It's only good when getting vehicles specifically enables to do things you otherwise wouldn't (DQ games, PS1, Ultima 4 onward).
the spirit lance would beg to differ. if you get it as soon as possible you have to trudge into areas you have no buisiness being in way sooner than you are supposed to be there. also some espers require some exploration or returning to areas you already finished for story purposes.
Exceptions rather than the norm. Most dungeons and huge and visually detailed but completely devoid of actual interactive content. Like Endless McFucking Oilplatform Zone.