Thursday, May 12, 2022

2022 Ford Explorer King Ranch 4WD: The Brand's Three-Row SUV/Crossover

Highlight: The Ford Explorer is the number one volume sales vehicle in the three-row large crossover segment.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $59,430 (Base 4-Door Model$37,420)

Seating Capacity: 6 or 7, depending upon trim

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a tire pressure monitoring system; rear camera spare tire; traction control system; stability control; post-crash alert system; a hillstart assist system; an automatic brake hold feature; rear parking sensors; trailer sway control; a co-pilot assist steering and post-collision braking

Standard Equipment (Base): 18-inch wheels; carpet flooring; 8-way power driver and seats; 4-way manual passenger seats; cloth trimmed seats; manual tilt/telescoping steering column; five 12-V power points; 4.2-inch -digital cluster screen; climate control system; second row split-fold seats with recline; carpeted floor mats; rotary gear shift dial; steering wheel with mounter controls; and a FordPass Connect 4G

Standard Equipment (Test Vehicle-King Ranch): 18-inch wheels; multi-contour seats with active motion (front only); a 360-degree camera; power tilt/telescoping steering column; power front seats; heated and ventilated fronts seats; second-row heated bucket seats; a second-row center floor console; third-row power folding split bench seats; power rear liftgate; a hands free liftgate; a tri zone automatic temperature control system; Del Rio leather seats with mesa/norias color inserts; memory driver’s seat; heated and ventilated front seats; a co-pilot assist steering system; heated steering wheel; remote start system; terrain management system; tri-zone temperature control; enhanced interior finishes; leather-wrapped instrument panel; 8-inch LCD touchscreen with voice recognition; rear parking sensors; Sirius XM radio; connected navigation; leather gear shift knob;  a wireless charging pad; and a trailer sway control system  

Test Vehicle’s Options: twin panel moonroof; 20-inch wheels; premium white exterior paint; and technology package (e.g. 14-speakers; touchscreen; and massaging front seats)

Other Trim Levels:







King Ranch

Standard Audio On Base Vehicle: a 6-speaker system with AM/FM radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.3-liter EcoBoost, 4-cylinder engine/300-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/27-hwy

Standard Towing Capacity: 5,300 lbs

What’s New:  For the 2022 model year, the Explorer adds the ST trim, which offers the look, but not necessarily the performance. However, the higher line King Ranch and Platinum trims offers a 400-horsepower engine coupled with a standard technology package.


Roomy and comfortable seating

Heated and ventilated front seat

Contemporary stylish design

Great road trip vehicle

A rear-wheel drive platform

Great handling

A variety of driving modes

Large infotainment screen

Second row captain seats available

Third row availability

4WD availability

Co-pilot assist steering

Massaging front seats

A host of safety driving aids

Wireless charging

A 400-horsepower engine available in King Ranch and Platinum trims


King Ranch trim is pricey

Needs to be an easier access to the rear/third seat

Verdict:  Ford’s three-row crossover is available with bench or bucket second-row seats, depending upon the trim. The current Explorer, which is powered by a rear-wheel drive or/and an-all wheel drive configuration, is a great road trip vehicle and can easily accommodate up to eight occupants.

Moreover, Ford’s large crossover is available in several trims too. Depending upon the trim, the Explorer can be outfitted with features ranging from a co-pilot assist system to massaging front seats to an oversize power panel roof. And for the 2022 model year, Ford ups the ante making a 400-horsepower engine available in both the King Ranch and Platinum trims. During the 2021 model year, the ST Line, performance trim, added the engine. In fact, the 400-horsepower engine is currently  the most power engine in the three-row crossover segment.

So, for buyers looking for an array of luxury and non luxury features, the Explorer has made every attempt to appeal to every buyer in this segment despite strong competition coming from the Korean brands from both Hyundai and Kia.

Competition: Kia Telluride; Jeep Grand Cherokee L; Honda Pilot; Chevy Traverse; Hyundai Palisade; Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9

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