Which Is Better: 2022 Ford Explorer XLT or Limited?

If you’re interested in the popular 2022 Ford Explorer, there are many trim levels from which to choose. Many experts disagree on which version of the SUV is the best. Is the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT or Limited a better buy? Although one is more popular with consumers, many reviewers disagree that it’s actually the best option.

A red 2022 Ford Explorer which is the better ford explorer, XLT or Limited trim level?
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is the most popular version. With a starting price of $39,550, it’s the most affordable trim besides the Base model. It’s no secret that more people buy it because it’s cheap. However, is that the only reason it’s the most popular, or is the XLT the best version of the Explorer?

Edmunds recommends the Explorer XLT

Is the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT or Limited trim better?
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

Out of 10 trim levels, including the hybrid options, Edmunds recommends the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT. As the second cheapest option, it provides more value than the Base model without breaking the bank like more expensive ones. Edmunds says it adds more features, like heated seats and keyless entry, without adding much cost.

Every Explorer comes standard with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. LED headlights, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are standard. However, for about $4,000 more, the XLT provides even more. Heated seats, an upgraded interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, second-row captain’s chairs, and second-row USB ports make the Explorer feel much more luxurious.

Car and Driver recommend the Explorer Limited

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Although the XLT trim is excellent, Car and Driver disagree on it as the best option. For the 2022 Ford Explorer, buying a Limited model costs $48,050. That’s roughly $9,000 more than the XLT model, so it better be worth it. What does the Limited trim have that makes it worth such a high jump in price?

Firstly, the Limited trim gains interior ambient lighting, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, power-folding and heated second-row seats, second-row sunshades, and extra tech and driver-assist features. Those extras include a lane-keeping system, surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and evasive steering assist. Lastly, tech upgrades like a navigation system, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system further enhance the Explorer Limited.

Which is better: XLT or Limited?

Each of the two expert’s favorite 2022 Ford Explorer trim levels has advantages. For example, the XLT model is much more affordable. At such a low price, its features and tech feel like an excellent value. In addition, those who don’t prefer leather upholstery can avoid it with this trim level without downgrading the interior too much.

On the other hand, the Limited trim is genuinely luxurious. This model adds just about everything you could ask for in an SUV of this size. However, everything comes at a price. Buyers who choose the Limited model will pay far more for items like ventilated seats and heated rear seats. To sum up, the Explorer Limited is a phenomenal option if you have the money.

Which 2022 Ford Explorer is better, the XLT or Limited? The answer is whichever model better suits your needs.

RELATED: Why is the Ford Explorer Hybrid in Last Place?