Buyer's Guide / Ford / 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

 
 

Overview

The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac combines attributes of the best-selling Ford Explorer and best-selling Ford F-150. The Sport Trac is new from the ground up, including its innovative cargo box with tiered storage and a trio of integrated storage bins, complete with drain plugs.

The first thing one notices about the 2007 Sport Trac is its contemporary new look, which blends tough truck exterior cues also found on the new 2006 Explorer and F-150 pickup. The tough and ready appearance is an overt nod to Sport Trac’s truck and SUV siblings, each dominant leaders in their respective class.

From the B-pillar forward, the Sport Trac design is shared with the 2006 Explorer, including the standard chrome-finished grille, powerdome aluminum hood, and pronounced wheel arches. The rear doors are unique, and the C-pillar arch serves as a visual separation between the people space and cargo space.

The 4 ½-foot cargo box is constructed of corrosion-proof sheet molded composite (SMC) with a molded-in black inner liner that resists scratches and is dent-proof. The box is notched, allowing customers to place two 2x4 boards across the span to provide tiered storage of materials – including the ubiquitous 4x8 sheets of plywood. The outer SMC shell is painted body color and accented with tie-down anchors, emphasizing the Sport Trac’s functional design.

Inside the box are three integrated cargo bins designed to maximize cargo-carrying ability and contribute to Sport Trac’s versatility. The bins are recessed into the bed floor, with two six-pack-sized bins in the right and left rear of the box and one large bin that runs the length of the box headboard. The bins are equipped with weather-resistant lids and removable drain plugs for storing wet gear or ice.

An available tubular aluminum cargo cage acts as a cargo divider or can be swung out as a bed extender for extra storage capacity when the tailgate lowered. An optional, locking hard tonneau cover keeps gear secure from the weather and would-be thieves.

Sport Trac’s rugged exterior image carries over into the personality of its interior. Sport-designed seat styles and standard Tuflor rubber floor covering are designed for tough utility, allowing owners to wash out mud and grime with relative ease. Sport Trac is equipped with Berber-carpeted floor mats, further complementing its rugged image. The interior seats five passengers and benefits from many of the same noise, vibration, and harshness improvements of the 2006 Explorer, making for an exceptionally quiet and comfortable cabin. Two-tone leather seating surfaces are available, as are heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment.

When the weather turns cold, Sport Trac offers the segment’s only heated windshield, using micro-wires embedded in the glass, which helps prevent fogging and speeds up de-icing.

Unique interior door-release handles are another innovation found in the interior, ergonomically designed to the shape of the human hand at rest. Sport Trac features a new console-mounted gear selector designed after that of the F-150 pickup.

The standard audio system features a CD player with MP3 compatibility, and can be upgraded to the available six-disc, in-dash CD player with powered subwoofer. Integrated SIRIUS satellite radio is also available.

New Under the Hood: Standard 4.0-liter V6 and 5-speed automatic transmission; available 4.6-liter V8 and class-exclusive 6-speed automatic.

The 4.0-liter V6 is rated at 210 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and 254 pound-feet of torque at 3,700 rpm. The torque curve is designed to be relatively flat across the entire engine range and to provide strong performance at nearly any engine speed.

New engine calibrations and improved emissions controls cut NOx emissions by 74 percent – from 14.2 to 3.6 pounds per 15,000 miles – without sacrificing horsepower, torque, or fuel economy. In fact, fuel economy is expected to match the previous model, even though the 2007 Sport Trac is more than five inches longer – and almost two inches wider – than before.

The V6, equipped with a standard five-speed automatic, delivers a maximum 5,310 pounds of towing capacity, and 1,450 pounds of payload.

For additional capability, the 2007 Sport Trac owners can now opt for an available V8. The 4.6-liter, three-valve V8 delivers 292 horsepower – the most horsepower in its class.

The new V8 is paired with a class-exclusive six-speed automatic transmission. The 6F transmission’s six gears and a wide 6.04:1 gear-ratio span enable the engine to spend more time in the optimum powerband – either at peak power for acceleration or at peak efficiency for more fuel economy.

The 4.6-liter V8 and 6R transmission deliver a maximum 6,800 pounds of towing capacity, and 1,390 pounds of payload. In addition, the combination is expected to deliver more than 20 miles per gallon on the highway, matching the economy of the competitor’s less-powerful V6 engines. The V8 meets federal Tier II Bin 5 standards, which is compliant with California’s Low Emissions Vehicle II (LEV II) standards.

