Ford Authority

2022 Ford Explorer Limits Paddle Shifters To Timberline And ST

Last October, Ford Authority reported that not all 2021 Ford Explorer models would come standard with paddle shifters with SelectShift capability, which allows the driver to choose between fully automatic shifting or semi-automatic, clutch-less shifting, as was the case in the 2020 model year. For 2021, only Limited Hybrid, Platinum, and ST trims came standard with paddle shifters, while the feature was available as an option on XLT and Limited trims. Now, Ford Authority has learned from sources familiar with the 2022 Ford Explorer launch that paddle shifters will be limited to the Timberline and ST exclusively.

2020-2022 Ford Explorer - Padde Shift Availability
Base XLT Timberline Limited Limited Hybrid ST King Ranch Platinum Platinum Hybrid
2020 S S - S S S - S -
2021 N/A A1 S A2 S S S S S
2022 N/A N/A S N/A N/A S N/A N/A N/A

  1. Included with optional Class III Trailer Tow Package.
  2. Included with optional Class III Trailer Tow Package on Limited High Package (301A).

Paddle shifters are standard equipment on 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline and ST models, but are no longer available – not even as an option – on Base, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, King Ranch, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid trims.

In addition to these changes, the 2022 Ford Explorer lineup features a host of updates for the new model year. As Ford Authority exclusively reported last week, the 2022 Explorer ST will be offered with standard rear-wheel drive, marking a big change from the high-performance model’s previously default four-wheel drive configuration.

The Explorer ST will be joined by the new Explorer ST-Line for 2022, which features the same sporty look as the regular ST without the added power. Instead of Ford’s 3.0L EcoBoost V6, the ST-Line is powered by the automaker’s 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 that produces 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and is backed up by Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though four-wheel drive is available as an option.

Ford is also giving the 2022 Explorer King Ranch and Platinum trims the same 400 horsepower tune as the ST. Additional changes include new Stone Blue and Burgundy Velvet exterior colors, the choice of a second-row bench seat or no-cost captain’s chairs, a second-row bench seat option for Timberline models, new seat trim for the XLT Sport Appearance Package with Ebony seat bolsters and Light Slate inserts, and a standard Technology Package for King Ranch and Platinum trims that includes multi-contour seats, a 10.1-inch touch screen, and a 14-speaker B&O sound system.

We’ll have much more on the 2022 Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Barney Goins

    I totally agree. I was going to order a 2022 Explorer Platinum but the absence of paddle shifters on this model gives me pause. I have a 2020 ST so I was considering ordering a 2022 but can’t get the polished wheels with the better optioned unit, only the ugly black ones.
    Wonder if chevy is the same way……

  2. Pete Whipple

    I purchased a 2022 XLT (no manual paddle shifters) and I regret it. Manual shifting is a must-have for mountain driving where I live to control downhill speeds without wearing out my brakes and to provide predictable torque on curves, etc. I’m so frustrated that I’m looking for ways to unload this vehicle and not lose too much in the process. Thanks a lot, Ford…


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