2022 Ford Explorer

2022 Ford Explorer

Ford claims that their mid-sized, three-row Explorer is the best-selling SUV in this country. It is among the best sellers in its class, if you also take in consideration that it is also the best-selling vehicle for government and public safety fleets.

At its core, it is a family vehicle that carries its families with ease. The Explorer is offered in a wide variety of trim levels to fit a specific customer’s personality. In our case, we sampled the new 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline – a version that is ruggedized and ready to take on any adventure ahead.

Since we never had a chance to drive this generation of the Explorer, jumping into the Timberline could be the challenge we needed.

2022 Ford Explorer

The basic shape of the Explorer dates back to its debut as the sixth-generation model in 2019. It resembled the previous generation model, except for the switch to a rear-drive biased platform. The slanted front end helps in frontward visibility, while the rest of the exterior is designed for the purpose of utility and passenger access.

The 2022 model saw a slight facelift overall. The Timberline trim is all new with a specific grille, added LED light bars, 18-inch dark finished alloy wheels with all-terrain tires. Ford added trim-specific badging all around to remind you that this model is ready to go into the rough stuff.

The Timberline trim is based off of the Explorer XLT. Therefore, you get a heathered cloth surrounded by ActiveX, a form of leatherette. The black/gray trim is offset by Tangerine stitching all around. Front seating is comfortable with plenty of support for the driver and front passenger. The second Captain’s Chairs offer similar comfort and flexibility for all passengers. Third row seating is fine for some adults, but they’re better suited for children.

2022 Ford Explorer

Instrumentation is a mix of analog/digital dials and a wide digital information screen. The eight-inch touchscreen is powered by Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. Switches and controls are familiar across all Ford SUVs, including the rotary transmission dial.

Cargo space is quite generous. It starts with an 18.2 cubic feet space behind the third row, that expands to 87.8 cubic feet behind the front seats.

Powering the Explorer Timberline is the standard 300-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The engine is connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels. This driveline does a decent job keeping with traffic and getting around town. Acceleration was fine, overall.

2022 Ford Explorer

You can change the setting for the four-wheel drive system through the Terrain Management System. It features settings for traction conditions in the Trail, Deep Snow/Sand, and Slippery settings.

As for fuel economy, we averaged 23.4 MPG.

Ride quality is quite good, partly because of its ground clearance at 8.66 inches. The all-terrain tires also help, but they can be a bit noisy on some surfaces. Handling is a bit soft, but it is pretty controlled.

2022 Ford Explorer

The brakes are good with a responsive pedal feel. We experienced good stops in normal and panic situations. While absent of feel, the turning radius is quite tight for a vehicle of its size. On-center feel is OK with some involvement to keep it in the lane.

The Ford Explorer lineup includes eight trim levels, all starting from $36,760. Our Timberline tester came with a sticker price of $47,540.

2022 Ford Explorer

The Explorer is among the leaders in a crowded segment. That segment is also shared by the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Mazda CX-9, and Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

While it is the preferred vehicle of public safety departments across North America, the civilian Ford Explorer still offers plenty of good, family-friendly features for the money. Adding the Timberline model will appeal to those of us looking for adventure. In all, this popular three-row mid-size SUV should be on your shopping list when you’re looking for something in this segment.

Story Credits: CarSoup Editors

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