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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

gohuskiesgohuskies Posts: 40
I have seen 2002 Ford Explorer sales brochures, pictures and specifications. Has anyone seen the vehicle and driven it? I would appreciate any additional information prior to placing an order.


  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    The 2002 is very nice. The V-6 has a little more power and is more quiet than the old model. It handles and rides much better. It felt great to me and the wife. The controls feel better. The 6-cd in-dash stereo unit is great. I listened to it briefly and hated to turn it off, but wanted to listen for the engine and drive noise. There is some pronounced wind or road noise from the rear. However, nothing like in the 2002 Envoy. The rear hatch is very nice with the low lift-over. It has more "real" passenger room and feels better than the 2002 GMC Envoy that I drove.

    However, Ford left a great deal to be desired. You can't get heated rear-view mirrors on the XLT or XLS let alone the auto-dimming outside mirrors available on the new CM products. The dash is just plan boring. The interior feels cheaper. I believe that they call it "de-contenting" or something to that effect.

    If you have prior-experience with the Explorer, you must be careful not to assume anything. Check out every nook and cranny (and the under-floor storage is nice) to make sure that they left in what you liked about the old Explorer.

    One of the best things about the 2002 was that it had Michelin tires. I currently have a '99 Explorer and a '00 Contour. Both of those vehicles came with Firestone, but had replacements on them within the first few days of ownership.
  • gohuskiesgohuskies Posts: 40
    Thanks gasman for your commentary and ideas. Did you see or drive the Eddie Bauer or Limited models as they are suppost to be upscale from the XLS and XLT? My literature states that you can get Michelin, Goodyear or if you really want Firestones-they are available.
  • mrfenwaymrfenway Posts: 1
    I just test drove the 2002 Explorer XLT 4 door and I have to agree with gasman1 that there are some pluses and some minuses.. guess I was hoping that they'd leave in the things I liked and improve the things I didn't like, but some things I don't care for. such as... If you use a radar detector.. the lighter outlet is now in the driver armrest console where the tissue box used to be.. this is cumbersome because the plug must stretch across from the dash to the armrest.
    I didn't care to much for the driver instrumentation and the compass and odometer are stuck in the corner, looking sort of an afterthought and it does seem a bit cheaper.
    The ride was smoother than my '98 XLT but there wasn't a great difference, even over bumps. The steering was responsive and the brakes were great and it did feel that it had a little more balance and stability than prior years. It is roomier throughout and the third row seating is a nice addition, as well as it's lower and wider getting in and out. The back is lower also but I was disappointed to see that there is a noticeable rise a few inches into the back cargo area. I have a dog that is always jumping in and out and I couldn't help thinking that he'd hit that ridge with the front of his paws and it would hurt him.

    GoHuskers..I would definitely take it for a long drive first and see it in and out before I'd place that order. I'm content getting a 2001 especially with the rebates that are being offered, waiting a few years for undetered kinks to be worked out.
  • helperinhelperin Posts: 1
    I am moving up from a Honda CR-V, and rode the 2002 Explorer yesterday and just loved it. What's really smart about the way they designed the second row seat is the way that BOTH sides flip down, so that you can enter the back row from either side of the car. Also, it felt far less trucky that any of the bigger SUVs I've tried (most of which probably have V8s). I drove the Expedition, the Tahoe, etc, and this car didn't make me feel fearful one bit. Probably a great car for the family, I'm guessing, and better on the gas mileage than the other ones, though not as room or luxurious.
  • I just test drove a 2002 Mountaineer. I currently own a 96 Explorer XLT. I don t understand how anyone could be content purchasing a 2001 Explorer/Mountaineer as the new model has so many improvements. The new suspension, available third row seat, better steering, better brakes, available side air curtain, and noise reduction make the new models a definite step above the older models...But of course..just my opinion
  • First off, let me just say I have test drove an XLS and really loved it. I plan on getting a E.. V-8 as soon as they come out with the late stuff on them.
    Second, I agree with the mrfenway about the pluses and minuses. But don't get me wrong I also agree with sirknightd about how any one would be content with purchasing a 2001 with so much changing with the 2002. (okay so money does factor into this) beck the 2001, 2000, 1999 all look the same anyway.
    Third, I really like what they have done with the new Explorer. Boy, they really thought some stuff out. The details are amazing.. larger coat hooks for plastic hangers... V-8 AND 4x4 offered together... my only complaint about it is where did the trip computer go? I have seen one BE and have yet to drive one. Did they put it in the dash by the speed limit? I wish they had left that along. I use that little feature all of the time. Besides that I am happy, well that and the two tone leather on the BE. Anyway I can't wait to get one and I must admit I am happy to see a 2002 Explorer board on Edmunds.
  • I just test drove a 2002 Eddie Bauer the other night. Like already mentioned here, there are a lot of pluses and minuses. The ride is great.much more car like, but there are still too many negatives about the truck to make me go out and shell out $30k+ for. The exterior is nice, but there is some parts that look very cheap. Who designed those running boards I will never know, but they are UGLY! and the wheel lip moldings on the XLT model are not painted.....just molded gray plastic. It gives it a very cheap look. Also, to get fog lamps you have to step up to an EB model. Also, the back tail area has the same cheap looking graph paper kinda of black plastic like the running boards. other than those details, the rest of the exterior looks great.
    Now the interior, it has a very import car kinda of feel to me anyways. They moved the compass and temp gauges into the instrument panel. I kinda like it better on the headliner like my 99 Sport has. One good thing about the EB is that they moved that silly computer thingy into the instrument panel as well, so you dont lose any center console space anymore. Another thing, the radio buttons are kinda small so they might be a pain to find in the dark, even though they'd be lit.One thing Im kinda dissapointed with is that you cant get the electrochromic mirror unless, once aain, you step up to the EB model. Now,the back cargo area is huge now..... compared to the last generation. Seem much more roomier. that independent rear suspension really made a big differen in space, no doubt about that.

