2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4.0 from North America


I got my moneys worth


Tie rod end at 95500 miles.

Brakes at 35000 miles front only.

Two recall items (smog hose and ac drain).

No other problems.

General Comments:

Well put together. Average 27000 miles driven per year with no serious problems.

Very reliable. Most notable objection wind noise at front doors louder than should be.

Good gas mileage - have driven over 530 miles on one tank of gas with the 4.0 liter and 5 speed auto trans.

Door gaskets squeek when the air temperature is under 40 degrees f).

Plenty of room for five adults.

The hardtop bed cover is great and worth the money. Lots of ties downs for carrying various loads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2006

2002 Ford Explorer XLS 4.0L SOHC from North America


Great SUV for the money, very reliable and dependable!!


Rear ABS sensor kept going out (4X) when I first purchased the vehicle, but Ford sent out a memo to all of their dealerships to pack grease around the sensor and that has taken care of it. Water would get into the sensor blowing it out.

Back passenger window went out. Regulator had to be replaced.

Front passenger window went out. The band had to be replaced that lowered and raised the window. Ford used a thick rubber band in the new body style instead of a metal arm.

General Comments:

After purchasing the vehicle, I installed a K&N air filter to replace the factory filter and I've religiously used synthetic oil in it. I change the oil every 7500 miles, and it still runs like it did when I first test drove it.

It's got great room through out the cab. I'm 6'2 and 320 lbs., and I've ridden in all the seats and I've been comfortable in everyone.

I'd opt for the model though with rear air conditioning. I've had passengers complain about how they couldn't feel the A/C from the back seat.

The only real complaint I have on the vehicle, is the suspension package. When you go over speed bumps or pulling into a driveway that has a dip in it, you tend to get jostled around in the cab. And of course, I wish it got better gas mileage, but let's face it, you don't buy a 4.0 V6 for the fuel economy. All of these other people that complain about the vehicle are having trouble with their dealerships, not the vehicle. Plus it's a good idea to go ahead and pay for the extended warranty on this or any vehicle. Most major problems don't occur until little after 36,000 miles anyway. DUH!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2006

2002 Ford Explorer XLT 6 cylinder from North America


OK; but transmission stinks


The intermediate band broke in the transmission. It only had 51,000 miles. When I contacted the dealer, they said unless I had the extended warranty it would not be covered. I asked if there any bulletins out on the 2002 transmissions. The dealer said no. When I called Ford directly they put me on hold to check and then told me the same story. No. I spent over $2,800 dollars to replace the transmission. Then a friend who owns a Goodyear found a Technical Service Bulletin from Ford on-line. The TSB bulletin number is 04-24-17. This took him about 30 seconds to do. It specifically states that Ford knew about the potential for the intermediate band to break. Two years ago. Now Ford is basically saying "too bad" on a problem they documented themselves.

General Comments:

Ford needs to have a recall for a problem they put on the street.

Ford needs to better educate their dealers and customer service staff on how to find critical information.

I would like my money back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th October, 2005

2002 Ford Explorer Sport 4.0 Litre SOHC from North America


None so far, but we only owned this vehicle for two weeks now. Hopefully she will be reliable, and I think there is a good chance of this. I have owned Ford vehicles before and they were relatively well made and problem free.

General Comments:

We purchased this SUV about two weeks ago and I can't state enough how much I love it! I really like the over-all look of the vehicle and it is in excellent shape for being three years old. The previous owner must have really taken care of her well. I also like the fact that I shouldn't have any problems with getting stuck in the snow like I have every year previously. I really wanted a 4X4, and now I got one!

When I first bought this auto I was expecting a choppy truck like ride, but this was not the case. It almost handles as well as a medium sized sedan and around turns I feel very confident even at high speeds. Small bumps in the road are softened extremely well, but bigger bumps still have that bounce feel to them and remind me that I am driving an SUV.

The Explorer sport has a different suspension than the regular Explorer model. It only has independent front suspension and is basically the same as the new Explorer Sport Trac in regards to ride quality. Ford changed the suspension only in the regular Explorer model and added an anti-roll feature to repair the bad publicity that surrounded Ford and Firestone at the time. They rebuilt the SUV from the ground up in 2002 and improved many aspects of the vehicle with the most notable being the addition of rear independent suspension. All these changes were made to help revitalize the name and paint the image of safety, but neglected to mention that the Sport model stayed the same as the previous year. The only changes made were to the bumpers and a few other odds and ends. The vehicle looks much better than previous years and has a much more modern feel to it, but lacks the updated features. Even without the changes made I believe the vehicle to be very safe and stable around turns. I think the whole SUV tipping publicity got dumped on the best selling model just for the reason that there were so many of them. The more there are, the more incidents that are going to occur. I feel very safe and confident even at high speeds and believe it was all just blown out of proportion.

