2022 Ford Explorer vs Edge
Ford has one of the best-selling SUV lineups on the American market. When shopping for a new ride, many people will ultimately be deciding between the 2022 Ford Edge and the 2022 Ford Explorer. While both of these models prove to be great family vehicles, there are some distinct differences to consider.
Designed to carry up to seven passengers, the three-row Explorer is a good option for drivers who need to accommodate a couple of extra family members. Meanwhile, most people will be perfectly happy with the Edge’s five-passenger cabin. Keep reading to find out which one of these Ford SUVs is the better option.
Size and Styling
Of these two models, the 2022 Ford Explorer is the largest. It's around 198.8 inches in length. This is around 10 inches longer than the 2022 Ford Edge.
In terms of exterior styling, the Explorer looks more like a traditional SUV. It is noticeably more rugged. This is especially true for the Explorer’s trail-ready Timberline trim. Like the sporty-looking Explorer ST-Line trim, the high-performance ST trim features exclusive 20-inch wheels and a black mesh grille. Tinted exterior lights add another cool touch.
The Edge is shaped more like a modern crossover. Many people like its boxy yet sleek bodywork. While the Edge isn’t as rugged as the Explorer, its optional Adventure package does add all-terrain tires. Ford also offers a sporty Edge ST trim.
Because the Explorer has three rows of seats, it’s able to accommodate more people. However, only shorter people and children will find the Explorer’s third row to be satisfying. Legroom is a bit compromised.
Both SUVs provide ample passenger space. When traveling in the Edge, front passengers will have an impressive 42.6 cubic feet of legroom. By comparison, the Explorer provides roughly 40.7 inches of front legroom. While the Explorer will easily satisfy most drivers, tall people will especially enjoy being behind the wheel of the Edge.
With 40.5 inches of legroom in its the middle row, the Explorer makes it easy for passengers to stretch out. Expect the Edge’s second-row to provide a similar amount of legroom.
From kids’ backpacks to hiking gear, these SUVs allow travelers to pack a lot of extra items. When its third-row seat is folded down, the Explorer offers 47.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Although the Edge’s storage area isn’t quite as expansive, it still provides a rewarding 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
Most automotive evaluators agree that the Explorer offers better outward visibility. The Edge’s broader front roof pillars can restrict the driver’s view from certain angles. Thick rear roof pillars also create blind spots when looking out of the Edge’s back window. Fortunately, both SUVs come standard with an extremely helpful blind-spot information system.
The Ford Explorer’s lineup features a total of three powertrains. Most buyers tend to stick with Ford’s popular 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. A turbocharger helps it to develop a solid 300 horsepower. Ford’s latest 10-speed automatic transmission transfers power to the wheels. Drivers can enjoy strong acceleration. Road tests show the Explorer is capable of clocking a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, which is relatively brisk.
The Explorer’s higher trim levels come equipped with a 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine. It elevates performance by pressing out 400 hp. When accelerating hard, this SUV is capable of recording a swift 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds.
Another option is the Explorer’s V6 hybrid powertrain. It generates a combined 318 hp while further boosting fuel economy. Like all versions of the Explorer, the hybrid-powered model uses a 10-speed automatic transmission.
There are two powertrains available for the Ford Edge. A 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is the standard power source. Ford rates it to kick out a pleasing 250 hp. This engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Although the Edge doesn’t accelerate as quickly as the Explorer, few people will complain about its 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds.
Folks who prefer a gutsier performance will be interested in the Edge ST’s 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine. It pushes out a more exciting 335 hp. Along with the additional muscle comes a seven-speed automatic transmission, which is designed to shift quicker. Drivers can expect the more potent Edge ST to post a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds.
Drivers who need to tow will favor the 2022 Ford Explorer. Trims equipped with the SUV’s standard engine can handle up to a 5,300-pound load. Stepping up to the Explorer’s turbo V6 engine increases towing capacity to 5,600 pounds. Meanwhile, Ford rates the Edge to tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds.
The Ford Explorer delivers decent gas mileage for a seven-passenger SUV. Its standard powertrain has a fuel economy rating of 21 mpg town/28 mpg freeway. Opting for the hybrid powertrain raises this rating to 27 mpg town/28 mpg freeway. Efficiency drops to around 18 mpg town/24 mpg freeway with the available turbo V6 engine.
When equipped with its standard powertrain, the Ford Edge matches the Explorer’s fuel economy rating. Selecting the stronger Edge ST results in a rating of 19 mpg town/25 mpg freeway.
Car reviewers continue to praise the Explorer for its balanced handling. It features a rear-wheel-drive chassis, which helps improve weight distribution. Even when approaching tight curves, the Explorer has a secure feel. Sports-tuned shock absorbers and larger sway bars further enhance the Explorer ST’s agile nature.
