Review: 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline is ready for the woods

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Ford’s largest SUV must have been jealous of the new Bronco.

Expedition Timberline is a new trim level for the full-size truck with the most off-road capability the model has ever had.

The three-row SUV gets a new heavy-duty, fully independent suspension and black 18-inch wheels with nearly 33-inch tires that increase its ground clearance from 9.8 inches to 10.6 inches.

Up front, there’s a new bumper that improves its approach angle and a skid plate borrowed from the high-performance Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.

The Expedition Timberline is the most off-road capable version of the SUV.

The Expedition Timberline is the most off-road capable version of the SUV.
(Ford)

Above it, the Expedition gets a version of the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 rated at 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Timberline comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive.

The Timberline comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive.
(Ford)

Its full-time four-wheel drive has high and low ranges, and there’s also a locking rear differential to maximize traction when needed.

Copper accents and a Timberline logo help set it apart from the rest of the range, along with dark green upholstery that gives it a woody feel.

Dark green upholstery is unique to the Timberline trim.

Dark green upholstery is unique to the Timberline trim.
(Ford)

It also features Ford’s Trail Control low-speed cruise control system for navigating difficult terrain, and the Bronco’s Trail Turn Assist, which is intended for use on loose surfaces off pavement and locks the inside rear wheel to use it as a pivot for tighter turns. This is an incredibly practical feature in a 211-inch long vehicle.

That’s as big as you can get, as the Timberline isn’t available with the stretched Expedition Max model. The starting price is $72,245, but there’s an option package that bumps that up to $81,465. It adds a host of premium features including, but not limited to, a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system interface, 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, climate-controlled front seats and power-folding third-row seats.

Expedition Timberline has 10.6 inches of ground clearance.

Expedition Timberline has 10.6 inches of ground clearance.
(Ford)

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Taking over most controls, the touchscreen can be a bit of a handful, requiring deep menu dives to handle some simple tasks, but the screen is somewhat reconfigurable and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is standard.

The Expedition Timberline borrows its front skid plate from the F-150 Raptor.

The Expedition Timberline borrows its front skid plate from the F-150 Raptor.
(Ford)

Fully loaded, the Expedition Timberline is a formidable competitor to premium off-roaders like the Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, GMC Yukon AT4 and Jeep Wagoneer Series III, although it can’t be had with a computer-controlled air suspension like them.

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If you’re looking to do extreme rock crawling or a high-speed drive in the desert, one of the smaller Broncos would be a better choice of vehicle, but the Expedition Timberline can take a pretty good lick on some rough stuff. It excels on relatively flat dirt and gravel roads, and the upgrades don’t spoil its on-road ride at all. In fact, if the pavement isn’t perfect where you live, it might be a better daily driver than many of the more street-smart Expedition trims.

A Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature is available, which lets the driver put the truck in reverse using a button on the dashboard.

A Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature is available, which lets the driver put the truck in reverse using a button on the dashboard.
(Ford)

At 17 mpg, the Timberline’s combined fuel economy is also 1 mpg less than the other four-wheel-drive Expeditions, but it’s also the most powerful at 60 hp and can tow up to 9,200 pounds like the rest of them.

It remains to be seen if Ford’s growing Bronco brand will ever include a full-size model again, but the Expedition Timberline would probably give the old one a run for its money, even if it costs a lot more than it.

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2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

Base price: $72,245

As tested: $81,465

Type: 4-door, 7-passenger four-wheel drive SUV

Engine: Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6

Output: 440 hp/510 lb-ft of torque

Gearbox: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 15 city/19 hwy

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