Ford Explorer Review from United Arab Emirates

1998 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0 200HP

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.0 200HP Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance160000 kilometres
Previous carMercury Sable

Summary:

Great value for money SUV

Faults:

Leaky fuel injection line. Twice. Both times after I jump-started car by connecting earth lead to engine block (as per instructions I thought).

Just replaced cruise control buttons since plastic had cracked (I use it a lot and it has done 160000 kms).

Steering rods (or something like that) just been replaced - maybe off-road driving damaged them?

Replaced worn shocks with Konis - they're rubbish. Couldn't get Bilstein here, but next time will get them shipped in and try them.

First set of tyres lasted about 90,000 km I think. Replaced with Michelin Synchro 265s. Great tyre. 70,000 km later still look good for another 50,000 km.

Couple of minor thinks done under warranty - chrome bumper replaced because of corrosion, check engine light coming on due to fault in sensor.

Overall I've been very happy with reliability.

General Comments:

It's a truck, not a car so comfort is not car-like. Having said that, it's a very comfortable truck. I drive 250km and 2.5 hours five days a week at the moment and will buy a car for comfortable cruising. Otherwise it's been great value for money and I'd happily buy one of the 2003 Explorers or preferably Expeditions if I wasn't doing all this driving. Heavy initial depreciation would be the main thing that puts me off.

I surf (so need the interior space) and sometimes drive to isolated beaches where a 4wd is necessary. Occasionally do some desert driving too. Despite negative comments about it's ability in the desert, I've found it to be fine. Not as good as a Landcruiser or Patrol, but I've only got stuck due to crap driving rather than vehicle limitations.

Performance for an SUV is impressive I think. It will surprise a lot of saloons at traffic lights. Fuel consumption is bad. Getting slightly over 20 mpg with highway cruising. What is it about American cars and their fuel consumption? I had a Mercury Sable that was rubbish too. Australian Luminas get well over 30 mpg on the highway - with a 3.8L V6 motor.

I think handling is pretty good for an SUV too - except without independent suspension at rear and decent shocks, ride is harsh compared to 2003 models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2003

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 1 review