Ford Authority

Ford Explorer Sales Capture Second Place During 2022 Calendar Year

Ford Explorer sales throughout the 2022 calendar year placed The Blue Oval’s large crossover offering solidly in second place, chasing the Toyota Highlander while leading other rivals.

During 2022, Ford Explorer sales decreased six percent to 207,673 units.

Comparatively, the segment-leading Toyota Highlander sold 222,805 units last year, down 16 percent from 2021. Meanwhile, the distant third-place Kia Telluride saw sales increase seven percent to 99,891 units last year, while the Honda Pilot saw a 30 percent slide to 99,567 units last year. The Chevrolet Traverse (see running Chevy Traverse sales) held down fifth place, selling 96,965 units and experiencing a 17 percent slide, while the Hyundai Palisade captured sixth place last year, down four percent to 82,688 sales. The Volkswagen Atlas brought home seventh, down 29 percent to 82,025 units, followed by the Subaru Ascent in eighth with a six percent rise to 63,7040 units, and the Nissan Pathfinder in ninth with 57,862 sales, up 40 percent. Finally, the 10th-place slot was captured by the Dodge Durango, down 16 percent to 55,433 sales, while last place was rounded out by the Mazda CX-9, up 0.25 percent to 34,580 units.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Large Three-Row Crossovers - 2022 - USA

TOYOTA HIGHLANDER -15.65% 222,805 264,128 20% 21%
FORD EXPLORER -5.55% 207,673 219,871 19% 18%
KIA TELLURIDE +6.60% 99,891 93,705 9% 8%
HONDA PILOT -30.40% 99,567 143,062 9% 12%
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE -16.59% 96,965 116,250 9% 9%
HYUNDAI PALISADE -4.45% 82,688 86,539 7% 7%
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS -29.10% 82,025 115,687 7% 9%
SUBARU ASCENT +6.21% 63,704 59,980 6% 5%
NISSAN PATHFINDER +40.02% 57,862 41,324 5% 3%
DODGE DURANGO -15.93% 55,433 65,935 5% 5%
MAZDA CX-9 +0.25% 34,580 34,493 3% 3%
TOTAL -11.10% 1,103,193 1,240,974

From a segment share standpoint, the Highlander commanded 20 percent share in 2022, down one percentage point from 2021. Ford Explorer sales, meanwhile, captured 19 percent share, up one percentage point, while the Telluride accounted for a distant nine percent share, up one percentage point. The Pilot secured nine percent share, losing three percentage points, while the Traverse also captured nine percent, remaining stable year-over-year. The Palisade and Atlas each accounted for seven percent share, with the former remaining steady and the latter slipping two percentage point. All other contenders in the segment secured six percent share or less.

The large three-row crossover segment contracted 11 percent to 1,103,193 units in 2022, meaning Ford Explorer sales slightly outperformed the segment average.

For informational and comparative purposes, we are also providing sales figures for midsize SUV models that overlap with large crossover SUVs like the Explorer – either in price, seating capacity, or both. Despite the fact that these models are physically smaller than the Explorer and its direct rivals, they are often cross-shopped. These overlapping vehicles include:

  • Midsize crossovers that offer three rows of seating, such as the GMC Acadia (see running GMC Acadia sales), Kia Sorento, and Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Midsize crossovers with two rows of seating sold at a similar price point to the Explorer, including the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer (see running Chevy Blazer sales), and Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Nameplates that represent both two-row and three-row models, such as the new Jeep Grand Cherokee family

Sales Numbers - Overlapping Crossovers - 2022 - USA

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE -15.54% 223,345 264,444 32% 35%
HYUNDAI SANTA FE +6.71% 119,589 112,071 17% 15%
KIA SORENTO +5.65% 86,406 81,785 12% 11%
FORD EDGE +0.28% 85,465 85,225 12% 11%
CHEVROLET BLAZER -4.38% 67,246 70,325 10% 9%
GMC ACADIA -11.52% 53,014 59,913 8% 8%
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +20.83% 40,942 33,883 6% 4%
NISSAN MURANO -34.79% 30,074 46,117 4% 6%
TOTAL -6.33% 706,081 753,763

From here, we can see that Jeep Grand Cherokee sales outperformed Ford Explorer sales last year. As a reminder, the Grand Cherokee nameplate encompasses two vehicles. The first is the Grand Cherokee two-row, while the second is the larger Grand Cherokee L with three rows of seating. The former is more of a Ford Edge rival, while the latter is a Ford Explorer competitor. As such, it’s more appropriate to pit Grand Cherokee sales against the Edge and Explorer combined.

Sales Numbers - Ford Edge & Explorer - 2022 - USA

FORD EDGE +0.28% 85,465 85,225 29% 28%
FORD EXPLORER -5.55% 207,673 219,871 71% 72%
TOTAL -3.92% 293,138 305,096

Doing so gives The Blue Oval 293,138 combined deliveries, putting it ahead of the Grand Cherokee family.

The Ford Authority Take

The decline in Ford Explorer sales throughout 2022 is not entirely unexpected as the automaker continues to navigate ongoing supplier issues that include, but are certainly not limited to, the global microchip shortage. This scenario resulted in reduced production and therefore reduced supply of the crossover at the dealer level last year, as has been the case with most other models in FoMoCo’s portfolio.

In order to combat this, The Blue Oval has elected to selectively withhold certain features from the Explorer in order to keep the crossover rolling off the assembly line. This includes the SecuriCode entry keypad, which may be deleted from future models due to ongoing supplier constraints. The hands-free liftgate has also been deleted for the vehicle’s 2023 model year as supplier constraints prevent its inclusion on the Explorer.

Aside from that, there are few changes to the Ford Explorer for the 2023 model year, and the crossover presses into the fourth model year of its sixth generation largely unchanged. However, there is a 2024 model year midcycle refresh in North America on the horizon, meaning Ford Explorer sales in the meantime could continue to be a bit lacking as consumers await the new model.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Ford Motor Company sales for 2021 calendar year, unless noted otherwise

More Information & Sales Reporting

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. Scott

    Pretty good news. I purchased my ’22 Timberline back in May of ’22,
    white with black trim and front led bars and rooftop crossbars. Looks
    sharp, and handles great. A fun drive, too, in sport mode. I went back
    to the dealer last month and did the rear heated seats retro fit. I’m good.

  2. Thage

    The Explorer ST version with it’s Portrait configured center screen is a joke. The software works on other models in Landscape format but not Portrait. It’s pathetic. If you buy the ST you could never envision buying a MachE or Lightning believing that Ford Software is 20yrs past. Avoid the ST at all costs.


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