2009 Veyron New Car Test Drive
Ford Explorer Sport Track offers the comfort of an Explorer sport-utility with the hauling capability of a short-bed pickup truck.
The Sport Trac is basically an SUV with a pickup truck bed grafted to its tail. The Ford Explorer has been the best selling of all sport-utility vehicles. The Sport Trac is based on the previous-generation Explorer, so it does not benefit from the new Explorer's independent rear suspension and other advancements. But it's a nice design with an outdoorsman's interior, and offers the utility of a thoughtfully designed pickup bed for large, and dirty, cargo. From a working tool to a weekend toy, a luxurious family hauler or a hairy hot rod, the F-150 can be almost any truck you can imagine.
Like most full-size pickups, it comes in a myriad of bed lengths, two different body styles, and now three distinct cab configurations. This means the overall length and wheelbase can vary tremendously, the latter from 120 inches to 157.4. Ford Focus is the world's best-selling car. It's also one of the most enjoyable compacts in its price range. It's fun, it's practical.
The Focus has won safety kudos from the federal government. It has earned awards from several magazines. And it is the only car to have earned European Car of the Year and the North American Car of the Year awards.
Its New Edge styling has helped the Focus stand out from the crowd whether in hatchback, sedan or wagon format.
Two new models have debuted for 2002, the Focus ZX5 and the Focus SVT.
Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models. Three equipment packages are available: Value, Choice, and Premium.
The 2WD Value ($22,040) and 4WD Value ($24,810) versions come with a long list of standard equipment. Value packages actually give the buyer a credit over the base models by deleting the five-speed automatic transmission, leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a tilt steering column.
Make Choice your choice and you get cruise control, power door locks, a more powerful version of the 4.0-liter V6 engine, remote keyless entry, a tilting steering column and an automatic transmission. Choice 2WD ($23,880) and Choice 4WD ($26,650) versions are considered the base models.
Pick the Premium package ($1560) and you get a 4.10 axle, floor and overhead consoles, fog lights, captains chairs with six-way power for the driver's seat, step bars to ease entry and exit from the cabin and upgraded tires.
For 2002, all Explorer Sport Tracs get 16-inch alloy wheels (instead of the old 15-inch versions). There's also a new 23-gallon fuel tank that replaces the 20.5-capacity tank in the 2001 model. Three engines are available: The standard engine for the base-level XL is a 4.2-liter V6 that generates 202 horsepower. A 4.6-liter V8 rated at 231 horsepower is optional in XL models and Regular Cab XLT, and standard in all others. A 5.4-liter V8 rated at 260 horsepower is available as an option for most F-150s. Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions are available.
Body styles include short and long beds; Regular Cabs, SuperCab four-door extended cabs, and SuperCrew four-door crew cabs; plus flat (Styleside) and fendered (Flareside) bed styles. Two- and four-wheel drive models are available. All three cab styles are offered in XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels; SuperCabs and SuperCrews can be promoted to ultimate King Ranch status, with leather captain's chairs, premium audio, and unique identification.
I love the SuperCrew, which features luxurious rear-seat accommodations that can be converted into covered cargo storage. The full-size SuperCrew far exceeds a compact four-door pickup for space and comfort, but it rides on a light-duty chassis rather than a heavy-duty platform with its excessive weight, rougher ride, and greater fuel consumption. Overall length is kept reasonable by using an ultra-short bed that measures just 5 1/2 feet. The bed is a compromise, but it relieves the driver of the daily burden of maneuvering a pickup that's as long as an aircraft carrier. The top-rung Lariat SuperCrew is equipped like a luxury sport-utility, with handsome leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals and an optional moonroof and rear-seat entertainment system.
For 2002, even base-level XLs are air conditioned. Power-adjustable pedals are standard on all Lariat models and optional on XL and XLT trim lines. Antilock brakes (ABS) are standard throughout the F-150 line, and remote keyless entry is now a standard feature on XLT models.
With colors and options thrown in, the model matrix is huge. And this matrix includes some specialty models.
New for 2002 is the FX4 off-road package, which includes 17-inch cast aluminum wheels with exposed lug nuts, Rancho-brand shocks, three skid plates, a 3.55 axle and P265/70R17 white-outline tires. FX4 decals and Dark Shadow Gray accents announce your off-road intentions. The FX4 package is available only on 4x4 models, but the package price ranges from $620-$1165 depending on trim level and body style.
The high-performance SVT Lightning, packs a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 rated at 380 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque. Specialized wheels, tires, and suspension are calibrated more for handling than for hauling. This limited production image-generator is available only as a 2WD regular cab on the 120-inch wheelbase.
Also available for 2002 is a new limited-edition Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew. It features a supercharged 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine, unique styling cues and a new color option: Dark Shadow Grey. The 2002 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew is the third truck jointly developed by Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Motor Company. (It joins two other limited-edition models: the 2000 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Cab and the 2001 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew. Ford Focus comes in four body styles: three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door wagon. All ride on the same 103-inch wheelbase.
Three 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines are available: a 110-horsepower single overhead-cam; a 130-horsepower double overhead-cam Zetec; and a 170-horsepower high-performance SVT version of the twin-cam engine tuned by Ford's Special Vehicle Team.
For most models, there's a choice of five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission. The SVT engine, however, comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
Sedans are the most popular of the Focus models. The sedan is available in three trim levels: entry-level LX ($12,845), an upgraded SE ($14,350), and the 130-horsepower ZTS ($15,355).
Three-door hatchback models are available in ZX3 trim or the high-performance SVT model. The ZX3 ($12,470) is a sport compact, and comes with all the requisite hardware: the 130-horsepower twin-cam engine, 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and fog lights. Its wild styling makes the hatchback look sportier and even more distinctive than the sedan. Power windows, mirrors and locks, and keyless entry are now available ($740), along with optional cruise control.
Wagons are available in SE and ZTW trim. SE ($16,640) SE comes standard with the 130-horsepower dohc Zetec engine and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. New for 2002 is the ZTW wagon ($17,735), billed as an enthusiast's sport wagon; ZTW comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, and a six-disc in-dash CD changer. A four-speed automatic is standard, with a five-speed manual optional.
New for 2002 is the ZX5 ($15,730) five-door hatchback. It's a cross between a four-door wagon and a coupe, with four doors and a tapered rear roofline leading to a rear hatch. ZX5 comes standard with the 130-horsepower Zetec engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, six-disc in-dash CD changer and much more.
Also new for 2002 is the Focus SVT ($17,505). Based on the three-door ZX3, it has been modified by Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) to produce 170 horsepower. SVT boasts a Getrag six-speed manual transmission, SVT-tuned suspension, special trim including a rear spoiler, and more. Only about 7500 will be made, all for North America.
Ford's AdvanceTrac ($1225) vehicle dynamics system is on the option list for all Focus models. Described below, AdvanceTrac includes rear disc brakes and traction control, but requires ordering the optional anti-lock brakes ($400).
Other optional safety equipment includes side-impact air bags ($350). Cruise control is also an option.