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2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Review

While its short cargo bed limits its hauling ability, the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a versatile compact pickup.

Pros & Cons

  • Refined, upscale interior
  • Powerful V8 and high towing capacity for the class
  • Short bed limits cargo carrying capability

New for 2009

  • Trailer sway control became standard
  • Voice-activated navigation became available




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Overview

When it was new, the Explorer Sport Trac, which is based off the 2009 Ford Explorer SUV, drew more reviewer praise for its refined ride than most competing compact trucks. The Explorer Sport Trac comes standard with a V6, but most reviewers tested and preferred the available V8, which they said is smooth and powerful. The Explorer Sport Trac is available with either rear- or four-wheel drive. Notably, its maximum fuel economy rating of 15/21 mpg city/highway is achieved with the V8, rather than the V6. A V8-powered Explorer Sport Trac can tow up to 7,160 pounds, which is one of the highest ratings in the class.

The Explorer Sport Trac comes only as a crew cab, and has seats for five people. Most reviewers found the seats in both the front and back comfortable, and many said the cabin is generally spacious. They were also pleased with the Explorer Sport Trac’s interior design, saying it looks classy and is constructed with high-quality materials. While some crew-cab rivals offer beds that are about 6-feet long, the Explorer Sport Trac’s bed is slightly more than 4 feet in length. Standard features include a power rear sliding window and a stereo with CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack. Notable features to look for on a used Explorer Sport Trac include power-adjustable pedals, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system. Other available features include a power sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats and navigation.

See the full 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is available with a crew cab that offers similar seating space to the Explorer Sport Trac. While there was no V8 option, a crew cab Tacoma was available with a longer bed, making it a better choice for those who plan to use their truck for hauling cargo.

The 2009 Honda Ridgeline can’t tow as much as the Explorer Sport Trac, but its crew cab, short bed body style is similar in size. Reviewers also appreciated the Ridgeline’s in-bed lockable trunk and innovative tailgate, which can be opened multiple ways.

Compare the Explorer Sport Trac to the Tacoma and Ridgeline »

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