Ford Sport Trac Review (by Owner)

Article and Pictures by Mark Trotta

Part pickup and part SUV, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac started the sport utility truck genre. Production ran from 2001 through 2010 (no 2006 model was produced).

Ford Sport Trac daily driver

The truck in the above picture is my second Ford Sport Trac. The first one was a 2001 model (also blue) and driven daily until 2014, when I sold it and bought this second-hand 2008 model.

All Sport Tracs are mid-size four-door pickups and have a four-foot bed. Two sub-models were offered, XLT or Limited. Many were equipped with a lockable tonneau cover.

First-Generation Sport-Trac

Ford Sport Trac daily driver

First-gen Sport Tracs (2001-2006) were based on the Ford Ranger chassis. The front part of the body was shared with the two-door Explorer Sport, and had it's own pickup bed with durable plastic liner.

Ford Sport Trac daily driver

Second Generation Sport-Tracs

The second-gen Sport Trac (2007-2010) was based on the Ford Explorer. Total bumper to bumper length is 210.2 inches, making it longer than the Explorer by 16.8 inches. A V8 engine was available for the 2nd Gen Sport Trac.

2nd Gen Ford Explorer Sport Trac

For 2008, standard features included a power rear window, fog lamps, side step bars, and increased storage. Safety features included side-curtain driver/passenger airbags. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS were also standard.

First-Generation vs Second Generation

The 2nd Generation Sport Trac is more than five inches longer and almost two inches wider than the First-Gen Sport Trac. By using the F-150's tube-through-tube frame design, there is a substantial increase in stiffness.

2WD vs 4WD

Two-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, while a four-wheel-drive (4WD) system is optional. Unless you spend a lot of time going off-road or have to deal with snow or unplowed roads, two wheel drive is all you need for a daily driver.

Although 4WD has it's advantages, consider the harsher ride, lower gas mileage, and worse handling. There are also more parts to fail and higher maintenance.

I live near Raleigh, NC, where it's fairly flat, 99% paved, and we seldom see snow. Both of my Sport Tracs were two wheel drive models.

V6 vs V8 Engine

Although V8 power was available the 2nd Gen Sport Trac, mine has the base 4.0L V6 motor. Occasionally it pulls a small trailer. If I did any serious towing, I would have opted for V8 power, but I'm happy with the V6 mileage (20 mpg average).

Ford Sport Trac towing capacity

Sport Trac Suspension

All 2nd Generation Sport Trac's feature four-wheel independent suspension. At 130.5 inches, there is enough wheelbase to feel very stable at extended highway speeds.

Ford Sport Trac GVWR


The Explorer Sport Trac is a Class 2 vehicle and has a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 6250 lbs. The maximum GCWR (gross combined vehicle weight) is 12,000 lbs. These figures are better than GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado, Dodge Dakota, and Toyota Tacoma pickups.

Interior Room and Comfort

I've taken both of my Sport-Tracs on several long trips, the longest one from my home in central North Carolina to Kenner, Louisiana. The driver's seat is supportive and adjustable, and outward visibility is very good. Plenty of room inside, and lockable storage with optional bed cover. Sport Trac's do not have carpeting, they have a durable vinyl flooring.

daily driver maintenance


Sport Trac Adrenalin (2008-2010)

The original Adrenalin concept truck was first seen in 2005 and featured a custom body kit, 21" wheels, supercharged V8 power, and the Lincoln Navigator's six-speed transmission. Unfortunately, the production Sport Trac Adrenalin was essentially just an appearance package that included 20" wheels, blacked-out headlights and grille, and model-specific bumpers and front fenders.

2nd Gen Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Reports show about 6,000 Sport Trac Adrenalins were sold in the three years produced, with about 600 of those being V8 powered.



Sport Trac Maintenance and Repair

Routine maintenance includes oil changes, tire rotations, and brake jobs.

Replace Front Brakes

On the last brake job, I saved some money and ordered a complete brake kit from Amazon. The kit included two front brake rotors and ceramic brake pads.

The recommended oil change interval is about 7,000 miles, but I usually change oil and filter at 5,000 miles.

high mileage vs full synthetic oil

Replace Front Hub Assemblies

I had to replace both front wheel hub assemblies on the '08 at 151k miles.

car maintenance you can do yourself

Worst Problem With Ford Sport-Trac

Almost got stuck when the shifter wouldn't move out of park. Replacing the shift interlock module was done at 173k miles.

Ford Explorer replace shift interlock module

Read: Replace Shift Interlock Module Ford Explorer

Misc Repairs

Replacing front sway bar links is fairly straightforward.

sway bar link replacement

Read: Replace Sway Bar Links

truck tailgate work bench


Every so often, the Sport Trac's tailgate becomes a portable workbench. It helped me build this work table out on the driveway one summer day.

Sport Trac review by owner


Both of my Ford Sport-Tracs have proved to be very handy vehicles. Aside from getting me back and forth to work faithfully and comfortably for 20+ years, they've carried/towed bicycles, motorcycles, go karts, kayaks, lumber, mulch, furniture, kitchen appliances, engines, transmissions, tires, wheels, and more.

best way to transport a kayak


Related Articles:

Replace Shift Interlock Module Ford Explorer

Replace Battery Terminal Ford F150

High-Mileage vs Full-Synthetic Oil

Daily Driver Maintenance

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