Pick up the truck 2 days ago. During the first 2 days of ownership, I have to say that we enjoy the truck very much, quiet, smooth, wonderful stereo (audiophile) equipment, user friendly DVD and fully integrated Nav system. Independent suspension is probably one of the best in the market. Ventilated disks are very responsive. The award winning V8 definitely deserves its reputation as one of the top 10 engine of the world. The gas mileage is the same as Duratec V6 and is better than most trucks in the market including Japanese competitors.
Bought this vehicle new in 2007. I've had to do very few repairs and have had the oil changed every 5,000 miles. I took over changing oil at around 120,000 miles and started with synthetic oil. As of writing this review, I have just over 200K on this vehicle and did an oil change on it yesterday. All in all, this has been, and continues to be a very solid and reliable vehicle. The only repairs I have needed to do so far are replace the thermostat bypass hose, replace upper and lower thermostat housings, and replace the front and rear wheel bearings. I have had a coolant leak for some time now. I'm not sure where it is going, but I keep filling the overflow tank to keep a proper level in it. Yesterdays oil change was not normal though. The oil was congealed inside, therefore I figured out where the coolant is going. I would have expected the oil to get milky, but apparently the gold coolant that Ford uses does not do this, and normally the vehicle gets driven far enough every day to bring the engine up to proper operating temperatures. I pulled the oil pan off and cleaned out what I could. At this point, I will continue to run the vehicle until the engine gives up. I will switch to regular high mileage non-synthetic oil and increase the oil change frequencies to 3,000 miles. I will pull the oil pan off as needed to clean out the sump to keep the oil pump pick up screen clear. I would say that if I had to do it over again, I would get the V8 and not the V6. The V8 would be easier to work on. The V6, although a great engine with more than enough torque, has a cam chain and chain driven oil pump on the back side of the engine that require the engine to be pulled to service them. I mention this because I also found a piece of chain tensioner in yesterdays oil change. Whether it is from a cam chain tensioner or the oil pump drive chain tensioner is unclear, but I'm sure I will find out soon enough. This was also my first 4WD vehicle. The 4WD has only been needed a handful of times since purchased, but I try to exercise the system at least every six months to make sure everything still works. So far I've had no problems with either the 4WD system or the Stabilitrac Traction System in it. Under the performance category, I gave road handling and transmission OK ratings. It's an SUV, so road handling is low on the list anyway, but it does a pretty good job. The transmission has always been a bit twitchy, but has not exhibited any of the failures of the earlier model sealed transmissions. I gave the overall rating 5 stars. 8 years, 200,000 miles, and many miles of vacation memories. Hopefully, it will last a few more months, at which point I can start car shopping again 9/21/17 Update: 230,000 miles and still going. Cam chains are noisy, so we don't use this vehicle for long distance driving, but it continues to start and run. It burns no oil, and I still have to add coolant, but the Explorer continues to perform.
Just bought the XLT with the V8 fairly loaded. Traded up from a 2002 XLT. Very happy so far. Had to hunt around NJ to find a XLT with a V8 and the 2007 appearance package, which makes it look a lot cleaner. The new V8 is awesome, quiet with a little growl when stepped on. Very smooth acceleration. Would not buy the V6, just too slow. Extremely quiet and confident ride. Also, the best thing about any Explorer that nobody talks about is that the seats are very comfortable. Perfect seating for cruising around with your arm hanging out the window on a nice day. Like a real truck.
I love this 4th generation Explorer the most out of all of them. The interior and exterior is designed to my liking as well as the ride and handling. I was concerned the vehicle looks narrow, but it's very spacious and "wide-looking" once you get inside. The reliability is good until you reach a certain mileage range (100-120k) where a lot of age related repairs come to play. My only issues that are not typical is the LED radio display going out and the power running boards failing. But, after they are fixed, you are good to go another 100k miles. I would recommend this generation for someone in the market for a used car. Oh, and gas is better than expected. Don't be fooled by low mileage!