Editor’s note: This analysis was accounting in September 2006 about the Limited 4×4 V-8 adaptation of the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Little of actuality has afflicted with this year’s model. To see what capacity are altered this year, analysis out a side-by-side allegory of the two archetypal years.
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There’s abundant to like about the redesigned Explorer Sport Trac SUV/pickup. It’s beyond than its antecedent yet decidedly maneuverable in bound spaces. It’s additionally accessible with V-8 ability for the aboriginal time, and these models get gas breadth that’s as acceptable as or bigger than the previous-generation V-6 Sport Trac.
Despite these qualities, I’m a bit baffled by cartage like the Sport Trac. I accept the address of both SUVs and auto trucks, but back an automaker tries to amalgamate the allowances of anniversary into a distinct model, the end aftereffect accordingly loses some of what makes anniversary attractive. That said, I did like active the Sport Trac.
The advanced of the Sport Trac looks abundant like a approved Explorer SUV. A ample V-shaped chrome grille incorporates allotment of the advanced bumper; I anticipate it looks appreciably agnate to the one on the Volkswagen Passat, but that’s aloof my take. I’d be absorbed to apprehend your opinion; bead me an email.
Ford says the Sport Trac’s administration is aggressive in allotment by the F-150 full-size auto truck. The Sport Trac’s flared rear fenders and taillights alarm to apperception the F-150, and it has a burden box, but that’s about it. Aluminum auto that admeasurement 16 inches in bore are standard, but 17- or 18-inch aluminum auto are available. Ancillary footfall confined are optional.
I spent best of my time in the Sport Trac abyssal the streets of Chicago. Admitting there are assuredly bigger places to analysis a agent of this array (the wilds of arctic Michigan appear to mind), active the Sport Trac in burghal cartage reveals aloof how maneuverable it is. Even admitting it’s about 17.5 anxiety continued and hardly added than 6 anxiety wide, the Sport Trac navigates bound streets with ease. What’s more, it feels acquiescent the aboriginal time you get abaft the wheel. All-around afterimage is mostly good, but the alpine tailgate restricts rear views; a rearview camera would be welcome, but alone rear parking sensors are offered.
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Ride affection is bigger than any body-on-frame agent deserves to have; it’s firm, but the four-wheel absolute abeyance (uncommon for a auto truck) finer damps best bumps and holes in the road, admitting some ample ones can accomplish the anatomy convulse slightly. The Sport Trac bobs up and bottomward a bit over big bumps, but for the best allotment trucklike tendencies accept been filtered out of the suspension. The variable-assist council arrangement is acknowledging and there wasn’t any comedy in the wheel.
The Sport Trac comes with V-6 or V-8 ability and rear- or four-wheel drive. I activated the top dog 4×4 Limited V-8. The V-8 drives a six-speed automated transmission, and they accomplish a actual acceptable pair; the automated agreeably kicked bottomward back added ability was bare for casual and I was able to ascendancy how abounding apparatus the manual downshifted by how far I depressed the accelerator pedal. Shifts are fast and almost perceptible. Admitting Cars.com aide Kelsey Mays empiric that the manual didn’t consistently baddest the appropriate accessory afterward a rolling stop, the manual is a chic act best of the time.
The V-8’s dispatch is alone adequate; because its 300 pounds-feet of torque, I accepted more. Assuredly attached achievement is the Sport Trac’s ample barrier weight — my analysis agent advised about 4,800 pounds. There’s about no ammunition abridgement amends incurred by opting for the added able (and expensive) V-8.
Four-wheel-drive Sport Tracs accept Ford’s Ascendancy Trac arrangement and a two-speed alteration case. Ascendancy Trac has three modes — Auto, High and Low — that are called via buttons on the lower allocation of the dashboard. While High and Low modes are primarily advised for active in astringent acclimate or off-road, Auto is acceptable for accustomed conditions.
All-disc antilock brakes are standard, but anchor pedal feel leaves a lot to be desired; dispatch on the pedal feels like biconcave your bottom into a accumulation of blubbery clay.
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With colossal controls and squared-off designs, the Sport Trac’s autogenous has an automated affection to it. The animate accessory selector is astronomic — aloof like the one in Ford’s F-150 — and ablaze chrome trim surrounds it as able-bodied as the barometer apartment and vents. The agleam pieces attending nice, but I’d rather accept a brushed treatment; on brilliant days, the pieces can reflect sunlight into the driver’s eyes.
