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Ford Explorer’s Ground Clearance 

  • Car Talk
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 5 minutes

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The base model 2022 Ford Explorer has a clearance of 7.9 inches. Timberline adds another 3.0 inches, bringing the total to 8.7. So what is the ground clearance on Ford Explorer?

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All but the Timberline version of the 2022 Ford Explorer have a ground clearance of 7.9 inches. However, the ground clearance of non-Timberline trims can be increased to 8.2 inches by opting for a 4WD build. 

SUVs have a reputation for being robust and capable of going on exciting off-road adventures. If you want to know how well these beasts can tackle rough terrain, you need to look at the ground clearance specs in addition to the engine power, tires, and drive type. 

Here, you’ll find detailed information about the Ford Explorer’s ground clearance, including the variances across trim levels and the history of the Explorer’s ground clearance. 

Ground Clearance on Ford Explorer 

Ford Explorer trim levels have slightly different ground clearance heights. The current model has the following minimums for ground clearance: The Timberline model, designed for serious off-roading, has maximum ground clearance. On the other hand, the ground clearance improves to 8.2 inches if you opt for a 4WD build on any other trim level. 

Ford Explorer ground clearance over the years 

Ford Explorers from the last several model years may have slightly more ground clearance than current versions when driven off-road. However, this is often true of the highest possible ground clearance. Previous generations often had lower required ground clearance (typically the RWD layout). Newer generations have much lower ramp-up height. 

Ground clearance on Ford Explorer over the years: 

  • 1991 (1st generation): 6.3 inches 
  • 1998 (2nd generation): 6.7 inches 
  • 2004 (3rd generation): 6.7-8.5 inches 
  • 2008 (4th generation): 8.3-8.5 inches 
  • 2019 (5th generation): 7.8-8.3 inches 

The Ford Explorer’s ground clearance varies greatly regarding model year, trim level, and drive type. Over the decades, there has been an overall trend of the Explorer’s ground clearance growing (then somewhat shrinking). Although there are still outliers within each generation.  The 2004 and 2005 Ford Explorers belong to the third generation, but the 2005 model has a higher minimum ground clearance of 7.9 inches in its 2WD XLT trim than the 2004 model (6.7 inches). 

What exactly is ground clearance, and why is it so important? 

The ground clearance of an off-road SUV is crucial, even though most drivers don’t give it any thought. How effectively your vehicle handles rough terrain can be inferred from its ground clearance. Ground clearance is the distance between the vehicle’s lowest point on the chassis and the ground. The less likely it is that you will wreck your undercarriage on an off-road trip, the higher your ground clearance should be. Unless your vehicle has a ground clearance of at least 8.5 inches, most experts advise keeping it on paved roads or mild gravel. 

Therefore, if you want to take your Ford Explorer down the least traveled roads, you should get the Timberline trim, which was developed specifically for off-roading. 

Off-roading capabilities- Ford Explorer 

All-terrain tires, a suspension lift, and underbody skid plates are just a few of the Timberline package’s rugged upgrades that improve the Explorer’s off-road prowess.  

However, while the Timberline model does include the 8.66-inch ground clearance lift, the ferocious 400-hp twin-turbo V6 that can power the King Ranch, Platinum, and ST versions is not an available option. In contrast, the Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk both come standard with V8 engines. While the only choice for this vehicle is a 300-horsepower 2.3 L four-cylinder. On the other hand, the Ford Explorer Timberline has redesigned grilles and bumpers and a limited-slip rear differential, which aids in damage prevention and increases off-road traction.  

Also Read: Trailhawk vs. Trackhawk: Battle between The Jeeps 

All the advanced safety equipment found in the ST-Line trim level is standard on the Timberline as well, including lane-keeping assist, evasive steering help, and a 360-degree video system. The Explorer Timberline, with a price of about $48,800. This is less expensive than both the Jeep Cherokee and the Toyota Sequoia in terms of off-road capability. The Jeep Wrangler is a reliable and affordable option if you’re shopping for an SUV with off-roading in mind. 

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