More and more drivers are turning to options like the Ford Explorer Hybrid to save fuel without sacrificing performance. However, as the segment grows increasingly crowded, the competition is getting more intense. The 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid might not keep up.
Three potential 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid drawbacks
The 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid is an excellent, athletic SUV to consider, but it might not stack up against the competition. Rivals such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Kia Sorento Hybrid could offer a little more value.
But let’s start with pricing. The Explorer Hybrid comes in at $50,795, making it the most expensive option in the class. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid begins at around $35,855, and the Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $34,090.
1. The Explorer Hybrid isn’t great on gas
The 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine that’s paired with an electric motor to generate 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds.
When properly equipped, the Explorer Hybrid can tow up to 5,000 lbs. This gives it the best-in-class tow rating.
However, it only gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and up to 28 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive. Adding four-wheel drive drops these figures to about 23 mpg in the city and up to 26 mpg on the highway.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Adding AWD decreases these figures to about 34 mpg combined.
With the Kia Sorento Hybrid, you get an EPA-estimated 39 mg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. With AWD, it gets about 35 mpg combined.
2. The 2022 Explorer Hybrid could be more comfortable
For its high price, the 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid could be more comfortable. According to Edmunds, it has a mostly smooth ride, but smaller impacts on the road were more noticeable compared to rival SUVs.
Also, the Explorer Hybrid doesn’t have a quiet interior. The powertrains emit noticeable clunks and whirls instead of a satisfying engine roar. Also, wind and road noise is hard to ignore at moderate speeds.
Edmunds recommends avoiding the massaging seats because the rollers can feel lumpy when the system isn’t being used. Also, the second and third rows aren’t as comfortable as the front seats.
3. The Explorer Hybrid could have higher-quality materials
The 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid has a high price tag that fails to deliver on interior quality. It uses hard plastics and other materials that don’t exactly provide a luxury feeling. Edmunds shared that the build quality isn’t up to par.
Plus, the 10.1 vertically oriented touchscreen doesn’t make the best use of space and leaves some of the screen blank. The system isn’t exactly intuitive and could respond a little faster. The wireless phone charging pad is a nice perk, but can only fit smaller phones.
Features like the head-up display, digital gauge clutter, and premium leather upholstery are limited to higher trim levels. Getting extra comfort and convenience feature increases the price even more.
The Explorer Hybrid is a sporty three-row family SUV to consider. However, rivals are more affordable, efficient, and include more value.