Report: End of the Road for Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Report: End of the Road for Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Automotive News reports that 2010 will be the final year of production for the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Ford is killing off the midsize, crew cab, body-on-frame pickup truck after a decade of manufacture as the company prepares to relaunch the Explorer nameplate as an all-new unibody crossover, and in the wake of dramatically slowing demand for the Sport Trac model.

The first generation 2001-05 Ford Explorer Sport Trac went on sale in 2000 (see our original road test) after overwhelmingly positive consumer response to the 1996 Ford Adrenalin concept truck. The tough-looking Adrenalin design study was one of the first concepts to preview the trend of prioritizing passenger space over cargo space for the U.S. market. It featured a shortened cargo box but plenty of room for five passengers in the four-door cab. Prior to the Adrenalin concept, most U.S. crew cab pickups had been available only as extra-large heavy-duty trucks, while similar small crew cab pickups had long been popular in overseas markets before 1996.

1996 Ford Adrenalin Concept

The Adrenalin name was formally attached to the Sport Trac in 2003 when the Adrenalin option package was added. It included a Pioneer sound system with nine speakers and an eight-inch subwoofer, limited paint colors, side step bars and premium alloy wheels. The "Adrenalin" name appeared on the tailgate and was stitched on the headrests of the truck's leather seats.

In 2005 a new Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin concept debuted at the New York auto show based on the second-generation 2007-10 Sport Trac (please see our first drive). Buyers were able to purchase this new Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin in 2008.

Ford has long shrugged off a moderate amount of criticism from traditional truck buyers over its decision to make the Explorer Sport Trac the only midsize crew cab pickup available in its domestic lineup. The more popular Ford Ranger compact is only available as a regular or extended cab, even though a crew cab model is offered just across the border in Mexico.

The 2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac features minor changes, including: Ford's Sync voice-activated communication and entertainment system, chrome roof rails and side steps standard on Limited models, plus new exterior colors Blue Flame and White Platinum.

Is this the end of Ford's small crew cabs? Probably not. Recent spy photos show what appears to be the all-new 2012 Ford Ranger global pickup that could replace the current U.S.-built Ford Ranger after it too ends production next year.

2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

[Source: Automotive News]


Wrong. The Adrenalin name has been associated with the Sport Trac since before 2005. If I remember correctly, the Adrenalin name was first used on production ST's in 2003 as the name for the top-end stereo package.

The Adrenalin name was then used again on Gen 1 ST's in 2004-2005, as the name for a package consisting of a 510-watt Pioneer stereo system, "Adrenalin" embossed headrests, chrome wheels, chrome side steps, and an "Adrenalin" badge on the tailgate.

@henry: Doh. So sorry, Henry. You're correct. I totally forogt about the 2004 Adrenalin audio and appearance package. I'll update the story.

"Is this the end of Ford's small crew cabs? Probably not. Recent spy photos show what appears to be the all-new 2012 Ford Ranger global pickup that could replace the current U.S.-built Ford Ranger after it too ends production next year."

Is the 2012 Ford Ranger going to start production immediately after the Ranger ends production next year, 2011 or 2012? From what I understand it's going to be released mid to late 2010 or very early 2011 as a 2012 model. Is that correct?

@The Luigiian: I don't know when the next-gen Ford Ranger "T6" is scheduled to start production. Ford isn't saying either. ;-)

What will America do without this whopping three foot bed? Surely sales of wicker chairs, magazine racks, and wall sconces will suffer with the demise of this *work horse*. I dunno about you guys, but I think is a sign we should short Pier 1 and Pottery Barn stocks.

Iwant, Don't worry. There will be the Indian truck so Mikey and Bobby can go antiquing and put the tea table in the back.

You can't fit sheet rock or plywood in the bed so a lot of people claim this isn't a "real truck". For my business I need to drive my staff on-site and need to move a bunch of dirty equipment that I'd rather not have in the cabin with me. The Sport Trac fills a need that is mostly ignored in the United States, if the ranger could fix an actual person in the back I'd buy two this year.

I am expecting the Manhindra will own this segment in a few short years anyway. Don't get me wrong, I liked the Sport-Trac. Popular with the young girls 'round here. Wife's girlfriend has one.

It figures, Ford is good for creating a niche and the abandoning it. The 'Trac was good for those of us that wanted a nicely equipped truck to cary people more comfortably than the Ranger, that was not too big (fits in my garage) and not what everyone else has (i.e. F150).

