Is the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline a good off-road SUV?


The Ford Explorer has been a staple in the SUV segment for many years. It is popular for its sleek styling, fast engines and comfortable interior. Now it has an off-road-focused trim level, making it one of the best options in its class. Only one question remains: is the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline a good all-terrain SUV?

How is the Timberline Explorer different?

2022 Ford Explorer Timberline | Ford

First, the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline has a totally different look from other models. This rugged off-road upgraded model looks the part. It has bigger and taller sidewall tires, a steel skid plate and unique front and rear fascias. Additionally, a new dark carbonized grille is available with integrated, dealer-installed auxiliary lighting. According to CNet, Ford claims the illumination is 2.5 times brighter than its high beam headlights, making it ideal for dark off-road trails. Finally, Timberline models receive Ember Red accent details, which help them stand out from other trims.

2022 Ford Explorer Timberline: Off-Road Features

2022 Ford Explorer Timberline Off-Road Model

2022 Ford Timberline | Ford

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In addition to everything the Explorer ST-Line has, the Timberline has even more. Most of the time, the features are aimed at improving the off-road capabilities of the SUV. Things like all-wheel drive, a specialized suspension with a higher ride height, and off-road tires come standard and boost performance. Then, underbody skid plates, a rear limited-slip differential, front tow hooks and a standard trailer towing package are all included. Take your ST-Line Explorer and turn it into an all-terrain machine, and you’ve got yourself a Ford Explorer Timberline.

According to CNet, the Timberline trim has 8.7 inches of ground clearance thanks to a 0.8-inch rise compared to other Explorers. That extra height comes from the larger, more aggressive 18-inch Bridgestone Dueler off-road tires and 0.5 suspension. Revised front and rear bumpers also increase the SUV’s approach, braking and departure angles. Although none of them are revolutionary increases, any increase is welcome.

Ford Explorer Timberline Specifications Amount/Measure
Ground clearance 8.7 inches
Approach angle 23.5 degrees
Break angle 18.9 degrees
Departure angle 23.7 degrees

Timberline models only come with one engine

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Unfortunately, there is only one engine available for the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline. Moreover, it is the model’s base engine, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that develops 300 horsepower and 310 lb- ft of torque. We would have liked to see the 400-hp 3.0-liter V6 hybrid and/or twin-turbo as an option on the off-road model. Unfortunately, the latter is only available on the King Ranch, Platinum or ST models, which are more expensive than the Timberline.

How much does a 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline cost?

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To buy the off-road-focused Explorer, you’ll need to pay a minimum of $48,000. Car and Driver lists its prices with destination charges and four models above a basic Explorer. Plus, it’s unfortunate that it only costs $1,000 less than the Explorer ST. For another $1,000, buyers can get the much better twin-turbo V6 engine, though it doesn’t come with the off-road prowess. Overall, the main advantage of the Timberline over cheaper and more expensive models than it is the off-road characteristics.

Is the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline a good off-road SUV?

Overall, the Timberline is a good performance SUV for off-roading. However, other models have advantages over the Ford model. Not only is it a bit pricey, but it only has one weak engine option. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to get a Bronco right now (or soon), so the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline might be the ideal replacement. It’s more than capable of off-road driving, comfortable everyday driving and more. Ford’s first all-terrain Explorer is a great option for anyone who needs to get off the road in their spare time, but still needs a spacious and comfortable SUV for everyday use.

RELATED: Is the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline worth the extra money?


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