The 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac’s V8 pulls nicely and has a pleasant exhaust note, while a good stomp on the pedal will unleash the necessary gusto for spirited stoplight races or sudden highway passes.
Much like the Explorer on which it’s based, the 2007 Sport Trac offers a 292-horsepower V8 that allows the truck to move out with authority, though acceleration is hardly breathtaking. Ford executives were shy about giving performance figures, though they did suggest that the extra two cylinders cut about 1.5 seconds off of the standard V6’s 0-60 mph acceleration time. Drivers intent on moving quickly – but not fast – will be reasonably satisfied. In casual driving situations, the V8 pulls nicely and has a pleasant exhaust note, while a good stomp on the pedal will unleash the necessary gusto for spirited stoplight races or sudden highway passes. The five-speed automatic transmission hunts a bit, often settling on a high gear and producing a bogged down feeling. Thankfully, the shifts are seamless, though we’d suggest a manual mode for people interested in the “sport” part of Sport Trac.
The same treatment may be due for the soft suspension, which provides a comfy, Lincoln-like ride yet produces lots of body roll in corners as the pliable 18-inch Michelin tires’ sidewalls flex under pressure. On the plus side, the result is a smooth chassis that allows miles of interstate to pass by unnoticed; however, in light of this vehicle’s name, the availability of sport-tuned competitors, and the recent death of the 2007 Sport Trac Adrenalin, an optional performance-tuned suspension setup might be worth investigating. Chances are targeted buyers, 63 percent of whom are mid-30s men in need of a ride for Home Depot runs and weekend kayak trips, would agree.
Those folks surely would appreciate the 2007 Sport Trac’s comfortable interior, with spacious and well-cushioned front seats and a roomy rear bench that’s a little too bucketed on the bottom. Grab handles on the B-pillars and passenger A-pillar aid with entry, but the combination of a long rear seat bottom and doors that don’t open wide requires some twisting getting in to the back.
Once securely seated, up to five passengers will have fun hitting rock-strewn trails, as a four-wheel-drive Sport Trac is capable of scaling steep, rutted routes without engaging 4-Hi or 4-Lo. Instead, the 4-Auto setting gets the most out of the rear tires and then shifts a bit of power to the front when the terrain gets really gnarly. On our off-road test course, the truck didn’t flinch over some difficult terrain, but skid plates would’ve been nice more than once. For the downhill portion, which was in equal need of a road crew, we opted for 4-Lo and first gear – no worries, and no need for hill descent control, as the low settings kept speeds to a crawl.
Shake off the dust and it’s back onto the pavement, where drivers will notice the capable brakes with progressive pedal feel, and a fairly responsive steering system, albeit one that’s not big on communicating road feel. After a day of piloting the redesigned 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac V8 more than 150 miles over paved and dirt roads, the trip computer calculated an average fuel economy of 14.3 mpg. Ouch.