Worst and Best Years For The Ford Explorer (Revealed!)

When it comes to the Ford Explorer, there have been both good and bad years. While some years have seen great sales and praise from drivers and critics alike, other years have been met with disappointment.

Here is a look at the worst and best years for the Ford Explorer as well as its annoying problems and top complaints.

Ford Explorer Overview 

The Ford Explorer is a full-size SUV that was introduced in 1991. It is based on the Ford Ranger pickup truck and shares many of its platform components. 

The Explorer is Ford’s best-selling SUV and has been consistently ranked among the top three SUVs in the United States since its introduction. It is available in both four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive models and can seat up to seven passengers. 

The Explorer is powered by a variety of Ford V6 engines and offers a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. trim levels include the base model, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. 

The Explorer is available in a wide range of colors, including black, white, silver, red, blue, and green. Ford also offers several optional accessories for the Explorer, such as running boards, a sunroof, and a DVD entertainment system.

Ford Explorer Worst Years To Avoid At All Costs

Here is a quick answer: The 2006 Ford Explorer is the worst model to avoid at all costs. 

  • 2002 Ford Explorer
  • 2003 Ford Explorer
  • 2004 Ford Explorer
  • 2005 Ford Explorer
  • 2006 Ford Explorer

#1 Worst: 2002 Ford Explore

The 2002 Ford Explorer has been called the worst model by carcomplaints. This is due to the many issues that owners have had with the vehicle. For example, many people have complained about the transmission (1522 complaints )slipping and the engine (154 complaints )stalling. 

Others have reported problems with the electrical system(44 complaints), brakes(28 complaints), drivetrain(281 complaints ), body paint(748 complaints), interior design(335 complaints), and suspension problems (90 complaints). In addition, the 2002 Ford Explorer has a high rate of rollover accidents. 

As a result of these various issues, the 2002 Ford Explorer is considered to be a very dangerous and unreliable vehicle. If you are thinking about purchasing a 2002 Ford Explorer, it is best to look elsewhere for a safer and more reliable option.

#2 Worst: 2003 Ford Explorer 

2003 was not a good year for the Ford Explorer. According to carcomplaints, 2003 Ford Explorer owners have reported a total of 4,374 problems in the past 16 years. 

The most common problems reported are engine related (95 complaints), followed by transmission problems (470 complaints), body paint issues (642 complaints)wheels/ hubs issues (179 complaints), interior problems (108 complaints), drivetrain issues ( 95 complaints) and AC/ heater problems ( 91 complaints). 

Excessive oil consumption, transmission failure, and engine stalling are just some of the issues that 2003 Ford Explorer owners have had to deal with. In addition, many 2003 Explorers have been recalled for various safety issues, such as defective seat belts and airbags. 

It’s no wonder that 2003 is considered one of the worst years for the Ford Explorer. If you own a 2003 Explorer, it’s important to be aware of these common problems and take steps to prevent them.

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#3 Worst: 2004 Ford Explorer 

The 2004 Ford Explorer has been plagued with many problems, according to carcomplaints. The most common complaints include body paint problems (881 complaints ), transmission problems (601 complaints), interior problems (324 complaints), engine issues ( 145 complaints), and electrical issues(18 complaints). 

Many owners have also reported problems with the vehicle’s suspension (20 complaints ), brakes (34 complaints), and steering (5 complaints).

 While some of these problems can be attributed to normal wear and tear, others are indicative of manufacturing defects. 

As a result, many owners have had to incur significant repair costs to keep their vehicles running properly. Given the number of complaints, it is clear that the 2004 Ford Explorer is far from being a trouble-free vehicle.

# 4 Worst: 2005 Ford Explorer 

2005 Ford Explorer owners have reported several problems with their vehicles, ranging from minor annoyances to major safety concerns. According to carcomplaints, the most common complaints center around the engine (56 complaints), transmission(169 complaints), and electrical system(11 complaints). 

Many owners have reported experiencing engine stalling and loss of power, often at highway speeds. This can be a dangerous situation, as it can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Other owners have reported problems with the transmission(169 complaints), including shifting issues and fluid leaks. 

