Model: Ford Explorer Sport Trac : Used
Vehicle Type: Truck
History/Description: With an eye for flexibility, capability and style, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac hit its 2nd generation for 2007 and was carried on until 2010.
The dressed-up, 4-door pickup was geared towards lifestyle-oriented shoppers, and included 4-wheel drive, automatic transmissions and 2 engine choices. Shoppers could opt for a 4.0L V6 with 210 horsepower, or a 4.6L, 292-horsepower V8.
Look for chrome accents, step-boards, navigation, a sunroof, leather seating, reverse park assist, a power rear window, FordSync and plenty more. A top-line “Adrenaline” model adds more visual flare with a unique grille treatment, unique headlamps, 20” wheels, and more.
Unlike the Honda Ridgeline, the SportTrac rode a pickup frame chassis, and could tow up to 7,000 lbs. This machine is built, powered, and equipped like a pickup, and will consume fuel like one -- so be sure you’re in need of its capabilities.
What Owners Like About The Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac: Sport Trac owners tend to rave about the available Pioneer stereo system, easy-to-clean interior, flexibility, space, traction, and a solid, tough and rugged feel. Performance with the V8 engine is also highly rated, as is the “real-truck” capability for towing and off-road work.
What Owners Dislike: Common gripes include difficulty accessing cargo due to Sport Trac’s deep bed, some cheap interior trim, fuel mileage with the V8 engine, and cheap/filmsy door handles. Some owners wish for an easier-to-use tonneau cover, too.
Common Issues With The Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac: Transmission problems come up first and foremost when checking out reliability of this generation of Sport Trac. Signs of trouble on your test drive include slipping, hesitation or roughness from the gear shifts, especially when switching between reverse and drive. In most cases, the problems are computer-related, not mechanical in nature, and a Ford mechanic can help ensure that’s the case. The 6-speed transmission and V8 engine combination looks like the safest bet. The 5-speed automatic and V6 engine combination isn’t recommended due to additional problems reported frequently in the owner’s community.
Drive slowly while turning and “listen” for any unwelcomed popping, clicking or grinding sounds, which could indicate a problem with the rear differential or wheel bearings. Note that any sloppiness to the steering over bumps, possibly coupled with unwelcomed sounds, could indicate a problem with the front suspension, too.
Cycle through the 4-wheel drive modes, ensuring all engage and disengage as outlined in the owner’s manual. Check the air conditioner for proper operation, as well as all interior accessories. Pop the hood with the engine running, ensuring there is no excessive noise coming from the accessory belt and pulley.
Finally, note that looking at the condition of the Sport Trac’s box and interior can provide a good indication of the sort of life it’s had in the hands of its seller.
The Verdict Of The Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac: It’s the capability, flexibility and utility of the Sport Trac that will likely work hardest to attract customers to used models. The Sport Trac with the V8 engine is likely the most reliable bet -- but a mechanical checkover focusing on the transmission and rear differential should be considered mandatory ahead of your purchase.
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