Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • cmimcmim Member Posts: 9
    That ping you hear after you've turned off the engine is the catalytic converter and is completely normal. The CC gets extremely hot and after you shut off the engine the metal contracts and makes that pinging sound. I've had some vehicles where I've noticed it more then others,
    probably because of different CC manufacturer's.
    But your right about not hearing the ping all the time as it depends on the climate conditions at that particular time.
  • melodiousmelodious Member Posts: 1
    Closing the back window on my 2002 Explorer XLT last night, was not the problem... it was opening it! I heard a snap as I lifted the rear window, paused and looked at the wiper, and then heard another pop and the window EXPLODED!!! There was a 15' radius of glass shards on me and the driveway around me! I am, thankfully, okay but rattled. My 15 day old truck is now at Ernie Haire Ford being repaired, and the dealership has been wonderful, providing a 2002 XLS for our use while ours is in the shop. It is sad that Ford customer service would not acknowledge this problem, when we were actually able to read the Associated Press article of April 10, 2001 to them. Other than that.... love my truck! Much nicer ride than the '99 XLT sport package that I loved and drove for two years. Buy a 2002 Explorer, but have your rear glass checked!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Nice links buckwheat - wonder if Ford knows they're out there :-).

    When I bought my Nissan a couple of years ago, the salesperson let me look through his hardcopy version of a similar sales book. Most interesting.

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  • dfahy68dfahy68 Member Posts: 6
    I just rented a new Explorer XLT with the V-6 and had the following impressions:

    Ford did a great job with the independent rear suspension for improved handling, especially over rough roads, potholes, etc. The V-6 is more than adequate although I would like to drive the V-8. There was no problem merging onto the expressway or passing cars. I was actually surprised, especially after reading several articles saying the V-6 was under powered for this vehicle. This Explorer is WAY bigger than the old one. It seems to be a nice fit between the Expedition and Escape though. I think it just looks good too. Unfortunately that's all I really liked about it.

    What happened to the interior in this thing? It looks and feels cheap. The plastic doesn't match on the doors or dashboard. The console has spaces that look like something should be there but isn't. The steering wheel has a ridiculous tilt mechanism like on my old Jeep Wrangler. The door handles are down below my knees. The ride height in the seats are WAY too high. I'm 6'2" and had the seats all the way down and still felt like I was looking down at the hood. The sun visor was in my line of sight. It seems Ford is trying to make this the ultimate 5'-something soccer mom ride. The front seats have no head rest?? What happens in a rear-end collision? I could go on and on, but my only lasting impression is CHEAP. I have also driven the Escape and would choose it over the Explorer any time.
  • afireafire Member Posts: 30
    I now have 4400 miles on my loaded Mountaineer. I seem to average about 16-17 MPG, even with the air on. My best tankful was the 4th of July holiday travelling all freeway with BOTH air conditioning units in use, and my yakima rack on the back of the car carrying all 4 bikes. We averaged 17.8 MPG with 65-75 mph driving, and that was over the grapevine south to home. Awesome.

    The prior posts about the "pinging" --- that pinging is actually a metal sound that is more a ticking tick/light "ting" and it's metal changing, ie. the car cooling. My old Ford Explorer did this too but it wasn't as loud. The only pet peeve I have is that the MUTE button isn't on the steering wheel for when the cel phone rings, because reaching for both MUTE and phone is hazardous. I tend to ignore the phone ringing when I am in the Merc. and listening to music. :>

    Plusses: I love the way my car looks! I took great photos of it + the sunset at the ranch and made it my back-screen on my monitor. I love the way it looks inside, with the silvery trim and black leather wheel. And, the 3rd rear seat is wonderful.

    DFahy, your post about the interior on the Explorer was on the nose. Ugh! Plain. I loved the Mountaineer's exterior and interior instantly. The little extras (perks) were a surprise and appreciated.
    I like the automatic headlamps, and the fact that they turn on and off and when I leave the car, they shut off when I click the keyless-remote alarm. The window open button being on the remote is nice but I can't find one in the car. Love the memory seats, and seat heaters for the days my back is feeling bad. I think I'd re-style the wheels (booooring) but I leased mine and don't care to throw the $ away for new wheels after I turn it back at 36 months. Power is great for a V6 and a large rig, mileage is very acceptable considering the 97 XLT Explorer with the same 4.0 V6 I had got 14.5 to 15 MPG if I was lucky! Handling - great, no complaints. Looks, a perfect 10 for me. I love my car and highly recommend it to all.

