The community thinks...
Good at first, now not so much by Turning Japanese (I really think so) on 10/26/2011. Trim: 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD, Owned 9 years.
Pros: I've had this car over nine years and it's styling has held up pretty well in that it doesn't look like and old car. The automatic 4 wheel drive system is great in bad weather, and the car excels at hauling lots of people and their stuff. I was mostly very pleased with this car for the first 7-8 years that I owned it. It's been a good family truckster.
Cons: Once the car hit about 90,000 most of the major components started to give out. Alternator, ABS sensor, 4X4 control module, brake master cylider, and the biggy the transmission ($3800 to rebuild). I know it's a machine and things wear out, but this is just a small list of the things I've had to fix on this car in the past year and a half or so and doesn't include a list of all the litte bits that have given out too. Now at 107,000 I'm getting a grinding noise from the front passenger side wheel area that I'm guessing is going to be the wheel bearing problem so many Explorers of this vintage have. SO MAJOR CON: QUALITY (or lack there of).
Overall review: So, I said I'd keep this car 10 years when I bought it and my sentence ends in May of 2012. It was a good car for the first seven years or so, but these days with proper maintenance (which I am meticulous about) the major components of a new car should last well over 100,000 miles. I was really hoping that my apprehension about buying an American car would have been negated by this purchase, but sadly it was not and I'm thinking MDX, CX9, Pilot or Highlander for my next car. This is my first and last Ford, and that is a shame because they lost a potential longterm customer. My brother in-law bought a Pilot the same time I purchased the Explorer, he paid a bit more but has none of the major mechanical or quallity issues that I've had and he has about 12,000 miles more on his car. So unless you have deep pockets or are a mechanic, I'd avoid the 2002 Explorer. Unless you want to buy mine.....
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