2000 Explorer New Car Test Drive
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.
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.