Ford Explorer Timberline joins booming off-road adventure trim trend
A rugged version of one of America's favorite people carriers. Weird isn't it?
Of all the things the Ford Explorer could've had, an off-road trim certainly isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, Ford has gifted us with this off-road-focused Explorer, dubbed the Ford Explorer Timberline.
However, it almost shouldn't come to you as a surprise, given that more and more SUVs are coming out as off-road friendly haulers.
Ford cites a 56% increase in off-road use from Explorer customers as their reason to create this dirt-friendly Explorer. And it isn't just Ford that sees an increase in demand for off-road haulers. You've got lots of popular competition, like the Subaru Outback, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Passport, even the Bronco Sport and cars like such. It's a hugely growing segment that Ford is trying to get their nose in.
In doing so, Ford did quite a few things to the standard Explorer to make it potent off the tarmac. Of course, the Timberline has four-wheel-drive. However, the additions of a Torsen limited-slip differential and the added 0.8 inches of ground clearance show that the Timberline actually has the material to be confident off-road. Timberline also boasts heavy-duty shocks (which were developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor!), and meaty Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires. Of all the competition, it can't be said that any of the others share parts with a police car. Bonus points for the Explorer!
Additional off-road features include Ford's Terrain Management System, which has seven drive modes. The Explorer Timberline has steel skid plates and specially-tuned steering, stabilizer bars, and springs. The 2.3L EcoBoost engine pushes 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and a 10 speed automatic. If equipped with the Class III Trailer Tow Package, you can get 5,300 pounds of towing capability.
Additional features include super bright auxiliary lights in the front of the Explorer. They are so bright that they're twice as bright as the regular headlamps. You also get off-road-proof seats and floor mats, making it easier to clean.
And yet, with all of these fancy bells and whistles, you still have so many other choices that are begging for your attention just as much as the Timberline is. Which one are you leaving the dealership with?