My mom got this little truck back in 1997, or so I think I remember. It was a 2-year lease, so we didn’t have it for long, but that’s when I discovered the joys of a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, the 1998 Ford Explorer (Sport) had plenty of flaws, which I’ll be happy to list, but overall it was a really fun little truck to drive.
The first thing that bothered us when we got the truck is that it had an automatic transmission. When we were at the dealer, my dad saw that the standard equipment was a 5-speed manual transmission, so that’s what he ordered. He was told, however, that it was impossible to get, and that he absolutely had to order the automatic, which came with a package that cost several thousand dollars more. Just to see how far the insanity went, my dad said that he would take any color, any equipment, as long as it had the manual transmission. Guess what? They never even produced it. Not one. It was a nice little tactic so that they could show a lower price, then screw you over when you got in. But anyways, my mom liked it so we got it.
The second part of what was terrible about the 1998 Ford Explorer Sport was that it was terrible on gas. The 4.0 liter V6 was underpowered, which means that you always needed to floor it to get anywhere; I’m certain the V8 would have performed better in that regards.
Besides that, it was awesome. Incredible in the snow, well-equipped, roomy and comfortable, and more. Great truck.