Still unusual, if no longer unique, the 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac combines the interior room and comfort of a mid-size SUV with the open-air, haul-anything capability of a mid-size pickup truck. You might think of it as three-quarters of a Chevy Avalanche for about two-thirds the price. Sport Trac is an SUV with a pickup bed. It has an outdoorsman's interior designed for easy cleaning and a bed made of a nearly impervious composite material. Yet it can carry a family of five in the comfort of a well-equipped Ford Explorer. As its name implies, the Explorer Sport Trac is based on the Ford Explorer, the best selling sport-utility in America. That would be a very good thing, except that the Sport Trac is based on the previous-generation Explorer, not the 2003-04 model, so it does not have the current Explorer's all-new chassis with independent rear suspension. The previous-generation Explorer represented the state of SUV design in 2001, but the new Explorer, as well as competing mid-size SUVs, have since passed it by in ride, handling, and overall refinement. Time marches on and vehicles get better and better. That said, Ford updated the Sport Trac for 2003 with four-wheel-disc brakes and ABS, plus height-adjustable seat belts with pre-tensioners. Ford's latest Safety Canopy side-curtain air bag system with rollover sensors is now available as an option. Interior trim, instrumentation, and the top-level Adrenalin sound system have been upgraded for 2004.