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Ford Explorer Sport Trac (pre-2007)



  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    Isn't that just an Avalanche??? hehehehe.

    Try shifting down to 2 from Drive. I found that helps on the steep hill to our house. Of course, we're only traveling at about 35-40... Not 60 mph..
  • bennbbennb Posts: 143
    I have a 2001 Sport Trac that I purchased right after they came out. All these are just my opinions. Mine is almost fully loaded I believe. I have 63,000 miles on my truck and still enjoy it a great deal.

    I did have the ENTIRE engine replaced at about 35,000 miles--dealer said it had happened with a few others as well around the country (not a lot, but a few). They have corrected the problem in the engines now.

    My friend has a 2003 and his interior is noticeably nicer than mine. I really enjoy the 2 tone leather in his, plus they got rid of the metallic look on the door handles and around the radio. My handles are scratched up and the material around the radio is wearing quite a bit.

    Unless you're obsessed with the idea of having a V-8 (depending what you're going to do; where you live) the V-6 is fine imho. I haven't done a lot of pulling, but when I have it does a pretty good job. It has a decent amount of get up and go. If I'm doing interstate driving I generally get right at 17 mpg. I drove the highways back to my parents' (2 hours) at the speed limit (60 mph) to see what the best I could do would be and averaged right at 20mpg. Generally my mix of city/highway is just about 16.5mpg all around.

    The interior is the exact same size as the prior generation Explorers from the back forward. I really like the red on white guages. The stereo is very good for factory (and I'm picky) even though they came out with a nicer one after my purchase. I have had CDs get stuck on occasion (mostly b/c I change them SO much), but have been able to fix that myself without much trouble. On the road I vent my moonroof and back window and it provides a nice flow of air through the cabin. The back seat isn't the roomiest, but it's fine.

    I would HIGHLY recommend getting the tonneau cover from the factory. It's hinged in the middle so you can flip the front portion or the back portion open. Basically serves as a large trunk--although it still gets a little dusty back there. It really makes me enjoy the vehicle a lot more. The back is quite deep. I have used the tailgate extender a few times when moving things as well and it works pretty well.

    All in all it's been the most practical vehicle I've owned. I don't really haul a whole lot of stuff, but it's nice to have the back if I do. It doesn't feel like a pickup, but moreso an SUV. It's fun to drive and doesn't feel overly big. I really do think it's the best of all worlds--for ME at least.

    Favorite Features:

    KEYPAD ENTRY -- I can't tell you how much I love this feature. I don't know why more auto companies don't have this (probably Ford Co patent or something). If it's cold and I'm running in somewhere I can just leave my keys in the car with it on and lock it up. I can just lock my keys in the car when I park and not have to worry about carrying them or losing them. I could go ON AND ON. Really makes me want to own a Ford product for the rest of my life.

    REAR WINDOW -- for for novelty than anything, but it is a neat feature.

    STEREO -- very solid and I like the 6 in the head unit. Ford generally has the nicest sounding systems.


    Shoddy interior materials that have NOW been changed.

    The backseat is just a little cramped, but nothing too bad.


    If anybody has any other questions at all, I'd be glad to answer!
  • bennbbennb Posts: 143
    I wish they offered an AUTO 4 x 4 mode -- it has 2 hi, 4 high, and 4 low.
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    I think the back seat is MORE than roomy enough. I'm 5'6 and have plenty of room back there. !!!

    One thing I would really like is rear seat grab handles. I use the front ones all the time. The truck is just tall enough to need a little something to "help" get up there.

    Has anyone installed aftermarket handles? Will Ford do it? (we don't have the side curtain air bags, so there's nothing up there we'd be blocking)
  • My wife got a 2001 Explorer ST as soon as they came out. We opted to get an AST color-coordinated fiberglass over steel bed cover to match her truck. Has been extremely reliable for 3years. Only once to dealership for temp gauge needle stuck when initially starting engine in the morning. Replaced - no problemo. Have been using Mobil 1 10W30 since first oil change. Runs smooth as silk. The 5-speed auto is silky smooth, also. Making last Sport Trac payment next month. YEAH! Lots of fun - highly recommend it (especially for a woman who wants a SUV with a bed).
  • is that the gas mileage for a 5-speed auto should have higher ratings: the ST gets anywhere between 16.6 to 18.2 mpg. That's a combination of 70% highway/30% city driving. The rearend is a 3.73 ratio - so maybe we should have ordered a 3.55 rearend instead. No towing involved.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I'm seriously considering buying a used Sport Trac, and I'd like to know if there are many differences between the 01's and the 02's. I know they took the metallic paint off the dashboard in 02, but are there any mechanical changes from 01 to 02 in the engine, drivetrain or brakes? Any additional safety improvements?

