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Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Truck
#151 of 351 Edmunds 2007 ST review
Apr 28, 2006 (9:21 am)
Just read the review, and needed to share my comments with the Edmunds editors. Here they are for the folks here who might be interested. I'd be interested in counterpoints, if you feel I am wrong in my critique.
April 28, 2006
To the Editors of Edmunds:
Your review of the 2007 Sport Trac ("Full Test: 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac") lacks real world perspective. In the review, the caption under the photo showing the tonneau cover tie downs, reads, "We're not sure why Ford includes these bungee-cord tie-downs on the tonneau cover. Driving with it open hardly seems smart and gravity does a pretty good job of holding it open when the truck isn't moving."
This simpe caption perfectly encapsulates that the reviewer doesn't understand the marketplace for the Sport Trac.
If you talk to even just a small number of owners, you would understand this simple device allows the truck to be safely driven with the rear half of the tonneau cover open, which dramatically eases the task of transporting tall, bulky cargo items without removing the tonneau cover. For example: Lawnmowers. Pressure washers. Bicycles. Barbeque grills. Washing machines. Real stuff transported by real owners. In combination with the bed extender, the tonneau-securing bungees provide great cargo versatility.
Fold down rear seating: The Sport Trac implementation is much more pet friendly than seats which fold up against the rear bulkhead. Ask owners if that's important. Many will say yes. Few owners need extra cargo height in the interior space. Far more often, Fido is back there, enjoying the ride with his owner. Having a flat space without seat anchoring hardware in the way is safer for the most frequent occupents of the folded rear seat space.
Huge upgrades in vehicle safety: This is perhaps the most serious inadequacy of the review. The only words on the subject are complaints about the safer door handle design. You should know well that the Explorer name has been dragged through the mud in rollover cases. Ford made a huge effort to address vehicle controlabilty and stability in the latest Sport Trac. The only wisdom the reviewer offers on the matter is that it reduces slalom speed. In the real world, I'd prefer Ford's perspective on this. When the family’s teenager gets behind the wheel of a Sport Trac, the higher slalom speed you seem to think is a good indicator of product worthiness is not something owners will miss. But the stability control algorithms, computer-monitored vehicle position and inertia sensors, the advanced air bag deployment schemes, these things will matter greatly, when that teenager with little driving experience makes a mistake. Frankly, it's shameful that you don't give a good accounting of the safety improvements in this vehicle.
The reviewer makes no mention of the six speed auto and how the shift quality reduces awareness of shifting in ordinary driving.
Performance: While a handful of enthusiasts will lower this truck and put performance tires on it, that's not the target for this vehicle. "Performance," for a vehicle in this class, means towing, hauling, and not getting stuck in the mud, while providing excellent passenger comfort and a quality driving experience. The Sport Trac is a nearly ideal balance of these attributes.
Bottom line, the 2007 Sport Trac is a big upgrade over the previous generation, in numerous, important ways. Your reviewer seems to go out of the way to nitpick the vehicle about things that aren't terribly important. Ending the review by saying the Tacoma and Frontier are better performing might make sense if you take a stopwatch and orange cones every time you go to the grocery store. The ways actual owners use these vehicles make your reviewer's comments about performance seem out of touch.
I am by no means a Ford apologist. I've owned several Hondas over the last 20 years, and respect the Honda brand greatly. The 2001 Sport Trac is the first Ford product I've owned. Despite the innovation of the configuration, the first generation Sport Trac showed it's age, owing to an outdated platform, in the first model year. The 2007 is so far beyond the first generation vehicle and is class leading in many regards. It's a shame your review missed the mark so badly by not fairly crediting it for the things it does so well. Real world things.
If accuracy and relevance are attributes you hope to achieve in your reviews, I invite your writers and editors to spend some time with Sport Trac owners at [link edited out to obey forum rules]. The perspective of owners who frequent the Sport Trac Web Site will undoubtedly help your staff produce more accurate reviews.
