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.
Pros: Exterior looks, interior comfort, stereo.
Cons: a little high priced (30k), could have a little more power, small back seats.
Advice: Drive it, listen to stereo, get the choice trim levelThis is a great mid range, mid size SUV. I love almost everything about it. It looks so nice from the outside with the choice trim level wheels and the two tone is nice to. It is the perfect height and looks well balanced. The interior is really luxurious with the leather, sunroof, and the stereo system is awesome. I had a 99 integra before the explorer sport and I was worried I would have trouble driving a bigger vehicle but it is no problem. I was surprised at the great turing radius and it has enough power to do whatever you want with it. The only bad things about it are I think the back seats are kind of small and it could have some more power, I have to raally stomp on the gas to go anywhere quickly like the freeway onramp. This is the perfect car for someone who wants something bigger than a car but smaller than a full size SUV
Pros: Awesome safe brakes
Cons: Average acceleration
Advice: This is a tiny wheelbase SUV, make SURE the handling suits you!I test drove an Explorer Sport with the Choice option package. I'm 5'8' and sitting in the back seat with the front seats fully back was still comfortable, and the rear A/C vents were great. The fit and finish of the vehicle was excellent, no problems or flaws spotted. Considering how small a vehicle the Sport is I was expecting much better acceleration with 205 horsepower under the hood. The acceleration was good but hardly standout, at least with the auto transmission. I noticed some shimmy, and bumps in the road tend to knock this small wheelbase SUV of course somewhat. I would expect that from an SUV with a 100 inch wheelbase. The brakes were flawless. The air conditioning was very powerful and relatively quiet. The standard 16' alloys wheels were great looking and the Michelin tires were a pleasent bonus. Considering the size of the vehicle the sticker price of 23,650 was a little steep and the way Explorers depreciate, make sure this is a keeper before you buy.
Pros: Exterior look and available Leather package.
Cons: Wind noise at speeds above 55 mph
Advice: I'd suggest test driving at typical driving speed of 65-70 mph to test for wind noise.The Explorer Sport was a wonderful test drive. It was a smooth ride, much smoother than your typical 'pickup truck' feel of an SUV. Handling is good and stopping power with the ABS braking system is excellent. The only fault I can find with this vehicle is the increase of wind noise at vehicle speeds over 55 mph. I love the looks of the vehicle and the available leather seating package is a nice addition. Excellent sound system. The vehicle I test drove had a premium sound system with 6 CD in-dash changer. The sound system was also satellite radio ready. Very fun to drive and hauling cargo is a snap. The 60/40 split folding rear seats are easy to handle as well.