Rasmussen....46% More Likely To Buy Ford 'Cause It Didn't Get A Bailout

What niche did this fill? All Dodge, Nissan, GM and Toyota already had CC compact pick ups before the Sport Trac and all 4 companies are still selling them. Ford should have done their CC based off a new Ranger to start with. I can't imagine it is cheap to build or buy an Explorer based CC over a pick up based model. As a previous posted stated, these trucks do fill a great need for many who want to carry cargo that is messy or don't want it in their SUV or van. Not everyone who needs a truck is towing trailers and hauling heavy. The also are not all shopping at Pier 1.

@Keith: My point was the Adrenalin concept was one of the first crew cab pickups designed with U.S. consumers in mind.

The Explorer Sport Trac and Dodge Dakota were the first production crew cab small trucks to debut at the 1999 Detroit Auto Show, before GM, Toyota and Nissan.

@ Mike: I seem to remember the Nissan Frontier being on the market the same time or slightly before the Sport Trac.

Frontier - 2000
S10 - 2001

The others might not have debuted at an autoshow in 1999, but to be released a year later shows they were more than just lines on paper in 1999.

Too bad - I really like this lifestyle+more truck, especially when he got the actual Explorer line front-end. Maybe the 4x4 V8 model is a good idea for my future purchase as 1st time pass to a pickup truck world...

where was the adrenaline when i was buying my truck. I own an 02 sport trac and i love my little truck. . . . but if it looked anything like the adrenaline i would love it even more

The Sport Trac should not be compared to pickups. It's not a pickup it's a SUV.

The reason people like myself choose it is for it's variety of features (read "compromise" if you must). It has the comfort of a SUV, the hauling capability of a truck (especially the V8 version) and the ability to carry things you wouldn't or couldn't put in a standard SUV.

People who buy a ST are not looking for a pickup.

I have an '04 and am about to trade it on on an '07 V8.

i just love the 2010 Ford Exporer Sport Trac Adrenalin it is the best Ford so far

I've had a '10 Addy for a few months now and I love it. Dave' s right - its FAB-YOU-LOUS for antiquing. Oh, it also hauls @$$, looks beautiful, handles great etc. etc....

One thing i wish it had though would be the ability to turn off the Traction Control. Its kinda disappointing to have a big engine and not be able to 'light em up' or even do a proper donut in the snow. It literally works a little too well.
It puzzles me that the 'Trac isnt a big seller though. It seems that you'll see one on the road once in a while, but theres far more Scion XB's, Nissan Cubes, Honda Elements - heck even Pontiac Aztecs out there! maybe its just me...

It's unfortunate that the Sport Trac is going away. I've had two, a 2001 and 2008. My present 2008 is superior to the 2001 in ride, handling, and performance. But the Sport Trac served a purpose for the family that needed the four door cabin and a little bit of a truck when necessary for cargo. The bed extension cage works just fine for my family. The tonneau cover allows us to have one huge "trunk." I don't need a full size F-150. The Sport Trac was spot on. I didn't want to buy a Nissan CC Frontier, Toyota CC Tacoma, Dodge CC Dakota, or Chevrolet CC small truck (SUV - name escape me). I wanted a Ford and the Sport Trac fit the bill. I just hope the new Ranger will be as versatile for suburban living as the Sport Trac. I will keep the 2008 Sport Trac as long as I can. Rest in peace, Sport Trac. You were good while you lasted.

I had a 2001 model I got second hand and those who said you could not put a 4' x 8' sheet in the bed just don't know how to load it properly! I had over 1000 pounds of construction materials in my Trac, including 2x4s, many Bags of Concrete, Concrete Blocks and several sheets of OSB None of it extended above the sides of the bed and only extened a foot or so past the lowered tail gate! It all rode very well and I was still getting good gas mileage! I had that truck til my wife and I downsized from 2 vehicles to a newer Ford Freestyle 3 years ago and I have missed having the use of its many features ever since!

had a 2008 sport trac and always wanted an adrenalin. when i saw that they were not to be built any longer i went and got a 2010 adrenalin and sold my sport trac to son-in-law. we both are thrilled with my decision and i have carried 4' x 8' sheets of plywood in my sport trac. sorry to see it go.

it sure is a shame the sport trac will be gone, it was a classy pick-up truck that with be lived on forever.

