1998 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0 200HP
Great value for money SUV
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.
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