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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
good visibility despite thickish rear-roof posts”
Five stars, front impact protection and side impact protection; four stars, rollover rating
senses impending rollovers and attempts to prevent them by applying individual brakes
TheCarConnection.com editors note that the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a safer alternative to most compact pickups, as it scores well in crash tests and offers quite a few standard safety features such as side airbags and electronic stability control, which the smaller, less expensive pickups still don't have. Trailer Sway Control is standard for 2009.
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 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and both strongly endorse the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. NHTSA has subjected the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2009 to its full range of crash tests and found 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 came in the rollover rating, where NHTSA awarded only three out of five stars for the 2WD model. In terms of impact protection, the IIHS affirmed the perfect scores awarded by NHTSA, as they also gave their highest rating, "good," to the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac for frontal offset impacts.
The IIHS has not conducted any side impact testing, but in the event the IIHS does so, The Detroit News reports that "side air bags are standard" and should help the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2009 preserve its perfect impact rating.
Aside from a full complement of strong crash-test ratings, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2009 lineup boasts enough standard features to inspire confidence in most any driver. Edmunds states 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 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is the fact that "for 2009 the Explorer Sport Trac gains standard side curtain airbags," according to Cars.com, whereas they were previously available only as an optional feature.
The 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac has many desirable safety features, and you can add driver visibility to that list. Consumer Guide reviewers are surprised to find that the Ford Explorer Sport Trac offers "good visibility despite thickish rear-roof posts."
For those concerned about the sobering safety statistics regarding pickups, the Sport Trac will lend a lot more peace of mind.