2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. Its Competition

2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT

The 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac fits in Ford’s truck lineup right above the aging Ford Ranger and below the new F-150, so it competes with the four-door variants from compact and mid-size pickup segments.

The editors at TheCarConnection.com aren't too fond of the Chevrolet Colorado and its twin, the GMC Canyon.

Their five-cylinder engines never had the power or refinement to endear themselves to our experts.

GM’s other entry, the HUMMER H3T has superior off-road capability and an available V-8, but its cargo bed is on the smaller side.

The Dodge Dakota was updated in 2008, and its longer traditional steel bed might be an advantage for some buyers.

The Nissan and Toyota mid-size trucks are not earth-shattering in terms of performance or versatility, but they are worth a look, as they provide nearly even competition to the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac in most every area of consideration.

Honda's Ridgeline is an interesting alternative.

Its car-based design gives a better ride and handling than the Sport Trac, as well as a nimbler feel overall, but lacks the Ford's heavy-duty capabilities for hauling, towing, and off-roading.

2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
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2009 Chevrolet Colorado LT w/1LT2009 Chevrolet Colorado
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2008 Dodge Dakota 2WD Ext Cab ST Open Doors2008 Dodge Dakota
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2008 Honda Ridgeline 4WD Crew Cab RT Open Doors2008 Honda Ridgeline
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2008 Nissan Frontier XE2008 Nissan Frontier
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2008 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner2008 Toyota Tacoma
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Quick Specs
The 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a versatile vehicle with very little to set it apart from the competition.
The new available V-8 engine is a long time coming and helps position the Colorado as a worthy rival to the most capable compacts and an alternative to full-size trucks.
Especially with the improved V-8, the 2008 Dodge Dakota can do most of what a full-size truck can while consuming fewer resources in the process.
The 2008 Honda Ridgeline is a flexible light-duty truck with a plush feel, but it can't tackle all the tasks a full-size truck does well.
For those of us who don't live on a ranch, the 2008 Nissan Frontier is large enough to haul real people and cargo, but sized for the urban-congestion reality.
The 2008 Toyota Tacoma covers the basics, at a price that’s lower than full-size trucks.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
13 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas 4-CylGas V6Gas V6Gas 4-cylGas I4
EPA Class     
N/AN/AN/A4WD Pickup TrucksN/AN/A
Style Name     
RWD 4-Door V6 XLT2WD Reg Cab 111.2" Work Truck2WD Ext Cab ST4WD Crew Cab RT2WD King Cab I4 Manual XE2WD Reg I4 MT (Natl)
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFour Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 DoorRegular CabExtended Cab 6'7" Bed4 Door Crew CabKing CabRegular Cab
AutomaticManual w/ODManual w/ODAutomatic w/ODManualManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. 2009 Chevrolet Colorado2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. 2008 Dodge Dakota2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. 2008 Honda Ridgeline2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. 2008 Nissan Frontier2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac vs. 2008 Toyota Tacoma