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Ford Explorer Ratings

Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.

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Ford Explorer All Years
    • Overall
    • Comfort
    • Performance
    • Quality
    • Appearance

    2005 Ford Explorer - Eddie Bauer 4.6L (255A) 4x4

    Pros: Comfortable ride.

    Cons: Quality & Service

    Advice: Do not buy a Ford. They do not stand behind their products.

    This is the second Explorer we have purchased. We traded in a 2002 Explorer because of the many problems we had. Example: The ABS sensors would need to be replaced every 10 to 12 thousand miles. Not only was it expensive, when they began to go out there were times when the brakes would fail al together. After the 2nd near crash with no help from the service department, I took a loss and traded it in for another Explorer. Big mistake! I theorized that the first was a lemon and it could not happen a second time. Our 2005 fully loaded Explorer has been an absolute nightmare. The list of repairs in just the 1st 50 thousand miles include fixing the rear latches 3 times (Back hatch randomly pops open.) The rear heating and cooling system is out. ($600 to fix.) Now the front cooling system is broke. The brake pads needed to be replaced thousands of miles before they should have or did their service guys just take advantage of my wife? There has been a loud howling noise coming from the back and sides since 20 thousand miles, but they could not find the cause. (Hint, it's the air conditioning!) I've seen this same comment on several reviews and I find it hard to believe Ford does not know there is a problem. The technicians do not document problems that occur within the warranty and you will be stuck paying for them later. Ford and other American companies that do not care about the quality of their products are forcing consumers to look outside the US. Shame on you, FORD!

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    2007 Ford Explorer - XLT V6 (120A) 4x2

    Pros: key pad entry

    Cons: quality is very bad

    Advice: Stay Away!!!! Don't buy an Explorer

    I'm never buying another Ford. I used to be a staunch 'Buy American' consumer. As American car companies market share continued to plummet, I continued to feel that it is my patriotic duty to buy American. Well, I finally woke up and realized that everyone else is right, and that I was naive. Last week the O/D light came on in my Ford Explorer. I drove it right home and got the manual out to see what the problem was. 'Transmission problem' was what the manual indicated, as well as several websites I reviewed. I didn't worry at first, since I figured this would be covered under warranty. My Explorer is just under 5 years old and just under 60K miles. Surely there would at least be a 60K power train warranty. No one would buy a vehicle if they knew the transmission would only last 59K miles. Well, the dealer told me a new tranmission was needed (5th and 2nd gears were worn down), that it would cost $3500, and that it is not covered by warranty. And to add insult to injury he charged me $90 to tell me the transmission was bad (something I obviously knew) - isn't this similar to stealing? I then asked him what trade in value I could get (not that I really would buy another poor quality Ford, but I wanted to explore all options). $5500 is the most they could give. I laughed - since I had taken very good care of the vehicle. It told me that they didn't want the vehicle either - so much for them really standing behind their product. They know the quality is poor. Obviously I was quite irritated. I asked what caused this. None of the possibilities applied since I took good care of the vehicle and had it serviced according to the maintenance manual. In fact, the dealer (Cover Ford in Austin) did the 30K checkup. I spent $1K on that (and probably got ripped off). I took it to a transmission specialist and had it fixed for under $2500. He informed me that he sees a lot of issus like this with Explorers - probably a poor design and poor quality. Also, judging by various websites there are indeed lots of complains like this. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford knew of the poor design - since the warranty that came with the vehicle was only 3 yr/36K even for powertrain. If Ford had good quality, why couldn't they step up to the plate and offer 60K or even 100K power train warranty. They must have known the poor quality. In my mind, this is deceptive practice - and I kick myself for not recognizing this as a red flag. Well, for the 2008 Explorer I see Ford is offering 60K powertrain warranty. So they must have made some improvements (which further underscores their recognition of the poor quality in earlier years). But it's still a far cry from 100K that some vehicles come with. You also have to wonder what other quality issues are lurking. I think the choice is now clear to me. In the future I will be considering something like a Honda Pilot. Ford deserves the trend of lower market share. Consumers are very wise, and the quality the provide is reflected in their declining sales and marketshare. Please don't make the same mistake I made. The foreign competition provides much better quality and customer service.

