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Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac Overview And How To Buy At The Best Price
The very versatile Ford Explorer Sport Trac, produced for the 2001 - 2010 model years, is really the best of both worlds to many. It has the hauling capability of a truck, yet also the riding style and comfort of an SUV. And its sharp design gives it a modern and edgy personality.
In our opinion, however, it's really the second-generation Sport Trac (2007 and newer) that make a better used truck purchase.
Debuting as a four-door crew cab (it was made in just one body style) and initially offered in XLS and XLT trims through 2005, the redesigned version came in XLT and Limited trims, with all models available as either a 4x4 or a 2WD.
This most recent production run featured boosts in power, cargo and towing capacity along with handling and comfort improvements. Not surprisingly, much of the Sport Trac's chassis hardware comes from the Explorer, which had been updated in 2006, although the Sport Trac had a significant 13-inch-longer wheelbase. It's this longer wheelbase which allowed it to offer a 4-foot bed as well as plenty of rear legroom for passengers.
Ford claimed that this version was 400% stiffer than its predecessor and this, along with adopting the Explorer's independent rear suspension, gave it much improved handling abilities and ride quality characteristics.
Also new in this generation was the optional 292-horspower V8 and six-speed automatic transmission from the Explorer. The bed was also enlarged and included three hidden storage compartments, while additional standard safety features were added, including side airbags and stability control.
In terms of features, even the base XLT was very well-equiped, with standard features such as power windows, power mirrors, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a composite cargo box, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and a CD player. The Limited went on to add 18-inch alloys, a power driver seat, side-step bars, color-keyed bumpers and side mirrors, foglamps and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Prospective Sport Trac buyers should also note that used models can be found with options such as leather upholstery, navigation, a moonroof, a heated windshield, adjustable pedals and an upgraded audio system with a CD changer, a subwoofer and satellite radio. There's also an optional "cage" bed extender for the cargo box as well as a hard tonneau cover (2009 and newer).
Powering the Sport Trac is a standard 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission. Those seeking additional power might choose the optional 4.6-liter V8 that delivers 292 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The V8 is equipped with a six-speed automatic.
This is also a very competent handler with enough acceleration to do the dirty work yet pleasant enough in everyday situations to offer a carlike drive. In addition, the cabin is comfortable and user-friendly.
There were a number of changes shoppers should be aware of during this production run:
In 2008, side curtain airbags, foglights, a power rear window and a leather-wrapped steering wheel were made standard on both models, while the optional navigation system got voice activation technology and the Ford "Sync" system option was also introduced.
For 2009, satellite radio became standard while heated leather seats and heated side mirrors became options. Trailer sway control was added to the stability control system and the navigation system was upgraded and now included Sirius Travel Link. Also added was a new optional Adrenalin package that included 20-inch wheels and unique styling cues, while a hard tonneau cover also joined the list of available options.
Largely unchanged for 2010, this was its last year of production, a victim of lagging sales and the economic crisis.
Used Sport Trac shoppers should also note that a previous generation was produced for the 2001-2005 model years (there was no 2006 model). Generally speaking, while still a decent and versatile truck, this production run lacked the newer generation's better handling, off-road prowess and increased hauling abilities. It was based on the Explorer's second generation 4.0-liter V6 engine, chassis and suspension. Not a bad choice, but the newer models are preferred.
While the Explorer Sport Trac is a well-balanced and family-friendly truck, other worthy rivals may also deserve some consideration, including the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevy Avalanche.
While downsides to the Sport Trac include a smaller cargo bed than traditional pickups and not particularly pump-friendly engines (especially the V8), in our opinion the Sport Trac deserves a good long look by those truck shoppers seeking to meet their cargo hauling needs without compromising interior space, comfort and features.
How To Get The Best Price On A Pre-Owned Explorer Sport Trac:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used Sport Trac at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.