    Fiery one.
  • zman3zman3 Member Posts: 857
    As an owner of a 95 XLT and a candidate for a 2002 XLT, I have been monitoring several of the Explorer discussions recently. I have an update and a question for all of you.

    Update: In one of the discussions recently someone was inquiring about the availability of Ford's stability control system in the 2002 Explorer. I talk to Ford's customer care last night and FWIW they said the availability date is November 5, 2001. I don't know if that will be bumped or not, and I don't know if that is a manufacturing date or what, but it at least gives a time frame for availability.

    Question/gripe: How can Ford release a brand new vehicle that is targeted to suburban families and not include the LATCH/ISOFIX child seat restraint system? I was amazed to see that it did not have it. I naively assumed it would. Does anyone know why it would not be included and when it might be added? Ford customer care did not know. I have heard, second hand admittedly, that this system is significantly easier to use than the seat belt restraint method. Can anyone comment on whether it is that much better? If it is still difficult to use, that would lessen my complaining somewhat.

    As always, thanks.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Revamped Explorer Good Enough To Overcome Recent Bad Press

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  • tvbraintvbrain Member Posts: 10
    First, thanks for the "ping" responses about my CC.
    One thing I forgot to mention, when riding at freeway speeds, when I open the rear windows, the car fills with a thumping noise as the air rushes in, it scared me to death the first time I did it. I thought I'd blown a tire. (But if I'd done that, I guess I woulda' been rolling over, right?)
  • afireafire Member Posts: 30
    Any engineer type can explain that the 'turbulence' heard/felt when a rear window is rolled down without a fast way for the air to travel outwards (other window cracked) is normal in a large, high SUV with all that rear area room.
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    in edmunds review of the moutaineer they said the rear floor had a vibration at 70+ just want too know if anyone that has same problem
  • kurt007kurt007 Member Posts: 1
    I just recently purchased a 2002 XLT and have driven ~ 400 miles ...

    So far, I'm generally impressed with the improvements made versus my 2000 Limited recently turned in ... less skittishness in the rear-end, better turning radius, quieter on smooth roads, etc.

    My only complaint / issue (and to me it's a big deal) is with rear suspension harshness on anything other than smooth roads (in Michigan that's the majority of roads)! It appears to be much rougher than the 2000, sending a jarring thuds into the passenger compartment on any irregular driving surface. The best way to describe it a low frequency thud. I thought the new suspension would be much better than it appears to be ... disappointing.

    Has anyone else experienced the same response from less than ideal roads? I've checked the tire pressure at it's per the compliance label (35 psi cold on Michelins) ... which seems high, but that's the spec.

  • afireafire Member Posts: 30
    I have a Mountaineer 2002. I think it rides wonderfully. I had a late model (97) Explorer XLT and I think perhaps your ride is sirectly related to the weight of the car and the air in the tires. Had that checked?
  • sj6sj6 Member Posts: 13
    I wrote in two weeks ago or so about the vibes. No update yet other than the dealer has had it for a week waiting for, and in the progress of installing the new rear diff. and driveshaft. Should hear something this upcoming week.
  • mrankellmrankell Member Posts: 21
    I have around 3,000 on my 2002 mountaineer with the upgraded leather seats. i also noticed that I have major creases in the leather. it looks like the seats are 10 years old. Has anyone mentioned this to the dealer. i am sure they will do nothing and a call to Ford is the only way someone will look into this.

  • footballfan777footballfan777 Member Posts: 29 them.
  • rollierrollier Member Posts: 8
    Just passed 3600mi and am averaging 15.5mpg in town and 22mpg on the road. Drove Toledo,Ohio to Stratford Canada about three weeks ago with four adults and a lot of luggage. Averaged 60-65mph on the 401 (Canada's e- way) and got 3000 miles. Very pleased. Had a left outboard middle row setback rattle that the dealer fixed with new latches from Mercury and had the tranny shift points reset by the dealers computer. Boy what an improvement as to shift smoothness and speed settings. I was told that the dealer has a TSB on the tranny computer fix program, and it really works. The dual AC units are a life saver in this heat and my senior citizen riders in the back (middle seat) love their own thermostat and fan controls.... ten times better than the moon roof option if you live in the midwest. Rollier
  • cmimcmim Member Posts: 9
    Back in April there was a recall for the glass hatch and from earlier posts it seems that the hinges were the problem and were replaced. But more recently it seems that the pnuematic arms are now a problem. Does this seem to be the case or was the orginal recall about the pnuematic arms ?
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    this board is dead just test drove car my wife was very happy get interst rate on lease .75% but res was also very low 46% for the price it cant be beat
  • zman3zman3 Member Posts: 857
    Just curious.

