As a frequent-traveling father, my main complaint about the current generation of SUV's is their paucity of cargo space. These vehicles have been marketed as giants of the road, but anyone who has packed for a family vacation of even a few days duration knows how little space there is at the rear ends of these behemoths.
The Sport Trac is, for my money, one of the more imaginative ways out of this dilemma. For families overwhelmed by the size of the Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition [which themselves offer only so-so cargo area with the third row of seats engaged], the Sport Trac is a very well-bred marriage of an SUV with a sophisticated, cool truck.
Don't be put off by the truck part. You won't see many gun racks in the rear windows of this vehicle. This is strictly a suburban hybrid, offering all the advantages of a five seat, four wheel drive automobile, with the flexibility and cargo space of a small truck.
The Sport Trac is longer than the typical Explorer, to accommodate the far larger cargo area offered by the truck bed. But the car is all Explorer, including the four full-sized doors and the Explorer's standard front and rear seating arrangement.
We put the car through it paces, traveling many hours on both freeways and country roads to pick up our daughter Morgan at her Pennsylvania overnight camp. Driving wih the optional automatic transmission was seamless, with plenty of power in the V6 for highway driving at upwards of 75mph [it was a long drive to camp!].
What a pleasure it was to simply throw all of Morgan's camp trunks and supplies into the rear without having to calculate space requirements and play trial and error with the various suitcases and boxes to get all of our gear to fit.
Another bonus, with all of our luggage set apart in the cargo bed, the interior of the car itself felt totally uncluttered, except for the DVD-equipped laptop we plugged in to distract our five year old, Joshua.
What happens if it rains?, you ask. No problem. a hard, lockable cover is available.
I loved the new Ford Explorer sport pickup. Its hybrid design alone is an adventure for the eye. While my mom was filling up the tank at a gas station, one man even came up to her to say: "That is one cool lookin' car." Inside, it seats 5 very comfortably and has a six cd changer which proved very useful for a family of five with contrasting music tastes. The interior design is also very attractive and contemporary. The silver and tan theme gave the truck an even more sporty and fun feel. The truck is also low to the ground, making it more stable and less intimidating. All in all the truck or SUV or whatever its name is, is a great looking, useful car that's real fun to ride in.
For pix see http://media.ford.com.
Ford Sport Trac Two wheel drive base price $22,240
Four wheel drive base price $25,010
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