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2022 Ford Explorer: Going Strong

31 years from inception, the 2022 Ford Explorer is going strong with 3 motors, 8 trims and enough features to meet any buyer’s needs.

What’s New for the 2022 Ford Explorer?

2022 marks 31 years that the Ford Explorer has been for sale, an impressively long nameplate history that you can read more about here. With this sixth-generation model, the Explorer is up to eight trim levels for 2022 with the new ST-Line. It builds on the nascent ST brand by offering hot rod looks with a more efficient engine. King Ranch and Platinum Explorer now comes standard with the burly 400-horse twin-turbo motor along with high-end tech like a 10” display and massaging seats. Other changes versus the 2021 model, that we review here, include an updated XLT Sport Appearance package, no-charge second row bench and the addition of Stone Blue and Burgundy Velvet to the color palette.

2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com

2022 Ford Explorer – ford.com |  Shop 2022 Ford Explorer on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $34,540





Fuel Economy

20 City / 28 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats


Seats 6-7

The Breakdown

400hp ST models offered only in RWD

Active Park Assist 2.0 parallel parks for you

Massaging seats improve road trips

Timberline comes with real off-road gear

Fully loaded models can top $60K

No sign of slowing down after 30 years

2022 Explorer Specs

Trims & Pricing

Base - $34,540
XLT - $37,440
ST-Line - $46,040
Limited - $46,790
Timberline - $47,540
ST - $48,540
King Ranch - $54,905
Platinum - $55,410

2022 Ford Explorer Powertrain

2022 Ford Explorer 3.0L V6 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2022 Ford Explorer 3.0L V6 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

With 300 horsepower and 310lb-ft of torque, the standard 2.3L turbocharged EcoBoost inline-4 should be enough juice for most buyers but if your friends call you Lead Foot, check out the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 with 2 turbos, 400 horsepower, and 415lb-ft of torque. If fuel efficiency is the name of your game, an available hybrid powertrain pairs a naturally aspirated 3.3L V6 with an electric motor netting 318 horsepower and 322lb-ft of torque. In all cases, Ford’s slick-shifting 10-speed automatic routes power to the rear wheels with the option for AWD.

Towing & Payload

2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com

All 2022 Ford Explorers have a transmission Tow/Haul mode that, combined with the available Trailer Tow package, allows for 5,600-pounds of hauling with the 3.0L motor. That towing package includes blind spot monitoring that will cover a trailer, while Hill Descent Control and Side Wind Stabilization help ease trailering duty in hairy conditions.

2022 Ford Expedition Fuel Economy & MPG

The Explorer Hybrid is fuel-pump friendliest with ratings of 27 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in RWD models. These figures drop to 23 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with AWD hybrid models. Standard idle stop-start helps the 2.3L powertrain hit 21 mpg in city and 28 mpg on the highway. AWD drops those estimates by 1 mpg each. The heavy-breathing twin-turbo 3.0L fares worst in this department at 18 mpg for city and 25 mpg highway. AWD only reduces the highway estimate by 1 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Three rows of seating make the 2022 Explorer family-friendly though that back row is best suited for little kids. The middle row can be configured with dual buckets or a 3-position bench and the front seats offer such fanciness as multicontour 5-mode massaging and ventilation. Access is easy inside with an available power-folding third row that, when combined with the flat folding second row opens up 88 cubic feet of cargo room. Triple-zoned climate controls, acoustic laminated glass and noise-cancellation tech work to ensure that space is quiet and cozy.

Entertainment & Technology

2022 Ford Explorer King Ranch - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer King Ranch - ford.com

You’ll find Apple and Android smartphone mirroring tech across the 2022 Explorer lineup but to access it on the biggest 10” touchscreen requires at least a King Ranch or optional package. Other models make do with an 8” display though a Wi-Fi hotspot is standard equipment. On the ST and above, a 12” digital gauge cluster can be configured as you see fit and rear occupants will appreciate the available entertainment system with dual screens integrated into the font seatbacks. Further along the trim ladder, the wireless charging, 360° exterior camera system, navigation, Bang and Olufsen® stereo and more help push the Explorer upmarket.

Safety Features

Automatic high beams, lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert are all included under the Co-Pilot 360 ADAS umbrella. Additional standard safety systems include reverse sonar, post-crash alert and a backup camera with washing system. Tacking on Assist+ bolsters advance driver assistance with active cruise control, lane centering, evasive steering assist and traffic sign recognition, while the available Active Park Assist 2.0 will handle all aspects of parallel parking at the touch of a button.

