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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Good," frontal offset test
Five stars, front impact protection and side impact protection; four stars, rollover rating
Newly standard side curtain airbags
The 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a very safe alternative for those shopping for a mid-size pickup, as it scores well in crash tests and offers quite a few standard safety features.
Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the two major crash-test agencies in the U.S., have tested the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and both strongly endorse the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The NHTSA has subjected the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2008 to its full range of crash tests and finds the vehicle worthy of a perfect five-star rating for driver and passenger protection during both front and side impacts. The one strike against the Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes in the rollover rating, where the NHTSA awards only four out of five stars. In terms of impact protection, the IIHS affirms the perfect scores awarded by the NHTSA, as they also give their highest rating, "good," to the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac for frontal offset impacts. The IIHS has not conducted any side impact testing, but The Detroit News writes that "side air bags are standard" and should help the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2008 preserve its perfect impact rating should the IIHS decide to conduct a side impact test.
Aside from a full complement of strong crash-test ratings, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2008 lineup boasts enough standard features to inspire confidence in most any driver. Edmunds writes that "antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are all standard" on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. To that list, Cars.com adds "rollover mitigation, in the form of Ford's Roll Stability Control," is standard as well, and it "senses impending rollovers and attempts to prevent them by applying individual brakes." Also aiding the overall safety credentials of the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is the fact that "for 2008 the Explorer Sport Trac gains standard side curtain airbags," according to Cars.com, whereas they were previously available only as an optional feature.
The 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac has many desirable safety features, and you can add driver visibility to that list as well. ConsumerGuide reviewers are surprised to find that the Ford Explorer Sport Trac offers "good visibility despite thickish rear-roof posts."
There are enough safety features to keep you out of trouble, but in case it's completely unavoidable, the 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac also holds up well in a crash.