Sport-utility-vehicles are incredibly versatile with plenty of room for both family and cargo, but there are some jobs that only a pickup can do. For those nastier duties, Ford offers this Explorer Sport Trac. It’s tough and hardworking, but also friendly and comfortable. And for 2007 it’s all new. So let’s see how Ford’s SUT beats an SUV when there’s real work to be done.

To build a highly versatile yet civilized mid-size sport-utility truck like the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, you have to start from the ground up with a super solid foundation. Ford’s new mid-size pickup is built on an ultra-stiff ladder frame adapted from the Explorer, the best selling SUV in the business. But as with the first generation Sport Trac, Ford did more than just drop a crew cab and a bed onto an Explorer frame. Ford engineers stretched the wheelbase an extra 16.8-inches. This gives the Sport Trac a 130.5-inch wheelbase, about the same as the also new extra-long Expedition EL, and provides enough length for a full size 4-door cab and the familiar 4.5 foot long composite cargo box with outside tie downs.

For cargo security, there’s an optional locking tonneau cover. And longer loads can be handled with an optional cargo box extender, while smaller objects can be stowed in three weatherproof bins at the front and sides of the cargo box.

Power to move heavy loads comes directly from the Explorer, an improved V6, and for 2007 a V8 as well. The base engine remains a 4.0-liter single-cam V6, but new cams and electronics push output to 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. But for the really big jobs, the Sport Trac can now be equipped with Ford’s 4.6-liter V8 with new variable cam timing. Ratings are 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

Automatic transmissions are a 5-speed for the V6 and an all-new 6-speed for the V8, while final drive is by either the rear wheels, or our test SUT’s Control Trac full-time 4-wheel-drive system. Maximum V8 towing capacity is 6,800 pounds, or more than some V8 F150s, with payload topping out at 1,380 pounds.

But work takes fuel, and the Sport Trac V8 is EPA rated at 14 city/20 highway; about par for a mid-size pickup. Our test loop drew 17 miles-per-regular grade gallon of gas.

The results of our acceleration test were brighter; 0 to 60 in 8.2-seconds, with slick shifts, with a quarter mile run of 16.5 seconds at 85 miles-per-hour. Not bad for a 4x4 truck.

Ford has vastly improved handling in the new Sport Trac. For the first time it comes fitted with an independent rear suspension. It’s the same highly praised short-long arm design used on the Explorer. Plus, electronic stability control, with rollover mitigation, is also a part of every new Sport Trac.

With less cab weight, cornering response is lighter and the ride smoother than an Explorer SUV. But push this SUT hard and you’ll find the soft suspension allows lots of front push with substantial mid-corner body roll. Yet, that also helps make the Sport Trac a safe drive, scaring off bad drivers long before any limits.

Braking is competent. 4-wheel discs with 4-channel ABS are standard. The soft pedal produced stops from 60 of 140 feet. Stable but could be shorter. So the Sport Trac is not quite our definition of a sport truck.

Of course with a larger 4-door cab and Explorer style, comfort, and convenience, the Sport Trac is a long way from a bare bones sport machine, especially in Limited trim with a long list of standards, and top drawer options like side curtain airbags with rollover deployment; two-tone leather for the supportive powered bucket seats; power adjustable pedals; CD-changer audio with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio; dual-zone automatic climate controls, and satellite navigation. Rear seat room is fine for even tall folk, and the split rear seat folds into a large, flat cargo shelf.

Sport Trac is a very versatile sport-utility truck, and one with prices that start at $24,940 for the XLT, and $26,540 for the Limited. Our 4-wheel-drive V8 Limited has a base price of $30,235, and an as tested price of $34,325.

So if you’re looking for sport-utility-vehicle comfort with the dirty job capability of a pickup truck, we think the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac sport-utility-truck deserves a long hard look.




  • Engine: 4.6-Liter V8
  • Horsepower: 292
  • Torque: 300 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 8.2 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 16.5 Seconds @ 85 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 140 Feet
  • EPA: 14 MPG City/ 20 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 17 MPG