2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4.6L V8 from North America

Summary:

Overall excellent transportation; outstanding vehicle for a new driver to learn on

Faults:

Two costly electrical problems with the transmission, one of which was the original owner's fault and not a design problem.

Transfer case seals.

One coil pack

Breaks, tires, spark plugs (regular maintenance).

Driver's door ajar sensor acts up in cold weather.

General Comments:

My wife purchased the Explorer because she needed a larger vehicle to haul around children, children's friends and equipment. The secondary reason was to have a 4WD vehicle.

The Explorer has turned out to be quite reliable, has plenty of power, and is well balanced and sure footed in snow, rain and mud.

The Explorer also handles quite well for what it is, is comfortable to drive and ride in, and gets reasonable mileage for a V8 SUV.

This particular Explorer has a factory class 3 trailer towing package and will tow a car trailer with a two ton tractor on it without any problem at all.

In other ways this Explorer has far exceeded any expectations for durability I have seen in a vehicle. My daughter, on the first day she had a learner's permit, backed the Explorer through a brick bank wall. The rear hatch was damaged and two windows broken out, but otherwise aside from scratches and dents, was completely functional. Since the accident I had the hatch and windows replaced, touched up the scratches and have continued to use the Explorer with no issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2016

2002 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L from North America

Summary:

Ford shot themselves in the foot with this vehicle. It will be hard to win customers back!

Faults:

Front hubs had to be replaced at 44,000 miles.

Rear wheel bearings replaced at 55,000 miles.

A/C leak around 50,000 miles.

After I had my spark plugs changed at a dealership at 50,000 miles, they started popping out. Five of the eight spark plugs have been helicoiled. Dealership, nor Ford, took any responsibility.

Rear passenger window regulator went at 80,000 miles; still debating on whether I should invest any money and replace it.

Door ajar switch replaced, but it appears that there is an electrical problem, because the door ajar won't go off, even with the sensor replaced.

Air bags quit working around 50,000 miles.

I'm sure I haven't listed everything.

General Comments:

In general, minus the early component failures, the vehicle is decent riding.

The engine seemed to produce more torque and HP than rated by Ford.

The vehicle handled very well in snowy weather.

In 4x4 Low, vehicle had adequate power to pull a 1000lbs cloths line post out of the ground like nothing with a tow strap, and it pulled a Crown Vic out of a ditch.

I will jinx myself, but I have not had any trouble with the transmission or T-case.

For a vehicle that had a $38k sticker price, I didn't pay that much; I guess I would have expected higher quality.

I own a 2000 S-10 and it has 168,000 miles on it. The only thing I have replaced on it was the fuel pump. Pump died at 150,000.

Ford has lost a customer forever, because they knew this model year had a lot of component quality issues and they did nothing to help the customer. So far I am seeing between $6,000 and $10,000 in repairs on vehicles that had less than 60,000 miles on them.

I almost forgot, U-Haul will not rent a trailer if a Ford Explorer is towing it. They would rent to a Mercury Mountaineer, which was a mechanical carbon copy of the Explorer. However, because the Explorer had a reputation for being unstable, they would not risk it. Unfortunately I think the drivers had a lot more to do with the Explorer's stability, than the vehicle. You can't take a hairpin turn at 60 in a high profile vehicle.

So it is either foreign or GM for me :^).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th July, 2013