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1997 Ford Explorer

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 1177 Ratings for the 1995 - 2001 models.

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  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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we have owned top explores.

By on Monday, December 31, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"We have owned two exporers and I would recommend them highly. The first was a 1997 which was a great vehicle. We drove it for 185,000 miles and sold it to the mechanic who serviced it. We now own a 2000 explorer which has 100,000 miles and we just purchased new tires because we plan on it going many more miles. This is a true work horse and I would buy another. Just maintain it and it will go on and on. I am convinced that this is a good vehicle based on our experience."

35 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Great Truck

By on Thursday, March 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 189,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great interior package that you can't get anymore."

Cons: "V8 is way to hard on gas mileage!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought my truck new and it's been with me for 14 years, aside from the gas mileage being too low with the V8, it's been a great truck for all my needs."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Tried to Drive the Wheels Off but Couldn't

By on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 244,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fantastic return on investment."

Cons: "Too tall for short wife; thirsty."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I always keep my cars until they are fully spent by virtue of major mechanical failure or just so many nickel and dime repairs it's no longer worth keeping. This Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer has defied my attempts to send it to the salvage yard. Presently it has 244,000 miles and counting on the original engine and transmission. All I can say is...WOW! I bought this 1997 model year (built in Aug. 1996) in 1999 as b-day gift for myself. It's turned into the gift that keeps on giving...and giving...and giving. Really! It had 56,000 miles when I bought it. I've added nearly 190,000 miles. Sure I've replaced the wearable components: tires and breaks (3x), radiator w/hoses (3x), transmission service - filter and fluid change only (1x), oil changes every 5K miles need it or not (38x). This is all pretty basic for this many miles driven. I am looking to sell the old girl now as my wife wants a 4-door lower to the ground so it's easier to get the baby in and out of the vehicle. If I could, I'd keep this SUV and make it my daughters first car...only by then gasoline powered cars will be museum pieces, not daily drivers...(sigh)."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Good vehicle, but has problems

By on Thursday, November 1, 2007

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

"We've had it for 8 years now and it has done fairly well. Just the fuel economy really hurts this car. It has decent power but not enough to justify the horrible fuel economy. But other than that it is a tough and reliable suv."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Hated to see it go!

By on Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"We have had this SUV for 11yrs and it has been the best vehicle! Hate to see it go. It has remained our "extra" vehicle for when our new ones had dead batteries.... and flat tires. Like the energizer bunny, just kept on going! Now it will go to our daughter............"

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great Value

By on Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned my 1997 explorer for over 5 years and it has not let me down. It has over 175,000 miles and is driven on a daily basis. I would recommend an explorer any day of the week if you are looking for a dependable comfortable ride."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

By on Thursday, December 27, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought my 96 with 150,000 miles on it. I`ve had it 3 years with no problems at all. Last year I did take it to the ford place and spent 1000 on it for a tune up and fuel system cleaning. Couldn`t ask for a more reliable car. It now has 250,000 miles on it and drives great. Highly recommend"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best Rig I've Ever Owned

By on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have driven my 1998 Ford Explorer for the last 12 years…I purchased in new and I just love it. After all these years I have had no major repairs. The rig has the original alternator, starter, transmission, engine, A/C & P/S. All interior lights, electronics, and power windows, seats are original without any problems and no leaks anywhere. The only problems are that the transmission needed some adjustments while the rig was under warranty. The transmission was making a hissing sound when idling. It did have an overheated issue due to a stuck thermostat. I had to replace the front wheel bearings & rotors. And I needed to put in a new turn signal. The rig is just a solid safe and comfortable truck. It’s drives much smoother and is has noticeably less road noise then my wife’s 2002 Honda Odyssey (which is a great people mover car and more practical that the Explorer) If the transmission dies I would have it fixed, but if the engine dies it would need to put her down. I’m planning to get at least 5 more years out of so I can give it to my daughter. I would love to get a new rig, but I can’t find anything better than my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT, that costs less than $50,000. Keep on trucking!!!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

TRANSMISSION

By on Friday, October 24, 2008

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

"for 99 and 2000 ford explorer V8 have a problem with their tansmission computer. half of them that experiance a tansmission failure is due to this. Mine has been in and out of the shop for 6 months because of this and is finally almost working (has to go in for transmission fluid leak because of a terrible mechanic). I would avoid this car in a V8 model!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

modern day Sherman Tank

By on Saturday, October 18, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The bad; 18 miles per gallon gasoline. 3 transmissions in 200k miles. 2 150 dollar each front hub wheel bearings 200k miles. 1 40 dollar fan belt adjuster assembly 180k miles. 1 160 dollar altenator 200k miles. 1 faulty under hood electronic relay box. 0 will not turn heads at a dragstrip. The good; Engine rpm to gear ratios excellent. Will take a logging trail surprisingly well. Ford quality interior and acoustics. Switches standing the test of time. Seats and ride quality better than GM or Dodge. Engine surprisingly strong with 200k miles [knock on wood]."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great SUV

