, only tear is on driver side and probably one inch long, but really thin. On the side of the seat... We have 3rd row also.


Best Features

We have the power fold down DVD player, 3rd row, for a v6 has plenty of power, very reliable, wouldn't be scared to hop in it right now and got to CA. Btw I'm in NC, pulls trailers with no problems. And I'm 6'2 and I have plenty of room.


Worst Features

The plastics seem to fade and get weatherd. But that's from being outdoors, Only complaint


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Do not Buy a Ford Explorer 2003
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 1auto4auser
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Previously owned ford explorer earlier year.
Did not have any signifcant issues for the most part.

This model major transmission problems.
Not built to last more than 100,000 mi.
heard clicking noise dealer could not find problem.

paint on roof and hood is chipping off.
Poor paint job

Dealer rebuilt front bearings at 30,000mi

Transmission now has to be replaced.
Transmission, bearings and transfer case poor quality.
Ford should recall this vehicle

I wish I had read the reviews on this vehicle


Best Features

Engine is relatively reliable starts


Worst Features

Transmission should last longer Bearing going under normal driving conditions. Not even off roading Paint qality on front of hood and roof


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Most Reliable vehicle I've ever had!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jimmyz26
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I've owned a Nissan, Mitsibushi, and a Pontiac, and have to say Ford is best vehicle I've had yet!
I've had far less issues with my Ford Explorer and love driving it.
I bought it in 2006 and put 37K miles on it.
It currently has about 75K miles and only had routine maintenance on it.
My only complaint is the crappy gas mileage 15mpg.

The rear panel recently cracked, but you can avoid this.
I had sprayed winshield washer fluid on it during a very cold Colorado winter day.
The repair is outrageous, close to $700.

The handling is excellent and the ride roomy and comfortable.
Well built inside and out. Engine has plenty of power and 4WD is nice. I plan on keeping my Ford for a while.


Best Features

Lots of room. Comfortable ride. Great handling. Engine runs smoothly and has plenty of power. Running boards and fog lights are nice to have. 4WD is great in snowy conditions.


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