Buyer's Guide

2022 Ford Explorer
Select a Different Model (15 Available): Base 2WD
Fuel Economy $ 21 / 28 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 18/88 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 7/7
Horsepower 300@5,500
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2022 Ford Explorer MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Three powertrain choices
  • Excellent interior room
  • Available AWD

Cons

  • Cabin materials could be nicer
  • Middling fuel economy

The Ford Explorer is an archetype. In the model line's three-plus decades of existence, it has helped cultivate the massive popularity of SUVs. Now in its sixth generation, the Explorer has moved from a FWD-based transverse engine layout to a RWD longitudinal-engine unibody platform. The three-row midsizer slots above the Edge and below the Expedition in Ford's SUV lineup.

What's New

  • Sporty looking ST-Line trim slots above the XLT and below the Limited trim level
  • Explorer ST now comes standard with RWD; AWD is available
  • Explorer Platinum and King Ranch get standard 10.1-inch touchscreen, multi-contour seats, 14-speaker B&O sound system, and 400-hp turbo V-6 from the Explorer ST
  • Explorer Timberline gets second-row bench option
  • New seat trim on Explorer XLT Sport Appearance package with Ebony seat bolsters and Light Slate inserts
  • Two new exterior paint colors: Stone Blue and Burgundy Velvet

What We Think

The redesigned sixth generation Explorer, which began with the 2020 model year, is a fetching machine, boasting a more upright greenhouse and nice proportions. It's a pleasing evolution of Ford's design language. Interiors offer lots of features but subpar fit and finish, with the bane of cheap plastics and low-quality leather present.

Drives in the Explorer XLT, ST, and Limited Hybrid revealed a satisfying ride with proper compliance and poise. The lineup's three powertrains offer a commendable blend of capability, performance, and efficiency. But the Explorer placed eighth in our three-row SUV comparison because rivals were more refined.

Performance and Fuel Economy

All 2022 Explorers use a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Base, XLT, ST-Line, Limited, Timberline

Drivetrain: RWD or AWD

Engine: 2.3-liter turbo-four

Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp/310 lb-ft

Efficiency (city/highway): 20-21/27-28 mpg

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 6.8 seconds (2021 Explorer XLT)

 

Limited Hybrid

Drivetrain: RWD or AWD

Engine: 3.3-liter V-6 and electric motor

Horsepower/Torque: 318 hp/322 lb-ft

Efficiency (city/highway): 23-27/26-28 mpg

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 7.7 seconds (2021 model)

 

ST, Platinum, King Ranch

Drivetrain: RWD or AWD

Engine: 3.0-liter turbo-V-6

Horsepower/Torque: 400 hp/415 lb-ft

Efficiency (city/highway): 18/24 mpg (2021 EPA estimate)

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 5.3 seconds (2021 Explorer ST)

Explorer Timberline: Off-Road Ready

Ford says its Explorer Timberline is "the most off-road-capable Explorer ever." The Timberline model is equipped for leaving the pavement with Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, a small suspension lift, revised bumper fascia for improved approach and departure angles, and steel skid plates. Its steering, drivetrain, and suspension have been tuned for going off the beaten path, and if you get into trouble in the Timberline, there's a set of Red Ember tow hooks in front that are rated at 150 percent of the truck's gross vehicle weight.

The Timberline also features a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color, exterior blackout treatments and orange accent striping, and gloss-black 18-inch wheels. Its cabin boasts easy-cleaning ActiveX vinyl and cloth seats, distinctive green upholstery with orange accent stitching, and standard heated front seats and steering wheel.

Safety Ratings and Features

Each model of the 2022 Explorer lineup earned a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the administration's highest grade, although only four-star ratings in rollover resistance testing. The IIHS hasn't published any ratings yet for the 2022 Explorer, but the previous year's model was a 2021 Top Safety Pick+. The SUV was given mostly Good marks by the institute, exceptions being Acceptable ratings on headlights on all trims for some glare and visibility issues and an Acceptable rating for child seat anchors.

Standard 2022 Explorer active safety technologies include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and automatic parking assist are available features.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Cabin space in the 2022 Explorer compares favorably to the Toyota Highlander. As is typical in this segment, though, the third row feels tight.

 

Cargo space (behind first/second/third rows):

2022 Explorer: 87.8/47.9/18.2 cubic feet

2021 Highlander: 84.3/48.4/16.0 cubic feet

 

Headroom (first/second/third rows):

2022 Explorer: 40.7/40.5/38.9 inches

2021 Highlander: 38.4/39.4/36.1 inches

 

Legroom (first/second/third rows):

2022 Explorer: 43.0/39.0/32.2 inches

2021 Highlander: 40.4/41.0/27.7 inches

Technology

Standard equipment on the base model 2022 Explorer includes LED headlights and taillights, a power liftgate, three-zone climate control, and an infotainment system with six speakers and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. The Explorer XLT adds push-button start, 6.5-inch instrument cluster display, first row heated seats, and second row USB ports.

The Explorer Limited gets a big tech bump, gaining power folding mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, heated second row seats, remote start, wireless device charging, and 14 speakers. LED foglights are standard on the Explorer Timberline, a hands-free power liftgate and power folding second and third rows are standard on the Explorer ST, and puddle lamps and a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel column are standard on the Explorer King Ranch.

Other Three-Row SUVs:

2022 FORD EXPLORER SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.3 Liter EcoBoost®
Transmission Name
Transmission, SelectShift® 10 Speed Automatic Mode Select (44T)
Trim
Base 2WD
Class
Full-Size Utility
Horsepower
300@5,500
Standard MPG
21/28
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
RWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
7/7
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0% Financing for a maximum term of 36 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$0 0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 48 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 60 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$0 3.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$0 4.9% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$0 5.9% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$1000 Ford announces a Certificate Program on select models.. 01-31-2022
$750 Ford announces a Lease Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$2500 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models to be used as trade in assistance. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$1500 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022
$1250 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible returning lessees. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-31-2022