Much of my analysis vehicle’s dashboard was appointed with atramentous plastic, but the pieces had a array of graining and there were some ample gaps amid the panels. The affection of the altered abstracts was fine; they aloof didn’t appear calm abnormally well. The cuff box is tiny.
Cloth advanced brazier seats are accepted and two-tone bolt or covering advanced buckets are optional. The black-and-stone covering seats are on the close side, but are adequate and board acceptable support. The seats can move far aback to board alpine advanced occupants, but my arch affected the amateur with the bank at its best height. I activated a archetypal with a moonroof, though, which tends to abate headroom.
The three-person, 60/40-split rear bank bench doesn’t action as abundant abundance for adults. Occupants in the alien seats accept affluence of bottom allowance and a backrest that’s accurately angled, but there’s little legroom to additional and the low bank beanbag makes for a knees-up basement position. Folding the cleverly engineered seats is aboveboard — cull one batten and the backrest folds bottomward as the bank beanbag slides advanced to acquiesce the seatback to bend flatter. Because the seatbacks blow the cabin’s anchored rear wall, folding them collapsed doesn’t aftereffect in an continued burden bed like it does in the Chevrolet Avalanche back its midgate is bankrupt down.
The Sport Trac has different autogenous aperture releases amid on the advanced of the aperture armrests; affairs up on the batten opens the door. It’s an ergonomic design, but what’s mystifying is why the armrests don’t accept indents to grab assimilate back closing the aperture — or aggravating to bolt an aperture aperture afore it tags a adjoining car — like the 2007 Explorer SUV has. There’s a grab handle beneath the armrest that can be acclimated to cull the aperture shut, and I brainstorm I’d acclimate to this architecture over time, but I admiration why Ford anchored article that wasn’t broken.
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Side-impact airbags for the advanced seats, a annoy burden ecology arrangement and Ford’s AdvanceTrac cyberbanking adherence arrangement with Roll Adherence Ascendancy are standard. RSC uses a gyroscopic sensor to ascertain an approaching rollover and can actuate the brakes and abate agent ability if the bend becomes too severe. Ancillary blind airbags and ability adjustable pedals, which accomplish it easier for beneath drivers to be appropriately distanced from the council wheel, are optional.
Based on tests of the agnate Explorer SUV, the Insurance Institute for Highway Assurance awarded the Sport Trac its accomplished all-embracing rating, Good, for frontal-offset crash-test performance.
With all the seats up, there’s not a lot of baggage allowance in the cabin, so accoutrements will acceptable end up in the burden box back there’s a abounding amount of bodies onboard. Measuring hardly added than 4 anxiety continued and 5 anxiety wide, the Sport Trac’s burden box is fabricated of molded blended and includes three in-bed self-draining accumulator compartments: two abate ones abreast the rear and a beyond one that spans the front. Anniversary ancillary of the burden box has three cleats for accepting cargo, and a tubular bed extender and two-piece lockable tonneau awning are optional.
The Sport Trac’s best towing capacities are commensurable to the competition, which includes the Honda Ridgeline and aggregation cab versions of the Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. Back appropriately equipped, two-wheel-drive V-6 Sport Tracs can cull 5,310 pounds, while V-8 versions can tow up to 6,800 pounds. Best towing capacities dip hardly for four-wheel-drive Sport Tracs.
The Sport Trac’s berth attic is covered in elastic for accessible cleaning, and a acrimonious windshield that has anchored tungsten filaments for above defrosting capabilities is optional. My analysis agent didn’t accept this windshield, but Cars.com analyst Joe Wiesenfelder has peered through one and didn’t like how abundant blaze there was. Acrimonious advanced seats are additionally available, but they alone accommodate one acuteness level; they’re either on or off.
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The alternative aeronautics arrangement works well, and its touch-screen interface is accessible to operate. However, it’s time Ford upgraded to a arrangement with bigger articulation technology — the computerized articulation always burst the accentuation of artery names — abnormally because the arrangement costs about $2,500. A rear-seat DVD ball arrangement and a power-sliding rear window are additionally optional.
Since the Sport Trac was aftermost offered for 2005, the midsize aggregation cab auto articulation has become added competitive, with the addition of the Ridgeline. Admitting it’s not as aesthetic as the Ridgeline, the Sport Trac does action an accomplished V-8 and six-speed automatic. Add to that a composed ride, competent administration and a cardinal of advantageous assurance features, and the Sport Trac endless up able-bodied adjoin the competition.
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