Additionally, there have been a number of reports of electrical problems ( 11 complaints), including issues with the battery, starter, and alternator. While 2005 Ford Explorer models are generally reliable vehicles, these issues can cause serious inconvenience and even danger for owners. As such, it is important to be aware of these potential problems when considering purchasing a used 2005 Ford Explorer.

# 5 Worst: 2006 Ford Explorer 

2006 was not a good year for the Ford Explorer. According to carcomplaints , the 2006 model was plagued with a variety of problems, ranging from engine issues to transmission problems.

 Many owners complained about their vehicles stalling or shutting down completely, often at inopportune times. Others reported that their Explorers were hard to start, or that the engine would hesitate or stall while driving. 

Transmission problems were also common, with many owners reporting that their vehicles would slip out of gear or that the gears would grind when shifting. Overall, the 2006 Ford Explorer was a highly problematic vehicle and one that likely gave its owners a lot of headaches.

Ford Explorer Best Years To Buy

  • 2011 Ford Explorer 
  • 2013 Ford Explorer 
  • 2016 Ford Explorer
  • 2019 Ford Explorer 

#1 Best Year : 2011 Ford Explorer 

The 2011 Ford Explorer is a stylish and versatile SUV that offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo. It’s also packed with sophisticated features and advanced safety technologies. 

One of the things that makes the 2011 Explorer a best year is its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine delivers excellent power and fuel economy, making it a great choice for those who want to save money at the pump. 

The Explorer also comes with a host of standard features, including Ford’s SYNC infotainment system, heated front seats, and a rearview camera. In addition, the Explorer has an extensive list of optional features, including a panoramic sunroof, navigation system, and premium audio system. All these features make the 2011 Ford Explorer a best year.

#2 Best Year : 2013 Ford Explorer

2013 was a great year for the Ford Explorer. The popular SUV received a number of updates, including a new turbocharged engine option, an updated infotainment system, and new safety features. These updates helped to make the Explorer more enjoyable to drive, while also increasing its appeal to families.

 In addition, 2013 was also the year that Ford finally introduced a version of the Explorer with four-wheel drive. This feature is essential for those who live in areas with heavy snowfall, and it helps to give the Explorer even more off-road capability. Overall, 2013 was a great year for the Ford Explorer, and it remains one of the best years for the popular SUV.

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#3 Best Year : 2016 Ford Explorer 

2016 was a big year for the Ford Explorer. The popular SUV underwent a complete redesign, resulting in a vehicle that is more stylish, spacious, and capable than ever before. Under the hood, the 2016 Explorer is powered by an advanced 3.5L V6 engine that delivers impressive performance and fuel economy. 

Inside, the Explorer features spacious seating for up to seven passengers, as well as plenty of storage for all of your gear. With its stylish looks and top-notch performance, it’s no wonder the 2016 Ford Explorer is considered one of the best SUVs on the road.

#4 Best Year: 2019 Ford Explorer 

2019 is shaping up to be a big year for the Ford Explorer. The popular SUV is getting a complete redesign, inside and out. And while it may look quite different from its predecessor, it’s still instantly recognizable as an Explorer. But what’s really new for 2019? 

 Best Year 2019 Ford Explorer 

First, there’s the all-new turbocharged EcoBoost engine. It’s more powerful than ever, yet still returns excellent fuel economy. Second, there are the updated infotainment and driver assist features. The Explorer now offers standard Ford SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

And adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality is now available on all trim levels. Finally, there’s the updated exterior design. The 2019 Explorer features a refreshed front end and a sleek new rear end. Consequently, it’s no surprise that the 2019 Explorer is being hailed as the best year for the popular SUV.

Most Annoying Ford Explorer Problems

Now that we’ve compiled the worst and best years for the Ford Explorer. Let us have a look at the most annoying Ford Explorer problems reported by owners.

  • Body Paint Problems 
  • Transmission Problems
  • Radiator Leaks
  • Wheel Bearing Failure 

Body Paint Problems 

One of the most common complaints about the Ford Explorer is that the body paint is prone to chipping. This can be particularly problematic in areas where the vehicle is exposed to high amounts of sunlight or extreme temperatures. 

In some cases, the paint may even start to blister and peel off in large patches. While Ford has acknowledged this problem and implemented a number of warranty programs to address it, many owners have complained that the repairs are often inadequate.

