By the turn of the 21st Century, an all-out sport utility craze was in full-swing. With every major automobile maker rolling out its own SUVs, the Ford Motor Company decided to up the ante a bit with its Ford Explorer Sport Trac. As a Ford Explorer with a small open pickup bed, the 2001 Ford Sport Trac was intended to bring together the passenger space/comfort of a four-door SUV with hauling capabilities of a pickup truck into one all-encompassing vehicle.
As the first body-on-frame sport utility truck with the highest gross combined weight rating at the time of 12,000 pounds, an eager public was anxious to get its hands on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Considered by some as more of a vehicular curiosity, lost somewhere between sport utility and truck, the Trac never quite hammered-down its market niche, eventually getting the ax from Ford by the beginning of 2011. The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac did, however, bridge the gap nicely, appealing to a wider swath of buyers interested in a worthy alternative to the traditional SUV.
Body Styles: SUV-pickup
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT, Ford Explorer Sport Trac Limited
Based around a new, larger, fourth generation Explorer, the Sport Trac received a substantial over-hauling for its 2007 model year. A more spacious cabin, longer wheelbase by 16 inches, better handling thanks to the added independent rear suspension, more cargo room, and a bigger towing capacity were the major highlights. The best improvement, however, was the introduction of a stronger V-8 engine that delivered 40 percent more power than the Sport Trac’s previous V-6 engine.
The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac achieves one of the nicest balancing acts with regard to its ""dual-appeal"" exterior body design. Up front is a snazzy chrome grille/headlight combination that looks pretty sweet when cruising the downtown area on Friday night, while the big tires, prominent wheel arches, roof rack, and cargo tie-down gives just the right amount of ruggedness that appeals to the more ""truck-minded.""
There’s a good amount of space inside the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, thanks to the 60/40 split-folding rear bench and a near five-foot cargo box fashioned from corrosion-proof metal that doubles as an ice box, which is fastened to the car’s floor with drain holes. Both trims endowed with niceties as the XLT is equipped with cruise control, keyless entry, MP3 output, and a CD player. Upgrading to the Limited gives buyers additional options such as heated windshield, moonroof, leather seats, navigation system, an upgraded stereo system with subwoofer, and satellite radio.
Performance & Handling
The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac’s standard 4.0-liter V-6 pumps out a respectable 210 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque, while the bigger 4.6-liter V-8 packs a bit more punch with 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. It's considered good outputs when hanging in town or otherwise. The independent rear suspension helps to keep the wheels firmly planted on asphalt and dirt with equal skill. With an assortment of towing options available and when properly equipped, the 2007 Sport Trac can lug 6300 pounds without a problem. Add the roomy interior quietness and consumers have a near-luxury ride.
All the requisite safety features are included standard across both trims of the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac: front seat side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability/traction control, child seat anchors/rear cabin safety locks, and front/rear height adjustable headrests. As a safety option, outboard passenger air bags as available as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Explorer Sport Trac: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Great blending of car/truck
- Excellent V-8 engine option
- Spacious interior/good storage
- Handles like a dream on a country road or downtown
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy is just so-so
- Rear-end cargo bed is bit on the tiny side
- No third row seat
Worthwhile sport-meets-style option in an overwhelming SUV market.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Ridgeline
- Chevrolet Avalanche
- Cadillac Escalade EXT