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Love my Explorer
Pros: Handling and smooth ride on the highway
Cons: The headlilght dimmer could be in a better place.I love my Ford Explorer XL. (Red with light gray interior) It has 4X4 on demand and V6 engine. It steers great, good on the highway and around town. It is very solid with no rattles. When I need get up and go power, the V6 gives it to me. I like my Explorer so well that my Lexus has been parked in the garage since I bought the Ford.
Pros: Ride and Handling
Cons: Gas mileage and center console storage
Advice: Drive one for a few days before purchase it.This is my third Explorer and overall I happy with my purchase. I've owned 1997 and 2000 Explorer's prior to this 2006. The best features noted are the improved ride, acceleration and handling. The features which have not been improved or are a step backwards are worse gas mileage, moved controls for 4X4 to the lower center dash and on the passenger side, (prefer left side of steering wheel), driver storage (moved shift lever to console which took away console shelf space) smaller glove compartment, higher step up and loss of rear and passenger side vision due to higher seat backs. The feature which needs change or should be eliminated from an option is the finish on the chrome wheels. This premium wheel (std Limited opt on EB) is coated with a chrome film which peels if cut (carwash or tire change). I like the explorer but do have concerns whether I made a smart purchase.
Pros: Stereo system
Cons: Engine power train
Advice: Do not purchase a Ford ExployerI purchased the Exployer because of the price and my buy american sentiments. The SUV served me well until recent engine problems. The Dealership indicated that three of the valves had lost compression and would require a new engine to correct the problem ($5,300). This is the first american made vehicle that I have ever owned and the last. I did not feel that the Dealership was honest and forthright. They presented no other alternatives to the engine replacement. There were also transmission issues with the gear shift really changing very hard between gears that concerned me. Consider buying Toyota or Acura for price, reliability and ownership longevity.
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!
Pros: key pad entry
Cons: quality is very bad
Advice: Stay Away!!!! Don't buy an ExplorerI'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.
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.
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.