    Overall I am impressed with the 2002, but I sure wish they made some of the things you can get on the 2001 XLTs available on the 02's. Im sure in the next 2-3 model years they will. But for now, Im gonna trade in my 99 Sport for a 2001 XLT with the Sport package. The interest rates and rebates are just too damn good pass up. Maybe in 2-3 yrs I will upgrade to a 2003-4 or so.
  • I have to agree with intrepidJC about the features and option structures on the 2002. I wanted an XLT with the MACH stereo, fog lamps, and trip computer. But you have to move up to the EB/limited for all that. But I dont like leather seats. I just cant justify the $4000 price jump to a Limited for those options and the other things you get. I also wanted the V8 but have been reading about the durability/overheating/coolant leak problems they have been having with that engine I curently own a Subaru Forester that has been totally reliable but wanted to buy American this time around. Toyota and Nissan are doing a total redesign of the 4runner and Pathfinder for 2002. I think I'll wait and see what those will be like.
  • We test drove a new Explorer today - I was pretty impressed. I thought the ride was MUCH better than the previous model, however it didn't feel like the V-6 had a ton of power with four people in the Explorer.

    I was disappointed to find out that a lot of the options like people have mentioned are only available on the Eddie Bauer and Limited and not on the XLS/XLT. You can build an XLT w/ leather, sunroof, third seat, etc. and you would still have to jump in price almost $2000 to get the little options like on the Eddie Bauer (auto climate control, electrochromatic mirror, message center, etc.). That is a lot of money just for little gadgets like that.

    I was impressed with the third seat room - with the independent suspension in the rear, it really gives the Explorer a lot of third seat room. I'm 6'2" and I had plenty of leg room and head room. We have a Toyota Sienna minivan now (which we've had a lot of problems with), and I thought there was more headroom in the Explorer's third seat than in our minivan. There was also more leg room. However, you sacrafice a lot of cargo space in order to seat 6 or 7 people in the Explorer.

    Anyway, thought I'd throw in my two cents worth. Talk to you later.

  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    I test drove a 2002 Explorer today and was very impressed.

    First, it seems that the packaging is a lot better than seems roomier inside and has a 3rd row of seats yet does not look or feel much bigger on the outside.

    I also liked the versatility of how the 2nd row of seats each folded independently and how the 3rd row os seats disappear when not in use.

    I was also surprised to see that ground clearance has increased a lot, more than 9 inches now, while having a lower step-in height.

    Overall I was very impressed.
  • Has anyone priced the Mountaineer with the luxury and convenience packages which include the XLS unavailable optional gadgets ?

    Also has anyone had any experience with an WAD Mountaineer on the beach?
  • well, no 2002 Explorer for me. I just picked up a 2001 XLT Sport package today. Couldn't pass up all the rebates available and the great interest rates. Also was able to take advantage of some rebates i had available from my ford citibank card and also from my employer, who is part of a program called XPLAN. You get a $1000 rebate on any 2001 model on top of any other rebates and incentives in effect. MSRP on the truck I got was $34,220... getting it for $28,200 after rebates and stuff. Definitely can't complain. Sure beats paying top price for a 2002. I'll wait another model year or 2 until Ford starts coming out with some of the EB/Limited only features like the electrochromic mirror, and fog lamps. The trip computer thingy I dont care much for.
  • Yesterday I drove the 2002 Eddie Bauer Explorer as an owner of a 98 XLT with the V6 and came away very frustrated. Ford has put in a lot of great new content, but at the same time taken away good points from the last design.

