2022 Ford Explorer specs, interior, price, and release date. The sixth-gen Ford Explorer arriving for 2022 is neither. Its new unibody platform with a longitudinally-mounted engine and standard rear-wheel drive mimics the layout found in many luxury SUVs, marking the third major change to the Explorer’s construction after it went from being a body-on-frame, truck-based SUV for its first four generations to being a transverse-engined crossover for its fifth.
It was about time. The previous-gen Explorer aged less than gracefully over a life span stretching from 2011 to 2022, and its ancient Volvo-derived architecture– with origins dating to before the turn of the century– was largely to blame. Those bones, which are fossils by automotive standards, have finally given way to this new sixth-generation model’s rear-wheel-drive-based (all-wheel drive is optional) layout, which brings a wide range of improvements.
New Ford Explorer 2022
Ford has revealed that the upcoming 2022 Ford Explorer will reintroduce the popular XLT Sport Appearance Package, bringing back an option that pairs prettay, prettay well with the bold styling of the latest-gen model. The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package adds Carbonized Grey grille, skid plates, Explorer hood badging, dual chrome exhaust tips, and 20-inch wheels on the outside and ActiveX Light Slate two-tone seats with accent stitching on the inside, helping it stand out from the Explorer lineup just that little bit extra. You can expect the XLT Sport Appearance Package to be pretty popular if history is any indication: According to Ford, 25 percent of all Explorer XLTs sold had the Sport Appearance Package when it was available, and it was particularly popular with young’ ns.
Ford may have started the transition of its ST sub brand with the Edge ST, but the 2022 Ford Explorer ST completes that transition from spunky hot hatches to performance crossovers. The 2022 model year was the last for the Fiesta ST, so we bid adieu to the little cars, and say hello to our considerably quicker SUV overlords. Ford’s history of ST-branded cars isn’t eons long, so while we lament the loss of the small performance cars that started it, attaching the badge to an SUV isn’t sacrilege.
For the Explorer ST, Ford dropped in a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Ford claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. You get quad exhaust tips, different side molding and more black trim throughout to give the Explorer a sportier curbside character.
2022 Ford Explorer Interior
While the interior design may border on uninspired, the Explorer’s cabin is functional and comfortable– at least for those in the first two rows. We managed to fit four carry-on suitcases behind the Ford’s third row, and we fit a total of 31 bags with both back rows folded flat.
To get the optional 10.1-inch vertically oriented screen you’ll need to upgrade to either the Platinum or the ST models. Apart from the base Explorer, a 12-speaker B&O audio system is standard.
Some of the Explorer’s static improvements are due less to its layout change than to its new platform, which isn’t a hack job like its predecessor’s. Cargo space is effectively a wash compared with the old Explorer, as the new car has more cargo volume with all seats folded but fewer cubic feet behind the second and third rows when they’re in use.
Still, many of the Explorer’s front-wheel-drive-based competitors are packaged better, and the Ford’s third-row seat is especially disappointing. Getting back there is easier than before thanks to a button that easily tumbles the second-row seats (offered either as a three-place bench or individual captain’s chairs), the back row’s bottom cushion is low and unsupportive. This problem, in which passengers’ knees are forced into their chests, plagues many third-row seats, but rivals from Subaru, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet give occupants more space to uncurl from the fetal-tuck position.
We found the first two rows to be more pleasant than before. A cool but slightly gimmicky vertically oriented 10.1-inch touchscreen also is an option.
The 2022 Ford Explorer is partly responsible for the crescendo of SUV sales that began in the early 1990s, and the latest example is chock full of popular content and useful capability. Along with a comfortable ride and a unique sport-tuned model, the Explorer’s broad lineup provides something for everyone. The 2022 Explorer has an unimpressive interior and small third row, the SUV that helped start it all continues to dutifully serve the masses.
Due to its myriad powertrain and drivetrain combinations, the Ford Explorer 2022 has varying EPA fuel-economy ratings. Comparatively, the 400-hp Explorer ST earned 25 mpg on our highway test, which beat its EPA rating by 1. We also tested the four-cylinder Explorer with all-wheel drive.
Sturbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.3-liter inline-4, 300 hp, 310 lb-ft; DOHC 24-valve 3.3-liter V-6, 285 hp, 260 lb-ft + AC motor, 44 hp, 221 lb-ft (combined output, 318 hp, 322 lb-ft; 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack); twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 365 hp, 300 lb-ft
The lead-foot drivers among us will prefer either the 365-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the Platinum model or the sporty Explorer ST, which uses a 400-hp version of the same engine. A hybrid is new to the Explorer lineup for 2022 and pairs a 3.3-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 318 horsepower. Ride and handling are both agreeable and composed but far from entertaining; the Explorer ST is far more athletic, and its extra power and stiffer suspension make it a real performance SUV.
2022 Ford Explorer Price
The few driver-assist systems that don’t come standard are offered as reasonably priced options, and desirable features such as a power liftgate and three-zone automatic climate control are included across the board. Mainstream four-cylinder XLT and Limited models are priced competitively in the high-$ 30,000 to high-$ 40,000 range, and for that kind of money the Explorer is a compelling contender in the nonluxury three-row SUV throng. (A less expensive base model that starts in the low $30,000 s is forthcoming.).
Paying nearly $55,000 for the hybrid or even beyond $60K for a fully loaded Platinum model is a tougher sell. You can get the closely related and more nicely appointed Lincoln Aviator with the same twin-turbocharged V-6 for similar money, not to mention some seriously posh European SUVs for just a few thousand more. The fact that we can even discuss the Explorer in this sort of company with a straight face means that this domestic SUV has entered a new milieu, not least of all because of what’s going on underneath it.
- Base: $33,960.
- XLT: $37,870.
- Limited: $49,325.
- Limited hybrid: $53,475.
- ST: $55,935.
- Platinum: $59,445.
We think the mid-level Limited model is the best Explorer for the money. It’s also the only one available with the hybrid powertrain, which costs an extra $4150. While the hybrid makes sense for people who can take advantage of its lofty EPA-rated city mpg, we found the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine to be sufficiently potent and more efficient on the highway.
The Explorer ST made headlines with its 400-hp V-6 (we will review that model separately), but engine choices for the rest of the lineup include a 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four, a detuned 365-hp version of the ST’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, and a hybrid drivetrain that uses a 3.3-liter V-6 with a single 44-hp electric motor. Despite being detuned slightly from the ST’s 400-hp version, the 365-hp tune in the Platinum moves the Explorer around with authority and sounds good to boot.
The new 2022 Ford Explorer hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Every Explorer is also outfitted with a host of standard driver-assistance technology and available with upgrades such as self-parking assist.
Ford made the new Ford Explorer 2022 better in every possible way. The diverse range of powertrains, impressive technology and superb design all combine to make an excellent SUV.
Engine3.0 L Twin-Turbo V6.
Power400 HP/ 415 LB-FT.
0-60 Time5.5 Seconds.
Top Speed143 MPH.
Curb Weight4,701 LBS.
Seating2 +2 +2.
Cargo18.2– 87.8 Cu-Ft.
Base Price$ 55,835.
As Tested Price$ 59,915.
The Explorer hybrid introduces a new type of gas-electric drivetrain setup to the Ford lineup that the company refers to as a Modular Hybrid Transmission. Rather than the power-split setups seen on many smaller, more economical hybrids, the Explorer hybrid doesn’t use a planetary gearset or dual electric motor-generators.