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FORD EXPEDITION, EXPLORER TIMBERLINE FAMILY DELIVER ON WHAT BRONCO, F-150 CAN’T

Ford Is Well Ahead Of Competitors When It Comes To Slicing Up The Off-Road Segment

2022 2023 Ford Expedition Explorer Timberline Holly Oaks First Drive Review
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

A quick look around the automotive market landscape will reveal that we’re in a golden age of off-road trucks and SUVs. Whether its fueled by a sense of adventure, a desire to have an all-in-one vehicle, or as a bug-out hedge against the collapse of society as we know it, people are buying these go-anywhere vehicles in all shapes and sizes. Over at Ford Motor Company, that’s especially the case, as the automaker has sliced and portioned out this market space with an entry of some kind in just about every segment. From the compact Bronco Sport, to the F-150 Raptor, chances are there’s a Ford off-road vehicle for customers. And that expansion continues to take place with the Timberline family of SUVs, which started with the Explorer Timberline, and grows with the Expedition Timberline.

2022 Ford Explorer Timberline Woodward Dream Cruise
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Early data suggests that Ford Timberline customers are eyeing the Bronco as well, but the two-row recreationally-positioned SUV can’t suit the needs of a three-row SUV when it comes to seating, cargo space, or towing capabilities. With that in mind, a well-heeled buyer may get both.

“We get cross shopped with Bronco… but they live really well together in the showroom. I expect in the future you’ll see people with both,” said Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer Brand Manager.

As for the larger Ford Expedition Timberline, which comes in at roughly $70,000, customers are looking for an even more capable three-row SUV that maximize both utility and capability for the price.

“On the Expedition (Timberline) side, they need the size, space, comfort and capability with Timberline… they’re doing things you just can’t in other vehicles,” said Devin McParlane, Ford Expedition Brand Manager.

Ford Expedition Timberline Bronco F-150 Raptor
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks

Ford Timberline Family: More Than Just An Appearance Package

While some of Ford’s rivals downplay the Timberline family as little more than orange tow hooks, the fact is that both the Explorer and Expedition saw extensive engineering to take occupants and their cargo far into the great wide nowhere. These were capabilities I experienced recently at an official Ford Timberline event at Holly Oaks off-road park in Michigan.

“On Explorer Timberline there’s a Torsen limited slip, bigger tires, bigger ride height… underbody protection. This is not an appearance package,” Newcombe said.

Lee went onto say that the Timberline variant is “the fastest turning (Explorer) model out of the lot. It’s exceeded our expectations in terms of mix, and it’s attracting a younger buyer.” The current sales mix of the Explorer Timberline is roughly 10 percent. With the larger Expedition Timberline just hitting the market, sales data is still premature, so there’s no news on that mix just yet. However, Ford’s seeing many customers go for the top shelf models.

“Expedition Platinum, Stealth and Timberline – a combination of our High series have been turning pretty equally well. And on expedition the capability is incredible,” said McParlane. “We’ve got an eLSD standard, steel skid plates underneath… it’s really about no limits. You’re giving the customer all the confidence if they’re going to that more remote camp site. If anything is in question, you’re removing that question with this package.”

Stay tuned for more Ford Expedition Timberline and Explorer Timberline here at MC&T as it happens.

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline SUV
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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