2008 Ford Explorer
A decent, comfortable SUV
The Explorer had a funky electrical bug. Occasionally the traction control would start to cut in and out with lots of bells and warning lights. It went back to the dealer under warranty. They said they couldn't replicate it and never fixed it. When it happened, I had to turn the car off and restart it. That would clear it up for another month or so. Could potentially be dangerous.
No other issues with this car. The engine isn't real strong, especially going from a Durango with a V-8.
Overall I liked the Explorer. I traded a Durango with 90000 miles on it for the Explorer. The Explorer is more refined and very comfortable. It gets better gas mileage than the Durango. The engine seems sufficient, but weak after driving a Durango with a V-8.
The Explorer transmission is a bit buggy, and I wouldn't try to tow anything very heavy with it.
All things considered, I wouldn't hesitate to own another Explorer.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th February, 2010
I've seen several generations of Explorers, and they have only gotten better. When I first started my job, they had I think a '97 Explorer and I believe it had the pushrod V-6. It was really gutless, and couldn't maintain highway speed going up hills with the throttle mashed into the floor. I couldn't understand why they were so popular, and felt sorry for anybody that actually paid 25 grand for one.
Fast forward a few years, and I bought a second hand 2002 Explorer Sport, with the single overhead cam V-6 and that has been great. It now has 116,000 miles on it, and no problems to speak of. It is worlds better than that '97.
At work, the '97 was replaced by a 2005, and it was smoother, quieter, and had more power than my '02.
Last year at work, the '05 was traded for an '09, which is a really nice vehicle. It is even quieter, smoother, and has more power than the '05 while still keeping the 4.0 L SOHC.
We've never towed anything with it, but it has power galore for driving. The V-6 winds up fast and feels like it has more power than V-8s of a few years ago. The transmission really makes the most of the engine, and it routinely takes off screaming from a stop with minimal throttle pressure.
The handling and ride are great, very stable on curvy roads even at interstate speeds, and comfortable to drive.
It also does a decent job off-road, at least on typical utility roads --- no huge ruts or big drop offs or mud holes -- after all, it's not a monster mud bogger, just narrow, steep, unimproved dirt track roads with some mud and standing water. It climbed a few pretty steep hills with no tire spinning on gravel, and climbed over a couple of low, muddy dirt embankments. Probably more than the average SUV owner would ever use it for. It seemed to have better ground clearance than a Jeep Cherokee Laredo that another guy was driving, which he was bottoming out a lot in the ruts and humps.