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2002 Ford Exlporer, who's got one? (1 Viewer)

Charles M

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 7, 2001
Messages
217
I've been considering the new 2002 Explorer. Does anyone have one that would like to share some info on. Does it ride good, what are the pros and cons? Any reviews would help me greatly.

Charles
 

Elliott Willschick

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 1, 1998
Messages
333
I have had a 1998 explorer and now have a 2002 explorer. I had to get rid of the last one because it was a little jerky when I was accelerating and I didn't want to have to drop money into a potential transmission problem.

I chose the 2002 mainly because it is the largest suv in its price range. In Canada our cars are much more expensive in terms of our currency, ie they are around $40 or $50 thousand. I would have liked to purchase a toyota 4runner. A relative of mine has one and it has lasted a very long time with no problems, unlike my 1998 explorer. However I needed a certain sized car and I wanted an suv because I have a cottage up north and it is much easier to get through the deep snow.

On to the 2002 review. The car itself is a huge improvment over the 1998 in terms of power and handling. Although the horse power was only increased by a small amount, it really accelrates quickly. It is a little wider and took some getting use to. Build quality is not so great. The bumper looks kind of crappy as it has a plastic sheath on the front as well as plastic over the wheels. The inside is not bad but it seems the money was put into the engine and handling rather than build quality. The overhead console is gone and now the compass and temprature are on the dash where not one can see it. I have found it somewhat difficult,at first, to find a good place for my left foot so make sure you can get a comfortable seating position when you test it.

So far I am happy with the car. They have made some stupid changes from the 1998. I will not keep it past the warranty as I do not feel confident based on the 1998 it will last but it serves my purposes for now. If you can, the toyota is suppose to be much more reliable. As well beware, some of the earlier models of the 2002 had an idling problem and would stall. There is a service bulletin about this and the dealer will flash the computer to fix it. Any more questions lmk.
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
Just FYI - I work at a company that makes sensors that are used in traction control systems and are now starting to be implimented in roll-over prevention/protection systems on SUVs. I heard at work last week that either the 2003 or 2004 model of the Explorer will feature the roll-over protection system. I don't know the details too well, and things could still change in the coming year, but you should look into that if you're interested.
 

Elliott Willschick

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 1, 1998
Messages
333
Quick not, side impact air bags are only a few hundred, you might consider them. As well the car handles very well in the snow and ice.
 

John Besse

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 22, 2000
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570
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Trinity, FL
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John
I've got a 2000 Explorer XLT and I hate the thing. I had a Jeep Cherokee and totaled it, then got the Explorer. Granted the Explorer has some better features than my old Jeep, but I never had one problem with the Cherokee.

Anyways, if I had it to do over at the time... I would have bought a 4 Runner. Today, I would buy an Acura MDX, as it is probably the most luxurious SUV in an affordable price range.

As far as the 2002 Explorers go... Does anyone feel that Ford really messed up the design on the 2001 and 2002 models? I really hate the back end of them.
 

Charles J P

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Omaha, NE
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CJ Paul
When my dad was shopping for a 1997-2000 used SUV for my mom, he stopped at a Ford lot and the salesman kept refering to it as the Ford Exploder... this was at a FORD dealership. The guy said forget it, my dad ended up getting a '99 CR-V and my mom loves it.
 

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
OK, I'll chime in. I know one person who owns a 2002 Explorer and they are happy with it. However, last fall my wife was ready for a new vehicle and wanted another SUV. We looked at the Explorer, GMC Envoy, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Acura MDX. All were nice, but the MDX seemed head and shoulders above the pack.

The MDX is a fantastic vehicle. It combines the best attributes of an SUV and Minivan with the comfort of a luxury vehicle. The "base" model is pretty much loaded - leather seats, heated driver and front passenger seat, power everything, moonroof, CD player, etc. The only major options are a Touring pkg. (wider tires and a premium sound system) and a GPS system. I think you can load it up and still not go over $40k. Not a cheap vehicle, but more affordable than the Lexus, BMW or Mercedes! And in my opinion those are the only SUVs that can compare to the MDX.

