2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Crew Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Crew Cab


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Ford Explorer Sport Trac Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

  • If you're looking for midsize SUV passenger comfort along with a measure of pickup truck utility, the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac merits consideration.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy cabin, strong optional V8, hidden storage compartments, ideal ride and handling balance.

  • Cons

    V8 can be thirsty, styling not for everyone, small cargo bed compared to traditional pickup trucks.

  • What's New for 2008

    After last year's redesign, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac enters 2008 with a handful of equipment upgrades. Side curtain airbags become…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (24 total reviews)

Ford made this vehicle bland

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Limited 4dr Crew Cab (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

I bought a Sport Trac in 2001 and drove it for 9 years, putting 260,000 miles on it over the period. That truck was special. Little details and features were well designed and useful...from the tie-down cleats on the bed to the 'bump' feature on the rear sliding window. Dozens of things made those early model year Sport Trac attractive. When I finally wore out the first one I ran to the dealership to get another one. UGH. It is a totally different vehicle...so much worse in so many ways I cannot go into all of them. I use mine to haul rocks, firewood, gravel, etc. The bed was not designed to be used for these things. Awful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Primary vehicle

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4dr Crew Cab (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Pretty much satisfied with the vehicle. Only drawbacks are fuel economy, of which I am getting close to 18 mpg around town, and the tire pressure indicator keeps going off. Have had 2 dealerships look at the tire pressure indicator but no solution yet.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

All fords trucks need this

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4dr Crew Cab (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Test drove several different full-size trucks models including Ford. Had an F- 150 for 11 years. Not much had changed on the interior including, entire front display panel and radio. I was disappointed with this until I test dove the Sport Trac. It's like getting the inside comfort and styling of a luxury car, yet with the manly toughness and sporty styling of a truck. I get 23 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in town. This is slightly better than my previous F-150. My family and I really enjoy going places in this remarkable vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My little bull truck

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Limited 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

In the year of Jan. 2009 we had a snow storm that surprised some of the locals i had left work at 1:00 AM driving slow on highway I 40 freeway and noticed vehicles losing control including a couple of police cars in front of me when the one police officers auto was sliding backwards the officer did manage to get his auto in control and i drove with my new 2008 sport track all wheel drive up the icy hwy with no problems and i felt very safe in my truck on the icy roads. I am very happy I bought this little bull, that left every one in the dust. Yea!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Goodbye bowtie

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Limited 4dr Crew Cab (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

Bought the last 2008 adrenalin the dealer had and so far i'm very impressed. Got every option and colorado red paint with 20'' wheels. With only 1000 miles so far I really like the ride and handling of this truck. Its a little underpowered even with the v8 ( maybe thats because my other car is a z28 with an LT1) It looks alot faster than it is. A great looking truck that has everyone asking "what model is that ??,,"did it come new like that?". Smooth as silk ride and drive with decent milege from a 4500lb truck (16.9 mpg so far) definately a head turner. At 46 ive had a lot of cars and this one is up top of the list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

We are impressed more each

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Limited 4dr Crew Cab AWD (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

Got a fantastic deal on the adrenalin model at Christmas. Had Acuras since 1989, but they were not motivated to sell me a vehicle. Brand loyalty meant nothing to them. We enjoy sitting higher when driving. This truck provides a tremendous sense of security in winter driving situations. The 6-speed tranny is smooth and the V8 is very flexible. The independent rear suspension gives a much more impressive ride over rough roads compared to the Chevy Silverado I rented last year for a weekend. Fuel economy so far is acceptable at 15-20 mpg in winter driving. I'm expecting a seasonal improvement to 20-26 mpg when the weather warms up, like my Acura TL does. We enjoy driving this truck immensely. Recommend just adding sunny days and a favourite recreational activity. This truck has style, power and tremendous versatility. Big grins. It's a keeper.

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Review

What's New for 2008

After last year's redesign, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac enters 2008 with a handful of equipment upgrades. Side curtain airbags become standard on both trims, as do a power rear window, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The optional navigation system adopts voice activation technology and, later in the model year, the Ford "Sync" system (which integrates devices such as cell phones and MP3 players into the vehicle's controls) option debuts.


We're not sure if they teach this at U Penn's Wharton School of Business, but we can tell you that a basic tenet of American business seems to be "milk it for all it's worth." Perhaps that was Ford's line of thinking when it brought out the Explorer Sport Trac seven years ago.

