TO THE POINTWhat’s New? A new chassis has been borrowed from the 2006 Ford Explorer, the styling has been updated, there’s more interior room, a V8 is now available, and the composite bed offers more volume. Selling Points: Comfortable and quiet ride, V8 option, the 4WD model’s off-road ability Deal Breakers: Styling that’s still love-it or hate-it, as-tested fuel economy, interior materials and build quality Our Advice: Like the new Explorer, there’s much to like here if you can look past the abundance of cheap interior materials and average build quality.
Nuts and Bolts In the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, a 210-horsepower V6 and five-speed automatic transmission serve as the base powertrain, while a 292-horsepower V8 and six-speed automatic are optional.
Ford offers the 2007 Explorer Sport Trac in two grades – regular and extra strength. The base engine is the familiar 4.0-liter, 12-valve V6 common to the Explorer line. Power equates to 210 horses at 5,100 rpm and 254 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,700 rpm, all managed by a five-speed automatic transmission. That’s decent power for this rig, which weighs in between 4,500 and 4,800 pounds depending on configuration; however, optional for the first time on the Sport Trac is a 4.6-liter, 24-valve V8 good for 292 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 300 lb.-ft. of twist at 3,700 rpm, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. With eight cylinders under the hood, the Explorer pickup will pull up to 6,800 pounds, or about 1,500 pounds more than the V6’s 5,310-lb. rating.
Regardless of how buyers outfit a Sport Trac, the independent suspension system will consist of short- and long-arm setups front and rear, complemented by sway bars. Also standard are stability and traction control systems, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and rack-and-pinion steering. XLT models get 16-inch alloy wheels and 235/70 tires, while Limiteds roll on 18s and 235/65 rubber. Four-wheel-drive Sport Tracs use the Control Trac full-time system, with its automatic, high, and low settings. Automatic is for everyday driving, yet pushes some power to the front wheels when things get slippery; high locks the front differential for permanent four-wheel traction; and low is good at maxing out torque for serious grip.