2007 Explorer Sport Trac New Car Test Drive
Ford has changed almost everything about the Sport Trac for 2007.
Essentially, a Ford Explorer with a pickup bed, the Sport Trac has grown in length and in width for 2007, and this has translated directly into more room inside for people and out back for cargo.
A new V8 engine is available that generates 292 horsepower along with an equally new six-speed automatic transmission. While this has kicked performance up a notch or two, just as important is what it's done for payload and towing capacity; a V8 4x2 Sport Trac is now rated to tow up to 6800 pounds. A mildly re-tuned version of the 4.0-liter V6 is also available and it comes with a five-speed automatic. Both engines are available with two- or four-wheel drive.
Styling has been updated and refreshed, bringing the Sport Trac firmly back into the family of Ford light duty trucks.
All this attention to mechanicals and sheetmetal doesn't mean creature comforts have been ignored. Redesigned seats are lighter and take up less room. A streamlined instrument panel and dash present a friendlier, easier to use array of controls and displays.
The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a four-door, five-passenger, midsize pickup. It was unique when it first appeared in 2000, but today must compete with midsize four-door pickups from every major player. Even Honda has entered the truck business with its Ridgeline, a unique vehicle in looks and construction with groundbreaking features.
Ford has legacy, though, and a faithful following. For these, the new Sport Trac should be welcome, if a bit overdue. The price, as much as $2000 less than the 2005 model, should help, too.
The new 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes in two trim levels, the XLT ($24,245) and the Limited ($25,845). Four-wheel drive is available for both the XLT ($26,740) and the Limited ($28,340). The 4.0-liter V6 with five-speed automatic transmission comes standard on both trim levels. The 4.6-liter V8 is an option for both trim levels ($1200) and comes with a six-speed automatic.
The XLT comes standard with cloth upholstery, manually adjusted bucket seats, 60/40-split bench seat in back. Manual air conditioning is standard. Tilt steering wheel and cruise control are standard, as are power windows, door locks and foldaway, outside mirrors, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo. Heavy duty Berber floor mats dress up the utilitarian, rubber floor covering. A Class II hitch is standard, as are roof rails and P235/70R16 tires on cast aluminum wheels.
Options for the XLT include a six-way, power driver's seat ($295); an Audiophile stereo adding an in-dash six-CD changer, subwoofer and auxiliary input jack ($510); a navigation system incorporating the Audiophile stereo ($1995); Sirius Satellite Radio with a six-month, pre-paid subscription ($195); leather-wrapped steering wheel ($75); embedded wire-heated windshield ($300); power tilt-and-slide moonroof ($850); power adjustable pedals ($125); Appearance Package ($795) with fog lamps, side step bars and P245/65R17 tires on cast aluminum wheels; Convenience Package ($250) with door entry keypad, auto-headlights and auto-dim, inside rearview mirror; aluminum cargo bed extender ($195); two-piece, lockable, cargo bed hard tonneau cover ($595); roof rail cross bars ($60); and Class III/IV trailer hitch with seven-pin wiring harness ($150).
Options on the Limited for the most part mirror those offered on the XLT, but some of what's optional on the XLT comes standard on the Limited. The Limited comes standard with a leather-wrapped shift knob and P235/65R18 tires on machined aluminum wheels as original equipment. Sundry exterior trim pieces that are painted black on the XLT change to body color or silver on the Limited. Options include leather-trimmed seats, front and rear, with a 10-way, power driver's seat ($995); a Convenience Package with door entry keypad and auto-dim, inside rearview mirror ($195); and an Electronics Package with dual-zone, automatic climate control, four-line information center and steering wheel-mounted controls for air conditioning, cruise and audio ($570).
Safety features that come standard on all models comprise the required front airbags and child safety seat anchors (LATCH) plus Advance Trac stability control; front seat-mounted side airbags to protect the upper body in side impacts; four-wheel antilock brakes; and tire pressure monitors. Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags with extended inflation to protect the head in side impacts and rollovers are optional ($560).