2022 Ford Explorer Trims & Pricing

2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com

Base – $34,540

Base models, simply named Explorer, come with the 2.3L EcoBoost engine and RWD though AWD is available. 18” alloy wheels and LED lighting dress up the exterior nicely and a power-operated liftgate is standard. Inside, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and second-row bench are covered in black cloth. Triple-zoned automatic climate controls are included here as is an 8” infotainment touchscreen with Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

2022 Honda Odyssey: Almost Perfect
2022 Ford Explorer XLT - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer XLT - ford.com

XLT – $37,440

Chrome trim, access to the entire exterior paint color catalog and Ford’s signature LED design are all part of the XLT model. Heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are on hand along with an available XLT Sport Appearance package. For $1795, it brings gray-finished 20” wheels, dual chrome exhaust outlets and a two-tone interior scheme with contrast stitching.

2022 Ford Explorer ST-Line - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer ST-Line - ford.com

ST-Line – $46,040

New for 2022, ST-Line looks like the high-performance ST Explorer without the big motor. It’s a well-equipped option featuring 20” alloys, blackout exterior trim and rain-sensing wipers. ActiveX upholstered seats with Miko inserts and red stitching further the look inside and a 12-speaker B&O stereo plus wireless charging pad add value. Lineup standard Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), is bolstered here with Assist+ that includes adaptive cruise control (ACC) and navigation.

2022 Ford Explorer Limited - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer Limited - ford.com

Limited – $46,790

Limited models come with the 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder but can be optioned with the hybrid powertrain for an additional $4785. Leather upholstery wraps front seats that are fully climatized and a heated second row. Forward parking sonar and a 360° camera are included on this model with the option for a dual-pane moonroof running about $1700.

2022 Ford Explorer Timberline - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer Timberline - ford.com

Timberline – $47,540

Reviewed in-depth here, Timberline models are geared toward outdoor adventures with an extra ½” of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, full set of steel skid plates and standard AWD. Trim-exclusive accoutrements like heathered cloth seat inserts, deep tangerine stitching and Timberline logos etched and embroidered throughout allow this off-road special to stand out.

2022 Ford Explorer ST - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer ST - ford.com

ST – $48,540

As the lineup hot rod, ST trim packs a 400-horse, twin-turbo V6 and sport-tuned suspension. Paddle shifters let you channel your inner racecar driver and a 12” digital instrument panel is standard. For $995, the ST Street package goes further with 21” wheels, performance brakes and snazzy red-painted brake calipers, while various upgrades like a hands-free liftgate and massaging front seats are available at added cost.

2022 Ford Explorer King Ranch - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer King Ranch - ford.com

King Ranch – $54,905

85 square feet of Del Rio leather with “lasso-perforated” inserts is the King Ranch claim to fame. Featuring hand-stitched King Ranch logos, it swathes the interior with a decidedly Southwestern look. Swiss Army knife-inspired side mirrors are heated with LED turn signals, power-folding operation, auto-dimming and integrated approach lamps. Additional upgrades like the 10” infotainment screen, heated steering wheel and power-adjustable steering column help justify the big sticker price.

2022 Ford Explorer Platinum - ford.com
2022 Ford Explorer Platinum - ford.com

Platinum – $55,410

Top-tier Explorer Platinum is fitted with the hybrid system, though the 3.0L EcoBoost setup can be optioned. AWD is also standard as are 21” rims, adaptive headlights, tri-diamond perforated leather and acoustic laminated front row glass. Virtually every available amenity like massaging seats, power-folding third row bench, wireless charging and Active Park Assist 2.0 is included on the Platinum.


Ford’s warranty covers the vehicle for 3 years or 36,000 miles and powertrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles. You won’t find any complimentary maintenance but hybrid model components bring an 8-year/80,000-mile coverage term.

What we think

2022 Ford Explorer - ford.com

2022 Ford Explorer – ford.com |  Shop 2022 Ford Explorer on Carsforsale.com

With a long hood and planted stance, the 2022 Explorer is a handsome, athletic-looking SUV. Three rows of seating is useful for squeezing in kids and friends for short trips and the long list of trims, features and tech create an Explorer for just about anyone. Me? I’ll take that ST with the honking 400-horse EcoBoost.

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Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his 1990 Cherokee and 1989 Starion, so it’s not surprising that he would put his mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Hampshire to use in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer. Now engineering sentence structures, his writing infuses his auto experience with his time in marketing and his sales experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he focuses on some of the more technical mechanical systems that are found under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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