Examined: 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline Can Discover Extra

Ford places extra “discover” into the Explorer with the addition of the off-road-oriented Explorer Timberline. The trim, which debuted final yr, goes past a easy look bundle. The 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline consists of {hardware} upgrades for getting farther off the overwhelmed path. These embrace dampers cribbed from Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, which work with a set of revised springs and Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3 tires mounted on trim-specific 18-inch wheels so as to add 0.8 inch to the mid-size SUV’s floor clearance, netting it a complete of 8.7 inches.

The Blue Oval additional fortifies the all-wheel-drive Timberline’s off-pavement capabilities by becoming the mannequin with a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, underbody skid plates, entrance rebound springs, and restyled fascias. The latter—together with the car’s elevated experience top—afford it improved strategy and departure angles of 23.5 and 23.7 levels. Moreover, the Timberline’s breakover angle of 18.9 levels improves upon its extra tarmac-focused kin by 1.8 levels. That mentioned, these figures nonetheless fall nicely in need of a base four-door Ford Bronco, which has strategy, departure, and breakover angles of 35.5, 29.7, and 20.0 levels, respectively.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

HIGHS: Harder seems, off-road-enhancing options, sturdy brakes.

Sadly, we did not have the chance to place the Explorer Timberline’s off-road chops to the take a look at throughout its stick with us. As an alternative, we spent the majority of our time driving this Cast Inexperienced Ford on the pockmarked pavement and dust roads of southeast Michigan. In different phrases, we used it in a lot the identical approach most customers will.

The excellent news is that the changes to the Timberline’s springs and dampers, in addition to its anti-roll bars, give the mannequin extra cohesive suspension traits than different current-generation Explorers we have examined. But, the Timberline nonetheless leans closely in corners and might’t match the supple experience high quality of sophistication leaders.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The Timberline-specific steering calibration fails to do that Explorer any favors, because the setup feels overboosted and oblique—attributes absolutely exacerbated by the mannequin’s all-terrain rubber. On the observe, the chunky tires proved much less of a hindrance to the Explorer than anticipated, although, with the Timberline’s 0.81 g of lateral grip on the skidpad matching that of a beforehand examined all-wheel-drive 2020 Explorer XLT geared up with all-season rubber. Moreover, the Timberline wanted simply 168 toes to return to a cease from 70 mph, or two toes lower than the XLT, which took the crown for shortest stopping distance in a five-SUV comparability take a look at.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Likewise, the Timberline’s 6.0-second run to 60 mph bested the XLT’s 6.1-second time (the Explorer XLT additionally took gold with that dash in the identical comparability take a look at). In truth, the Timberline outpaced the XLT in practically each straight-line acceleration run, this regardless of the 2 fashions sharing the identical 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and 10-speed computerized transmission.

LOWS: Decrease gasoline economic system, unrefined powertrain, laggy infotainment.

Regardless of its copious grunt, the powertrain fails to appeal. Blame the engine’s industrial drone, its relative lack of low-end torque (its most of 310 pound-feet peaks at 3500 rpm), and the automated transmission’s fixed gear searching and infrequently harsh shifts.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

In comparison with different Explorers, the 4565-pound Timberline takes a success in gasoline economic system. Its EPA estimates are 21 mpg mixed, 19 mpg within the metropolis, and 22 mpg on the freeway. These figures signify a major drop relative to different 2.3-liter energy all-wheel-drive Explorers, that are rated at 23/20/27 mpg (mixed/metropolis/freeway). We averaged simply 18 mpg general.

The Timberline’s Deep Cypress inexperienced inside bits with contrasting Deep Tangerine stitching do a pleasant job of zhooshing up the Explorer’s in any other case boring inside, which is fraught with low-grade supplies. And like its lesser siblings, the Timberline’s cabin suffers from a slow-to-respond 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and its third row is cramped.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The outside components of the Timberline bundle efficiently add a touch of fashion and pleasure with darkened headlight and taillight decor, purple tow hooks, and a tough-looking grille with provisions for putting in Ford Efficiency’s $515 auxiliary off-road lights. Add these grille-mounted lamps at your individual danger, because the 160,000-candela models gentle up the street with a loss of life ray at evening however bestow the Explorer with cop-car-like seems when considered from head-on in the course of the daylight, similar to in a rearview mirror. Drivers forward of us in visitors commonly slammed on their brakes to keep away from a ticket from the law-enforcement-cosplaying Explorer behind them.

At $48,040—simply $2420 greater than a equally geared up all-wheel-drive XLT—the 2022 Explorer Timberline makes a robust case relative to its siblings. With its extra off-road functionality, cohesive suspension setup, and tough-yet-handsome fashion, the Explorer Timberline is likely one of the greatest iterations of the Explorer obtainable right now. Even so, the Timberline fails to repair different points that plague the Explorer, similar to its uncouth four-cylinder powertrain, slow-witted infotainment, and unimpressive inside supplies. Consumers on this section ought to nonetheless discover different choices.

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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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