Ford Sport Trac Review

Article and Pictures by Mark Trotta

This is my second Ford Sport Trac pickup. The first one was a 2001 model and driven daily until 2014, when I bought this second-hand 2008 model.

Ford Sport Trac daily driver

The Sport Trac is based on the Ford Explorer, having a pickup truck bed instead of an enclosed rear cargo area. Total bumper to bumper length is 210.2 inches, making it longer than the Explorer by 16.8 inches.

2WD vs 4WD

Two-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, while a 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. In my neck of the woods (Raleigh, NC) it's fairly flat, 99% paved, and we seldom see snow. So both of my Sport Tracs were two wheel drive models.

First-Gen vs Second Gen

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.

Ford Sport Trac daily driver

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 looked for V8 power, but I'm happy with the V6 mileage (20 mpg average)

Ford Sport Trac towing

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.

GVWR and GCWR

The 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 enjoyed 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.

daily driver maintenance

Sport Trac Maintenance and Repair

Aside from regular maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake jobs, I've had to replace both front wheel hub assemblies at about 150k miles.

car maintenance you can do yourself

The recommended oil change interval for this vehicle is about 7,000 miles, but I usually change it at 5,000 miles.

high mileage vs full synthetic oil

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.

truck tailgate work bench

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

diy wood work table

Conclusion

Both of my 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

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