Recently bought a 17 XLT 4WD | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Recently bought a 17 XLT 4WD


New Member
February 28, 2020
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City, State
Boise, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
17 Explorer XLT 4WD
Hey guys:

Since I've always been a Japanese or even European guy, and coming from a family that never liked Fords, I surprised even myself when I picked up an Explorer... But then again, the Fusion Titanium and Edge that I rented helped influence me to give Ford a chance, which was where I discovered that Ford has come a long way from earning the "Found on Road Dead" days and are much more reliable, packs a decent punch, and it has more standard features and quality behind every component.

I currently work as an RF Field Engineer (basically I check cell towers to see if it's giving off the proper throughput/speed/etc., I don't climb the towers), but typically work in IT. Although I don't plan to be in this industry for long, this is a car that works hard but cleans up nicely; simply perfect.
  • Before I started this work in Nov 2019, I was renting cars for work since my 2006 BMW 330xi was experiencing mechanical issues and I didn't want to put it to work, plus I had to pay off my credit cards and fix my credit first to get a better rate (instead of some subpar buy-here-pay-here hole in the wall)... But those 3 months were ludicrously expensive, and it's not reimbursed since I'm a 1099 contractor.
  • I spend long hours in the car, so comfort is a MUST for me. Also, if I get sent out too far out into the countryside (I've been in parts of Montana where there isn't a hotel or even gas station for 50 miles), I want to be able to fold the seats flat, pull out a mattress topper, and sleep in the back.
  • Speaking of countryside, even in the year 2020 you'd be surprised how many dirt roads there are... Even on pavement, I still have to deal with unplowed/under-plowed snow, so AWD is another must, and for the few AWD reviews I found, Ford Intelligent AWD actually had some pretty good reviews.
  • Also countryside again: I've actually gotten lost at a location where neither my personal cell phone or the UEs (cell phones intended for testing) had reception, so built-in nav was another important one for me.
  • I have to plug in testing equipment, and many cars nowadays are starting to shrink the number of charging ports available; Toyota has even gone as far as having ONE 12V port but multiple USB ports (which is useless to me), and I even tried to get a splitter to work and just wound up blowing fuses.
  • DISCLAIMER: I am NOT trying to fully impersonate a LEO. However, this has been my best bad idea yet so far: If you have to do testing on the side of the road or circle through neighborhoods (especially when some countryside locations are poorly marked, so it's hard to tell when public roads end and private property begins sometimes), a lot less people would have suspicions for an Explorer than say, a Toyota Camry, and so far it's worked... Before, at minimum 3x a week, I'd have cars slow down and ask if I was stranded/lost (which is disruptive when you're trying to read off parameters on a bridge line), I've had people accost me (even at gunpoint once, but I was at an off-peak maintenance window and accidentally wound up on his property at 3 AM, so I don't blame him) whether I'm on a public road or private property, and even had the police ask questions as they passed me or even got called. Hilariously, the only interaction I've had since I got the Explorer was an old lady bringing me bottled water since she thought I was an officer staking out the neighborhood
    I wish I'd thought to hit the "save" button on my dash cam to capture that moment, but it was already long overwritten by the time I thought of it.
  • Only mods so far: 4 Pioneer speakers for now (the rest are coming soon), Kenwood dash cam with hidden wiring, and a Cyanlabs Sync 3.4 update... More coming soon.


Elite Explorer
December 31, 2013
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In my garage working on one of our vehicles.
City, State
Horsepasture, Virginia.
Year, Model & Trim Level
00 Ranger 4x4, 99 Sport.
Welcome to the forum. Nice looking Explorer.


Moderator & long time member.
Staff member
Elite Explorer
November 11, 2005
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City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
88 89 93 95 96 Aerostars