NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, two-row Safety Canopy airbag system, drop-in storage bin with 12-volt power point, and power rear window on all models
– Fog lamps standard on XLT
– Power sunroof, reverse sensing system, hard tonneau cover and roof rail crossbars standard on Limited
– Optional Ford Sync on both models
– Optional roof rail crossbars added to XLT
– Optional navigation system now includes voice activation
– Exterior colours: Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic and White Suede Clearcoat Metallic added; Carbon Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Stone Clearcoat Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat Metallic and Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic deleted

For 2008, the Explorer Sport Trac receives several new standard and optional features, including available Ford Sync, which allows for voice-activated control of telephone and music features.

Essentially an Explorer with the rear end lopped off and replaced with a pickup truck box, the Sport Trac uses a 4.0-litre V6 with five-speed automatic transmission or 4.6-litre V8 with six-speed automatic transmission. Both engines are available in the XLT and Limited trim lines, and both can be ordered with two- or four-wheel drive. All models have four doors and a four-foot pickup box.

Features on the XLT include 17-inch painted alloy wheels, air conditioning, Class II trailer tow hitch receiver, tire pressure monitoring system, cloth seats with six-way power driver’s adjustment, 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power windows, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, cruise control, composite cargo box with three storage compartments and power point, fog lamps, power mirrors with security approach lamps, power-sliding rear window, power locks with keyless entry and keypad, black roof side rails, and black step bars.

The Limited adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, reverse sensing system, heated leather seats with ten-way power driver’s adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, Audiophile six-CD/MP3 stereo, power sunroof, silver-painted roof rails with black crossbars, silver-accented step bars and hard tonneau cover.

Available options include Ford Sync, a DVD-based navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, cargo cage bed extender, heated windshield and mirrors, and a Class III trailer tow package.

Surprisingly useful, the Sport Trac is roomy and comfortable for front-seat passengers and adequate for those in the rear seats; despite its size, it feels a bit more nimble than the Explorer. The optional flip-out extender allows cargo to be carried on the tailgate; overall, like the Chevrolet Avalanche, this is an attractive, viable and comfortable alternative to a traditional pickup truck.

Connect with Autos.ca