By on Thursday, March 6, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

"I have had this 98 XLT for 2 years now. All I have done is normal maintance other then I had to replace the intake Manifold gaskets. that I did myself in 2 hours. Ive put 17,000 miles on it since I have had it, has 145,120 miles on it. I have drove it from Columbus, ohio to New Orleans, LA, with no problems at all and got 20mpg, only down fall is comfort on the long trip. Only other problem is the Radio/clock display dont work, but the radio, CD and tape works great, the display comes on once in a great while for a few minutes. I also have a 92 explorer non 4x4 that I have had the transmission rebuilt twice, the A4LD transmissions are junk, so if you want to buy a explorer or ranger Have the transmissions checked, and avoid the A4LDs!!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Hasn't failed me yet!

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 189,650

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great 4x4, timeless design, comfortable cabin"

Cons: "horrible gas mileage, underpowered"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

The day I got it! Clean & lookin' sharp.

"So this was my first truck, and I bought it used with just over 150k miles about a year ago. It's a 1997 Explorer Sport, and this thing has just blown me away. I've put almost 40k miles on it in the last year, and I haven't had a single problem other than an $8 heater control valve. Every morning it starts without hesitation, even with the unusual winter we've had in NC. Which brings me to one of my biggest points; the 4x4 on this truck is incredible. My Explorer is equipped with the optional limited slip differential, combined with the ControlTrak 4x4 system, I had no issues in the snow and ice. I have to drive in moderate off road/muddy conditions every day, and I have never had a problem, even running with cheap Dextero street tires. I drive it hard, take 7-8 hour long trips frequently, off road daily, and haul friends and family everywhere. It's comfortable, it runs smooth, it's got plenty of towing torque, and it's safe. I do have a few complaints though. One, the base 4.0 OHV V6 is severely under-powered and requires a lead foot pulling out on to highways. The gas mileage is absolute garbage. It feels hesitant in tight corners, and the transmission is starting to shift hard. Considering what I put the truck through, I'm not surprised. To make up for those complaints though, I installed an aftermarket air intake, it gave a bit more power and improved the mileage by 2-3mpg. A $200 investment that's already paid for itself. All in all, this truck has never failed me, and is, for lack of better words, Built Ford Tough."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The day I got it! Clean & lookin' sharp.

bough my 2000 with 127000

By on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "All the extra toys and safty"

Cons: "Gas milage But worth it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this truck, Great when I go anywhere even fishing. Take off road no problem, I laugh at our snow fall now chews up the snow and spits it out, drove through 29 inch snow storm with ease. I feel very safe in this truck"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

4x4 all weather love

By on Saturday, March 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "RELIABLE & COMFORTABLE FOR FRONT PASSENGERS"

Cons: "greater seat belt adj. & larger rain duct diam."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm the second owner. Purchased at 60,000 miles. Transmission ran a little rough at 99,000 miles - did 2 transmission fluid changes - cleared up any particulate in the system. Ran perfectly until 215,000 when I had the bands changed out. Runs just like it did at 60k mi. I take this vehicle for mild off-road exploring. It gets me to work through heavy snow and weather conditions when others in pricier all wx-traction vehicles are stuck on the side of the road. I regularly get 17.8 mpg. During snow conditions in 4wd high gear my mpg drops to 14. Still handles well. Corners pretty tightly for an SUV. I am having some trouble with the rain ducts around the sun-roof, but that can be helped by keeping the ducts clear so they don't back up in heavy rains. The only mild complaint I've had from passengers in the back seat on long trips is that the seat's aren't the most comfortable, but still not bad, and they'd like a head rest and greater adjustment on the seat-belt height so it won't choke shorter passengers. (I'd like that too.) I LOVE MY CAR!!!!!! Good maintenance = long life. FANTASTIC ENGINE!!! SMOOTH!!!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

good vehicle

By on Monday, September 14, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

"I purchased a 99 ford explorer with over 140,00 miles on it (scary, i know) but to my surprise i have not had any serious problems with it...it now has 182,000 miles on it and i have not had to replace anything on it.the only minor problem i had was the driver side door latch would not unlock..but that cost me 50 bucks to fix..decent vehicle. when im done with college i may get a new ford explorer"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2001 Ford Explorer

By on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought vehicle with 60,000 miles. Now has over 125,000. Have never done any work other than general maintanance. Not a lot of power, but only has the V6. Runs well, rides nice and gets decent mileage (16/21). Interior has held up well and all the electronics work great. Has been a very good, reliable vehicle and I would get another if I were looking for a new SUV."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

FORD still stands for Fix Or Repair Daily!

