CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

Collapse Safety Ratings

NCAP 5-Star Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Driver FrontPassenger FrontDriver SidePassenger SideRollover
2002 Explorer 4-DR.**************1********
2002 Explorer Sport 2-DR********************
2002 Explorer Sport Tracnot testednot testednot testednot testednot tested

1 During the side impact test, the driver door became unlatched. Following the test, the door was open six inches at the latch.

Find something helpful? Spread the word.

IIHS Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Good Acceptable Marginal Poor

2002 Ford Explorer 4-door SUV

Moderate Overlap FrontSmall Overlap FrontSideRearRollover
G Overall
G Head/Neck Injury
G Chest Injury
G Left Leg Injury
A Right Leg Injury
G Restraints
G Structure
TEST NOTES: Applies to models built after October 2001. Get the full IIHS report »
Not tested. Not tested. Not tested. Not tested.
 

Ratings only apply to the model and body or seat type tested. The date of manufacture and optional safety equipment can affect results. For full details see www.iihs.org.

Add Your Complaint

Bump the Explorer problem graphs up another notch. Get answers and make your voice heard!

Become a Fan & Spread the Word