Do you love the look of the Ford Explorer ST, but have no need for all that power? Or do you feel the opposite? You’re all about the ST’s 400 horses, but not its racy looks. Or perhaps you fancy an Explorer ST you can use to practice up for Formula Drift? If any of the above describes you, then Ford has you covered for 2022.
Explorer ST and ST-Line
Following the trail blazed by the Ford Edge ST-Line that arrived for 2020, the Explorer ST-Line slots in the pricing hierarchy between the XLT and Limited trim grades, making do with 300 hp from a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Outside it looks a lot like an Explorer ST, complete with 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, black grille, exhaust tips in the rear fascia, smoked head- and taillamps, and gloss-black lettering on the hood.
Inside you get the feel of performance and all the latest tech. Ebony ActiveX seats and the sport steering wheel get red stitching. There’s also a 12-speaker B&O audio system, wireless charging pad, 360-degree camera, and Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+, which includes the likes of evasive steering assist and adaptive cruise. Relative to the mainstream Explorer ST, the ST-Line package saves $7,570, and relative to the leaner Explorer Enthusiast ST, buyers save $2,575.
The full-bore Explorer ST, meanwhile, ditches its standard all-wheel drive for 2022 and instead defaults to sending all its twin-turbo V-6 engine’s power to the rear wheels. Official 2022 pricing isn’t out yet, but we can easily assume the ST rear-drive model will save the same $2,000 over its AWD counterpart that applies across the rest of the Explorer line.
400 Horses for King Ranch and Platinum Models
Up until now, the Explorer’s 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 was reserved for ST models only, with the Platinum application of the same engine detuned to 365 hp. Not anymore. For 2022, the Platinum and even the King Ranch trim grades get the full-strength V-6 EcoBoost treatment. Those two models also add the Technology package to their standard equipment list. As such, both trims now come standard with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, multi-contour seats, and a 14-speaker B&O sound system.
But Wait, There’s More
Other Explorer lineup enhancements for 2022 include:
- Second-row bench seat option on Timberline models
- New seat trim on XLT Sport Appearance package featuring Ebony seat bolsters with Light Slate inserts
- Two new exterior colors: Stone Blue and Burgundy Velvet
Expect to find all these models in showrooms later in 2021.
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