2004 Ford Explorer Review and Model Lineup

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Consulted a review or two of the Ford Explorer? You might find yourself looking seriously into the 2004 Ford Explorer. It isn’t a lot different than the 2003 model (big changes were made on the 2002 model) but it is much more reliable than either 2002 or 2003. That could make this vehicle your prime choice out of the various years’ models.

New For the 2004 Model Year

The changes for 2004 were nowhere near as dramatic as those for the 2002 year, but they seemed to surpass 2003 in terms of change. First off, the Eddie Bauer and Limited Edition Explorers that were equipped with a third row seat got bucket seats added in the second row with the 2004 model year release. An AdvanceTrac stability control system was offered on most models. There were also two new colors introduced ““ dark blue pearl and pueblo gold. Also the NBX edition got an Off-Road package added standard that include 17 inch wheels, black cladding and step bars. The 2004 model year saw the 2 door models (which had not been updated when the four door version was with the 2002 model) discontinued.


Ford may not have made a lot of major changes to the Ford Explorer for the 2004 model year, but they obviously did something right because mechanics and owners have all reported significantly fewer problems with the vehicle. In fact, virtually ever problem reported on the 2003 model seems to be resolved with the 2004 version. The one exception to that is the braking sensor issue. That equipment failure happens rather infrequently and costs a couple hundred bucks to repair. There was one new problem reported with the 2004 model, though. That’s a leaking front pinion seal. This isn’t all that common, but happens often enough to earn a mention. It should cost less than two hundred dollars to have it fixed.

Various Editions

The 2004 Ford Explorer might not have had the two door versions that were out there with previous years, but there were still several different versions from which you could choose. By 2004 there are five trim levels ““ each a step up from the one before it: XLS, XLT, NBX, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The XLS and XLT also came in sport versions.

Power Train Options

2004 Ford Explorers came equipped either with a 4.0-liter V6 that could produce 210 horse power or a larger (and optional) 4.6 liter V-8 that was rated at 239 horse power. They were produced with either front wheel drive or four wheel drive, but the only choice was a five speed automatic transmission.

Since their introduction in the 1990’s, Ford Explorers had always been one of the best selling SUV’s on the market. The 2004 model, while not showcasing any huge changes, represented a higher level of quality and reliability than the models that preceded it directly. You might not have been able to get a two-door model anymore, but once you had your Ford Explorer it was less likely to break down. As with any used car purchase, though, have your vehicle inspected before you buy. Even the most reliable car might not be so if it’s been mistreated. Have a mechanic look the vehicle over before it’s yours ““ that way you’ll know if it has serious problems. Don’t get stuck with someone else’s money pit.  Of course, one advantage to buying a vehicle that is popular is that you can often find used parts for it. That can reduce the cost of any repair.

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