2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

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13 CITY / 19 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Trailer Sway Control safety feature is added as standard equipment
  • Next-generation voice-activated navigation system and Sirius Travel Link now offered
  • Ford Sync communications and entertainment system available for the second year
  • One-touch up/down driver's window now standard
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac midsize pickup with SUV attributes, which debuted in 2001, combines two best-sellers from Ford: the F-150 pickup and the Explorer SUV. Since both the F-150 and Explorer models have been revamped in the recent past, the Sport Trac takes some of each model's attributes. The midsize Explorer Sport Trac rides on a stretched version of the Explorer's frame. The Sport Trac has two rows of seats for 5-passenger capacity and a 4-foot-long composite cargo bed. The bed features tiered storage and integrated storage bins with drains (a lockable, watertight tonneau cover is optional). Consumers are offered a choice between rear- and 4-wheel-drive (2WD and 4WD) drivetrains, with V-6 or V-8 power.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes in two trim levels: XLT and Limited. Each is offered with either 2WD or 4WD and a choice between a V-6 engine with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission or a V-8 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include: the new Trailer Sway Control feature, Sirius satellite radio, electronic stability control, and 4-wheel-disc brakes with ABS. Exterior features include: 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels, cargo bed storage system, fog lamps, privacy glass, and power rear sliding window. Other features include: AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack, anti-theft system, overhead console, leather-covered steering wheel, illuminated glove box, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child safety belt system. The Limited model adds automatic headlights, Ford Sync communications and entertainment system, adjustable driver's seat, leather-wrapped shift knob, keypad entry, side steps, and 18-inch wheels.

All models of the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac offer a choice of 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels or 18-inch aluminum or chrome-clad wheels. Other extras that can be ordered include an Audiophile in-dash 6-CD MP3 player with subwoofer and audio input jack; voice-activated navigation system; rear-seat DVD entertainment system; leather trim; two-tone front sport bucket seats with adjustable headrests; 10-way adjustable driver and 4-way manual passenger seats; adjustable pedals; cargo bed extender; power moonroof; and a reverse sensing system, in addition to daytime running lights.

The 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes equipped with a standard 4.0-liter V-6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission that generates 210 hp and 254 lb.-ft. of torque. It can tow up to 5310 pounds with a payload as heavy as 1450 pounds. Customers who want more power may select the optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine, which delivers 292 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the V-8-powered Sport Trac can tow up to 6800 pounds and 1390 pounds of payload. Either engine can be equipped with the 4WD system, which can be left engaged on dry pavement, according to Ford, and has low-range gearing. EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2009 model are 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway for the V-6 engine with 2WD; 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway for the V-8 engine with 2WD; and 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway for the V-6 or 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway for the V-8 engine with 4WD.

All 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac models come equipped with a long list of standard safety features. These include Trailer Sway Control that works with stability control to determine the pitch of vehicle motion or sway and uses braking and reduced engine torque to better control the truck and trailer. Other standard safety features are dual front air bags; torso-protecting front-seat-mounted side air bags; head-protecting side curtain air bags with rollover sensor; tire-pressure monitor. anti-lock brakes (ABS); traction control; and Ford's Advance Trac electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Rear Park Assist is optional.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac earned 5-star ratings (the agency's highest score) in all four frontal and side-impact tests. In rollover tests, the 2WD Sport Trac received a 3-star rating and the 4WD model received 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not tested the 2009 Sport Trac but the 2008 model received a \"Good\" rating (the Institute's highest) in frontal offset crash tests.

Trailer Sway Control is a new feature on the Explorer Sport Trac and the redesigned F-150 Series of large pickups. It works in conjunction with Ford's electronic stability system and 4-wheel disc brakes to determine if the trailer is swaying by watching the vehicle's yaw motions. The system takes measures and applies precise braking or reduced engine torque to bring both vehicle and trailer under control. Ford's stability system can predict the vehicle's path using a sensor to detect oversteer and pitch by calculating the vehicle's speed and throttle position and steering-wheel angle. When the system senses wheel slip or the loss of traction, it applies braking as needed to keep the truck tracking safely on course, Ford says. Unlike some rivals' systems, Ford says its stability system uses a second gyroscopic roll rate sensor to predict the vehicle's roll angle. If a significant roll angle is detected, the system applies additional countermeasures to enhance vehicle roll resistance.


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