It rides and handles very well, especially for a high profile vehicle. The engine is smooooth and very quiet, but has enough power to allow you to merge on the freeway without a worry.

My only gripes are pretty minor - odd location for some of the climate controls, poor placement of the moonroof buttons and no automatic lights.

Oh, one additional thing. If you are looking for a true 4x4 (for serious off road adventuring) the MDX is NOT the answer. It uses an automatic 4 wheel system but it is not intended for heavy off road use. Not that 98% of SUV owners ever take their charished vehicle off road!

Good luck! Keep us informed as you take test drives and make a decision.
 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
1,439
I have had a 1998 explorer and now have a 2002 explorer. I had to get rid of the last one because it was a little jerky when I was accelerating and I didn't want to have to drop money into a potential transmission problem.
Fords are notorious for drivetrain (engine, transmission, etc.) problems. I'd go with a more reliable brand IMHO--Toyota, Honda, Acura, heck I think even GM does a better job as far as reliability goes.

Despite the fact that the 2002 is supposed to be an "improved" model, it's already had several recalls.

A $30K vehicle should last a long time. Fords in my experience don't tend to. The profit margin on SUVs is huge. That $30+K isn't going into build quality.

KJP
 

Paul Jenkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 4, 2000
Messages
965
I'm in the same boat, looking at the following:
- Explorer XLT
- Chevrolet Trailblazer
- Buick Rendezvous
Initially I was leaning towards the Rendezvous, but the more I look at it, the more like a Pontiac Aztek it appears, not a manly looking car at all :)
The Explorer I like, drives well and has the 3rd row seat option. Don't care for the back end design. I already own a Ford Expedition, so I'm familiar with the gauge layouts, service facility, etc.
The other day I drove the Chevy Trailblazer. Man, thing is fast :) 270hp V6 with tons of usable torque, definitely puts any other SUV I've driven to shame power-wise. As is typical for a Chevy, the interior isn't all that great, but it looks and drives really well. I'm leaning towards it due to the deal I can get on it as well (and $2002 cash back).
Now all I have to do is sell my old 91' Mercedes 300E before Feb 28, no easy task in today's market...
 

Jared_B

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
580
The Trailblazer actually has a I6 engine, not a V6.

Most American trucks/SUVs have very poor build quality. If I had to buy American, I would get the Trailblazer. It has the best build quality of the bunch, it's fast, and it handles better.

Other options include the Xterra (cheaper, underpowered - even when supercharged), or any Toyota (reliable, but little more expensive).

In that price range ($25-32), I'd be looking at the Trailblazer or 4Runner waaaay before I'd go near an Explorer.

More luxurious (but less capable off-road) options are the Mercedes MLs, the Acura MDX and the BMW X5.
 

Tim Kilbride

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Messages
217
Just wanted to chime on the Ford issues...I don't personally own an Explorer, but I do own an '82 Bronco, '97 Expy, '00 Excursion, and a '98 Cobra...as for mechanical problems...I have had NONE. IMO, it seems a large amount of problems people have with vehicles is the lack of maintenance. I have the oil changed 3K miles faithfully...I do all of the PM at the correct intervals. I just turned 100,000 miles on the Expy and the ONLY thing that I have had to have fixed were the O2 sensors, other than that it has run flawlessly!!! The Bronco has 130,000 and the alternator went out a few months back and it developed a small leak in the water pump recently (not bad for a 20 year old truck that sees mild off road use).

I do honestly feel that it's not just Ford...all vehicles, as long as the maintenance is kept up, will last.

