Pros: "All the features of a luxury car, pretty, dependab"
Cons: "gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It was just time to get a smaller car with better mileage, since I recently sold my horse trailer and won't need a vehicle able to pull it. I'm sad to say good-bye to my beautiful, dependable Explorer! Lots of great memories of horse shows with my daughter, <3"
"I have owned my 2003 Explorers since I bought it new. I have 120,000 miles on it now and am expecting to keep it for awhile. The repairs have been reasonable, but I never like to have anything go bad. When it was new within the first couple of weeks, it was stalling on takeoff. I took it back to the dealer, and they fixed it. It has never done it again. At 105,000 miles, I had to replace some of the parking brake, as well as the brake pads.
The ride is pretty rough, but it is a real SUV built on a truck type chasis, not a SUV shaped body placed on a car plateform. The ride improved significatly when the Michelin tires finally wore out at 85,000 miles. I replaced them with a set of Goodyears that take some of the bumps out. The cloth seats that I have are supportive, but way below par on comfort. The Front seats are bad enough, but the back seats are almost embarrasing when taking friends on hunting trips.
One drawback is that as of the last time I check Uhaul still will not rent a trailer when they know it will be towed by this Explorer. I have had at least 1000 lbs. of bricks in the back, and this truck had no issues at all. From the outside, it did not appear to sag at all. I was impressed, and begain to understand why the ride is rough. It is hard to give both a soft ride, and a large payload capacity.
I did get stuck in a 3 ft. drift of snow once. I tried to just barrel through it in my driveway instead of shoveling it. The truck ended up just teatering on the snow without enough wieght on the wheels to move itself. I ended up shoveling the snow from underneath the truck, and got it going.
I may be a little picky whith the heat, but I like the heat to blow on my feet and never on my face. In this truck, the hot air somehow misses my feet, and bounces off the floor up into my face. Not a big deal for most people, but it is the little things that make you fall in love with a vehicle. I fell in love with the 1997 thunderbird I had. This truck just seems to do what I expect, but does not instill passion.
I hope this helps."
Pros: "Great ride, good feel, solid high quality feel"
Cons: "drivetrain repair expence"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Maintenance expence was high due to wheel bearing replacement on average every 60000 mi. They are expensive parts, 200 dollars apiece for the fronts , plus labor,350 for the rears, I have gone through 3 sets in 180000 miles and they all need replaced again. I have had this car lazer aligned 5 times in five years and it does not seem to make a difference. I have gotten as high as 22 mpg on highway trips and average 17.5 around town with this car, so fuel econamy has not been bad for a large AWD SUV."
"There has been nothing wrong with my Explorer other than an alternator. I have gone through some gruesome off road trails and rough Minnesota winters with this vehicle and it comes out of all of it standing tall. I've had Blazers and previous Explorers and this one is the best. I sell Ford's and I would highly recommend the 2003-2005 models. I don't so much like the newer ones. I feel the styling and functionality is rather cheesy. You've picked a winner if you're reading this!"
"We bought our 2003 Explorer Eddie Bauer 4x4 brand new almost 6 years ago. It has always been a dependable and comfortable vehicle. Drives better than any other SUV on the market, comfortable and quiet also. We have not had any trouble with this vehicle at all. It had a recall for the hinges on the back window and that is the only time in it was in the shop over 146,000 miles driven. Performed all regular maintenance on it myslef. 4x4 with average MPG at 19 with 22-23 MPG on the highway. Without towing package it would have been even better since it would have been geared differently. The only reason the quality is at 4 stars is that it developed a slight vibration/rattle in the dash that I had to correct. I was looking forward to many more miles but someone else interrupted that. I was side swiped, went through a ditch, hit a culvert, flipped over and rolled 3 times yesterday. That's right yesterday. All 4 doors still open and the cabin is not compromised at all. I cut my seatbelt off-I was upside-down-, climbed out and called a wrecker. No injuries. I know that if I was in my wife's Acura MDX that it would not have held up as well and I probably wouldn't have been as protected. The Explorer is a solid, reliable, and safe vehicle. Hands down the class of the field."