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2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

2dr 102' WB Sport

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway

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  • $19,970 original MSRP
Printable Version

2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Printable Version

2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

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2000 Ford Explorer

Source: New Car Test Drive

America's favorite SUV.

by John Matras

Base Price (XLS) $23,290
As Tested $30,805

The Ford Explorer is easily the best-selling sport-utility in America. Nearly one of every six sport-utilities sold today is a Ford Explorer. Nearly 2.8 million SUVs were sold in 1998 and some 425,000 of them were Ford Explorers. About 430,000 Explorers were sold in 1999. The Explorer outsold its nearest competitor nearly two-to-one.

What's the significance of all these numbers? Simply this: Ford must be doing something right to sell so many Explorers. Indeed, the Explorer offers something for just about everyone, from budget-priced XLS models to feature-laden Eddie Bauer and premium Limited models. There are two-door and four-door Explorers with V6 and V8 engines and two- and 4-wheel drive.

As if that's not enough, the 2-door Sport model gets its own identity with special styling cues and a new model, the Explorer Sport Trac, will combine the features of a sport-utility and a pickup truck.

Model Lineup

For the 2000 model year, the 2-door Sport is available with 4x2 and 4x4 drive trains for $19,970 and $23,070 respectively.

The 4-door Explorer is available in several trim levels. (The XL, with its vinyl seats and manual locks and windows, has been relegated to fleet-buyers only.) The XLS is now the base retail model, listing for $23,290 with two-wheel drive. The XLS includes such niceties as power mirrors, locks and windows, an AM/FM stereo cassette audio system, and aluminum wheels. With 4-wheel drive, the XLS starts at $25,170.

Explorer drivers can move up to the $27,185 XLT, which adds fog lights, privacy glass and interior trim items; the 4x4 XLT lists for $29,150.

Further up the Explorer hierarchy is the Eddie Bauer edition for $31,740 with two-wheel drive. This Explorer adds 16-inch wheels, automatic temperature controls, electrochromatic rearview mirror, upgraded audio and trim items, including leather upholstery. The Eddie Bauer 4x4 starts at $33,705, or $34,120 with all-wheel drive. The Limited is the top of the Explorer line, with more leather plus simulated woodgrain, special wheels and exterior trim, and retails for $31,995 for 4x2, $33,960 for 4x4, $34,375 for AWD.

Walkaround

Just about everything has changed on the Explorer since its 1991 introduction. Still, if asked to describe a sport-utility vehicle, most people could save time by just showing a picture of the Explorer.

The XLT is the typical Explorer, well equipped but not overly fancy or too expensive. It features a bright front and rear bumper with an integrated rub strip. Its compound headlamp array includes the headlights plus parking lights, turn signals and side marker lights in a single aero-curved assembly set into the bright grille surround. The grille itself is simple, with a large crossbar decorated with the Ford blue oval badge and three smaller vertical bars. The rear bumper echoes the front in appearance, but comes standard with a 3500-pound trailer towing capacity. Tri-color taillights and a liftgate with a flip-open rear window finish off the rear.

The Explorer uses an independent short/long arm front suspension with torsion bars and a live axle mounted on two-stage variable-rate leaf springs at the rear. A 4.0-liter pushrod V6 is standard in the XLS and can be upgraded to the 4.0-liter overhead-cam V6 for those wanting more performance. These engines come with a choice of 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The XLT and more expensive models, however, come standard with a 5.0-liter overhead-valve V8 with a 4-speed automatic. The 215-horsepower V8 cranks out 288 foot-pounds of torque. Ford made its trailer towing package standard on all V8-equipped Explorers.

Interior Features

The inside of the Ford Explorer looks like America's living room, which is appropriate, considering that so many Americans spend so much time there. The front passengers get a pair of comfy captain's chairs, covered in a premium cloth for the XLT. The bench seat offers three-passenger capacity; the rear seat is split so that either half can be folded down for versatility when moving cargo and people at the same time. Big doors make access easy, though the XLT doesn't have the running boards standard on the Eddie Bauer and Limited models. Of course, half the time running boards only get in the way and you wind up with dirt on your pants cuff.

The Explorer has its automatic shifter mounted on the column with an overdrive-off button located on the end, handy when hauling or towing a trailer to prevent automatic transmission hunting (and overheating) in hilly areas. The dash features full instrumentation in a neatly laid out nacelle. The radio and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls are centered on the dash in a pod; that pod also houses a knob that controls the 4WD operation. The audio and cabin temperature controls are easy enough to use though we'd prefer an old-fashioned twist knob to control station tuning on the radio. The XLT has a handy center console/arm rest.

Front seat side-impact airbags are optional. Also optional is an ultrasonic sonar system that beeps ever faster as you back up within 6 feet or less of objects behind the vehicle. Considering the poor rear vision SUVs have when backing up, this rear sensing system is an important safety option.

Driving Impressions

The Explorer is easier to drive on a daily basis than the bigger SUVs in the Ford stable. It is far more nimble in crowded parking lots with narrow spaces or on forest roads with tight switchbacks. If a small turning circle is paramount, the 2-door is a better choice, at 34.7 feet curb to curb, though the 4-door Explorer manages a fairly nimble 37.3 feet.

The V6 is the most popular engine. But the 5.0-liter V8 assures a certain command of the road with an ability to accelerate with all but the sportiest of automobiles, handy for merging or passing. It's the best choice for doing any towing, with reserve power for climbing hills and bucking headwinds. The V8 offers quiet cruising on the highway.

The Explorer is relatively free of wind noise and only a modicum of road noise filters up to remind you that you're in a truck. But the Explorer is indeed a truck. It's responsive to its rack-and-pinion steering, reacting smartly to a turn of the wheel, but there's no denying the high-mounted center of gravity and overall mass of the vehicle. It handles like a truck. The Explorer's relatively heavy tires and live rear axle arrangement also work against a luxury car ride. On a smooth road, you won't notice, but bumpy roads bring out the truck in the Explorer. It offers a stiffer ride than most cars, but at the same time it provides the feeling that it won't be swallowed up by the next pothole.

Final Word

The Explorer is the modern American station wagon. If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he'd be painting families in Ford Explorers. The Explorer shares the cargo-hauling capability of the station wagons of yore, but it adds ground clearance and, in 4x4 versions, the promise of all-season mobility. Beyond that, the Explorer offers a utilitarian, outdoorsy image that no minivan can match.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Opt

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

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