A sporty crossover SUV that has transcended multiple generations and market segments, the Ford Explorer is a cornerstone in the SUV market for the blue-oval brand. The XLT trim, in particular, has been around since the first generation of the Ford Explorer back in 1991 and has consistently been a popular trim choice throughout the years, leading up to the most recent outing. The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is back with a feature-rich lineup, great fuel economy, and third-row seating.
New for the Ford Explorer XLT is the XLT Sport Appearance Package, making its debut for the model year trim. Those of you who want to spruce up the look and appeal of the XLT trim can do so with the new package. It includes two-tone interior seating featuring Ebony and Black with Light Slate coloring, along with 18-inch five-spoke Sparkle Silver-painted aluminum wheels on the exterior. This gives you an exciting new way to view and drive the Ford Explorer XLT if you opt for the new Sport Appearance Package.
The Ford Explorer XLT is one of eight different available trims for the 2022 model year. It's the second trim in the lineup after the base model Explorer. Much like every other trim in the lineup, you can get it in multiple color configurations. Just like there are eight different trims for the 2022 Explorer, there are also eight different color options you can get the XLT in. The colors include Atlas Blue, Rapid Red, Forged Green, and a variety of more subdued tones.
The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that delivers 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and is attached to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The XLT comes standard in rear-wheel drive. However, you can opt to have it configured with Ford's Intelligent 4WD, which is a four-wheel drive format that dynamically alters torque to maximize traction based on weather and road conditions.
With the availability of the Terrain Management System, which enables drivers to very easily and readily alter the drive modes of the XLT, you can swiftly switch between modes designed to give you optimal performance regardless of the road conditions. The Terrain Management System features seven different selectable drive modes, which include Normal, Trail, Deep Snow/Sand, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul, and Eco Mode. The modes are easily identified through the driver information digital display cluster and can be switched via an illuminated dial available on the main console.
The powertrain is also outfitted with the standard inclusion of trailer sway control, so if you opt to use the Explorer XLT for towing or trailering cargo, it can help stabilize the trailer and prevent it from swaying. With the XLT, you have a maximum towing capacity of 5,300 pounds when equipped with the Class IV Tow Package, which includes a Class IV frame-mounted-hitch and trailer connections. Additionally, you have access to Hill Descent Control, giving you the easy accessibility to ascend or descend without having to worry about losing traction while driving.
It may seem like every trim is similar to one another in the Ford Explorer lineup, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Both inside and out, you get different characteristics to bring out the personality of the Explorer based on the trim that you choose. The 2022 Explorer XLT differs from the base trim insofar that on the exterior, it comes standard with black side roof rails for storing items on top of the vehicle. This is an excellent addition for those who plan on making a trip with bikes, boats, luggage, or storage compartments that can be stored topside.
The exterior of the XLT is also complemented with 18-inch, five-spoke sparkle silver aluminum wheels. However, you can opt to swap them with three different 20-inch wheel options. No matter which wheel size you choose, the XLT is situated on all-season tires. Only the specialized off-road Timberline trim of the 2022 Explorer comes with all-terrain terrains.
The XLT's exterior is also highlighted with an embossed Explorer badge on the chrome liftgate appliqué. You can keep your exterior surroundings illuminated with LED lighting arrays consisting of automatic LED high and low-beam headlamps, as well as LED signature lighting and tail lamps. With second and third-row liftgate privacy glass, you not only have a very stylized exterior to accommodate you but a very private interior, so you don't have to worry about onlookers peeping inside.
Within the cabin, you have standard seating for up to six passengers across three rows, consisting of four captain chairs in the first two rows and a bench in the third row. The second row also features an easy-slide function to reach the third row. Seating arrangements consist of cloth seating surfaces. However, if you feel as if you want something a little extra to make the ride more comfortable, you can opt to upgrade to ActiveX upholstery for the seats within the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT. But it doesn't end there.
The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT has no shortage of technology available throughout its cabin for safety, security, and infotainment purposes. On the safety side, Ford Co-Pilot360 powers the safety suite of the Explorer XLT. Working in conjunction with the AdvanceTrac stability management and roll stability control system for maximum grip and on-road traction, you have safety features like a Safety Canopy that deploys along the side rail behind the headliner to protect the head and neck areas of outboard passengers in the rear of the vehicle.
There's also the standard inclusion of the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children), along with a Belt-Minder to ensure that everyone is safely buckled up and tucked in safely with a chiming alert. Other alerts include the reverse sensing system, so you're alerted when objects are in the rear of the vehicle's path during reverse, whether you're attempting to park or leaving a parking space. Lane-keeping is also a standard safety feature that actively monitors when a driver drifts out of the lane, using assistance and driver alert systems to avoid accidents. In case there is an accident, the built-in SOS Post-Crash Alert system activates the horn and emergency flashers to warn others that a crash has occurred.
Other tech security features include a built-in battery saver in case you accidentally leave on the courtesy, exterior, or interior lights, shutting off all systems after 10 minutes of inactivity. Built-in tire pressure monitoring, perimeter alarms, and SecuriLock anti-theft systems also come standard. You also have a remote keyless entry system and intelligent access with push-button start, so you can get in and go with the Explorer XLT seamlessly and effortlessly.
Inside, you have a bevy of tech features to accommodate you, including power doors and locks, as well as an automatic air filtration system with tri-zone electronic automatic temperature control. The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT also comes standard with the FordPass Connect, which enables network connectivity via 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. There's also a built-in entertainment suite featuring SiriusXM Satellite Radio and AM/FM radio with MP3 compatibility.
The standard inclusion of the SYNC 3 infotainment suite also means you have an 8-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen at your beck-and-call in the center console with complete access to vehicle health, on-board apps, and integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With the availability of the SYNC voice-activated navigation system thanks to Bluetooth support, the 2022 Explorer XLT offers a complete driving experience both inside and out for all manner of drivers.