    The good news: more room, 3rd row seat, great tailgate setup, more responsive steering, improved ride, so quiet at idle you could barely tell the engine was running, passenger assist handle on the A pillar.

    The bad news: the instrument cluster (looks like it came out of a base model mustang), one piece console (very cheap looking and the rear seat controls on the back of the console look like an afterthought), seats (they feel mushy and much less supportive), the plastic surfaces seem like they belong in an economy car, who thought up putting the 4WD selector on the passenger side?

    It seems like maybe the folks who design the interior for the Taurus didn't have enough to do, so Ford let them have at the Explorer interior.
    After driving the Explorer I went and drove the new Olds Brevada. Its interior was where I thought Ford would have gone, building on the previous generation Explorer. Did GM hire the people who did Explorer interiors?

    Maybe in trying to hold the overall price Ford decided they had to cut corners in some areas to offset the new goodies in the package. I think this approach is more apparent to someone coming from the previous Explorer than it would be to a first time Explorer buyer - unfortunately.
  • Currently I own a 96 4WD Exploer XLT.
    Thursday I test drove a two wheel drive 2002 Mountaineer and yesterday I test drove a 4WD 2002 Explorer XLT.

    I am also frustrated in the decontenting Ford has done. I also expected them to build on the old Explorer. They took away a few little things like the extra sun visors, and the audio controls on the second row console. The finished areas of the doors and other plastic were actually rough to the touch.
    That being said
    Overall, the 2002 models are so much more car like
    and i cant wait to get one of them

    I d like a Mountaineer with 4WD, but of course they dont offer that, just AWD is offered.

    I m going to wait for the stablilty control, dual stage air bags, and rollover senses due later this year.

    The two wheel drive Mountaineer seemed to drive nicer than the explorer. But i drove it second, and the drastic change from my own explorer to the Mountaineer was my first impression. But also the Mountaineer has different shocks and tires.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Back in the Firestone trouble, Ford said they would offer stability control in 2002 mid year. I saw the pricing press release several weeks ago and they mentioned a mid year option but stability control wasn't mentioned. Are the dealers saying anything about it? Does anyone looking really care about it as a safety option, the car companies usually reflect what the consumer wants?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Both dealers that I spoke with said that the stability control is coming, but they couldn't say when. You can get some information on it from the brochure. I'm "guessing" that it will cost around $1,100 since that's the cost for stability control on the Focus. Toyota offers it for $850. Traction Control comes with stability control and I "think" that the limited slip comes with it.
  • svmansvman Posts: 25
    As an owner of a 98 Mountaineer, I was anxious to finally see the 2002 model. While the exterior was sharper than I thought (though I still don't like the headlights), the interior was cheap, blah, and didn't appeal to me at all. All those satin chrome accents inside gave it dull look to it. The fit and finish was also poor with loose coverings under the steering wheel. And I hate a standard 3rd seat. My wife refused to even drive it, guess I'm back at the new Chevy Trailblazer -much more appealing - or getting a 2001 Mountaineer. No change from the 98, which we think is better than the new model.
  • roger51roger51 Posts: 1
    I checked out the 2002 Explorers today, and noticed that each one of them had an additional price of $2995 over and above the MSRP. It was called "adjusted market value."

    So Ford must think it has such a hot vehicle that people are willing to pay a mark-up in order to get it?

    Or is that just in my area (Wash DC)? The inside does sort of look somewhat cheesy, with the plastic paneling. I didn't drive it, and won't even consider it if this mark-up continues. Someone is making a huge mistake, don't know if it is Ford or just the local dealers.
  • I became intrigued about the mark up in your area.
    Funny...the sticker was removed from the 2002 EB Explorer
    i saw in the show room.

    All the 2002 Mountaineers had stickers on them with no mention of any mark up.

    I d be surprised the Ford Motor Company would institute such a policy. It would seem to be dealer based and quite transitory in nature. I bet that quite soon the mark up you mentioned will be gone.
    When i priced the ACura mdx i was told of some finance acquisition fee of about four hundred dollars. When i grumbled i was told it would be dropped if ordered one option such as running boards.

    I bet a little grumbling will have that fee dropped. When negotiating for a vechicle, always start up from the invoice price and remind them they get about a three per cent dealer holdback.

    Some cars have high markups such as Mercedes, and they dont seem too impressed if u know the dealer invoice. Basically they will get what the market will bear. Typically with most vehicles about a thousand dollars over invoice is a fair deal.

    EVery deal is different, new models will command a premium until the novelty wears off. If u can hold out, a few additional options may be offered later in the year, some of the quirks may also be ironed out by then.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    I'll keep looking and I didn't know they had stability in the Focus, guess it is going down market.
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