Re: best model year 1997-2000?
OK, I know everyone will be a bit biased by their own experience, but I
would say the 1997 Explorer with the original 4.0 pushrod engine (not the
SOHC) is the absolute peak of reliability. That engine has a little less
power, but is absolutely bulletproof and delivers close to 20 mpg all the
time. This was the 3rd model year for this body style, and problems from the
1995 year, that were just being identified in 1996, had fixes imlemented in
1997. Things like repositioning the intake to be above minor flood waters,
adding a "lock up" 4WD option to the Control Trac system, and still keeping
all the little things like underhood lights, door-mounted puddle and entry
lights, poassenger side 6-way power seatiing, a radio that doesn't lose its
display, etc. etc. To be the really the top of the best, find one with the
5-speed manual transmission, the last year that was offered on an XLT model.
Mine, ordered before they were even on the lots in 1996, has given me
195,000 absolutely reliable and trouble free miles...by FAR the most
reliable vehicle I have owned since my 1st new car in 1970. Flaws? Only the
heater blend door problem, which didn't really show up for a couple of more
years, just as the series was being replaced. If you'rte lucky, you'll find
one where that has been taken care of already, or take advantage of some of
the shortcuts people have come up with in later years. Of course, YMMV
Bear Gap, PA
"David J Burns" <email@example.com> wrote in message
>I live in the Greater Toronto Area, looking at buying my first SUV.
> After monitoring used car listings extensively over the last 6 weeks
> I've decided that an Explorer, with an outside chance of a Pathfinder,
> is my best bet give my $10,000 CAD limit. 4Runners, Xterras and CR-Vs
> depreciate too slowly, and with the exception of the 4Runner I'm not
> expecting either of the later models to have the storage capacity I
> require. 1994 4Runners are running for $10k, where I can find some
> good Explorers as late as model year 2000 in that range.
> I anticipate the Explorers to have less quality and higher maintenance
> costs over the long term, but given their residual purchase value
> (plus what I perceive to be biased knocks against the vehicles
> quality) I think an Explorer is my best bet. Two close friends have
> late 90s Explorers (one a 1997 XLT w/ 250,000km on it!) with the worse
> repair being a water pump, a good sign to me. I'm aiming for a 4-door,
> automatic, 4x4, XLS/XLT/Eddie Bauer.
> My question is, I've narrowed my search range down to four years. I
> know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
> 1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
> this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
> experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?