• (4.3) 23 reviews
  • MSRP: $4,071–$11,683
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-18
  • Engine: 210-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 (flexible; E85)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 5
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

What We Don't Like

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

Notable Features

  • 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 Reviews

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

Consumer Reviews

4.3

Average based on 23 reviews

Write a Review

This is my second one

by Mike from Carrollton, Ky. on October 27, 2017

Do you need something to pull a trailer or a boat, yet have room inside to bring guests without buying a long 4 door pick-up, this is your pick. Has beautiful styling and solid performance for a V-6. ... Read Full Review

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8 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Ford Explorer Sport Trac Articles

2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 2 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years