    I think the Sport Trac will perfectly suit our needs for hauling people, and an occasional need for a truck, and it's not as expensive as the Chevy Avalanche.

    I know the Sport Trac is on the last generation Explorer platform, but that doesn't seem to be a problem with those who are posting on this forum, most of you seem to be happy with the Sport Trac.
  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    I had considered the Sport Trac but in the end chose the larger F-150 Supercrew. The bed on the Sportrac was just too small at 4'. If the F-150 is not too big, it may be a better choice.

    Of course the one thing that I wish I had was the neat power back window that the sport trac has.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I believe it is an option on the new F-150 higher lined models.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I looked at the F150, but I really like the size and design of the SportTrac. It's perfect for carrying bikes and small loads, and the bed extender helps when you need it. I think the MPG may also be slightly better with the SportTrac.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A major magazine is hoping to interview prospective buyers who are a) anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Nissan Titan; and/or b) comparing pricing and incentive deals on GM and Ford pickups to decide which to buy. Please respond with your daytime contact information to by October 8. Thanks!


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  • We are seriously considering the purchase of a 2001 Sport Trac. It is in beautiful shape, but...they tell me that the transmission is perfectly won't lock in low gear going down a hill....or even 2nd gear. THeir explaination is that the braking system makes up for this and it is to save blowing up the transmission. We live in the mountains, and if this is truely a *feature* of the sport trac, we won't get one, but I do find it hard to believe. Any thoughts? Do yours use compression in low gear to descend hills?
    I kinda need an answer as soon as possible.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    My wife has a 2000 Explorer 4L SOHC (4-door) with the same drivetrain that the 2001 Sport Trac's came with. If selected to a lower gear on the column shift, it will hold a low gear while descending a hill.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    If you're going fast and downshift to a gear that would blow the engine or transmission, it usually won't go into the lower gear until you get to an acceptable speed, then it automatically seeks the gear you selected. But if you start out in low, and it won't hold low gear, it's malfunctioning.
  • Can I buy a switch that keeps headlites on when ignition is on and if I get a compass,self dimming and outside temp. from Ford Dealer how hard is it to install? I have a 2003 Trac and this is my first post.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I don't think you can get that mirror from a Ford dealer. But your car can be programmed for daytime running lights. Wish I knew how, but someone here may. Do you have a keyless entry pad on the door?
  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    I would love to have this on my F-150 too. Any one know how?
  • Greetings:

    I bought a 2003 Sport-Trac XLT Premium about 3 weeks ago and like it very much. It does have the auto-dimming Rear View Mirror and overhead readout for outside temp and compass. It also has the 'autolamp' feature which turns the exterior lights on/off automatically depending on the light sensor located on the winshield.

    I'm not sure if you can get the all those features in one unit but the auto mirror w/compass is available from aftermarket shops.

    The mileage I'm getting is a bit over 18mpg, 90% highway, which I guess is good but I was hoping for closer to 20mpg. Anyway, the truck has been great and those heated leather seats are so nice in the cool of the morning when getting underway.

    The fit/finish/quality is no where near that of my 2002 ES300, but for 27K OTD, it's acceptable.

    BTW, anyone know of an aftermarker hard tonneau cover that is similar to the Ford one?

