I bought the Explorer new and had a thermostat failure that blew coolant all over the engine warping engine parts resulting in $2500 repair. At 70,000 miles started having transmission issues starting with slipping and high revs between gears. Transmission locked up and was replaced. Since then the same slipping issues has caused multiple returns to the shop without resolution. My wife and I like the Explorer design but the engine / transmissions issues make it a nightmare that I would not wish on anyone. This is my last Ford.
I purchased this vehicle at 35k miles. At 40k miles (4 months later) the radiator, thermostat and thermostat housing went bad. $1300 later I was on my way. At 55k miles, after owning the car for 16 months, the enginge had a blown head gasket. At 85k miles, the radiator, thermostat and thermostat housing are bad again. Definitely not something that should go bad again so soon. We'll see how long radiator #3 lasts!
I bought my 06 Explorer (my third one) with only 11,000 miles which now has 82,000 miles. So far I've replaced the radiator twice at a cost of $469.00 a pop. At 65,000 miles the transmission started slamming into reverse. When I put it in reverse now, if it dose not go in gear immediatly, I will shift it into neutral and back into reverse and hope it will gently go into reverse as it should. This helps but I shouldn't have to do this! Now it's hitting hard when it downshifts while stopping. I've owned many Fords over the years and so far I've had to replace seven or eight transmissions. No more transmissions or Fords for me! My son has a 98 Tacoma with 210,000 miles. So long Ford!
I purchased my Explorer used from CarMax over 2 years ago. The clear coat is peeling around the front head lights. The parking brake handle (plastic) broke and the cost to fix is $400.00. Lucky for me, I have an extended warranty from CarMax. The driver's leather seat is cracking. The passenger seat has ripped on the seam. The rear seat holders are split on both ends. Due to ethanol in gas, miles per gallon are poor.
My 2006 Explorer is very comfortable to ride in.
I'm sure improvements have been made to Explorers by now.