 In some cases, Ford has offered to repaint the entire vehicle, but many owners have found that the new paint job does not last any longer than the original. As a result, many Ford Explorer owners are left dealing with an unsightly and expensive problem.

Transmission Problems 

Ford Explorer transmission problems have been a source of concern for owners for many years. The Ford Explorer is a popular SUV that has been on the market for over 25 years. In that time, there have been multiple recalls related to transmission problems. 

Ford has issued numerous service bulletins in an attempt to address the issue, but many owners report that the problems continue. The most common complaint is that the transmission slips or hesitates when shifting gears. 

This can lead to dangerous situations when trying to accelerate or merge onto a highway. Ford has extended the warranty on the transmission for someExplorer models, but many owners are still facing expensive repairs. 

If you own a Ford Explorer, it is important to be aware of these potential issues and to have your vehicle regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic.

Radiator Leaks

Ford Explorer Radiator Leaks are a common problem with this vehicle. Ford released an updated radiator in 2005, but many owners of older Explorers are still dealing with leaks. 

The main symptom of a radiator leak is an overheated engine, so it’s important to keep an eye on your temperature gauge and watch for any sudden increases. If you notice your engine temperature climbing, pull over as soon as possible and call a tow truck.

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 Trying to drive with an overheated engine can cause serious damage. Ford recommends taking your Explorer to a certified repair facility if you suspect a radiator leak, as they will have the necessary tools and expertise to properly fix the problem. 

Ford also offers an extended warranty on the radiator for Explorer models 2005 and newer, so if you’re experiencing radiator leaks, be sure to take advantage of this coverage.

Wheel Bearing Failure

The Ford Explorer is a popular SUV known for its ruggedness and reliability. However, like all vehicles, it is not immune to occasional problems. One issue that has been known to affect the Explorer is wheel bearing failure. 

Symptoms of this problem include increased noise from the wheels, difficulty steering, and reduced fuel efficiency. If you suspect that your Ford Explorer might have a wheel bearing problem, it is important to take it to a qualified mechanic for diagnosis and repair. 

While it is possible to replace a failed wheel bearing yourself, it is generally best to leave this job to a professional. With proper care and maintenance, your Ford Explorer should give you years of trouble-free service.

Ford Explorer Life Expectancy 

Ford Explorer is a popular SUV known for its durability and long life expectancy. Many Ford Explorer owners report getting 200,000 miles or more out of their vehicles. Ford Explorer models from the 1990s and early 2000s are especially known for their longevity. 

However, even newer Ford Explorer models have a reputation for being reliable and long-lasting. Part of the Ford Explorer’s appeal is its ability to hold up well to heavy use. Whether you’re using your Ford Explorer for weekend adventures or taking it on long road trips, you can rest assured that it will continue to perform reliably mile after mile. 

With proper care and maintenance, your Ford Explorer should be able to provide years of trouble-free service. So if you’re looking for an SUV that will give you many years of driving enjoyment, the Ford Explorer should be at the top of your list.

Is A Used Ford Explorer Worth Buying?

The Ford Explorer has been a popular SUV for many years, and for good reason. It’s spacious, comfortable, and reliable, making it a great choice for families or anyone who needs a vehicle that can handle a lot of passenger and cargo space.

 However, used Ford Explorers can be expensive, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a used Ford Explorer. First, check the Kelley Blue Book value to get an idea of how much the SUV is worth. 

Then, take it for a test drive to see how it handles and make sure all the features are working properly. Finally, have a mechanic inspect the vehicle to look for any major problems that could affect its long-term reliability. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to decide if a used Ford Explorer is worth buying.

Is Ford Explorer A Reliable SUV?

Ford Explorer is a reliable SUV. Ford has been making quality vehicles for many years, and the Explorer is no exception. The Explorer is built to last, with a strong frame and robust suspension. 

Is Ford Explorer A Reliable SUV

It also comes with a variety of features that make it a great choice for families. Ford Explorer is a safe SUV as well. It has been tested and proven in crash tests, and it comes with a variety of safety features that protect occupants in the event of an accident. 

Ford Explorer is also a comfortable SUV. It has plenty of room for passengers and cargo, and it comes with a variety of creature comforts that make it a pleasure to drive. In conclusion, Ford Explorer is a reliable, safe, and comfortable SUV that is perfect for families.