2022 Ford Explorer Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Available with six or seven seats, the 2022 Ford Explorer dominates the midsize SUV class in a handful of categories. Two turbocharged engines with the EcoBoost label and a hybrid V-6 engine are some of the options under the hood of this legendary three-row vehicle. Offering seven driving settings that adjust the Intelligent 4WD and 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2022 Explorer has amazing off-road capabilities.
What's New For 2022?
The 2022 Ford Explorer is available in the all-new ST Line editions that offers unique styling, sporty performance and other premium utilities. Enhanced with the Miko suede inserts, the ActiveX front seats come in a black finish. The XLT Sport Appearance Package includes seat bolsters in Ebony and soft inserts in the Light Slate finish. This three-row Ford SUV also comes in several new paint options, such as Burgundy Velvet and Stone Blue. Additionally, the Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Roof Box provides a new level of utility for adventurous families.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Ford Explorer – The Pros
1. Powerful Capabilities
Engineered to deliver up to 300 total horsepower, the 2022 Explorer's 2.3-liter engine block employs an individual turbocharger. Taking advantage of the conventional Ti-VCT design, the four-cylinder powertrain punches out 310 pound-feet of torque. Also carrying the EcoBoost logo, the 3.0-L engine kicks out 400 hp. Connected to quad exhaust tips, this twin-turbocharged powerhouse unleashes 415 lb-ft of torque. This V-6 propulsion system can tow a maximum of 5,600 pounds.
2. Versatile Hybrid Powertrain
This midsize Ford SUV offers a hybrid powertrain with a 3.3-liter engine that burns unleaded gasoline. An electric motor supplements the internal combustion engine, which uses a naturally aspirated induction system. Peak ratings of the hybrid system are 318 hp and 322 lb-ft. The Class III Trailer Tow Package maximizes the towing rating at 5,000 lbs. Just like the turbocharged engines, the hybrid system is connected to an automatic transmission system that creates 10 gear speeds.
3. Impressive Off-Road Performance
Optional on the 2022 Explorer, the trademark Intelligent 4x4 drive system is engineered for off-road handling. By engaging the Terrain Management System that offers a total of seven modes, the driver could optimize the mechanics of the signature drivetrain. A limited-slip rear differential from Torsen is another sophisticated technology that improves off-road traction. With a boost from the Hill Descent Control, this versatile Ford SUV confidently negotiates sloped landscapes. Two front tow hooks and steel underbody skid plates prepare this tough model for brutal conditions.
4. All-Season Comfort
The 2022 Explorer's Electronic Automatic Temperature Control is divided into three zones for maximum comfort in every single row. More than 10 electronic buttons in the center stack make it easy to adjust the settings of the EATC system. Similarly, the rear auxiliary climate control panel has multiple dials and buttons for personalizing the temperatures in the middle row. Offering three levels of warmth, a heating system is available for the second-row captain's chairs and first-row seats inside this premium Ford SUV. Additionally, the twin-panel moonroof cools or heats the entire cabin depending on the weather.
5. Pleasant Ergonomics
Available in the 2022 Explorer's first row, the proprietary Active Motion seats reduce stress on the upper and lower back through five different massaging motions. Taking advantage of the Multicontour design, these luxurious seats cradle and soothe most of the body. With the touch of a single electric button, it's possible to entirely fold the PowerFold seats in the third row. Split into a 50/50 layout, a bench seat with manual folding is also available in this row. The rear passengers will easily get into and out of this midsize SUV thanks to the E-Z Entry design in the second row.
6. Attractive Appearance
The 2022 Explorer offers alluring exterior colors, including Stone Blue, Burgundy Velvet, Forged Green and Rapid Red. Such striking paint options make good combinations with the 18-inch aluminum wheels that include the Sparkling Silver accents and a five-spoke layout. A touch of Carbonized Gray paint is available for the 20-inch aluminum wheels that come with a 10-spoke configuration. The 21-inch wheels come with the Luster Nickel pockets for dramatic contrast with the body's color. This three-row Ford SUV also offers the Satin Aluminum application on the front grille, liftgate, door handles and rooftop side rails.
7. Exterior Utilities
The Intelligent Access Key communicates with the sensors that open the hands-free liftgate on the 2022 Explorer. Once the gesture-recognizing liftgate opens, the step pad on the rear bumper may be used to climb into the spacious cargo area. This three-row Ford SUV also has the Adaptive Headlights with LED bulbs for maximum brightness on the road. Rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated glass side mirrors and LED fog lamps give the driver extra utility for handling the vehicle in challenging weather. Towing a trailer on narrow roads and enclosed driveways will be simple thanks to visual cues from the PowerFold Mirrors.