After enjoying a decade of strong sales from its midsize Explorer SUV and noting that Americans can't seem to get enough when it comes to trucks, the company melded the Explorer SUV, minus its enclosed cargo hold, to a small pickup bed. In theory, this vehicle combined the passenger comfort and space of a four-door SUV with the cargo-hauling ability of a pickup. In practice, however, it missed its mark. We found both the handling (too much chassis flex) and the utility (pickup bed too small) to be poor in that compromised, first-generation version. Ford then applied the "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" philosophy.

Last year brought an all-new Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which continues for 2008 with a handful of technical improvements. Highlights include newly standard side curtain airbags, voice activation for the optional navigation system and the (delayed) debut of Ford's "Sync" system (which integrates devices such as cell phones and MP3 players into the vehicle's controls).

Although the newest Sport Trac once again shares its basic platform with the Explorer, it rides on a 13-inch-longer wheelbase, so as to offer more passenger room and a larger cargo bed. Compared to its willowy predecessor, the current Sport Trac is four times stiffer and also boasts an independent rear suspension. The benefits are dramatically improved ride comfort and handling dynamics. Other strong points of the current Sport Trac include a bigger, more functional bed (with three built-in storage compartments), an available 292-horsepower V8 (coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission) and plenty of safety features.

Unlike its half-baked precursor, the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac makes a sound business case for itself. A traditional midsize crew cab pickup may offer more ultimate hauling ability, but chances are it wouldn't be able to match the Sport Trac in terms of passenger space and comfort, not to mention handling and ride balance. These characteristics make the Sport Trac ideal for those who want a useful amount of pickup utility along with the family-friendly nature of a midsize SUV. The Sport Trac's only real competition in this ultra-niche market is Honda's Ridgeline. The Ridgeline is another good choice, though it doesn't offer as much towing capacity and has rather ungainly styling that may be a turnoff for some folks.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is essentially an Explorer SUV modified to include a small pickup-like cargo bed. Two trim levels are offered: XLT and Limited.

The well-equipped XLT features a composite cargo box, 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, power rear window, foglights, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a drop-in storage bin with power points, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a CD player. The Limited adds color-keyed bumpers and side mirrors, sidestep bars, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable pedals, the Homelink system and a power driver seat.

Major options include a heated windshield, a sunroof, leather seating, a navigation system (with voice operation), an upgraded sound system, the Ford Sync system and, for the cargo box, a cagelike bed extender and a hard tonneau cover.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard power for the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a 4.0-liter V6 (210 hp and 254 pound-feet of torque) mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Optional is a 4.6-liter V8 (292 hp and 300 lb-ft) coupled to a six-speed automatic. Either is available with rear- or four-wheel drive. The latter, dubbed "Control Trac," offers three modes. The 4x4 Auto mode is the typical everyday setting as it routes power only to the rear wheels until they slip, at which point power is also sent to the front wheels. The 4x4 High mode provides a 50/50 power split to the front and rear wheels, making it ideal for off-road or severe winter conditions. The 4x4 Low mode is for the really deep stuff, steep grades and pulling a boat out of the water.

Although it provides a smooth, broad powerband, our testing revealed the V8's performance to be about the same or less than V6-powered import crew cab pickups. Still, acceleration is brisk for a 2-ton truck, with 60 mph coming up in 8.1 seconds. Towing capacity is where the Sport Trac shines, as it easily bests most rivals with its 6,800-pound maximum (2WD version) when properly equipped. Fuel consumption for the 2008 V6 2WD Sport Trac is rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, while the V8 posts a 13/20 mpg rating.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are all standard. In government crash testing, the Explorer Sport Trac earned five stars (the best possible) in both frontal- and side-impact tests. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash test, the Sport Trac scored "Good," the highest rating possible.

Interior Design and Special Features

The handsome cabin boasts solid build quality and simple controls. Practical features include an easily cleaned rubber floor with Berber carpeted mats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and displays for outside temperature and a compass. There's a trio of power points: two in the cabin and one in the bed, and that 4.5-foot cargo box is made of corrosion-proof composite material with a molded-in liner that resists scratches and dents. The box is notched, allowing one to place two 2x4s across the span to provide tiered storage of building materials. Three cargo bins are built into the bed's load floor and feature drain plugs that allow them to be used as ice boxes or storage for wet items.

Driving Impressions

With a fully independent suspension, well-tuned dampers and springs, admirable road isolation and a surprisingly responsive steering system, the 2008 Sport Trac is a pleasure to drive and ride in. Handling is sure-footed, though aggressive cornering will bring in the conservative stability control system. The ride is almost luxury-car plush, and the combination of the chassis' robust integrity and liberal use of noise insulation provides a hushed cabin. Ford claims that at 40 mph, the Sport Trac is a full 5 decibels quieter than a Honda Ridgeline.

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