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2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

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2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Review

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The 2008 Ford Sport Trac is the second generation of a vehicle that started a sub-trend: A truck, with sport-utility characteristics, four doors, a rather short cargo bed and an assortment of ingenious features to enhance the anticipated active lifestyles of its intended buyers. It's not quite a sport utility vehicle and it's not quite a truck. On the large size in this group are the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT, while more directly competitive in size is the Honda Ridgeline. The original Sport Trac was based on the Ford Explorer, as is the newest version. But the Explorer has grown up, both in size and sophistication, and so has the Sport Trac.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want to be able to go just about anywhere, you require some truck-type cargo capacity but not necessarily a lot, you tow a trailer but not necessarily a great big one and you want the advantages of a separate body-on-frame construction and an available V8 engine, the 2008 Ford Sport Trac deserves your attention.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a real sport utility vehicle with enclosed cargo space or a third-row seat, or you need a real truck with a full-size cargo bed, the Sport Trac is not for you.

What's New for 2008

New standard features for 2008 include a drop-in storage bin with power points, side-curtain airbags, fog lamps and a power rear window. New options include voice-activated navigation and the SYNC hands-free communication and entertainment system.

Driving the Explorer Sport Trac
Driving Impressions

The 2008 Ford Sport Trac's driving experience, both on pavement and off, is exceptionally good. No small amount of credit for this excellent behavior is due the fully-boxed frame, which...

... is so remarkably stiff that visible movement between the passenger cab and cargo box is essentially undetectable, even under very rough conditions. Also playing a significant role is the independent rear suspension, a benefit borrowed from the Explorer, so that on the road the ride is smooth, even and comfortable, and off-road the wheels stay in contact with the surface and keep things going. For most folks the Sport Trac will be the best-handling, best riding truck they've ever driven.

Frame and Suspension
The fully-boxed frame and fully-independent suspension deliver a combination of ride smoothness, handling precision and off-road capability that is particularly noteworthy.

Versatile Cargo Box
The cargo box is made of composite material, so it won't rust and, with its three storage compartments, offers a lot of versatility for odds and ends of an active weekend.

2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Details
Interior

Inside the Sport Trac everything fits well and is thoughtfully arranged. The seating is quite roomy and comfortable, in both the front and rear, and a long day behind the wheel should prove pleasant. One gripe: The odd door-pull handles are not at all intuitive even as to where they are, let alone how they work. On the good side, there's an optional heated windshield and rubber floor coverings make it easier to clean out the mud. The composite-material cargo box contains three storage bins with drain plugs. The largest is up forward under the cargo floor, requiring crawling into the cargo box to store your stuff, while the equivalent feature in the Honda Ridgeline is conveniently near the rear.

Exterior

The 2008 Ford Sport Trac's exterior does a good job of striking that delicate balance between street style and off-road character, and the Ford designers have managed to make it look not exactly like a work truck, but not exactly like a soccer-mom sport utility vehicle, either. The roof rack, external cargo-box tie-downs, fairly large tires and prominent wheel arches give it a properly rugged image, while the big chrome grille and front-end treatment lend style.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Major standard equipment on the XLT includes power assists for windows, door locks and exterior mirrors, AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player, power rear window, fog lamps, power outlets for front and rear seats and the cargo box, manual air conditioning, cruise control, outside temperature display, compass, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 16-inch tires and AdvanceTrac, which includes the functions of traction and stability control and also features Roll Stability Control, which helps to inhibit potential rollovers. On the safety side the standard equipment includes front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. The standard engine is a 4.0-liter 210-horsepower V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Optional Equipment

Major options include the Limited trim level, which adds 18-inch alloy wheels, step bars, six-way power driver's seat and some other trim items. Other options include upgrades to the sound system, leather seating, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, SYNC, navigation system, trailer towing package, a heated windshield and numerous other convenience and trim features. The optional four-wheel-drive system is operated by a button and includes a low range. The optional engine is the 4.6-liter V8 with six-speed automatic transmission.

Under the Hood

Most drivers will probably find the 4.0-liter V6 more than adequate for most of their driving, with 254 pound-feet of torque and plenty of acceleration to keep up with any likely traffic situation. But if your trips include filling the cargo box with dirt bikes and the inside with two or three buddies, then pulling a loaded trailer up hills, you'll probably want the V8. The biggest penalty with the larger engine is, predictably, fuel economy, although you won't see a huge difference between the V6 and V8 in either city or highway numbers.

4.0-liter V6
210 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20(2WD), 13/19 (4WD)

4.6-liter V8
292 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)

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2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 191 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

We're Driving our 4th Sport Trac

By on Monday, April 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Style, safety"

Cons: "MPG averages just 18.5 with 3.73 rear end ratio."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1st was a 2003 with manual transmission which we towed behind our motor home. Traded it for a 2008 Limited model; then went to a 2010 Limited which was totaled in March 2016. This vehicle is rated 5 stars in safety and it lived up to this rating when a distracted young driver in a large SUV ran a red light and totaled our special truck. The airbag deployment was immediate and the wife (driver) was quite sore for about three days following the accident, but other than being sore, she came out of it just fine. We replaced the 2010 Limited with a 2010 XLT model with less than 25,000 miles just this week. Highest recommendation if you're seeking a stylish, reliable, safe small truck. We love it... Wish Ford still made 'em. They're gaining near cult status, thus prices are high for a well-maintained vehicle. If you find one, buy it..."

this vehicle i purchase new in 2009--- v good veh

By on Sunday, November 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "looks and drives great---reasonable good fuel mile"

Cons: "cant buy a new one any more"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"im sorry ford decided to drop this vehicle from the line ---i would purchase another---it a very good all around vehicle---"

15 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Smooth power and handling

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Strong, smooth, comfortable"

Cons: "ABS sensors don't go off even though i had it chec"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This truck is dependable and comfortable. I put in a quality sound system, and has been maintained very well."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

its a car with the convenience of a truck

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "discontinued"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"putting vinyl floors on a truck was a great idea any mess can be clean quick and easy.... best air conditioner ever...super cold in summer! and good millage per gallon!.... I just love it!"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Beutiful Like new condition. 1 sm. hard 2 find dnt

By on Monday, June 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,436

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very nice driver,heads turn when I drive it."

Cons: "Longer than I thought, I have to park at an angle."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Vehicle is beautiful but does not fit in my garage. I hardly drive the vehicle and keep it parked.Tires in like new condition. Engine compartment and leather interior are in clean and like new condition."

7 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Smaller size

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Love the sun/ moon roof and sliding back window."

Cons: "Too small for even my 5'3", just no room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Traded my 2003 for a 2010.I have had it for about a year, I hate it now. They took a lot of space from the bed and the cab on the 2010. Looking to trade it now, unlike my 2003 it is just too small."

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

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