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Selling my 2003 and replacing it with a 2011-2013 model. I'm looking for the least amount of mileage while husband seems more interested in model year (newer is better, right?). So my very general question is money better spent on keeping the mileage between 50,000 - 80,000 miles rather than newer with over $100,000 miles?
 

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Yes, lower mileage is better when the difference is that much, but at the same time there are hard miles and easy miles. Someone who commuted 80 miles back and forth to work on the interstate drove easy miles. Someone who put on a lot of miles around town, not so much.

Even so, I wouldn't pay a premium for a 2011 or newer if it had over 100K mi. on it already, unless the price was really low and then I'd be suspicious about what's wrong with it, would want a mechanic very experienced with 5th gen explorers to give it a full inspection including driving, engine compression, etc.

SUVs being more complex, larger, higher center of gravity, start having more issues below 200K mi. than something like a Toyota Corolla would.

The changes weren't much between the model years. Very late in 2013 (actual year not model year) Ford started putting heavier duty brakes on the non-sports, so that change appeared in late, not all 2014 models.

Later they switched the 2.0L ecoboost engine to a 2.3L, but I would, and did, pick the 3.5L NA over the ecoboost. The 3.5L isn't perfect, has a very expensive to replace internal water pump, but besides that should have better reliability than the EB's. Plus, they didn't come with AWD with the 2.0L EB, only FWD... might not matter if your climate never has snow or ic.

Otherwise about newer vs older, look them over carefully. Older could be in better condition than newer if the owner didn't have kids + dog riding in it, or it was garage kept instead of outside under a tree with birds crapping on it (lol) or not in shade with sun beating down. Then again, obviously one newer in the same good conditions will have aged even less.

Location also matters as well as how long you intend to own it. If you're in it for the long haul (> 10 years ownership) and live in an area where there's salt put on snowy roads in winter, undercarriage rust level might matter as it could rust out before you have major mechanical issues.
 

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Hello I bought a 2011 explorer in 2017 with 75000 miles on it. It has the 3.5 non turbocharged and so far has served me well. In the last two years I've had to replace the actual compressor. When I first got the car it was leaking a little coolant. I researched it and checked it. I believe I came form my water pump hosing. Just like that it stopped. I still have the car and R E A L L Y like it. I have 130000 miles on it and I keep up on all the service. Great car.
 
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