Pros: Comfortable on long trips. Nice size.
Cons: Fuel economy, minor repairs.
This is all about our family truckster, our 00 Explorer.
It is an XLT model with the 4.0 OHV v6. It is loaded up, the only option missing is the light/moonroof package.
We bought this Explorer in Nov of 05 and it had 71k miles.
After much research we had decided to stay away from the problematic SOHC V6, and stick to either the OHV 4.0 or the 5.0 V8.
This explorer fit the bill for our wants (mileage, options,condition), and was within our budget (no more than 9K),had been well maintained, plus she was equipped with a class III hitch.
It has 93K on it now, and has been mostly trouble free.
It is very comfortable on our long trips (6 hours) and has plenty of room for a growing family to haul with them (suitcases, pack and play, toys, etc).
It cruises along at 75-80 MPH with no problems, and for an SUV it handles fairly well.
Maintenance is pretty easy, it has gotten new front rotors/brake pads, one sway bar link, rear rotors turned/pads, and rear axle seals (extended warranty).
Timing cover gasket is starting to leak (still under extended warranty), has a slow engagement into reverse when cold, ball joints are starting to show some play (not bad they went this long, most start to have play at ~60k in a 4wd).
It is starting to show wear on the drivers leather seat, the side bolstering is wearing.
As with any vehicle that has the aerodynamics of a barn door it does not do so well in the MPG department, the best I have gotten is 19 MPG on long trips.
Combined (city/hwy)it likes to hover around 14mpg.
The 4.0 OHV does well on it's own, with a trailer and any weight you can feel it, and on some long hills it will really lose steam.
One pet peeve of mine is the 5 speed auto transmission, with the cruise set it likes to shift back and forth from 3rd to 4th to 5th on any sort of hill.(this is with no load other than passengers)
In all I would say the Explorer is a good hauler if you are looking, Just find one that has been well maintained.