    Thanks and happy motoring -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • rc7762rc7762 Posts: 35
    My wife was in the market for a new vehicle and was looking for a 4 wheel drive, she always liked the style of the small pickups but wanted something with 4 doors and bigger but she did not see any SUV's that she liked. We first saw the ST in May 2001 in a parking lot she made me pull over to get a closer look and that was it she fell in love with it. She test drove an ST in August 2001, the dealer only had 1 on his lot it was fully loaded w/leather, moon roof, 6 cd changer, etc. Once she drove it that was it before I knew it she was signing papers. She was happy to be purchasing a vehicle she really liked and I was equally as happy trading in my VW Jetta that I hated almost from day one (but thats another story).

    Since purchasing the ST it has only been in for service 1 time for the moon roof leaking the problem was fixed the same day and has been fine since (even through hurricane Isabell).

    Being that this is the first 4 wheel drive either of us have owned, I could not wait for snow so I could try the ST out on lousy driving conditions, but living in the Baltimore area the winters here have been mild for some time now that is until this past winter, 3+ feet of snow!
    We live in the country and our driveway is somewhat steep and when it snows 2 or more inches we park at the bottom and walk to the house but the ST had no problem going up and down the driveway in all that snow and I drove all over the place seeing nothing on the roads but 4 wheel drives and it felt good to see what I paid the extra money for and what the vehicle could do in 4 wheel drive, needless to say I was impressed as was my wife.

    I really don't get to drive the ST all that much being that it is her vehicle but when I do I am impressed with the power of the V6 and I like sitting up high and feeling much safer than I do in my car (Honda civic). Since purchasing the ST my wife has had no complaints but there are a few things I have noticed that I would like to mention:

    - Cab is noisy at high speeds and when it's windy outside.

    - Rattles have developed soon after purchasing the vehicle.

    - Interior metal trim seems to scratch easy and has chipped in a few places.

    We are getting ready to purchase a trailer to haul motorcycles, garden tractor, etc. I would appreciate any advice on trailers, hitches, etc. since either one of us have owned or pulled a trailer.


  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    Just curious, I'm thinking about buying a ST. Why do you need a trailer to haul motorcycles, garden tractor, etc. Won't most of that fit in the ST?
    Off topic, I'm also curious about the Jetta. I have a 2002 1.8T Passat, and it's been the best all-around car I've ever owned. Gets up to 34mpg, and has lots of power.
  • rc7762rc7762 Posts: 35
    Garden tractor fits well and my sons dirt bike also fits well with the tail gait down, I have a Harley and the bike is about 2 inches too long to fit in the bed, I could however put a sheet of plywood that would stick out about 4 inches and the bike should ride fine. I think a trailer would be a lot easier to haul things around and it is a lot easier to get my bike on a trailer than it would be to put in the bed.

    I'm glad you are having good luck with the Jetta, My experience with VW has not been good at all, I owned a 97 GT and these were some of the problems I had:(all before 70,000 miles)

    - Body molding would not stay on
    - Complete exhaust needed replaced (eft. $1,100)
    - Clutch needed replaced (est. $1000 +)
    - Replaced starter ($350)
    - A/C needed replaced, I kept filling with freon (est. $1000 +)

    I never really did any research on the Jetta before I purchased one had I done this I would have steered clear of VW, I never realized how costly they are to repair and how many other Jetta owners have problems. I stay pretty active in the VW discussion, I really do like the way VW looks and rides but when I hear things like new Jettas consuming 1 quart of oil per 1000 miles and VW claiming this is normal I would rather look at something different.

    I hope you continue to have good luck with your VW but if you do experience problems the VW discussion forum is a great place to get answers.

    My wife still loves her Sport Trac and I really enjoy driving it myself, we also have a catalog of accesories just for the ST that can really dress it up nice. The owner of the dealer who sold us the ST had a black ST that he drove, he put nice chrome wheels on it along with some nice extras and I have not seen an ST yet that was as nice as that. Post a message if you decide to buy one.

    Hope this helps.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    Thanks for the info. We are still going back and forth between the ST and the F-150 Crew Cab, I'll let you know what we decide. My only hesitation is the ST is on the last generation Explorer chassis, not the current generation, and a Ford mechanic told me that the ST engine and tranny may not be as durable as the F-150. We really like the looks of the ST though.