    I was quoted a Ford Red Carpet Lease, 3 year term. Residual was 49% and interest rate was 3.5%. Who quoted your terms?

    I agree that the depreciation is a bit steep, but you can't beat the interest portion of the payment. It makes the Explorer look unbeatbale for the price. I can get a fairly loaded XLT for roughly $450/month. Not bad in my opinion.
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    carman on the lease board said it was a very good lease I also priced out a v6 xlt it was 440 with tax this is 484 plus tax and is a v8 and fully loaded
  • hungry2hungry2 Member Posts: 11
    I was also quoted interest at .75 and 46% residual, this is on a mountaineer, perhaps the explorer is different. I am in NJ, it may vary state to state.

    I am getting the mountaineer because I like the looks and it has a few more standard features. I should have shopped the explorer but since I am turning in a mountaineer I am getting a couple loyalty rebates, also, with vacations and sports and having to turn in the vehicle, we didn't have alot of time to spend shopping around. When I got the last mountaineer it came out to be a better price than the explorer because more stuff was standard that I would have had to add to the explorer. I am getting it for $423 for 36 months,(0 down, I pay 611 for 1st month and DMV fees) not tons of options, but it doesn't need much because the cd and 3rd seat and awd are standard. The dash looks pretty cool too!I had no trouble with my 98, but I am a little afraid of getting this one it in its first year of redesign.
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    is that with tax
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    will my kids be sweating in the back if we go for the sunroof instead of the aux air

    will you be able to gey both in near future????
  • hungry2hungry2 Member Posts: 11
    I think the 423is with tax, but since I am returning a mountaineer lease I get all these rebates(red carpet renewal, some other red carpet and a mercury owner loyalty). We sign tomorrow so I hope those rebates really materialize. A dealer I called in PA didn't know baout ANY rebates yet I know there is definitely a red carpet lease rebate (don't know if its for new or returning, I think maybe both)

    I forgot to mention that I am getting a sunroof and we also had a sunroof in our old one and no aux. air (was it offered then?). My kids lived but there was no 3rd seat then so they were closed to the front. I don't think it is so large inside that you need aux air. My van needs lots of air vents but the rear windows don't open and it is really much larger area inside to cool than the truck.
  • shaker58shaker58 Member Posts: 130
    your deal looks like you got all 3 rebates as long taxes are included in payment (AWESOME DEAL) my price is 484 no rebates plus taxes so around 520 if you bought a truck sim to mine it would be around 450-460 good luck with your new truck
    36/1750 is almost a 50 savings per mth
  • fastbuckfastbuck Member Posts: 11
    so far (two months and 1500 miles) we're very pleased with our 2002 4wd v-6. the best feature by far is the third row, which has eliminated sibling seating squabbles. ride and handling are leagues better than the '94 4wd pathfinder we traded in.

    mileage, on the other hand, is far worse than others in this forum have been reporting. with 50/50 city/highway driving, i've barely hit 15 mpg on a couple of refills, and mostly gotten in the 13-14 range. kind of surprising for a 21st century vehicle. by contrast, the windstar we rented on a recent vacation delivered 25 mpg in the mountains with the a/c blasting and a full load of passsengers and luggage.

    lastly, let me be the second to register the opinion that i prefer the straightforward look of the explorer to that of the mountaineer. and i'm also sort of perplexed at the opinions regularly offered here that the interior is "cheap" or unattractive. i like it, and think it fits the vehicle's personality. my other car is a 2001 bmw 5 series, so i'm familiar with what a top quality interior can be. i just think the inside of the explorer looks and feels right for an suv.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Member Posts: 185
    I too, find it hard to believe that many of the 2002 owners have been getting mileage in the 23-25 mpg range. I have owned a '97, '99, and 2000 Explorer. The two older ones had the SOHC engine, I think the best tank of gas I had was in the '97, and it was about 18 mpg on a road trip where I filled up, got on the highway for almost 200 miles, and refilled later that day.

    As far as the 2000, it has the OHV, and I think I got about 18.5 on a similar trip.