Either engine can be equipped with the Sport Trac’s advanced Control Trac® four-wheel-drive system. Unlike less-sophisticated systems, Control Trac® automatically transfers torque to the front wheels as needed, to maintain maximum traction at all times. This increases safety and security without compromising fuel economy or NVH. In addition, the Control Trac system features a torque-multiplying gear set (4x4 Low) in the transfer case for off-road applications that require extra power including deep sand, steep grades, and towing a boat trailer out of water.

New Underneath: All-new chassis features a tube-through-tube frame inspired by F-150, new IRS shared with Explorer

Capability and refinement start with the foundation of any vehicle: the chassis.

The Sport Trac adopts the F-150’s tube-through-tube frame design, where the cross beams pass through the frame rails. The result delivers a dramatic 444 percent increase in stiffness compared with the previous Sport Trac’s traditional frame for improved handling and decreased squeaks and rattles.

The new Sport Trac frame is shared with the 2006 Explorer, with a few significant changes:

  • The wheelbase is stretched 16.8 inches
  • A unique hanger is installed to accommodate the Sport Trac’s two-piece driveshaft
  • A spare tire carrier is integrated into the rear assembly
  • The integrated tow bar is modified to accommodate the Sport Trac’s step bumper

To capitalize on the stiffer frame, engineers developed all-new front and rear suspensions for the 2007 Sport Trac. The front suspension features a short- and long-arm design with coil-over shocks. New monotube shocks are tuned for softer damping of harsh impacts – such as potholes and expansion joints – while providing exemplary body control over larger road undulations and while cornering.

For the first time, the Sport Trac features an independent rear suspension with a patent-pending, trailing blade design. The Sport Trac’s rear coil-over springs, monotube shocks, and a stabilizer bar have slightly stiffer rates than those of the 2006 Explorer, to adjust for the longer wheelbase and change in weight distribution.

IRS offers significantly better handling over both smooth and rough surfaces as each wheel reacts independently to bumps in the road, moving up and rearward simultaneously to absorb the bumps and reduce impact harshness. In addition, IRS drastically reduces rear-end skate, which is the lateral movement that occurs when a vehicle with a solid rear axle travels over sharp bumps or washboard/corrugated road surfaces.

Sizable, four-wheel disc brakes are standard, as is the four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. The package creates a balanced chassis with ride and handling that is unrivaled in its segment.

 

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Reviews

04.10.06
First Drive: 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

 


Specifications

Retail Price:
XLT 4x2
$24,295 (4.0-liter V6)
$25,590 (4.6-liter V6)

Limited 4x2
$26,080 (4.0-liter V6)
$27,375 (4.6-liter V6)

XLT 4x4
$26,790 (4.0-liter V6)
$28,085 (4.6-liter V6)

Limited 4x4
$28,575 (4.0-liter V6)
$29,870 (4.6-liter V6)

Add $695 destination charge

Engines:

4.0-liter V6
210 hp
254 lb-ft
@5100 rpm
@3700 rpm
 
4.6-liter V6
292 hp
300 lb-ft
@5750 rpm
@3950 rpm
 

Transmissions:
- Five-speed automatic
- Six-speed automatic

Fuel Economy:

4.0-liter V6 4x2 5-speed
15 mpg
21 mpg
City
Highway
 
4.6-liter V6 4x2 6-speed
15 mpg
21 mpg
City
Highway
 
4.0-liter V6 4x4 5-speed
15 mpg
20 mpg
City
Highway
 
4.6-liter V6 4x4 6-speed
14 mpg
20 mpg
City
Highway
 

NHTSA Safey Ratings:
Frontal Crash Test
- Driver Front: 5/5 Stars
- Passenger Front: 5/5 Stars

Side Crash Test
- Driver Front: 5/5 Stars
- Passenger Front: 5/5 Stars

IIHS Safey Ratings:
2006 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Tested
- Overall: Good
- Structure / Safety Cage: Good
- Head/Neck: Good
- Chest: Good
- Leg/Foot Left, Right: Good,Good
- Restraints: Good

 
 

Competitors:

Compact:
Ford Ranger
Mazda B-Series

Midsize:
Chevrolet Colorado
Dodge Dakota
GMC Canyon
Nissan Frontier
Toyota Tacoma