My .02

Thanks

Tim Kilbride
 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
1,439
IMO, it seems a large amount of problems people have with vehicles is the lack of maintenance. I have the oil changed 3K miles faithfully...I do all of the PM at the correct intervals.
Not necessarily true. I had a '94 Taurus LX which I babied and followed the maintenance schedule to a "T". Changed oil every 3000 miles, rotated tires, checked fluids, I did everything I was supposed to do and the thing was still the most unreliable POS I ever owned. The transmission went, and there is no preventative maintenance on automatic transmissions other than checking the fluid once in a while. When it crapped out, the fluid was still full and clean.
And look at the whole Explorer/Firestone debacle. Some may say that was caused by underinflated tires, but Ford recommended the tires be underinflated to compensate for DESIGN FLAWS in the car.
Some folks have had Fords for 100,000 miles with no problems. Consider yourselves lucky. A friend of mine had leased a (I think) '97 Expedition. He ended up breaking the lease after less than 2 years after having several major drivetrain components replaced, including a rear axle and the entire ENGINE. And he is a smart guy, he knew how to take care of a car.
So perhaps in some cases problems are attributable to lack of maintenance, but not all cases.
And I don't think it's a coincidence that Volvo's formerly stellar reliability went in the tank after Ford took them over... :thumbsdown:
KJP
 

Michael D. Bunting

Screenwriter
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Jun 9, 1999
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Real Name
Michael
Give the 2002 Nissan Pathfinder LE a look if you can... I have a 2001 Pathfinder LE - and I'm a very happy camper!
 

Charles J P

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 19, 2000
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Omaha, NE
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CJ Paul
Yeah, I agree with others here RE: fords less than steller reliability records. The vehicle my parents were replacing in my post above was a 95 ford windstar. It has had mechanical and electrical problems forever, and many of them cannot even be fixed. The anti-lock brakes used to engage under normal braking conditions (ie slowing down normally for a stop light) the door ajar indicators never were right, and sometimes it took closing every door in the car 4 or 5 times each to get the interior lights off. Then the engine went out, and while driving the car home after that was fixed, the transmission went out :angry: the people who worked on the van for us were blown away. These mechanics are family friends we have known them so long, and they are very competant in every other respect but nothing could be done with this piece of crap. Finally, the reason my parents were replacing it is not because it was such a POS but because my mom wrecked it. She hit a patch of ice and went in the ditch. The car flipped 4 times and the f-ing air bag didnt even deploy due to all the faults in the electrical system. She only had a broken collar bone, but had she been killed, I'm sure we could have sued ford for millions due to all the documented electrical problems this thing had. I have made it my personal mission to inform people about my view on Fords when I hear they are looking for a new vehicle. Add my personal experiance to the firestone debacle and all the other crap I've heard and I really dont think ford could ever earn my business again.
 

Gary_E

Second Unit
Joined
May 6, 1999
Messages
366
I have a four door 2002 Explorer and it is the first SUV I've owned. Prior to this vehicle, I've had Ford Winstars for many years. The Explorer is o.k., really nothing special about it. It rides and handles well but not as well as the mini-van.

The A/C fan blower, when set on high or one number lower is the loudest fan I've ever heard. You must crank the radio up just to hear it over the noise.

The rear door's glass window hinges open for quick loading/unloading of small objects without having to open the full rear hatch.

If I could get either vehicle at the same price, I think I'd go back to the mini-van. The Explorer does fit better in my garage however.

-Gary
 

Holadem

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
8,967
I heard at work last week that either the 2003 or 2004 model of the Explorer will feature the roll-over protection system
Well.. I certainly would have liked to have this last summer, when I rolled oever my explorer sport! :angry:
--
Holadem
 

Tim Kilbride

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Messages
217
Kevin says: The transmission went, and there is no preventative maintenance on automatic transmissions other than checking the fluid once in a while.
I'm not one to pick here but you can change the fluid every 24000 miles (sooner if you tow like I do), change the filter, adjust the bands, all can be performed by a reputable tranny shop or a dealer...
TK-:)
 

DonnyD

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,145
Ford F150 driver here....... 150 k........ There's a reason why Ford is the best selling truck.

Having serviced most of the assembly plants of all the car companies, I saw first hand why some of you get less then stellar vehicles. The companies spend lots of money designing and trying to build a good vehicle but it still has to be assembled by........ the UAW.

I have never seen any stats to reinforce the claims concerning Volvo quality degrading. But everyone is due an opinion whether right or way- off wrong........
 

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