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The 2022 Ford Explorer is one of the most popular midsize SUVs in the world. It’s a safe SUV that comes at a reasonable price with plenty of standard equipment. For many people, it’s a no-brainer to purchase the Explorer. However, deciding which version of the midsize SUV is the best option can be challenging. In fact, experts disagree on the best 2022 Ford Explorer trim. XLT is the most popular, but not all experts agree it’s the best option available.

2022 Ford Explorer parked outside. Not all experts agree that the most popular Expl;orer trim is the best.
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

According to Edmunds, the most popular version of the Explorer is the XLT trim. Starting just above the base model at $39,815, it’s much more well-equipped than the cheaper version. However, it remains affordable compared to others in the lineup. As the most popular Explorer, it’s clear that customers think the XLT is the best version of the vehicle. One expert agrees with customers and recommends buying the XLT. However, another disagrees and thinks the best 2022 Ford Explorer trim is much different.

A red 2022 Ford Explorer midsize SUV. Is the most popular trim XLT or experts favorite Limited better?
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

First, the experts at Edmunds agree with buyers and recommend the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT trim. Moreover, the publication says it adds a few more features than the base model without raising the price too much. For example, at this point, essential features like heated seats and keyless entry join the lineup. On top of base features like a power liftgate, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and tri-zone automatic climate control, the Explorer XLT gains even more.

There are a few enhancements the XLT trim receives for about $4,000 more than the Base trim. Furthermore, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded interior, heated seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, second-row captain’s chairs, and second-row USB ports are standard. Combine that with the excellent base features like a few advanced driver aids, and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded, affordable midsize SUV.

Car and Driver’s best 2022 Ford Explorer trim

Not all experts agree that the most popular Explorer trim is the best. Car and Driver recommends a trim two steps above the XLT model. The best 2022 Ford Explorer, according to C/D, is the Limited model. Moreover, the publication says it’s the best trim for the money. It has 5,300 pounds of towing capacity with the towing package, optional all-wheel drive, and many standard features. More importantly, the standard features are desirable ones most people value.

Compared to the most popular XLT trim, the Limited model steps it up a notch. As a more luxurious version, it’s equipped with more high-end features. For example, upgrades like interior ambient lighting, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, power-folding and heated second-row seats, second-row sunshades, and more driver assist features. Together for $48,315, C/D thinks the roughly $9,000 price increase over the XLT is well worth it.

What is the best 2022 Ford Explorer trim?

We find it difficult to disagree with either expert’s opinion, though it depends on the buyer. For those looking for a serviceable, well-equipped model at a reasonable price, the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is an excellent choice. However, the Limited model is even better if you’ve got a little more room in your budget.

Since it comes with convenience features like ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel, the Limited model will feel much more upscale in comparison. In conclusion, we don’t think you can go wrong with the most popular Explorer or C/D’s favorite, it just depends on how much you’re willing to spend on the midsize SUV.


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