The 2001 model year was another big one for Ford truck enthusiasts. Balancing the huge Excursion SUV introduced for 2000 was the compact Escape, which came with either an economical four-cylinder engine or powerful V-6. Also arriving for 2001 was a version of the Ford Explorer SUV with a short, open bed in back rather than an enclosed cargo area. Called the Sport Trac, it was essentially a crew-cab pickup, but offered better interior accommodations than most compact rivals.
Speaking of crew cabs, the Ford F-150 also gained a version for 2001. Called the SuperCrew, it marked the first time a full-size 1/2-ton pickup was available with four full-size doors. Previously, crew cabs were only available on 3/4-ton-and-up trucks. So popular was this body style that the Harley-Davidson F-150 pickup truck became a SuperCrew for 2001.
Also for 2001, a more powerful engine was offered on the Explorer SUV and Ranger truck, and the Ranger gained a sporty version called the Edge. Buyers wanting to tow large fifth-wheel trailers in style were offered a decked-out four-door Ford F-650 truck model called the Super CrewZer.
Ford's biggest truck news for 2001 was the Escape compact SUV. The design was a joint effort with Mazda, Ford's Japanese affiliate, which offered its own version as the Tribute. Escape quickly rose to the top of its class in sales thanks to a winning combination of car-like driving traits, user-friendly utility, and attractively low prices.
A lone four-door wagon body style was offered with a choice of four-cylinder or V-6 power, front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, and initially, XLS and uplevel XLT trim. Anti-lock brakes and front side airbags were among the options.
Explorer made few changes for an abbreviated 2001 model year.
Pickup or SUV? The Explorer Sport Trac was both. Released in early calendar 2000 as a 2001 model, it combined the Explorer's front end and cabin with a four-foot-long cargo bed.
With the addition of a new SuperCrew crew-cab body style for 2001, the F-150 became the first 1/2-ton pickup to offer four conventional side doors. Previously, crew cabs were offered only in 3/4-ton-and-up pickups.
New to the Super Duty line for 2001 was the huge F-650 Super CrewZer, which featured a 300-hp turbo-diesel V-8 and luxury interior.
The Ford Explorer SUV received a redesign after 11 years on the market in 2002. Continue to the next page to see the results.
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