I Just wanted to ask if it would be a good idea for anyone to buy a 2010 Ford Sport trac now, what would happen to whomever buy this vehicle? will it increase is value? or will it decrease in value at resale?


The sport track has many great feature a contractor that wants a work and pleasure truck.will we all forget that our boots are full of mud and the all vinyl floor is the greatest feature that no other offer all the adds for work trucks forget that wet carpet smells

Aron: There are dozens of ADRENALIN model Sport Tracs for sale on the Internet. Go for it!!!

I had seen Sport Tracs around here and there for several months. I also drive a Ford Mustang. The Sport Trac grabbed my attention. I never though I would drive a truck
until I was mesmerized by the sleek body of the Sport Trac.
I spent several months on the net researching to find the
"right one." I found the 2008 black 4x4 V-8 with two toned seats Limited. The only option it didn't have was sync. It was
then I knew I had found the perfect vehicle. When we travel,
someone usually comes up and admires "Jake".
I can't believe the Sport Trac is going away!

Isn't the ranger being dropped as well?

Just traded an 07 cya caddy (paid for)...cts for. A010 sport track because there were no 2011 s. Wished we bought a travel in 07 cause the trac drives better than caddy.

What a shame. The Explorer Sport Trac was a clever idea.

Scott I have a sport trac and I haul full sheets of drywall and anything else I need its great for family and work with v6 gas mileage.

Back in 02 I was browsing at a Ford dealership and saw a new ST. I immediately fell in love with it, bought it on site. It served me well with very little problems....till I saw the Adrenalin. I began surfing the net a year ago, and boom, my STA popped up at a Chevy dealership of all places. This silver baby had been owned by a young man who works at the dealership here in Atlanta. He was single and wanting to buy a home. He had to downsize, and there it was. It is a 08 and only had 15K on the odo...never ate in, drank in, smoked in and no one had sat in the back seat. I would have sworn it was a 2010. I had to have it. Now....I treat it better than my gets babied every day. Not a day goes by that I don't get comments on how great it looks. Okay forget the looks. The V6 gets admirable gas mpg, about 23/24 hiway if I don't rag on it. I hauls everything I need. Wifey and I go garage saling allot and it has hauled everything we just couldn't live without so far. I am 69 going on 70 and I am reliving my youth. Retired and taking care of my baby keeps me young. I'm a clean freak. She'll look as good 5 yrs from now as she does today. Hope they hold their resale pretty good. By then I'll probably be in a nursing home in a wheel chair drooling from one side of my mouth and won't even know the difference. Oh well life goes on, right? For now I'm lovin it. I think Ford is missing the boat on the dropped line. Keeping shareholders happy is a tough job. Go Ford!

I'm so upset. I bought my Sport trac in 2002 and was planning on getting another one when this one died. I can't get anything bigger cause it won't fit in my garage and anything smaller won't fill my need for hauling stuff around. BUMMER!

bummed about no more Sport Trac's, I was shopping used ones, and just traded my '02 4x4 XLT for an '09 AWD Adrenalin.
The ride difference is night and day! The 4.6 V8 is superb!
Going from my previous 4.10's to 3.55"s is gas sipping blessing.
Getting a 6990lb trailer towing over my previous 5100lbs max is going to make the 21' boat hauling much more enjoyable.
I'm hoping Ford resurrects it in the next 9 years...or i'm going to have some rebuilding to do!

My uncle is a sales associate for ford and he told me they are going to remake the sports trac they took it off because of the new explorers and the couldn't get the right look for them done in time so watch out you might see some new ones again

I bought 2007 sport track it was good until my engine went out i was driving down the street and all compression went out now I am sad what do I do buy engine for it or trad it in I still owe $7000.

I hate this news, I love my 2005 sportrac. Her name is AZURE. I will always keep her, we have been around the world and back. Shes a Keeper. Big mistake on fords part for not making anymore of these wonderful trucks.

I have a sport trac as well as a suv explorer. I hardly ever drive the suv. My "baby truck" is big enough to hold my 3 kids and I as well as haul most things. If I need more hauling room, I just pull a trailer! Im one happy chick with my sport trac, and want to buy a newer one in a year or two!

