by Matt from Northeastern PA on Thu Dec 23 2010
My Explorer, which I bought used as a winter vehicle, is a 4-door 4x4 XLT and has 130k miles. It has the optional sunroof a 4-speed auto. Comfort: I'm in my early 20's with no health problems so the front seats suit me just fine. Rear seating was top of the class when new although lack of headrests may bring complaints. It is a truck so the ride can get bouncy and jarring on moderately bumpy to rough roads. On normal highways, it does ride smoother than expected. Performance: The 4.0 Cologne was has decent HP but this is a heavy truck so acceleration is adequate at best. Hill climbing causes the motor to lose steam unless the pedal is near the floor. Highway merging should also be taken with caution. I filled from the backs of the front seats to the tailgate full of logs, which were piled up to the ceiling. It was slow going but it did it without complaint. Fuel mileage was better than I expected. Typically, I get around 16-18MPG unless loaded up or in 4WD. Handling is fine for what it is. Obviously, don't expect to corner like a sports car. This truck is great in the snow even with all season Cooper Discoverer HTs. Only got it stuck once and that was in 2 1/2 feet of snow. Mine has the push button 4WD system but with aftermarket manual locking hubs. It can be a pain to have to get out of the truck to lock them but they are more reliable and much cheaper to replace than the automatic lockers. Exterior Styling: Styling is subjective but it has rugged good looks. IMO, each generation of Explorer got uglier. The paint is fading and the clear coat is peeling off in spots but it is 17 years old after all. Mine has no body or frame rot but that isn't typical of older Explorers found where it snows. Make sure you inspect the truck thoroughly. Interior Design: I think the dash is logically laid out with everything in easy reach. There is plenty of cheap plastic but that's typical of an early 90's SUV. Everything works except for the AC and rear washer (wiper works). Heater is fantastic in mine... heats up just as quick as my 07 Cobalt. The sunroof is manual so it can be a pain to remove/install. Basically, I use mine like a skylight. Cargo room is cavernous and the rear seat folds in two separate sections. I fit 40 full-size desktop PCs in back with room to spare. Factory speakers suck so I replaced them with Pioneers and also added an aftermarket CD player (who wants a Cassette player, anyway?). Value: Typically, I have seen Explorers like mine go for $3-$4k but I got mine 2 years ago for $2300 so I would say it was definitely worth the money. Replacement parts are generally pretty cheap and a lot of work can be done at home. Reliability: My Explorer has been reliable so far and Explorers generally are with the big issues being the automatic transmissions and auto-locking hubs. Aside from normal maintenance (tires, oil changes, etc.) this is what I had to replace: 2 oxygen sensors, MAF sensor, EGR pressure sensor, ball joints, tie rods and an AC compressor clutch. Not bad for an older truck. Overall I would recommend an Explorer to anyone looking for a cheap, reliable 4x4. I also recommend giving one a thorough test drive to make sure the transmission and 4WD work correctly. Also, watch for rot typically found on the rocker panels which are hidden by plastic on most Explorers.
Purchased a Used car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does recommend this car!!
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