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’s popular for its sleek style, fast engines, and comfortable interior. Now, it has an off-road-focused trim level making it one of the best options in its class. There’s only one question left: Is the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline a good off-road SUV?

What’s different about the Explorer Timberline?

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

Firstly, the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline has an entirely different look than other models. This rugged, off-road enhanced model looks the part. It has bigger, higher sidewall tires, a steel skid plate, and unique front and rear fascias. Additionally, a new dark-carbonized grille is available with integrated auxiliary lighting installed by the dealer. According to CNet, Ford says the lighting is 2.5x as bright as its high beams, making it the perfect solution for dark off-road trails. Lastly, Timberline models get Ember Red accent detailing, which helps 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 gets even more. Mostly, the features are to enhance the SUV’s off-roading capability. Items like all-wheel drive, a specialized suspension with higher ride height, and all-terrain tires are standard and boost performance. Next, underbody skid plates, a limited-slip rear differential, front tow hooks, and a standard trailer tow package are all included. Take your Explorer ST-Line and turn it into an off-roading 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 lift compared to other Explorers. This extra height comes from the larger, more aggressive 18-inch Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires and a 0.5 suspension lift. The revised front and rear bumpers also increase the SUV’s approach, break, and departure angles. Though none of them are a groundbreaking increase, any increase is welcomed.

Ford Explorer Timberline SpecificationAmount/Measurement
Ground clearance8.7 inches
Approach angle23.5 degrees
Breakover angle18.9 degrees
Departure angle23.7 degrees

Timberline models only come with one engine

Unfortunately, there’s only one engine available for the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline. In addition, it’s the base engine for the model, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. We would’ve liked to see the hybrid and/or 400 horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 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 is a 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline?

To purchase the off-road-focused Explorer, you’ll have to pay a minimum of $48,000. Car and Driver lists its prices with destination fees and four models above a base Explorer. Additionally, it’s unfortunate that it’s a mere $1,000 cheaper 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 Timberline’s main advantage over models cheaper and more expensive than it is the off-roading features.

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

Overall, the Timberline is a fine, capable SUV for off-roading. However, other models have advantages over the Ford model. Not only is it a bit expensive, but it only has one weak engine option. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to get a Bronco right now (or anytime soon), so the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline could be the ideal replacement. It’s more than capable of driving off-road, comfortable everyday driving, and much more. Ford’s first off-road Explorer is a great option for anyone who requires some light driving away from the road in their free time but still needs a spacious, comfortable SUV daily.

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