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2011 Ford Explorer Won't Get Award-Winning Sport Trac Version

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Much ado has been made about the 2011 Ford Explorer's shift to a car-based platform and ditching of V-8 engines, but in the media storm, one small detail has slipped largely by: the death of the Explorer Sport Trac. What is the Sport Trac, you ask? Good question.

The little-known and slow-selling Explorer Sport Trac was Ford's half-pickup, half-SUV version of the Explorer, made possible by the body-on-frame construction. It offered four-door SUV-like cabin accommodations combined with a short bed for light pickup-type functionality. Though it didn't sell much--Ford hasn't split up Explorer sales into sub-type, so we don't know precise figures--it was, at least according to J.D. Power, a very good vehicle.

The recently-released 2010 J.D. Power APEAL study, which measures owner "gratification" with their new-car purchase over the first 90 days, put the Explorer Sport Trac at the top of its class, beating out models like the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier.

But Ford doesn't seem to be too broken up about the loss of the Sport Trac, awards or no. Instead, Ford thinks the F150 pickup, with its many crew cab variations, will fit the needs of Sport Trac buyers, and the shift to the new platform and engine combo will breathe new life into the Explorer SUV/crossover.

For more on the 2011 Ford Explorer, check out this index to High Gear Media's coverage across our entire network of sites.

[USA Today]

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Comments (23)
  1. Even tho the Explorer is now a CUV & not an SUV, they could continue making this & have it compete w/ the only CUT on the market: The Honda RidgeLine

  2. Ford is on a roll lately but will make a big mistake if they kill both the Ranger and the Sport Trak. Those buyers will NOT switch to the huge, lumbering F150. That truck has simply grown to big much too big. Former Ranger and Sport Trak buyers will be lost to Nissan or Toyota. Bad move.

  3. As a former owner of a 2002 Sport Trac and a current owner of a 2009 Sport Trac Adrenalin, to say I'm disappointed by this decision would be an understatement. I love my Trac and there's nothing on the market that comes close to it, including the Ridgeline. ESPECIALLY the Ridgeline. I tried to talk myself into buying the Honda product in 2009 but it's too ugly, too expensive, too stiff and uncomfortable and WAY behind on electronics in the cockpit. And did I mention too ugly? I'm going to take very good care of my Trac. My '02 never needed to go into the shop in 7 years and my '09 hasn't needed to either. They're great trucks and, like a Swiss Army knife, very versatile. Not a good decision by Ford, IMO.

  4. I just bought a used 2007 sport trac limited v8 4x4 fully optioned,i love this suv / truck,its perfect for my needs,not to big like the F-150 and not to small like the Ranger,my wife and i just love everything about it,i'm dissapointed that they will not continue the make this vehicle,as i seriously thought that we would buy a new one in the next year or two.

  5. Looks like I will be buying the 2011 Cevy Colorado with the Crew Cab & 5.3L engine. FORD dropped the ball on this one!

  6. I have to agree that this is a mistake. I am definitely in the market for a 2011 Sport Trac but obviously can't get one. I absolutely don't want a full size pick up truck and Ford needs to bring back the Sport Trac. BTW Colorado's are on there way out if that's the same one using the H3 Hummer under pinnings. There is nothing that compares to the Sport Trac (hate the ridgeline too) and I am now looking at 1966 Bronco instead, lol.

  7. I was really interested in the sport trac and was seriously considering a purchase in 2011, but I guess Ford dropped the ball on this one. This would have been my first Ford and non of their other products have the utility as the sport trac had. I had some problem with the colour selections available on the 2010 Sport Tracs and even those available seemed to be somewhat dull. Also the interiors were dull for colour and choices as well. The US models have a wider array of exterior colours and interior decor. I loved the Adreanine model but did not like the sole AWD option, the selectomatic as found in the Limited model was preferred but not available in the adrenaline model. Oh well onto Ridgeline or GM Colorado I suppose.

  8. What a lousy decision. I love my 2005 Trac, best vehicle I ever owned, don't know how I got along without it. First Ford I ever owned too. I guess I'm gonna be lookin for a used 2010 model at some point. Or I'll be moving over to the Tacoma. Bring it back Ford.

  9. No, no, say it isn't so, Ford!! I emailed in October and asked when the Sport Trac would be unveiled...since the Explorer itself had already been unveiled. I received an email back that production on the Sport Trac was to begin November 1st, and it would take 8-10 weeks before they would hit the market. Now I read that they aren't even going to be made? I am SO sad. I bought my first Ford new, a 2002 Sport Trac, and was ready to buy a new 2011. Your bad, Ford!