By on Friday, October 4, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Plenty of rear rargo space"

Cons: "Reliability issues, weak acceleration (V6 models)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

1998 Ford Explorer XLT

"This is the third Explorer that I have owned since 1992. I purchased my current Explorer from a friend in 2009 to replace my '96 Explorer which literally rusted apart. When I bought this one, it was in excellent condition, with no issues and no rust, as it came from North Carolina. However, in the four years that I have owned it, all sorts of problems have appeared. The transmission has started to slip and I can no longer use the remote to open the door locks, as there is some sort of electrical malfunction (If I want to lock the doors, I must use the key code to open them). Also, there is a problem with the front passenger side window, as it come off it's tracks whenever I attempt to roll it down. Additionally, even though the tailgate itself opens with no problem, the rear tailgate glass will not open. The overdrive button will not engage, and I need a new Transfer Case. Now I realize that my truck is over 15 years old and has almost 150,000 miles on the odometer, but considering the fact that the truck has been taken care of it's whole life, I am a little disappointed in it's durability and reliability."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

1998 Ford Explorer XLT

Very dependable

By on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Gets you out of trouble on the highway."

Cons: "Center armrest unhinged."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I used this as my service vehicle (from client-to-client) , I purchased it with 44,000 miles on it and it still has the same feel when driving.The only thing that happened during my 10 year ownership was that the drivers side window regulator broke and the shifting cable slipped a notch, but it still runs great."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent SUV

By on Monday, January 16, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 267,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reasonable purchase price, cheap maintenance"

Cons: "Ride is stiff; not a crossover"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought Explorer with 80k already on it, all I wanted was a vehicle that would last another 50k and not have to worry about messing up the family car hauling thing it it. Well almost 200k miles later it is still running great, I have had changed plugs regularly, changed wiring harness once, replaced generator once and other than tires and battery this is all I have done. It gets 18MPG on hwy and 14MPG town, nothing to brag about but what I paid for it and the CHEAP maintenance, I can live with the gas mileage. I do not drive much anymore and this is more than I need."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

very dependable in winter

By on Friday, December 2, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "love it, gets through piles of snow"

Cons: "pretty tall vehicle to get it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"a great vehicle, very little upkeep to it, it is great for traveling and plenty of space for luggage in back, like the tinted windows"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

fun to drive and very comfortable

By on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive and very comfortable"

Cons: "Glove compartment dosent lock, course none do."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This 97 was my second explorer in 03 bought my 3rd for my wife. Very dependable vehicles easy to maintain and very comfortable and fun to drive. Could be easier on the gas but its paid for. Amazing how much can be stuffed into the back with the seats down. My dogs love riding in the back. 6 CD changer with a pretty good sound system for factory."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

durability

By on Saturday, March 6, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

"these vehicles have some of the most durable drive-trains i have ever owned all I have done is Beat my explorer getting stuck and rocking it out. driving completely sideways on ice or any wet surface pulling people out of the ditch towing stuff that should never be hooked up to a 6 cylinder. and yet it has given me no problems the auto 4x4 kicks in when ever I would need it its just an all around great truck"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

lasted a long time

By on Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"i have a 99 for explorer and it has lasted me forever it is a good car and never had any real mechanical problems with it other then everyday maintenance tunne up oil changes ect.. i was involved in a small fender bender type accident where another car hit the back of me and all i had was abusted tail light the other cars front end was totally ruined. the car is built not to sound to ford cliche but "tough". a very good car for a starter car. the only real problem with this car that i have is it didnt hold its value at all"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

GREAT A+++

By on Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned mine for over 7 years, 70,000 miles when purchased. Today I have 255,000 miles original transmission and engine!! No major problems, only had to replace the fuel pump. I have driven the heck out of it, and went everywhere!! Great Great SUV!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I've never had anything more reliable

By on Saturday, March 7, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I LOVE my Explorer. Sure, like anything you buy, it doesn't come problem free. Overall, I have had this vehicle since 14,000 miles and it has ALWAYS started and ran. At 150,000 I was just STARTING to replace ORIGINAL parts and I'm over 185,000 now!! The transmission was a bit of a problem at first and that was early on so, I replaced it and am still running in ANY weather condition. I have NO rust and this truck has never been garaged. The exterior and interior is as nice as the day I bought it. I have never had any more reliable than this truck. I feel comfortable driving this vehicle anywhere. I have people in line to purchase it whenever I decide I want to sell it. At this time, I can't part with it! I can only hope they are just as reliable today as when this one was built. I will definitely buy another one someday. Of course, I have always owned Fords :-)"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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