8. Premium Interior Amenities For Families
The 2022 Explorer's console in the second row includes dual USB ports for charging compatible smartphones. This auxiliary console has an AC 110-volt outlet that charges much larger electronics, tools and appliances during trips. Featuring a designated storage pocket with an anti-slip surface, a wireless charging pad is integrated into the driver's armrest. A seven-color ambient lighting system, illuminated front scuff plates and second-row sun blinds are some other high-end amenities inside this iconic Ford SUV.
9. User-Friendly Infotainment System
Updated for enhanced connectivity, the 2022 Explorer's SYNC 3 infotainment system is available with a 10.1-inch LED touch screen. Adopting the design of a tablet, the highly responsive infotainment console is packed with the Ford+Alexa, FordPass Connect and other applications from the virtual AppLink portal. Delivering trustworthy guidance for local trips and long-distance adventures, the navigation system in the SYNC 3 multimedia hub recognizes voice commands. Additionally, the infotainment center is available with the 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that plays songs on SiriusXM Satellite Radio All Access. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay could be used to personalize the entertainment, GPS directions and other functions in the SYNC interface.
10. Smart Safety Features
The 2022 Explorer offers more than 10 intelligent safety technologies that might prevent or decrease the severity of accidents. Powered by the Ford Co-Pilot360 platform, the Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control quickly reacts to any changing traffic movement in a single lane. Some other crash-mitigation functions from the patented suite include the Automatic Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Information System. This three-row Ford SUV is also available with numerous driving-assistance technologies that prevent parking-related collisions, like the Active Park Assist 2.0 and Reverse Sensing System. Linked to a high-resolution lens with a washer, the Rear View Camera sharpens the driver's judgment for backing up with more caution.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Ford Explorer – The Cons
1. Low Fuel Economy
As a powerful and spacious SUV, the 2022 Explorer naturally suffers from poor fuel economy. According to EPA projections, this three-row Ford model only gets up to 20 MPG in the city. An automatic stop-start system isn't available for the engine, so the fuel efficiency might be even worse on urban streets with heavy traffic congestion. This midsize SUV gets a maximum of 28 MPG on the highway in free-flowing traffic. Therefore, families should prepare to make frequent stops at the gas station when taking this bulky Ford model for a road trip.
2. Limited Space in Third Row
Offering 32.2 inches of legroom and 38.9 inches of headroom, the third row in the 2022 Ford Explorer is essentially designed to accommodate only two children. Unfortunately, two adults will struggle to enjoy a comfortable ride in the cramped last row of this premium Ford SUV. The E-Z Entry technology doesn't provide much remedies for this specific problem involving adult occupants. Additionally, the relatively tall headrests on the second-row seats might create an extra sense of confined space for the passengers in the last row.
3. Poor Lateral Handling
Having a track width of up to 89.3 inches, the 2022 Explorer naturally suffers from poor lateral stability. This type of problem is particularly evident during sharp turns and other quick maneuvers on paved roads. The Side-Wind Stabilization won't correct some of the swerving, veering, jolting and swaying at fast speeds. Similarly, the 10-speed automatic transmission doesn't respond quickly to a sudden loss in lateral stability. Families should take extra caution when driving this midsize Ford SUV on curved ramps and meandering freeways in the mountains.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Kia Telluride
Having a first-generation design, the 2022 Kia Telluride has certainly taken the midsize SUV segment by storm. This relatively new model runs on a 3.8-liter engine block that only produces up to 291 horsepower, which doesn't even beat the 2022 Explorer's standard 2.3-L engine. This three-row Kia SUV isn't strong enough to tow a trailer that weighs more than 5,000 pounds. The more powerful Explorer beats this trailering rating by up to 600 lbs. Offering only four driving modes, the 2022 Telluride surely loses the battle for off-road performance.
2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Manufactured by one of Ford's major domestic rivals, the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse offers up to eight total seats. However, this midsize Chevy SUV only gets up to 310 net horsepower from a 3.6-L gas engine. Running on natural aspiration, the Traverse can't tow more than 5,000 total lbs. Available with an 8.0-inch display, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System seems outdated compared to the 10.2-inch SYNC 3 touch screen that looks like a mounted tablet. Branded by Bose, the Traverse's best sound system only has 10 total speakers, which surely don't match the acoustics of the 14 B&O speakers in the Ford model.
Available in eight models, the 2022 Ford Explorer offers superb value in off-road handling and light-duty towing. The ST-Line model expands the lineup of this legendary midsize SUV, which has been on the domestic market for more than 30 years. Families that demand high-tech items inside the cabin will embrace the 10.1-inch SYNC 3 information console and 14-speaker sound system from B&O. Climate-controlled seats and a tri-zone HVAC unit also ensure all-season comfort inside this three-row Ford model.