    My VW is a Passat. The difference in build quality might be that the Passat is built in Germany, the Jetta in Mexico.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I have experience with both of the drivetrain set-ups you are looking at. I have the 5.4L with the 4R100 transmission in my 1999 Expedition and I have the 4.0L SOHC with the 5R55E in my wife's 2000 Explorer. My Expedition is at 89,000 miles and I have had only a battery and alternator go bad. No engine or trany issues. My wife's Explorer is the third one we have had, and all of them have been the previous generation. I have had no issues with the transmissions on any of them with a combined 180,000 miles. I like how the transmission on the previous gerneration Explorer is still serviceable, whereas the new generation Explorer's transmissions are "sealed" for "life" (150,000K). I have heard that you can still get the transmission serviced on the new generataion Explorer, however, it is just much harder. I think that you are safe with either of your choices. It is just key to be right on for maintenance with Ford transmissions. Anyway, goodluck on your buying quest :-)
  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    I also looked at the Sportrack and the 2003 F-150 Supercrew. Even though The F-150 is a bit big, I liked the overall package better. (except that the ST has the power back window)

    The ST was nice but I know I can take on real payloads with the F150. The ST has a plastic bed - no steel bed with a liner. And the bed is very short on the ST.

    With rebates on the F-150 it was only a few grand more than the ST I was interested in.
  • rc7762rc7762 Posts: 35
    I always thought the Dodge ram was the sharpest lookin pickup out there until I saw the new F-150, Ford did their homework on this one and it shows. Does anyone know how much longer the bed in the F-150 is over the ST and the cost of the F-150 (I know there are a thousand different combinations you can setup nowadays with pickups but I am just interested in a middle of the road F-150 if there is such a thing)

  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    ST is about 48"

    F150 supercrew about 63" - my bike just fits in the back and it is just under 63" long
  • keith24keith24 Posts: 93
    driving a 2003 ST for a couple of weeks recently. All options except 6 disc, moonroof.

    First off, I'm a truck man. Always have been, always will be. My 97 Silverado got the inevitable fuel pump blues and finally gave up the ghost. Well, I couldn't be without something to drive for any length of time, so I put a call in to my parents, to borrow the old standby Scout II. I was offered the ST. Of course I accepted.

    Long story short, I was amazed! This little rig is almost perfect. The only thing I didn't do is get it off road, (its 4wd), but it'll pull my duck boat, haul all of my "stuff", and 3 or 4 more people if need be as well! I'm leadfooted, so imagine my surprise when I still got 19 mpg out of it! Even with the 4.10 gears! Needless to say, I'm thinking about buying one. The only question is, how much I'd get to drive it. (My wife really liked it!!)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    A friend just traded in his S-10 for a ST Friday, with similar amazement comments......
  • pusicpusic Posts: 1
    I've been looking at a few used STs in the last few weeks thinking of replacing my '95 Pathfinder. I like the idea of a box with tonneau while maintaining my four doors (to cart the kids...etc). In the process, I've been checking out the Nissan Xterra, Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, and Dodge Dakota. Though I really like the sportiness of the Xterra, it doesn't seem to have the practicality in terms of storage space...etc. For variouis reasons, I've narrowed down to two. The ST and the Tacoma. I've got to test drive a Tacoma but their hard to find used. I have a couple of questions I hope to get some help with. Firstly, I'm looking at the '01 & '02 models but...

    1. Does anyone tow a boat regularly with their ST? I'm thinking of buying a 18-20' Ski boat and want to be able to tow it if I do.

    2. Some of the '01 STs seem to be shoddy in terms of the upholstery starting to come apart and the running boards have rust in them. Is this a common problem? Seems like a 3 year old vehicle shouldn't be rusting yet!

    3. Clearance. The reviews seem to say that they aren't very good off-road. I like to do some fly fishing which means (for me) some light off roading 2 or 3 times a year. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for any input!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My next door neighbor has one and a guy I work with has one, too. For towing the ST would be fine for me because I probably wouldn't tow very often, but some may find the Sport Trac lacking in power. Of these two people than own them they both are dissapointed in towing power. My neighbor tows two jet skis and the guy I work with tows a sixteen foot glass boat.

    Neither one has had any serious problems with them. As to the off-roadability, I haven't a guess but I suspect it be not much different than an Explorer.

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