Back in August of 2021, the 2022 Ford Explorer was revealed, introducing a few changes to the long-running crossover including standard rear-wheel drive for the ST, more power for the King Ranch and Platinum, a pair of new exterior colors, and a few tweaks in terms of interior configurations and technology. However, the automaker also added an ST-Line trim to the 2022 Ford Explorer lineup, which looks exactly like the regular ST but doesn’t come with its extra performance. A number of other ST-Line models are offered globally, which apparently has some Ford ST owners a bit upset.
“As an owner of an Edge ST and Explorer ST I must say that the Edge ST-Line and Explorer ST-Line are bull***t,” said Ford Authority reader Chuck White. “These ST Line cars look like they’re real ST models and fool almost everyone into thinking that they’re real ST models, but they cost significantly less. Ford needs to stop with that, it devalues my cars.”
Indeed, the Explorer ST-Line looks virtually identical to the ST, with 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, dual exhaust tips, a blacked-out front grille, gloss black hood badging, and blacked-out headlamps and taillamps, yet it costs $7,570 less. The same is true for Ford’s other ST-Line models, but this is nothing new in the automotive industry. In fact, a number of automakers have been selling vehicles with the same look as sportier models, albeit at a cheaper price, for years now – just take the Mercedes-Benz AMG Line, for example.
However, even though the ST-Line variants look just like regular Ford ST models, that doesn’t necessarily devalue the latter, more expensive versions. The Explorer ST, for example, is powered by the twin-turbocharged Ford 3.0L V6 EcoBoost powerplant, which produces 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The ST-Line, on the other hand, comes equipped with the turbocharged Ford 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost engine, which cranks out significantly less – 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The same goes for the Edge ST, which utilizes the twin-turbocharged Ford 2.7L V6 EcoBoost, which is rated to produce 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque versus the turbocharged Ford 2.0L I-4 EcoBoost cranking out 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque in the ST-Line.
Many customers like the look of sportier vehicles like the Ford ST lineup, but don’t necessarily need all of that extra performance, which is precisely why the ST-Line makes sense. The cost savings between the two can easily be justified by all of the extra hardware that makes the ST special, too. Regardless, we’re curious to hear what our readers think – does the presence of the ST-Line devalue the ST? Let us know in the poll below!