The Sport Trac Web Site
#152 of 351 Re: Went Off-Road... [blksn8k]
Apr 28, 2006 (12:30 pm)
Very nice job, Rick. Well done, you hit most of the key areas of why, after driving EVERY small pickup in the marketplace, I chose the 2007 4.6L ST Limited, there is no other truck that compares when all aspects are considered, and as you pointed out in your rebuttal, the ASPECTS that are important to the folks who purchase a small pickup for its intended use. Most of us are not posers! We actually USE a truck for what it was designed to do and the ST is way ahead of the class, in looks, ride and function.
#153 of 351 Sport Trac 4.6L Performance Parts
May 03, 2006 (10:23 am)
Hello, I just bought a 2007 XLT 4.6L Sport Trac, so far I love it, but I have been looking for performance parts for it and haven't found much yet. Does anyone know a resource? I am looking for the standard cold air intake, headers, exhaust possibly a chip, I want to get the most out of this engine . I understand that it is the same engine that is in the Mustang GT, would those parts fit this engine, i.e. headers, intakes etc... And does anyone know where to get exhaust for this version yet?
Appreciate it and thanks ahead
#154 of 351 Versitility
May 03, 2006 (7:29 pm)
Completely agree with you. I bought a 4.0 limited a month ago. I was actually one of those folks that made fun of the Sport Trac when it first came out. Years later, and a re-design. I really like my '07. FOr those who want it to "handle" and "perform". you're looking at the wrong automobile. Buy a Mustang GT or wait for the Shelby to come out. I actually traded my '05 GT in on the Sport Trac because I now have a limited use or chance to use the "performance" the car can deliver. However, having the pick-up bed with a locking cover is something I use regularly. Toss in the fact that the second set of doors open to a rather spacious rear seat . . . . As for a previous writer's comment that you may as well buy a F-150 ("I've had two and think they are the best trucks on the market)I considered getting the 150 when I got tired of the GT. They're a little too big to negotiate my my cramped parking garage or easilly fit in the home garage. The '07 Sprot Track is a VERY close next best thing. Great truck.
#155 of 351 Re: Sport Trac 4.6L Performance Parts [huntsalot]
May 03, 2006 (7:34 pm)
There are a great deal of parts for the 05/06 Mustang GT with the 3v 4.6. Your problem wll be fit in the engine bay that is configured differently, e.g. stearing shaft, header clearance, air intake path, etc. Obviously, all the current parts for the GT are specifically designed for the GT. Ford even released several GTs to aftermarket performance companies, months ahead of release of the GT to the public, so that part would be available at aboutthe same time as the '05 GT was released. Have not heard of Ford doing that with the sport trac.
#156 of 351 New Door Handles Seen
May 05, 2006 (6:24 pm)
The review in USA Today indicates that the reviewer has seen the new interior door handles (cups in the armrest), so it seems obvious that they will be switching over when the regular 2007 Explorers go into production 7/31/06.
#157 of 351 Power rear window now available
May 10, 2006 (5:27 pm)
Good news for everyone waiting for the power rear window - I ordered by sport-trac tonight and much to my suprise (and the salesman's) the power rear window option was available in the system. So, I'm getting the power rear window too!
#158 of 351 I assume no structural changes were made...
May 11, 2006 (9:23 am)
...to the truck, so certainly those of us without that, could possibly get it installed after-market? That is one of those things that is either going to be inexpensive or very much the other way. Curiosity, what was the cost of the option?
#159 of 351 Re: I assume no structural changes were made... [kman1956]
May 11, 2006 (7:01 pm)
Power rear window option = +$245
#160 of 351 Re: Edmunds 2007 ST review [rbstern]
May 14, 2006 (8:54 am)
Very acurate, Rich. I also just read Automobile Mag's review on their website. They made a big deal out of the inevitable comparison with the Ridgeline. Everyone seems so in-love with the Honda's under bed trunk. My first thought was why would you put the spare tire inside a trunk under the bed floor? I certainly hope none of the people who buy this thing actually needs that spare tire when the bed is full of cow manure. Oh wait, none of those people will ever actually haul anything like that, will they? I guess the bottom line is that if you want a vehicle that just looks sort of like something you could take off-road or use as a tow vehicle, buy the Honda. Just don't expect too much when you try to get your boat back OUT of the water with it's lack of a two-speed transfer case. But if you want something that really can do those things, buy the Ford.