Ford Authority

Some Ford ST Owners Upset By Existence Of ST-Line

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!

We’ll have more on the Ford ST lineup soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news, Ford Edge news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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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. Mark B

    I’ve gotten over the pirating of the ST moniker from the Focus and Fiesta which were, are nice small performance vehicles which one could even take to a track day if one desired to. Reasonably light weight, with a nice power to weight ratio. Great handling for front drivers with all the associated performance goodies. Heck, they were once part of the Ford Performance group that included the Ford GT, and all the Shelby Mustangs! Can we say as much about these oversized, overweight, vehicles with high roll centers? I think not. But hey, American car companies have been borrowing monikers for decades to try and infuse excitement into otherwise bland drivers, so I get it. Just more of the same.

  2. Scorpionking0102

    Many buyers desire the look of the ST but can’t fork out the inflated cost of owning one. Audi on the other has been producing an ST line for years. I had a 2003 and a 2004 A6 both ST line. So , real ST owners just think of the old catch phrase “imitation is the fondest form of flattery”. Although I now have a 2016 Edge Sport with no S line equivalent.

  3. Chuck

    *eye-roll so hard eyes almost fall out of head*

  4. William H. Graham

    The ST Line doesn’t bother me in the least! When I come across an ST Line Edge, I will accelerate and watch the other driver cry because he will wish he bought the ST! As to the Explorer ST with the 3.0, it is one impressive and powerful automobile!!!

  5. Gary54

    I suppose Ford could re badge the ST Look a likes as an Sp meaning it looks “Sporty” without the Oomph. Get the Look, not the Power! That way those who fork over the extra coin for a unique & distinct look with Super Power can keep smiling, especially at resale time which is why they paid all the extra coin in the 1st place!

  6. Bob Dobson

    As the owner of a 21 Explorer ST Im mixed, part of me doesn’t care the other part feels there should be some exclusivity to the ST trim level. I see in the above article they mention 20″ black wheels, my ST has 21″ black wheels. Typo or does the ST line have the smaller wheels? If the ST Line gets the similar trim appearance package it should be slightly different enough to distinguish between the two trims. Explorer did this before with the Sport model and then the Sport black package on the Explorer XLT. Wheels were black but different design, trims were all black but different. You could tell the difference between Explorer Sport and Explorer XLT with Sport package just by looking at them.

  7. Alan Calunas

    Badge Engineering.
    All yak, no sack.

  8. Jay Bee

    Wife has an explorer st and I have an edge st. Couldn’t care less about the ST line. I want performance and those don’t have it so I pay them no attention.

  9. Francois

    Big huge whatever on this! Some people value themselves by the badge on their cars, that’s their insecurity problem. I’m a gear head, I bought an Edge ST for my wife, we both love it, and I couldn’t care less about the ST line. I can also totally empathize with folks who want the look but could not care less about the performance and don’t want to pay for it. I believe that’s the majority of folks out there. Nothing wrong with that.

    As for resale, the gearheads like me that actually care about the performance stuff will pay for it, new or used.

  10. Derick Brammer

    It does not matter to me at all. I bought the vehicle I wanted. Let them buy what they want. It is not about what other people think, it is for me and me alone. I am used to it as when I had a 03 Cobra people with GTs were changing emblems to look like a Cobra. Just like people trying to badge their mustangs look like a Shelby. It has been done for years. I am just looking to personalize the Edge ST for me. That is what really matters in the end.


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