Everything You Need to Know About the Ford Explorer Timberline Trim

A green 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the side at an angle after leaving a dealer that has a Ford Explorer for sale in Roseville.

A life of sitting around and waiting for an adventure to call won’t get you far. To enjoy life to its fullest, those who seek out adventure often discover the beauty behind the art of exploration. Exploring can be as simple as visiting a new town or a new trail you’ve never traversed before, or it can be something more. Regardless of how you plan on exploring, the aptly named Ford Explorer is our recommendation for traveling on the path less traveled. However, when seeking out a Ford Explorer for sale in Roseville, you should first familiarize yourself with some of the most noteworthy features and capabilities the SUV garners. The trim level that has the best balance of features that allow for daily travel and adventure-filled off-roading is the Timberline.

The Ford Explorer Timberline has a host of differences over the trim levels that precede it. This is something you should expect given the Timberline is costlier than the base trim, and by a considerable margin, thus bringing forth expectations, the Explorer Timberline is worth the extra cost. Today, we’ll tell you everything you and other shoppers in the greater area of Roseville need to know about the Ford Explorer Timberline. And when you’re ready to experience this rugged SUV in person, we welcome you to visit us here at Future Ford of Sacramento.

How Does Pricing Compare?

The Timberline may not be one of the lower-priced Explorer trims – it starts at an MSRP of $49,330.[a] This is a considerable amount more than the base Explorer’s MSRP of $36,760, but don’t fret.[a] The Explorer is a feature-packed vehicle even in its base configuration thanks to features like a pre-installed safety suite, power liftgate, Terrain Management System, and standard turbocharged engine. All of this translates over to the Timberline. But it’s also thousands of dollars less than other trims like the Platinum and King Ranch, the latter of which sports the highest 2023 Explorer MSRP of $54,525. That’s the first thing to know: the Explorer Timberline is more than $5,000 less than the top-line Explorer – the King Ranch – but how much does this matter?

For off-roading enthusiasts, you shouldn’t pay too much mind to the Explorer King Ranch, and that’s because it lacks some of the features found in the Timberline that make it a better off-roading experience, while most of that extra cost goes towards features that don’t attribute to a better off-roading experience – like Del Rio Leather seats, which are a fantastic addition to the Explorer if you’re into that type of feature. As for off-roading, the Timberline is the better choice, and that’s what we’ll talk about next.

The black interior of a 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the passenger seat.

A Look Into the Timberline

The Timberline exists because it’s the go-to trim for off-roading fans. That’s a big deal, and the off-roading crowd knows their sport of choice better than anyone, so engineers always have their work cut out for them. The Ford Explorer Timberline has features that make it a successful off-roader and an incredibly fun driving experience. Some of the features that help make it a great off-roading machine are a 3.58 Limited-Slip Rear Axle and a ground clearance of 8.66 inches, which is more than the 7.9 inches of ground clearance found on other trims.

Similarly, the Timberline has an 18.9 degree Ramp Breakover Angle over 17.1 degrees on other models. There’s also a 23.5-degree approach angle and 23.7-degree departure angle on the Timberline, which is greater than the other trims’ approach and degree angles of 21 and 22 degrees, respectively. Your Explorer Timberline will also have various protections against the elements or common mishaps, such as undercarriage damage due to rocks popping up and hitting it as you traverse a trail. Some of these protections include steel skid plates located under the vehicle, behind, and in the front of your Explorer Timberline.

Other features that separate the Ford Explorer Timberline from its other trims include Hill Descent Control and Intelligent 4WD coming standard. These features are available on other trims, but they don’t come standard – including on the priciest King Ranch trim, which costs at least $5,000 more than the Timberline. Hill Descent Control regulates your speed and dynamically applies braking pressure while climbing down a hill. The idea with Hill Descent Control is to keep your foot off the pedals as your vehicle will handle acceleration and deceleration; your job is to handle steering and maneuvering. This feature coming standard is further evidence the Timberline is the most off-roading-ready trim.

Intelligent 4WD is also crucial for proper off-roading. Intelligent 4WD is a worthy extension of the Terrain Management System, which comes standard on every Explorer and adds more than half a dozen drive modes you can switch between by turning a dial. These terrain settings are useful for all types of off-roading conditions as the seven modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Snow, and Sand. That covers the breadth of terrains you’ll likely encounter on the trail.

As for what Intelligent 4WD is, the Explorer comes with RWD or AWD, and Intelligent 4WD comes with the Explorer Timberline at no extra cost. Thanks to Intelligent 4WD, vehicles like the Explorer dynamically adjust torque output between the front and rear wheels. The system intelligently knows what type of terrain you’re traveling on, whether the ground is wet, uneven, like on a trail, etc. With a vehicle like the Ford Explorer Timberline, you can conquer all your favorite trails around Roseville, including one of our favorites: OHV Park in Rancho Cordova, less than an hour South of Roseville via Hazel Ave down through Orangevale.

A green 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the front while towing an over-landing trailer.

You’ll Never Make Any Concessions Regarding Power

To put any qualms at ease, the Explorer Timberline doesn’t make any concessions preventing it from being your daily driver. Thanks to the Explorer offering fuel-efficient powertrains in any of its configurations, the Explorer Timberline is no different thanks to a turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine. Every Explorer comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is great regardless of whether you’re traveling on public roads like the freeway or your favorite dirt path.
Best of all, this turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine that comes with the Explorer Timberline means it’s a strong and fuel-efficient ride every time you need it, thanks to its 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. With so much power under the hood, the versatility of the other Explorer models translates to the Explorer Timberline beautifully, including a generous towing capacity of 5,300 lbs.

But the fuel efficiency of the turbocharged engine in the 2023 Explorer Timberline makes it another great choice. If you work in Roseville and drive around every day, whether that’s to get to Main Street or off Blue Oaks Blvd, or even if you drive the kids to school at Greenhills Elementary or Barbara Chilton Middle School, then you’ll be saving money every day thanks to excellent fuel efficiency, even in the city.

That’s right; with the turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine in the 2023 Explorer Timberline, you’ll get EPA-estimated ratings of 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway (24 MPG combined) with RWD and 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway (23 MPG combined) with AWD. Note the highway mileage is also phenomenal, which is great for when you’re traveling out of Roseville to get to your favorite trails, whether that be West in Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, etc.

A Trim for More Than Off-Roading

There are many reasons why you should buy an Explorer, even if it weren’t the Timberline trim. However, the Timberline trim is a terrific balance of everything we love about the three-row SUV while also being the most adventure-ready of the bunch, and it’s one Ford has done a phenomenal job with. Off-roading is a lifestyle, and this vehicle will get you to the trail, on, and safely off the trail. Don’t forget the other benefits we’ve mentioned too. For example, do you work out of Roseville and drive southwest on Route 80 to get to Sacramento every day of the week? Many people do, and vehicles like the Explorer and the Timberline trim can be your go-to vehicle for your daily business and your leisure.

[a] MSRP may change without notice. See dealer for complete details.


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