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Most drivers may use the Ford Expedition as a more rugged alternative to a minivan, hauling kids, dogs, and groceries across American suburban landscapes. But with its F-150 underpinnings, there’s potential for the Expedition to do more than just pound pavement. With the Expedition Timberline, Ford gives the Expedition the features it needs to be a true off-road 4×4.

Does the Ford Expedition have four-wheel drive?

The 2023 Expedition does not come with standard off-road equipment like four-wheel drive. However, it’s a body-on-frame SUV based on the ever-popular F-150. Add its optional four-wheel drive system and a good set of all-terrain tires, and the Expedition can handle a fair bit of off-road thrashing.

Still, more than four-wheel drive is needed to make a genuine off-road SUV. You’ll need many extra features – and maybe some aesthetic upgrades – to achieve that goal. The 2023 Ford Expedition Timberline Edition does precisely that.

Ford upgraded its three-row SUV with a ream of all-terrain hardware. The Expedition was already a tank of an SUV – these five features make it even more capable.

1. Chassis and handling upgrades galore

According to Edmunds, the Timberline trim has different suspension and chassis tunings from other Ford Expedition trims. The new suspension parameters allow for better articulation and travel in off-road environments. Edmunds also points out that the updated chassis offers excellent on-road ride quality when paired with the Expedition Timberline’s off-road tires.

2. Trail Control: Ford’s off-road cruise control

On some trails, it’s enough of a task to keep your rig pointed in the right direction, let alone modulate throttle inputs. The Expedition takes care of that problem with Ford’s Trail Control feature. It essentially acts as a low-speed cruise control, maintaining a steady crawl so you can focus on maneuvering.

3. 1-pedal trail driving simplifies Expedition off-roading

A green Expedition Timberline sits off-road on a grassy hill with sunset lighting.
2023 Ford Expedition Timberland | Ford Motor Company

The Expedition Timberline’s one-pedal mode simplifies off-roading even further. When activated, throttle inputs are gradual for slow-speed crawling control. Release the throttle, and braking automatically starts. This process allows for precision movements in more technical parts of the trail.

4. High-output EcoBoost V6 heaps on the power

All 2023 Ford Expedition trims come with a turbocharged EcoBoost V6. But the Timberline trim gets a higher output version with more power. Edmunds says it’s a detuned version of the F-150 Raptor powertrain with 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque.

5. A Locking rear differential helps Expedition Timberline in sticky off-road situations

Four-wheel drive and good tires can get you a long way while off-roading. But sometimes it’s not enough. The Ford Expedition Timberline goes a step further, offering a standard locking rear differential. This feature locks the rear wheels into the same rotation speed, maximizing traction for seriously tough obstacles. Other Expedition trims lack this off-road hardware.

Is the Ford Expedition Timberline Edition off-road capable?

A black Expedition Timberline driving off-road with trees in the background.
2023 Ford Expedition Timberline | Ford Motor Company

The Expedition Timberline Edition certainly has the hardware necessary for capable off-roading. High ground clearance, all-terrain tires, a locking differential, and many other features can make most trails easy. However, the SUV does have its limitations – namely, its size.

Most of the best off-road SUVs have shorter wheelbases for better maneuverability. The Jeep Wrangler comes to mind. While the Expedition Timberline has all the features you could want, its geometry may play against it when trails get more technical. In that sense, it’s more of a confident overland than a technical rock crawler.


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