ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles 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 2002-2005 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
2004 Explorer 4-DR.**************1********
2004 Explorer Sport Tracnot 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.

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IIHS Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Good Acceptable Marginal Poor

2004 Ford Explorer 4-door SUV

Moderate Overlap FrontSmall Overlap DriverSmall Overlap PassengerSideRear1Rollover
G Overall
G Structure
G Head/Neck Injury
G Chest Injury
G Left Leg Injury
A Right Leg Injury
G Restraints
Full IIHS Moderate Overlap Crash Test report »
Not tested. Not tested. Not tested. P Overall
M Geometry
X Dynamic
Full IIHS Rear Impact Crash Test report »
Not tested.

1 — All seats. Seat/head restraints with a marginal or poor geometry rating aren't tested dynamically, because they cannot protect taller people in rear-end crashes.

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.

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