There's only one powertrain offering initially fitted to both 4x2 and 4x4 models, the Explorer's 4.0-liter SOHC V-6. It cranks out 205 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Similarly, the only transmission available is a five-speed automatic, however, a five-speed manual will follow later this year. Though the Sport Trac is intended for people and their lifestyle gear or home improvement trappings, as opposed to a pure workaday tool, payload and tow ratings are certainly adequate at (up to) 1500 and 5260 pounds, respectively. The V-6/automatic is relatively smooth and quiet. Ride quality is better than we've come to expect from leaf-sprung, pickup-class vehicles, emphasizing the Sport Trac's "people and stuff" nature. Wind noise is commendably low, and cracking open the power rear window brings a welcome breath of fresh air. This will make an exceptional family traveler.

There are people who want sport/utility attributes-like room for five and aggressive styling-combined with some outside-the-cabin cargo capacity. The Sport Trac packs it all into one slickly designed, neatly styled, and attractively priced rig-no matter what you call it.

Specifications
Vehicle configuration Front engine, rear drive, four-door, four-pass.
Engine type 90° V-6, SOHC, 2 valves/cyl.
Displacement ci/cc 244.7/4011
Horsepower, hp @ rpm, SAE net 205 @ 5250
Torque, lb-ft @ rpm, SAE net 240 @ 3750
Transmission type 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase, in./mm 125.9/3198
Base curb weight, lb 4183
Acceleration, 0-60 mph, sec 8.5
Standing quarter mile, mph/sec 16.6/83.0
Braking, 60-0 mph, ft 121
Lateral acceleration, g 0.70
Speed through 600-ft slalom, mph 54.8
EPA fuel economy, mpg, city/hwy. 16/20
Base price $22,500
Price as tested $25,565