Going off-road can be fun, to make it even more fun is when you have not just the right tools but the luxury and style to match. Presenting the Ford Explorer Timberline which is an off-road-focused version of the blue oval’s best selling SUV. It has all the bells and whistles to make it a true family off-road vehicle.
The ride height is raised 0.8 inches over a standard Explorer for 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The increased ground clearance comes from a combination of heavy-duty shocks (which were originally developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor), and taller 265/65R18 Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain tires. The increased ride height and Timberline-specific front and rear fascias improve the Explorer’s approach angle from 20.1 degrees to 23.5 degrees and departure angle from 22.0 degrees to 23.7 degrees. The standard all-wheel-drive system gains a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, with the Terrain Management System offering seven drive modes.
The interior of the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline features seats trimmed in ActiveX with cloth inserts and standard rubber floor liners for easier cleaning, while the Deep Cypress cabin trim colour is combined with an Ebony headliner, an overhead console, grab handles, visors, and more. The instrument panel binnacle gets a Stone Mesh applique while Deep Tangerine stitching is applied on the seats, steering wheel, and door panels. Standard equipment includes heated front seats, Co-Pilot360 and Co-Pilot360 Assist+ with Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Speed Sign Recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist, and voice-activated touchscreen navigation. A 360-degree camera is also standard to give the driver a better view of any obstacles around the vehicle.
Power comes from the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder in other Explorer trims, producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Timberline includes the Class III Trailer Tow Package as standard equipment, bringing a 5,300-pound tow rating. Though the drivetrain is relatively tame, Ford has dramatically improved the Timberline’s off-road credibility.