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    2003 Ford Explorer - Eddie Bauer 4.0L (150A) 4x2

    Pros: size...not too large; not too small

    Cons: transmission whine noise

    Advice: Have the transmission checked before buying used.

    I now have 110,000 miles on my 2003 Explorer. I was weary of the transmission at first (clunk and whine sometimes) but it improved with age and has lasted 110k miles with regular maintenance. Other than the 'whine' annoyance this vehicle has been great. It still is tight and there are no rattles anywhere. If not for the transmission whine this would be a perfect vehicle.

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    2006 Ford Explorer - XLS 4.0L (100A) 4x2

    Pros: Interior design

    Cons: Gas Milage

    Advice: Much improved over previous models. Don't see how imports are any better.

    This vehicle is awesome. There are just a few gripes. The gas milage is very poor in my opinion. I have a 6 cylinder, four wheel drive and get about 15 mpg. Should be better. The door pulls are in an aweful location. I understand that Ford has corrected this on the 2007 models. The turn signal stalk is located at a strange angle but I am sure I will get used to it. Other than those griped I love this vehicle. Everything seems to be a great quality. From the fit and finish to the ride. It is a very quiet vehicle and drives very smooth. Good acceleration (coming from a guy who traded in his Mustang GT). Logical controls. Good storage. Kids love the back seat and third row seat. Third row folds flush with floor. Good braking. Average to above average styling on the outside. I LOVE the interior styling. The door latch on the inside is unique. Some will like it, other will hate it. I like it. Seats are comfortable.

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    2005 Ford Explorer - Limited 4.0L (260A) 4x4

    Pros: Plenty of comfort and convenience with truck capabilities.

    Cons: The fuel filter that is very difficult to access and change.

    Advice: Shop until you can't take any more shopping. Prices vary greatly. Be patient and you will find a very good deal.

    I bought my Explorer October, 2005 with 2300 miles on it. I now have almost 41k miles in January, 2007. I have had no problems with it other than a very slight paint problem that was resolved under warranty. This Explorer replaced a 1999 I had with 130k miles when I sold it. I use my Explores pulling my boat or trailer and I use four wheel drive regularly. Unlike most SUVs built on a car frame, the Explorer is a truck. For the money, nothing compares to the Explorer value (on 87 octane!).

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    2007 Ford Explorer - Limited V8 (165B) 4x2

    Pros: V8 engine, 6 speed tranny, Fully integrated Nav, stereo, & DVD, power fold 3rd row

    Cons: Antenna, cheap seat pocket behind the 1st row, door handles for the 2nd row.

    Advice: Buy V8. V8 and V6 offer idenfical gas mileage, but much more powerful.

    Pros - Extremely quiet ride and comfortable. Powerful V8 engine, awesome stereo equipments (audiophile), powerfold 3rd row seat. Cons - Seat pockets behind the first row are not leather. Ugly Antenna. Over all, it is a great truck. The award winning V8 with 3V has been named one of the top 10 engine in the world for 3 years in a row. User friendly fully integrated Nav and stereo equipments further enhance driving experiences. Beautiful 2 tone leather seating and instrument Panels with power folded 3 row seating make driving experiences more fun than other trucks on the same class. Responsive ventilated disk brakes and loaded safety features are unparallel. The drawbacks are cosmetic, antenna, door handles for the 2nd row, and limited cheap plastic materials.

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    2004 Ford Explorer - XLS 4.0L (100A) 4x2

    Pros: nice ride

    Cons: donot feel safe with the transmission problems

    Advice: DO NOT BUY

    at 12,000 miles transmission jerking from park or drive into reverse after a short delay - now at 20,000 miles jerking when accelerating. Also whining noise from back of vehicle. DONOT BUY A FORD EXPLORER!!!