    I just don't see how a vehicle which is bigger and weighs 300 pounds more (2002 models) can get 5 mpg more than my best.
  • footballfan777footballfan777 Member Posts: 29
    Our '02 2WD with V8 and tow pack got exactly 16 on the last tank. This was strictly to work and back driving, although some of that is freeway. It has 2K miles on it, so I'm thinking it might get just a little better following break in. I'm guessing here, but I suspect the best it would do is maybe 20 MPG on the highway.
  • mrankellmrankell Member Posts: 21
    I love the rear a/c unit. I leave it on low most of the time. It not only cools the back, it helps cool the front quicker especially since I have a black 2002 mountaineer.

  • merrod828merrod828 Member Posts: 6
    Has anyone out there bought a mountaineer in Florida? If so, what price did you pay and where? Thanks.
  • a36a36 Member Posts: 10
    My 2002 Explorer XLT (2WD) was assembled in mid April and purchased in mid May (6,600+ onsecutive unit no.). The biggest, and so far, only problem was the dealer losing one of the computer chip keys and the car's computer refusing to be reprogrammed or to reprogram the new key. It took 5 working days (I was given a loaner car) and two
    new computers to finally overcome this little oversight.

    I have driven it from TX to UT in two 11.5 hour days on the road. Compared to my '93 it is a vast improvement. 20+ mpg at the 70 to 75 mph legal speed limits in CO & WY with 2 aboard and 400 to 500 lbs. in the back. The car is little effected by cross winds or from 18 wheeler wakes
    - you pass an 18 wheeler at 75 mph with virtually
    no steering correction. Moving the wheels closer to the corners provides far more left leg room than in the '93. At 6'2" I can extend my both legs straight out, eliminating knee cramps that I get in other cars after about 5 hours. Unlike the '93, the cruise control has enough throttle
    authority so that it will maintain 75 mph across the rolling high plains of WY without manually adding throttle. A great fatigue fighter in a long days drive.

    It does not require much of a grade at 70 or 75 to make the transmission downshift two gears, so there is a lot more shifting than with the 4 speed in the '93. The rear floor is not flat with the 3rd seat folded, and items do tend
    to work their way rearward after a bit. No problem for me as I believe in tying down luggage anyway, and there are anchors in the rear of the cargo area and between the 2nd and 3rd row of seats. The 2nd row (lower) seat frames can
    also be used to hook tie down straps. The lower sill, and the remote unlock feature of the rear hatch window makes opening the entire rear hatch a rare event.

    I have only recently experienced what one person described with the auto. trans. doing something strange during a 2-3 or 3-4 shift (torque converter lockup/unlock?). My mother had an '88 Ford that would do the same kind of thing on occasion.

    The looks suit me (there is no explaining men's tastes in cars, airplanes or women!) and the power, ride, quiet and handling are all much improved over the '93. When I drive it I'm reminded of the old timers describing the difference between a Model T Ford and a Model A Ford - "Henry made a lady out of Lizzie!" Ford
    definitely gentrified the 2002 Explorer.
  • sj6sj6 Member Posts: 13
    Hello, I posted earlier with a low frequency vib./resonance at speeds above 58 mph. The dealer was told by Ford to replace the driveshaft and differential assembly, which includes the halfshafts but not CV joints. Known good tires were swapped as well.

    Well....the problem persists, leaving the CV joints or something in the transmission. Anyone else have something similar?

    Also, mine has the rough 2-3 shift, and the fuel pump cavitation problem (this is a new TSB). If your Explorer V6 hestitates from a standing start, check out the TSB. Mine managed to do it at a busy intersection...felt like it was stuck in 4th gear from the lack of movement. The other time it happened I was attempting to back out of my driveway and it barely made it up the very small grade.

    Vehicle back in the shop today with 2100 miles on it. Anyone had any luck getting Ford to take a vehicle back before the Lemon Law proceedings?

  • rcinscrcinsc Member Posts: 2
    I'm trying to decide whether to buy a new or used Explorer 4WD XLT with options such as moonroof, leather and 6CD. I'm going to buy, not lease - I usually keep my cars 5-10 years. I've test driven both 2000 and 2002 models. After reading all of the posts on the 2002, it seems many of you are waiting for the 'kinks' to be worked out or late features added.

    Do you current 2000 owners think it's worth spending the extra $10-12K to buy the new Explorer? And 2002 owners, is there that big of a difference with the car-like ride? Is it worth it?

    Lastly - do you have recommendations for good Ford dealers in the Bay Area? I live in Santa Cruz.