  10. I can't believe it either folks... I bought my first Ford in 2002, the Sport Trac, and still love it. Even with 110,000 miles it runs strong and rides great. I can't believe that I'm not going to be able to buy another in 2011. I've looked all over the market to find something similar, but none as good as this one.
    Ford you really screwed up on this decision! An open market and you blew it! I guess I’ll have to consider the Toyota product now…sheeesh.... so much for customer loyalty huh guys.

  11. OMG! They're killing off the Sport Trac! I have a 2001 and I love it, but I wanted to upgrade to a new one. Guess I'll just need to modify my baby. F-150? You gotta be kidding me...that's like expecting a Mustang driver to trade for a Crown Vic.

  12. I am disappointed the Sport Trac will be no longer. I just traded in my Ford Ranger, which was no longer practical without four doors, for a 2010 Sport Trac (one of the last left in my area) and I absolutely love it. I bought before they are gone. I would absolutely not want the larger, bulky F150. I need something smaller and easier to drive. Ford needs to reconsider either bringing the four door Ranger that is sold in every other country except the U.S. into our market, or continue with the Explorer Sport Trac.

  13. I am 75 years old and my 05 SPORT TRAC is the best ford I've own (it's my 6th) Ranger is to small and 150 is to big both my wife and ne love to drive it even with the low mpg, Ford has done everything to drive customers away Like having to wqalk around to the right to fuel the new models I'll probably go with NISSAN

  14. I purchased a new 2007 Ford Exp. Sport Trach Limited Edition in Jan. 2007. This has been and absolute great vehicle. Comfortable ride, no driver fatigue on long trips, 24 mpg on highway (4.0 liter V-6) It fits well into our closed garage and that helped with my decision to purchase, because the F-150 EC was to long. Ford should have promoted this vehicle more than they did, because it is a true WINNER for in many many aspects.

  15. I was going to trade in my 2005 sporttrac for a 2011. Oh well, they lost a coustomer.

  16. I own and 2002 and ran out to purchase a 2010 when I heard it was the end of the line. Put the old one with nearly 200K mile in our summer place and use the 2010. What a perfect truck from camping, to hauling debri,to kayaking and biking nothing comes close. Well at least I will have my 2010 for the next decade. Might need to stock parts for the 2002. Likely too expensive to keep one factory producing this novel vehicle.

  17. Ford if you are listening to these consumers, wake up! Killing Sport trac production is the very, very foolish! I have been driving Sport tracs nine years & now have a 2008. I love this SUV and there is nothing that comes close to it on the market. No one builds Trucks like Ford & no one comes close to their interior designing. I have a co worker with 2001 Sport trac with 240K miles and it still runs & looks great! When it's time for a new vehicle I will not be buying F150, too big.

  18. I've owned 4 Fords over the years including 2001, 2007 and 2010 (Adrenaline) Sport Tracs. Obviously based on my purchaes I love the Sport Trac. I guess once my 2010 Sport Trac runs its course (and now I'll try to hold onto it for 8 or more years) I'll be switching to Toyota or Nissan. Sorry but Ford made a big mistake on this decision. The F-150 is just too big, even though it has various cab options, and can't even fit into my garage.

  19. I am sadden to see that Ford has discountinued its sport trac addition....THis vehicle fit my needs perfectly because I do not want a large truck or a small truck. I have always been a devoted sport trac owner since its conception and now I am lost! I wanted to again purchase a new sport trac this year. Now, I am having to considering toyota and nissan because Ford has dropped the ball in making their customers happy with this move. Tess

  20. Ford, you just lost a customer. I was on target to buy a 2011 Sport Trak. I don't want the Explorer. I absolutely won't buy an F150. Too big. Bad, bad move!

  21. I've owned my 03 Sport Trac and it's thev best Ford I've had. No break-downs, no real problems, and my daughter just bought a 05 So\port Trac 4X4 for the mountains she traveles. She cant stop talking great things about. GET THE SPORT TRAC BACK

  22. BIG MISTAKE FORD!!! I bought the Sport Track new in 2004 and love it! As a middle aged female who has owned an F150 and a F250 and currently the proud owner the Sport Track, I feel that Ford has let us down by not making anything stylish and functional for us. Sorry, Ford, you've made a big mistake.

  23. We bought a SportTrac the first year they were out (2001) and loved it. A few years later we got an Expedition, but in 2010 when we learned the Sport Trac wasn't going to be continued, we bought a newv2010 Limited. It's such a great vehicle, and we're so glad we got one of the last ones!

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