It's amazing to see an Explorer Sport and an Explorer Sport Trac side by side. It looks as though Ford just cut the back end off and attached a pick-up truck bed. It is a good sign though as it means that the old design is good enough for a new vehicle. I also looked at the Explorer Sport Trac, but decided on the Sport model as it was more useful for my purposes.

The Explorers engine is a 4.0 liter SOHC version as oppose to the old VHC engine that has numerous improvements over the previous years. It has 210 hp and lot's of torque giving it great pulling capability. In the city it is spunky and gives me great gas mileage. On a full tank of gas I get over 300 km, which is better than the rental I had which was a 2005 Ford Torus with a 3.8 liter engine. On the highway it is easy to speed as it seems to creep up past the 100 Km mark as though it wants to drive faster. Passing power is very good and over-all I am impressed with the power this engine has. I thought a 4.0 liter was going to be sluggish in a vehicle this large and heavy, but it has proved me wrong. The five speed automatic transmission really utilizes all the power this engine puts out and is a perfect match for it. At 100 km an hour the engine is only running at 2000 rpm! The 8 cylinder version is only thirty or so more hp than the 6, and much worst on gas. I am glad I have the 4.0 liter and am extremely impressed with it.

I was very lucky to get a model that had all the bells and whistles. I really like the puddle lights that are automatically turned on when the doors are opened. They are situated under the side mirrors on both sides allowing you to see the ground when stepping out. This has saved me once or twice from stepping into a huge pile of mud.

The power seats work great and allow a short person such as myself to drive perfectly comfortable. My brother stands 6 foot three and he can be just as comfortable as me when driving.

One feature I am very happy with is the rear passenger seat controls. They control the stereo and air conditioning. Even if the front passengers want the air shut off, it can be left on in the rear. The rear seats are rather tricky to get into for an adult, but easy for a child. This doesn't bother me as if I wanted easier access I would have opted for the four door. Once an adult is back there though, it is fairly comfortable and can easily be tolerated on long rides.

My Sport model came with four wheel drive. I have four wheel high, four wheel low, and two wheel. I have not had the chance to use the four wheel drive yet as they say it is a bad idea to use it on dry pavement and can cause power-train damage. In the winter I will finally find out how well it works. I'm sure it will be great, as a friend had an Explorer last winter and he sayed he couldn't even tell when there was heavy snow on the ground.

Another thing I should mention is the rack and pinion steering. I find it is responsive, but some what disconnected from the road. It is a little hard to turn when parking, but it's not a car and I have to remember this. I think this is because the wheels are so much bigger than I am use to. In the city and on the highway the steering is very good and makes maneuvering easy unlike older 4X4's. Over-all I like the feel of the steering and rate it better than average.

I am very happy with my choice of SUV and I hope it is as reliable as my other Fords have been. I have high hopes for this vehicle, and a lot of confidence in Ford in general. I think people have to remember they are not driving a car and there are going to be differences. Even though it is an SUV, Ford did a great job making it feel like a mid-size sedan in some ways. I really would like to drive a four door Explorer to see how much difference there is with it's new independent suspension. Guess I'll have to rent one for a few days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2005

31st Jul 2007, 10:20

I am the owner of the Explorer Sport above and I just wanted to say I have now put on 80,000 more Kilometers and have not had any problems at all! This is one of the most reliable vehicles I have owned to date.

I just wanted to point out one thing I found out recently. I was on a clear highway and wanted to see how the car felt at high speeds. I got the speedometer up to 175 km. per hour and the car felt very unstable. It felt as though it was lifting up off the ground and almost hovering! I would say any faster and the vehicle could have rolled. Really, no one will ever need to go that fast, but I just wanted to see for myself how it would perform. Funny thing was the gas was only three quarters of the way down and had quite a bit left of travel to reach the floor. I am sure the top speed is somewhere around 220, but I don't think you could get there without killing yourself.

It was a silly thing to do, but I had to try it. Anyways, the car is rock solid reliable and even after all the kilometers I put on the vehicle it still feels stiff and like new. No noise or loosening of parts like on my old van.

I am a very happy owner and praise Ford for such a solid and reliable vehicle!