2004 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: Still Getting My Money's Worth

2004 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

360 Total Reviews

XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L V6 FFV 4x4 5-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Still Getting My Money's Worth
By WNYFordGuy on


2004 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


My Dad recommended it because of the rebates/incentives/Z-plan discount. I was sold on the 3rd-row seat and very smooth ride. 52k miles later, I haven't been disappointed - it's been great for hauling kids/equipment to sports events, camping trips, and my short commute to work on our rough winter roads. Its interesting to read the other reviews - how can you complain about fuel economy (I get 15-16 MPG) when you run a heavy SUV with a relatively powerful 4.0 V6? I have no qualms about the tranny (though it whines in extreme cold at certain RPMs), even if it 'clunks' into reverse occasionally. I agree that the rear hatch trim is lousy. For what I paid, its been a pretty good value.

Best Features

See above, plus: great exterior styling, awesome CD/cassette sound system, super-bright high-beams, extremely comfortable/roomy interior, temperature/compass display.

Worst Features

I wish this had a 5-spd manual transmission like the 97 XLT I previously owned. This SUV does eat brakes - fronts completely replaced at 26.5k & 50.5k. I think the quality of the 'genuine' FoMoCo parts is getting poorer; things like glass hatch hinges, trim, and front wheel bearings are lousy.
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