Follow Downshift to see what's coming next!
If you want to support the channel, visit our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/downshiftmke
Enter the 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline. It takes the typical Explorer and gets it ready to hit some trails
Now this isn’t an alternative to a Bronco, Wrangler, or 4Runner - it’s still a unibody architecture, but other Ford unibodies are climbing Hell’s Gate so….
Let’s normlize giving unibody vehicles a chance. Technology has caught up to the point that they can be VERY rigid and durable. I mean for god sake the LR Defender is unibody…
So what makes this Explorer off-roady?
Well for starters it gets a set of “all terrain” tires in the bridgestone duelers...which let’s just say aren’t the same kind of all terrain tire as my lovely BFG KO2s.
I mean the raptor uses KO2s so….
Ride height is brought up almost another inch which means 8.7 inches of clearance which is more than the Bronco Sport
It also gets beefier shocks, but I wasnt able to find exact details on what they are. However, what I do know if they are the same shocks as the explorer police vehicle...whatever that means
You also get some cool wheels with some nifty mountain decals etched into the aluminum
Underbody armor includes front skids to protect the engine, oil pan, and trans as well as some protection in the back presumably around the exhaust
The whole front fascia is revised and that with the bigger tires and more clearance improve the approach angle to 23.5 degrees and dep. To 23.7
Speaking of the front fascia, there are recovery hooks jutting out of the bumper and a pretty significant lighting package in the fogs and grille itself
Under the hood is a 2.3T 4 banger that makes 300hp and 310 lbft
10 speed gearbox
Full time AWD w/ a torsen limited slip dif up front (can send 100% forward)
So no transfer case no locker - remember this a car architecture
You do get 7 drive modes and hill descent though and you can tow 5300 lbs
The exterior is pretty obvious it’s not a normal Explorer, but if you couldn’t tell there’s a Toyota Trail decal on the C pillar - oh wait, no just those mtns again
The interior gets special treatment as well with special orange stitched seats and those mountains again
So I know 4WD people are going to poopoo this thing, but in all honesty this Explorer can probably do over 90% of the stuff you’re doing in your Jeep.
But it will do it with the comfortable and connected on-road manners of a car and the fuel economy to match.
19 city 23 highway - and that’s much better than the 17.5 combined I’m getting in my 4runner
Not to mention all the modern tech my 4runner lacks like any safety systems at all
So final thoughts, is the Timberline perfect? No. Is it something the Wrangler or Bronco people will look to as an alternative? No.
But what it is is a really nice practical daily driver with the chops to take you and your whole family on some light to moderate trails without issue.
I might stay away from some really aggressive rock crawling, but other than that you should be totally fine.
And with pricing for the Timberline at $47k it’s honestly sounding like a decent deal.