I have an '05, it's paid for, it's mine & I love it! I almost bought one their model year, but I was always told not to do that, so I waited, got into a5 year lease with Kia, but as soon as it was over I went right to Ford, I had to have my Sport Trac! I'm really bummed that they are dropping it from their line, it seems to be popular where I live! I wasn't planning on getting a new one since I only have 46,000 on my '05, but I was hoping that they would still be around for when I was ready to trade!:-(

We bought a 2007 ST Limited in August, 2011, that had 49,000 miles on it. It replaced a 2008 Honda Ridgeline coming off lease. We previously owned a 1992 Explorer, and then a 1998 Explorer, and our Sport Trac is head and shoulders above all three! It is a better driving SUV than the Ridgeline, which is way underpowered! It is much, much more comfortable, and much more sophisticated than the previous Explorers! We tow a 2500 lb boat, on a 1200 lb trailer, and the 4.6 engine w/ 6R60 transmission combo pulls it without ANY drama at all. We also tow an 1800 lb race car on a 900 lb trailer, and you don't even know it is back there!

This particular ST Limited was very well kept (1 owner), and after we initially looked at it, we could not find one option we would have ordered, that this ST didn't already have!!! It was a bargain, the absolute hands-down BEST vehicle we have owned in 45 years of car buying! My next door neighbor was looking to replace his Suburban, and after riding in, and driving our ST, went out and bought a 2008 ST Limited, which has higher miles on it, but is equally nice--a beautiful wine color (ours is black) our neighbors towed their two motorcycles down to FL without issue!!!

FORD Marketing guys: you've built a better vehicle than any other carmaker with this one!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring it back!

I have a 2005 ST Adrenalin that I have driven for almost 3 years. I love it...
Hauling grandkids, golfers and clubs, my dog, junk, and it goes through snow like a dream. I hope to get a 2010 but they are still way too expensive for me............... Don't know what I will have to downgrade to now that Ford has done away with my buddy.

I would love for Ford to make a mid size truck. I had a 2007 Sports Trac and loved it. I know drive a Platinum and we have
a 2014 F350 which my husband loves. I just like the smaller
truck for myself. Sure hope it happens soon.

I had my Ford Exporer Sport Trac yr. 3 and I love it very good truck 2004 I wish Ford would being it back as a new truck for 2017 would be so nice

West Virginia

Thanks Ford

I've always admired the Sport Trac since they first came out but it wasn't until this year, 2016, that I was able to get one. I found a 2007 XLT V8 with less than 100,000 miles for sale at a local car dealership 3 weeks ago. Other than having a bad coil and needing the spark plugs changed, this vehicle is AWESOME! The power is phenomenal. I have nothing that needs towing but I love the idea of having a way to haul cargo if we need to make a trip to Lowes or Home Depot or take a camping trip. I am disappointed that Ford decided to stop making these. When I took it to the Ford Dealership to get the spark plugs and coil issue fixed, the service tech jokingly commented how I bought my Sport Trac from a Chevy dealership and I said, "Yeah, but that's the only place I was able to find one" and he said, "They are pretty hard to find." Which tells me that Sport Trac owners are very happy with their vehicles and are less likely to give them up. Another thing.....I had a guy in a Chevy Silverado pull up next to me in my work parking lot complimenting me on my Sport Trac. He said it was a really nice truck.

I hope to keep mine for a long time, but I also hope Ford decides to start making these again.

I have had a 2003 sports trac since 2005. Love this truck. Hope Ford starts building it again.

I have a 2004 XLT Sport Trac and luv it. I started looking for a 2018 and I just found out there are no more in production since 2010. Where the &^$( have I been? I'm no space cadet or I wonder. Wow really love these vehicles. Now what??? THey were very popular.

I owned a 2006 first generation V-6 XLT Sport Trac and loved it! I've since upgraded to a 2008 second generation limited 4.6 liter V-8 to tow our loaded 4000 lb. travel trailer. Much better Sport Trac than the first generation. Not great on the gas mileage but quiet inside and performance is excellent.
Why the Sport Trac rather than a full size pickup ? Let me say first off I don't need a huge vehicle that's hard to park. Also its not likely to get scratched up on narrow back roads. I don't haul things much but when we do folding down the bed and using the extender or straps I can haul almost as much as a full size pickup anyway. The Sport Trac is a beefy very strongly built rig. It truly is as they say the Swiss utility knife of SUV's. I owned many vehicles over the years and this one is by far the best.I always smile when I see people trying to park those big pickups in tight spots! Ford is coming out with a new Ranger soon but still no match for the second generation Explorer Sport Trac.

The comments to this entry are closed.