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You aren’t alone if you’re interested in the 2022 Ford Explorer. As one of the most popular midsize SUVs available, choosing the right one can be challenging. However, the most popular trim level among buyers is the Explorer XLT. Is there something better about it that makes customers want it so badly? There are three reasons the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is the most popular trim.

Three different 2022 Ford Explorers parked in a desert area.
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford Media Center

According to Edmunds, the most popular 2022 Ford Explorer trim is the XLT. Starting at $40,065, it’s only a few thousand dollars more expensive than the base model. As a result, the added features and value are tremendous since the XLT model isn’t too expensive. The upper trims, like the Explorer Limited and Platinum, are much more costly. A few essential things make the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT the perfect mid-tier trim.

1. The Explorer XLT has second-row captain’s chairs

2022 Ford Explorer captain's chairs are a reason the XLT trim is the most popular.
2022 Ford Explorer captain’s chairs | Ford

First, versatility is one of the most important things in a three-row SUV. Not only do owners need a lot of interior space, but they also need it customizable to their needs. As a result, the XLT is an ultra-popular selection. Moreover, buying a Ford Explorer provides seating for eight with a bench seat in the middle. However, upgrading to the XLT version of the Explorer changes the bench seat to second-row captain’s chairs.

In addition, it reduces the number of seats to seven, which is actually better for many owners. Furthermore, the bench seat isn’t simply gone forever by choosing this Explorer model. As we said, options and versatility are paramount, and XLT buyers can swap out the captain’s chairs for a bench seat if they want. The good news is that opting for the bench seat over the captain’s chairs comes free of charge.

2. Power, heated front seats come with the XLT trim

A blue 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is the most popular trim level for three reasons.
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

Although very simple, power-adjustable and heated seats are one of a vehicle’s most commonly requested features. They’re the first step toward luxury for any model and enhance the Explorer much more than the base model ever could. With the XLT trim, the driver and front passenger seats gain power-adjustment capability and heating functionality. As a result, owners feel they’ve gotten a much more modern, luxurious SUV.

Power-adjustable heated seats are just a small step in taking the Explorer to the next level. Plus, more premium features, like ventilated seats, unlock with the Limited trim. That’s nearly $9,000 more than the most popular Ford Explorer XLT. Finally, getting upgraded massaging front seats costs even more, starting at $55,125 for the Explorer King Ranch.

3. The 2022 Ford Explorer XLT has an upgraded interior trim

According to Edmunds, the Explorer XLT has an upgraded interior trim. Just like heated and power-adjustable seats, this is another step toward making the Explorer more comfortable and modern. Although affordable, upgrades to the interior trim make buyers feel like they’re getting more value. Owners spend all their time inside a vehicle, so the interior needs to feel like a nice place to be.

These interior trim upgrades include many different small things to enhance the passenger experience. For example, unique cloth seats, second-row smart-charging USB ports, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, four 12V outlets, passenger-assist grab handles, black carpet floor mats for front and second rows, map lights in all three rows, and more.

In conclusion, there are many reasons the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is the most popular trim. Starting with second-row captain’s chairs, this option offers a lot of seating versatility and even extra interior space. Next, power-adjustable heated front seats are enough to sell the Explorer XLT, as they greatly enhance driver and front passenger comfort. Lastly, the upgraded interior trim provides more in just about every way. Simple amenities, like the power and heated seats, make the Explorer’s interior much more livable. These three features are common reasons why most buyers want the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT instead of less popular trims.


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