Because of the Edge’s agreeable steering and handling, it’s also a pleasing SUV to drive. Like its stablemate, the Edge offers a sports-tuned ST trim. All versions of this crossover now feature all-wheel drive, which ensures good traction regardless of the season.
Both the Explorer and the Edge offer a rather satisfying ride. They do a decent job of soaking pavement imperfections. However, the Edge’s ride can feel a tad bouncy over larger bumps.
The Edge’s standard AWD system is a major asset for commuters who reside in snowy areas. However, this crossover is not the best choice for tackling rough trails. Adventure-seeking families will enjoy the Explorer’s enhanced off-road capabilities. Ford specifically engineers the Explorer’s Timberline trim to better handle the rural backcountry. Some of its off-road upgrades include a factory suspension lift, steel skid plates, and a limited-slip differential for improved grip on slick surfaces.
Drivers can expect the Explorer to stop quickly when approaching unexpected obstacles in the road. High-performance brakes enable the Explorer ST to post a 60-0 mph braking distance of 114 feet, which is quite good for the class. The smaller Ford Edge inspires just as much confidence during emergencies. When braking from 60 mph, it only takes the Edge ST 108 feet to come to a halt.
Whether a person chooses the Explorer or the Edge, they can look forward to enjoying a mostly quiet drive. A dual-wall dashboard and acoustic glass help make the new Explorer more hushed than ever. However, expect the Edge to do an even better job of blocking out unwanted noise. In terms of quietness, the Edge ranks among the best in its class.
Comfort, Options and Performance
The 2022 Ford Explorer is definitely worthy of a road trip. Its nicely adjustable driving position enables virtually everyone to comfortably fit behind the wheel. Both SUVs have relaxing front seats with supportive bolsters. While the 2022 Ford Edge scores points for having reclining rear seats, testers describe the bottoms as being flat. This ultimately leads to some passengers experiencing a bit of stiffness when traveling long distances.
Like the Explorer, the Edge gives you access to today’s most popular amenities. A few of the key highlights include heated/ventilated front seats, second-row heated seats, and leather upholstery. ST trims feature sport seats, which add to their racy interior themes. Only the Explorer can be equipped with second-row captain’s chairs.
Massaging front seats are also available for the Explorer. Unfortunately, they are not recommended by most automotive journalists. While these seats may be a tempting option, they have a lumpy feel when turned off.
Ford’s latest SYNC 4 infotainment system is found on the Edge. It comes equipped with a wide 12.0-inch touchscreen. While Amazon Alexa and wireless smartphone connectivity are standard, buyers can opt for navigation.
The 2022 Ford Explorer receives the automaker’s older SYNC 3 multimedia unit. While the interface works well, it does not process information as quickly and lacks some newer features. Most experts suggest choosing the Explorer’s standard 8.0-inch touchscreen. According to some users, the optional 10.1-inch touchscreen has trouble linking to your smartphone through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Smaller on-screen buttons also make the “upgraded” display less enjoyable to operate.
Both models feature a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot from the factory. Car shoppers can also obtain these SUVs with a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and wireless charging. However, only the Explorer offers a fully digital gauge cluster with personalized settings.
The 2022 Ford Edge received the NHTSA’s coveted five-star overall safety rating. This crossover scored top marks in every impact test, thus making it an extremely secure family vehicle. Keep in mind that the Explorer also aced every impact tested performed by the federal government.
These vehicles come standard with Ford CoPilot360 safety technologies. A few of the common driving aids include forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian alert, blind-spot information, and active lane assistance. Both SUVs also offer stop-and-go intelligent cruise control, automated parking system, and evasive steering assist.
Certain features are exclusively offered on the Explorer. When reversing the SUV, available rear automatic braking will boost the driver’s confidence. While the Edge’s available front-view camera is helpful, a surround-view camera is on the Explorer’s list of options. Ford also equips the Explorer with a standard driver attention monitor.
Which Model to Choose?
Most people consider cost to be a major factor when shopping for a new vehicle. The 2022 Ford Explorer has a starting MSRP of around $35,500. By comparison, Ford lists the new Edge with a starting price of $37.950. While the entry-level 2022 Ford Edge may have a slightly higher price, expect the Explorer’s top trim levels to be more expensive. Keep in mind that only the Edge comes standard with an AWD system.
Both of these Ford SUVs offer families comfortable accommodations. However, the Explorer allows a couple more passengers to climb inside. Like the Explorer, the Edge can be equipped with today’s most popular luxury features. However, technology fans will find the Edge’s SYNC 4 infotainment system to be a step above the Explorer’s older SYNC 3 system. When it comes to passenger safety, it's hard to rank one of these models over the other.
These SUVs return similar fuel economy with their standard powertrains. They also both offer a performance-tuned ST trim. Nevertheless, most people consider the Explorer to be a bit more engaging to drive overall. If you need to tow a load or venture off-road, the Explorer is also a better option. Because of the Edge’s more compact design, it is less of a challenge to navigate in confident places.
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