2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Cargo-carrying versatility
  • Spacious interior
  • Interior storage facilities
  • Comfortable, cushiony seats

The Bad

  • Small pickup bed
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Obsolete basic design
  • Excessive size
  • Fuel economy

Notable Features of the 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

  • Pickup-style 4-foot cargo bed
  • Full five-passenger capacity
  • Optional Safety Canopy
  • Bold exterior styling
  • Proven V-6 powertrain

2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Two-in-one vehicles have caught the fancy of quite a few shoppers lately. Ford’s sport utility vehicle/pickup truck crossover debuted as an early 2001 model and soon proved to be surprisingly popular.

The Explorer Sport Trac is essentially a previous-generation, four-door, five-passenger Explorer with an open, 4-foot, pickup-style cargo box added at the rear. Ford targets buyers who need a utility vehicle that might actually get dirty by going off-road, hauling mountain bikes and other lifestyle accessories, or carrying lumber and gardening supplies. General Motors used this concept as the basis for the Cadillac Escalade EXT and Chevrolet Avalanche.

Equipment changes mark the 2004 Explorer Sport Trac, which features a revised instrument cluster in a freshened interior. Four trim levels are available: XLS, XLT, XLT Premium and Adrenalin. The Adrenalin edition features a 510-watt Pioneer sound system, fog lamps, side step bars and chrome wheels.

Exterior
To create the Sport Trac, developers first stretched the Explorer’s frame by 15 inches. They also incorporated more aggressive styling, such as flared rear fenders, than the regular four-door Explorer exhibits. Built on a 125.9-inch wheelbase, the Explorer Sport Trac measures 205.9 inches long overall, 71.8 inches wide and 70.5 inches tall.

The rear cargo bed is made of sheet-molded composite, which is a heavy-duty plastic that resists rust and dents. An optional, tubular steel cargo cage can extend ...
Vehicle Overview
Two-in-one vehicles have caught the fancy of quite a few shoppers lately. Ford’s sport utility vehicle/pickup truck crossover debuted as an early 2001 model and soon proved to be surprisingly popular.

The Explorer Sport Trac is essentially a previous-generation, four-door, five-passenger Explorer with an open, 4-foot, pickup-style cargo box added at the rear. Ford targets buyers who need a utility vehicle that might actually get dirty by going off-road, hauling mountain bikes and other lifestyle accessories, or carrying lumber and gardening supplies. General Motors used this concept as the basis for the Cadillac Escalade EXT and Chevrolet Avalanche.

Equipment changes mark the 2004 Explorer Sport Trac, which features a revised instrument cluster in a freshened interior. Four trim levels are available: XLS, XLT, XLT Premium and Adrenalin. The Adrenalin edition features a 510-watt Pioneer sound system, fog lamps, side step bars and chrome wheels.

Exterior
To create the Sport Trac, developers first stretched the Explorer’s frame by 15 inches. They also incorporated more aggressive styling, such as flared rear fenders, than the regular four-door Explorer exhibits. Built on a 125.9-inch wheelbase, the Explorer Sport Trac measures 205.9 inches long overall, 71.8 inches wide and 70.5 inches tall.

The rear cargo bed is made of sheet-molded composite, which is a heavy-duty plastic that resists rust and dents. An optional, tubular steel cargo cage can extend the load area by 22 inches. Another option is a lockable hard tonneau cover that protects cargo contents.

Interior
Like the older Explorer, the Sport Trac seats five people on cloth-upholstered low-back bucket seats up front and a 60/40-split, folding rear bench. Power lumbar support and leather-trimmed heated front seats are available. A standard power rear window allows access to the cargo area from the rear seat. The floor is covered with washable composite rubber that can be hosed down if it gets dirty.

Under the Hood
A 4.0-liter V-6 engine develops 210 horsepower and teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Either rear-wheel drive or ControlTrac II full-time four-wheel drive is available.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available, but a Safety Canopy side curtain-type airbag system may be installed.

Driving Impressions
What first seemed like a gimmick — combining two different types of vehicles — turned out to have a fair amount of practical value. Even though the Explorer Sport Trac looks strange to some people, owners who actually need to carry both passengers and cargo may appreciate this vehicle’s capabilities. But some people may still ask: If you want a pickup truck, why not buy one?

But be warned: This rig is big. It attracts quite a bit of attention, as do most dual-purpose vehicles. Even with the assistance of the tough-looking running boards, climbing aboard can be a challenge for shorter folks. There’s plenty of space in the front seat. The backseat is comparably spacious, but passengers may have to duck down slightly when entering.

Handling and performance are standard-issue SUV qualities. The Explorer Sport Trac is fairly easy to drive and maneuver. Acceleration is energetic enough from a standstill, but automatic-transmission shifts are quite noticeable.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 8/27/03

Latest 2004 Explorer Sport Trac Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Good enough

by Dave145 from Burlington on July 30, 2018

It's not fast. It's not terribly capable. Toddlers have bigger beds. It likes gas and parts. But overall, it runs decent. The 4x4 works as well as it's supposed to, but with the ground clearance of ... Read full review

(5.0)

Its a classic and very happy with it.

by Tina Fun on April 5, 2018

I love the handling, it is 14-years old and its a classic only made 10 years and thrilled to own it! They are very hard to find but I was especially luck with this purchase. Thanks to L&B Motors in ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Explorer Sport Trac received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker