Ford has an extensive lineup of pickups and SUVs, but the 2022 Explorer is the best option for families. The Explorer’s three-row seating and a large trunk make it an accommodating choice for families with children and their many possessions.
The standard Explorer is equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder producing 300 horsepower. however, a 400-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 and a hybrid drivetrain are also on offer. The Kia Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L are all mid-size competitors that offer more refinement than the Ford. Despite Ford’s many technological features and driver aids, the vehicle’s overall package isn’t as polished as its rivals.
What’s New for 2022-23?
New ST-Line trim is now available in the Explorer lineup, combining the sporty aesthetics of the ST trim with the fuel-saving efficiency of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The ST-Line version has black 20-inch wheels and exterior trim and badging.
Faux-suede seats with red stitching, a sport steering wheel, and ST-Line logo protector plates for the door jambs all contribute to the sporty vibe inside. The Explorer’s sportiest trim, the ST, is now available with standard rear-wheel drive. The top-tier King Ranch and Platinum trims get an extra 10 horsepower and come standard with your choice of a bench seat or captain’s chairs in the second row. The Timberline, a new addition to the lineup this year, has added a bench seat for the back row.
2022 Ford Explorer Price
2022 Ford Explorer Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Explorer’s 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the base, XLT, and Limited trims and provides strong propulsion. A 400-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 is available in the King Ranch, Platinum, and ST trims for those who like to push the limits behind the wheel.
As of the 2020 model year, the Explorer lineup included a hybrid option. Together, the 3.3-liter V-6 and electric motor produce 318 horsepower. The Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds with the right accessories. The Explorer is built on a rear-wheel-drive platform, but four-wheel drive is still an available feature. Every model comes equipped with a state-of-the-art 10-speed automatic transmission. The Explorer’s ride and handling are pleasant and composed, but they don’t do much to excite. The Explorer ST, however, is much more athletic, and its increased power and stiffer suspension make it a genuine performance SUV.
2022 Ford Explorer Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Explorer has a wide range of EPA fuel economy ratings because of its many possible powertrain and drivetrain configurations. With estimated maximums of 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, the rear-drive hybrid model is the most fuel-efficient option.
If the hybrid vehicle has all-wheel drive, the fuel economy drops by 3 and 4 mpg. When we put one through its paces at 75 miles per hour on the highway, we found that it only averaged 24 miles per gallon. Our 400-horsepower Explorer ST achieved 25 mpg in testing, better than the EPA’s estimate of 24 mpg.
The all-wheel-drive four-cylinder Explorer was also tried and true. The EPA predicts that the model will achieve 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, but we averaged 28 mpg in our testing. Fuel economy figures for the Explorer can be found on the EPA’s website.
2022 Ford Explorer Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Explorer’s cabin is functional and comfortable, at least for the front two rows of seats, despite its somewhat uninspiring interior design. To access the standard third row, simply press a button on the center console, which activates a mechanism that slides the second-row seat forward.
However, once back there, both older children and adults will find the seat to be too low for comfort. The Chevrolet Traverse and the Volkswagen Atlas are two competitors with larger SUVs that offer more spacious third-row seating and higher quality amenities. In the Ford, we were able to fit four suitcases behind the third row, and thirty-one with both rear seats collapsed.
2022 Ford Explorer Infotainment and Connectivity
A Wi-Fi hotspot and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are included as standard equipment. Although visually appealing and reasonably responsive, the system lacks the intuitiveness we would prefer.
That’s where a rotatory controller comes in handy. You’ll need to spring for one of the Explorer’s priciest trims if you want to take advantage of the available 10.1-inch vertically oriented screen. However, every model offers an optional rear seat entertainment system and voice-activated navigation. A B&O sound system with 12 speakers is standard equipment on all Explorers apart from the entry-level model.
2022 Ford Explorer Specifications
2022 Ford Explorer Timberline
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $48,040/$48,555
Options: Timberline off-road light kit, $515
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 138 in3, 2264 cm3
Power: 300 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.6-in vented disc/12.6-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3
P265/65R-18 112T M+S
Wheelbase: 119.1 in
Length: 198.8 in
Width: 78.9 in
Height: 70.7 in
Passenger Volume: 156 ft3
Cargo Volume: 18 ft3
Curb Weight: 4565 lb
60 mph: 6.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.5 sec @ 95 mph
100 mph: 16.4 sec
The results above omit a 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 113 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft
Road holding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g
Observed: 18 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 21/19/22 mpg
2020 Ford Explorer ST
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 6-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$62,020 (base price: $55,835)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, iron-and-aluminum block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
180 in3, 2956 cm3
400 hp @ 5500 rpm
415 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
The suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 14.3-in vented disc/13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Latitude Sport 3, 275/45R-21 107Y
Wheelbase: 119.1 in
Length: 199.3 in
Width: 78.9 in
Height: 70.2 in
Passenger volume: 149 ft3
Cargo volume: 18 ft3
Curb weight: 4853 lb
60 mph: 5.2 sec
100 mph: 13.3 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec
¼-mile: 13.8 sec @ 101 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 146 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Road holding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.86 g
Observed: 21 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 20/18/24 mpg