    Thanks for any advice - and thanks for all the previous posts - this board has been so helpful to my research!
  • txredtxred Member Posts: 3
    Just discovered this great site. Currently drive 97 Mountaineer and seriously considering the 2002 v6. Drove one all weekend and loved it! But: Does it bother anybody that you can't have the 6CD changer AND a cassette? I listen to audio books with my long commute. I have both now and hate having to give one up for a car that costs a lot more. Has anyone found a way to add a changer to the standard stereo option ? is it a good addition or obviously a stick on?

    also I discovered the digitial message center, and nearly ran off the road when it said 11.8 MPG! It's brand new and dealer says it will get right MPG after break in period. Is that readout REALLY supposed to be indicating my actual MPG, or does it vary greatly depending upon what I'm doing, sitting at stop sign, freeway driving etc.? These are all new features so I'm kinda naive about them. Many thanks for your help.

    PS - the other vehicle I'm considering is the Toyota 4runner, but it just doesn't make me feel special like the Mountaineer......
  • pnewbypnewby Member Posts: 277
    I also use audio books on long trips, and was upset at the cassette player loss. Books on CD are showing up everywhere now though. I purchased the 1st one I listened to, then saw several at Cracker Barrel. My wife just checked a couple out at our local library(Lexington, Ky), so look for them there. At the library they are free, at Crack. Bar. you purchase the book, then return it to any store in the chain. They refund the purchase price, minus $3.00 per week that you keep it.
  • txredtxred Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for sharing, so you went with the CD changer, rather than the single CD and cassette?
    I just returned from deciding on the Mountaineer, and I've ordered one with the standard CD/cassette radio. Guess I should have researched the CD availability of audio books before I made my decision. Thanks.
  • rcinscrcinsc Member Posts: 2
    Have any of you had problems with the new tires?
    I just rec'd this email from

    August 1, 2001
    2002 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer Recalled
    Detroit, MI (SafetyAlerts) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a recall affecting certain 2002 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer automobiles manufactured between August 2000 and April 2001.

    On certain sport utility vehicles, the right side tires may have horizontal cuts on the edge of the tread that could have occurred during vehicle assembly. Over time, the tire could fail, increasing the risk of a crash.

    52,000 vehicles are affected by this recall.

    Dealers will inspect the tires and, if any slices are found, the cut tires will be replaced.

    The manufacturer has reported that owner notification began on June 7, 2001. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

    [NHTSA Recall No. 01V171/Ford Recall No. 01S18]
  • sj6sj6 Member Posts: 13
    Ford flat out quit. Ford people and various civilians (even a half-deaf guy)can hear the noise. Ford people have decided NOT to fix it, this after having already replaced tires, driveshaft, differential, to no avail. I was advised to contact Customer Care. Customer Care person was very nice and is going to inititiate their procedures.

    In the mean time I have ordered some non-complimentary magnetic signs. As I live on a heavily travelled road, it will be good advertising. My work parking lot also faces a 4 lane highway and will also be a good advertising spot.

    Beware of hard to diagnose problems, you may get stuck. I will guarantee that no Ford engineer would drive it in it's current state. Of course, they don't have to. Promising vehicle, marred by stupid customer care decisions.
  • footballfan777footballfan777 Member Posts: 29

    I'm sorry to hear of your problems. We have an 02 XLT, and so far are very pleased with it. It also seems you're posting your frustrations, maybe. After all, it seems they have replaced numerous items, but still haven't isolated the problem. But give them credit, at least they have tried. And you say Quality Care has been nice, and it appears, receptive. So please don't totally bash the Ford appears to me they are trying to solve your problems, so at least give them credit for that.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Member Posts: 185
    Why wouldn't you touch a 2000 old-style crappy Mountaineer or Explorer with a 10 foot pole?

    Too busy getting your tranny re-programmed?

    Or wait, I know, you're getting your shattered rear hatch replaced?

    Oh, now I got it, yeah, you're busy changing out your right front tire that blew because it got cut on the assembly line.

    Come on. Own a truck more than a month or two before you go passing judgement on America's best selling SUV over the past decade.

