A great crossover but imperfect. The Ford Explorer is one of the more SUV-like midsize crossovers on the market today, but its interior and ride feel far more car-like than it looks. That said, it has struggles with value, third-row space, and its hybrid model’s refinement. Find out below if the Explorer can overcome this and beat the competition.

Plenty of engine options, but the hybrid disappoints. The Ford Explorer has no shortage of engine options for all types of buyers, starting with its base 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that injects an ample 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

There is also a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque in the ST, Platinum, and King Ranch models. In the ST, Ford claims a sub-six-second 0-60 time, but the clumsy 10-speed automatic makes it feel slower.

There’s also a 3.3-liter hybrid setup with 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. It delivers an impressive 27 miles per gallon combined, but it’s jittery and unrefined on city streets. The latter is likely due to it being tuned for towing.

Nothing in its class offers this kind of buffet of powertrain options. However, there are many competitive engine options, including the Traverse’s 310-hp V6. Alternatively, Toyota offers sine of the segment's favorite choices with both the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid.

Stylish design, but the second and third rows have trouble. The 2022 Explorer looks excellent from all angles inside and out. It picks up well on the classic SUV looks while remaining approachable. It’s an outstanding balance.

The first and second rows have ample room for all size occupants, making this a great SUV for a family of four or five. The only issue with the second row is the standard bench makes accessing the third row tricky, and the captain's chairs make third-row access easier but have a complex folding mechanism.

The third row’s 32.2 inches of legroom makes it a no-go for adults. Kids will likely find it OK, though. Though, third-row legroom is a sore spot across the entire class. The Traverse, however, has a slight leg up with 33.48 inches.

Lots of safety gear but limited bang for your buck. The 2022 Explorer is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, making it a safe option. Plus, it comes standard with automatic emergency braking and has available active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and evasive steering assist.

On the fun side, it includes a standard eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and all the other features you’d expect. However, at $34,540, the Explorer is quite pricey for the features you get. Plus, it only gets worse as you move up in trims.

The Chevy Traverse, for example, has all the same features as the Explorer, plus standard automatic headlights and active lane control. It starts from $34,895, just $355 more than the Explorer.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Ford Explorer is a sharp-looking crossover with plenty of features and some excellent engine options. Inside, it’s also quite sharp. Buyers looking for a roomier third row may prefer the Traverse, though the entire class suffers from limited legroom back there.

The Explorer also misses the mark in value with a high base price tag and no standard advanced safety features. Buyers looking for a crossover with plenty of standard advanced safety gear for about the same price can find it in the 2022 Traverse.

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