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First, thank you to those who replied to my question about a tow package. Several of you mentioned to look at pickups other than the Dodge Dakota and Nissan Fontier, but the main reason I picked those is that they are sold in Belize and therefore serviceable. Your other suggestions are not sold there.

However, there is a small Ford dealer, and I just “discovered” the Sport Trac which seems to fit my requirements. My question is why is this listed as an SUV? What’s the distinction and is it important? I would prefer a more car-like vehicle.

I have no idea why the Sport Trac would be listed as a SUV. It’s very very similar to the Honda Ridgeline which is classified as a pickup. It’s just Ford’s designation. There really isn’t any rules around this. They can call it anything they want to.

The Sport Trac is more truck like. A more car like vehicle would be something like the Toyota Highlander.

Really, the Sport Trac is just an Explorer (I think) with the rear cabin lopped off. So it’s an SUV without a rear cabin. Which, when you think about it, is all that pickup trucks are anyway. Oh well.

In the 2002 model year, the Explorer stopped being based on the Ranger pickup and switched over to a much bigger more urban-friendly platform. The Explorer Sport and Sport Trac are totally different vehicles and are still built on the Ranger platform. Just from looking at them, the Sport-Trac is very similar to the four-door Ranger that’s available and very popular in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, but I’m not sure how similar they are mechanically.

I didn’t really read the other post, but you should definitely consider the Toyota Tacoma which is sold as the HiLux in the rest of the world but is mechanically identical. The Toyota pickup is hands down the most popular vehicle in many parts of the third world.