    PS...If the old one's are so bad, why did you buy a first year production which was bound to have "growing pains"?
  • thadjosh9thadjosh9 Member Posts: 8
    "will my kids be sweating in the back if we go for the sunroof instead of the aux air will you be able to gey both in near future???? "

    I bet you will be able to get both. When the Expedition first came out it was the same way, either, but now you can get both in it. I bet the Explorer will be the same way. I would go for the rear air. Never feel I get my moneys worth out of the sunroof.
  • blucy2blucy2 Member Posts: 7
    to RCINSC- message 287
    I just traded in my 2000 Explorer for the 2002 Eddie Bauer. I had my last 88 Aerostar 11 years when I got first Explorer. I like to keep my cars a long time. I like the 2000 Explorer, but didn't love it. It never did feel quite right. The stiff ride was ok at first, but after a year I kept thinking "what will this be like in 5 or 6 years?" will I be able to deal with a rought ride., etc. I read about the new 2002 and changes because of the independent suspension, so I went and drove it for the heck on it. I can't even believe it is the same car. I have had my new one about 6 weeks now and I LOVE IT. I can definately see keeping this car for 10 years. As far as dealers, I go to Wilson Cornelius in Vallejo and deal with Vince, the Manager. I get great service and he was very helpful in helping me "trade up". I had bought my Aerostar from in in 88 and he had even joked that people like me put him out of business, but was still extremely helpful. Good luck, believe me the 2002 is worth the extra $$ if you plan on keeping car for a long time.
  • mrankellmrankell Member Posts: 21
    I am still having troubles with harsh shifting. Can anyone let me know where I can find the TSB fix for this transmission problem.

    m rankell
  • boondocksboondocks Member Posts: 57
    Why weren't the new model Explorers and Mountaineers tested??

    Anyone know how much the structure/safety cage of the redesigned 2002 Mountaineer has changed from the old (2001 and earlier) model?

  • tractiontraction Member Posts: 141
    Consumers Reports just selected the 2002 Explorer as best in a head-to-head test with 5 other SUVs.

    The 2002 Explorer beat the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner SR5, GMC Envoy SLE, Dodge Durango SLT, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    The article is in the September issue.
  • epauerepauer Member Posts: 4
    I recently looked at the 2002 Mountaineer at a local dealer. Most of these SUVs had the Homelink, but not the power adjustable pedals (with or without memory) (with convenience group option) or the telescoping steering wheel. All of these features have been listed as late availability, but Homelink is the only one to appear, at least in my area (New Hampshire).

    There was also some rumors about stability control being available for the 2002 Mountaineer, like the ESP in the Mercedes Benz ML320.

    Anyone have more information on these (when, if, etc.)?

  • a36a36 Member Posts: 10
    I have just used the 3rd row seat of my 2002 Explorer with a childs car seat. I was unable to
    secure the seat in the manner that it was designed to be used.

    The problem is that the outboard seat belt anchor
    is about 6" or 8" forward of the aft most part of
    the lower seat cushion - where it meets the seat
    back. As a result there was no way to pull the
    seat securely back into the seat. No matter how
    hard I tried the bottom of the seat would move
    6" to 8" forward with very little effort. Finally just ran the belt and shoulder harness
    beneath the seat padding and that solved the
    problem. The rear anchors for the top of the car
    seat is a real enhancement.

    Also with the 3rd row seat in use there is very
    little storage space for luggage. At most two
    rolling carry-ons will fit there, and only if the
    child seat top anchor straps are not in use. We
    ended up with one roll-on suitcase in the middle
    seat of the 2nd row and one in the extreme back.
    This would be a definite consideration for those
    who would be traveling with 6 or so people and
    their luggage. (The vehicle would probably be
    over gross weight anyway if you added luggage.)

    After reading about the shattering rear window
    hatch, I have been very careful to only pull it
    closed by the "U" shaped latch in the middle of
    the glass. Maybe pulling it closed from one end
    could be causing the breakage problems. If you
    pull it down by the latch to within about 10" of
    closed and release it, it will then close and latch on it's own.
  • footballfan777footballfan777 Member Posts: 29

    I agree with your discovery, although I'm not in a situation where I care. We only have one son, and he's 10. We ordered the 3rd seat knowing it was only going to be used occasionally. If a person is planning on hauling more than two or three kids around consistently, and especially on long trips, the Exploder is not the right vehicle. A mini-van or larger SUV would make more sense. IMO, the 3rd seat in the Exploder is a very convenient option which could be used on occasion, but not as an everyday seven person seat. However, with the standard roof rack and an optional carrier, I could see it used as an all-around family SUV.

    As for the rear glass...told my wife from the start she needed to treat it gingerly. After looking at the design and hearing of the thing shattering, I can see how it could easily shatter under stress. I mean after all, it's just one huge piece of thin glass which encounters a tremendous amount of stress from various points. I've encouraged my wife to use the opening rear hatch as often as possible.
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