Over the past 20 years, "light trucks" have come to dominate America's highways. But for the most part, they're "smooth roads," designed to handle nothing rougher than a gravel road or a bit of snow.
Suddenly, there's another change afoot, drivers demanding more serious off-road capabilities. When it comes to trucks, the Ford Raptor certainly delivers, but at a significant premium price compared to conventional F-Series models. Now, however, Ford has one more option in its vast portfolio of pickup trucks.
While the new F-150 Tremor doesn't offer all the bells and whistles, it's still rugged and ready enough to deliver a serious off-road experience, as TheDetroitBureau.com discovered during an afternoon drive at Holly Oaks Off-Road. Car park one hour north of Detroit. Here is our review.
Resumo: 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor First Drive
The battle for off-road supremacy heats up with the debut of the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor. The latest addition to the expanding F-Series lineup, the Tremor adds a variety of beefy enhancements to Ford's popular family of pickup trucks. a standard locking rear differential, reinforced suspension and drive gear, increased shock travel, improved approach, departure and departure angles, and an optional front Torsen limited-slip differential.
New off-road-focused features will also be added to the new truck, including Trail Control, Trail One-Pedal Drive and Trail Turn Assist.
A step up from the FX4 family pack, but a slightly less aggressive off-roader than the Ford Raptor, the Tremor will be offered in three different trims for the new model. And while you can raise prices if you opt for one of the more luxuriously equipped packages, the Tremor starts at a surprisingly affordable $51,200, before shipping fees and other charges.
At first glance, you'll know it's a Ford F-150. But like the rest of the F-Series family, the Tremor has a number of unique details.
It sits an inch taller at the front and 1.5 inches taller at the rear. It's 1.2 inches wider, allowing for the wider 33-inch General Grabber tires that wrap around dark matte aluminum wheels. Serious off-roaders will appreciate the Tremor's 27.6-degree approach angle, 21.2-degree break-away angle, and 24.3-degree departure angle.
The Tremor, in general, has a more aggressive look than the conventional F-150, starting with the pointed hood. It uses the Raptor's signature skid plate and fenders and has running boards that are particularly useful for getting on and off, considering its extra ride height. Orange accents, including the front and rear tow hooks, help distinguish the Tremor from the Raptor, as well as the rest of the F-150 lineup. And black-tipped exhausts complete the look.
All Tremor versions come with a 5.5-foot cargo bed.
The Tremor's cabin will be familiar to anyone who's been inside the next-generation F-150. The redesign managed to look more luxurious and resistant at the same time. How it's outfitted depends on which trim package you choose, but there's leather and plenty of other high-end details if you're willing to tick the right boxes.
Simply put, the Tremor is designed to be easy to use, whether it's the folding shifter, which lets you fold the shifter down to create a large workspace, or the many trailer assist features. The backup system allows you to effectively point where you want your trailer to go and the truck will drive smoothly for you.
Buttons along the top of the 12-inch touchscreen let you activate many of the Tremor's off-road features, including one-pedal steering. Another set of controls, just above the right knee, lets you switch between two- and four-wheel drive, or four-wheel low, while locking or unlocking the rear differential.
As you would expect from an F-150, the Tremor's crew cabin has plenty of room for up to five passengers. And I found the driver's seat well padded and able to keep me firmly in place while tackling even some of the toughest obstacles in Holly Oaks Park.
The 2022 Tremor gets power from a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. It doesn't have the performance package performance of the Ford F-150 Raptor, but with 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, it holds up pretty well on its own, thanks.
The 6-banger twin-turbo is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. And, as you'd expect from any serious off-roader, you'll only be able to order the Tremor with four-wheel drive. Even the base trim package offers a two-speed transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. If you want even more control, an optional Torsen limited-slip differential is also available for the front axle.
Final numbers depend on total vehicle weight, but the Tremor arrives with a payload of 1,885 pounds and can tow a maximum of 10,900 pounds.
Another bonus: Tremor can be equipped with a 2.0 kilowatt onboard generator with dual 120-volt outlets on deck. That's great news for campers as well as those using their truck on a job site.
Security and technology
Tremor is designed to give you fingertip control over the vehicle's adaptive suspension and powertrain. It has the buttons mentioned above, as well as a drive mode selector that sets everything up for specific road conditions like rocks, snow and sand, or mud and ruts. Turn the knob and you'll go in or out of low four, tighten the dampers and smooth out the truck's throttle response.
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor is the Ford Trail Toolbox, a collection of features that offer distinct advantages to off-roaders:
* Trail Control combines Hill Climb and Hill Descent Control, allowing you to set a fixed speed for easy climbing and descending without having to step on the gas and brake. Think of it like low-speed cruise control;
* Trail One-Pedal Drive modulates the brakes for you by simply stepping on the gas when you're off-road, just like some of the newer electric vehicles. Turn it on and you'll rarely need to jump from gas to brake; It is
* Trail Turn Assist helps the driver take tighter turns at low speeds by applying the brakes to the inside rear wheel. You basically turn that corner, making corners that are normally difficult to make with a full-size truck easier.
The digital instrument cluster keeps you informed of what your truck is doing and you get additional off-road readouts on the touchscreen. Among other things, it can track the angle your truck is at. And, along with the Tremor's many built-in cameras, you'll be able to see where your wheels are on a narrow road or track the trailer you're towing.
Another feature that Ford is offering on several F Series models this year is that it automatically weighs the load in the bed. It's particularly useful for helping to ensure you don't overload your truck. The system can be read on the touchscreen, a smartphone app, or by looking at a set of four LED lights built into the F-150's taillights.
My initial experience with the 2022 Ford Tremor was limited to a few hours off-road. So find a follow when you have time to drive around town. I expect something along the lines of the Ford F-150 Raptor, however, which proved surprisingly capable both on asphalt and on the trail.
Give credit to the adaptive suspension technology both trucks share. You can instantly recognize what you're driving and tighten or loosen as needed. The Tremor's suspension isn't quite as fancy. You lose the Fox shocks and you don't have as much suspension travel. That said, it's an impressive system that handled everything I threw at it on the way to the Holly Oaks.
The Grabber tires, backed by the powerful EcoBoost V-6, never seemed to lose their grip, even in soft, dusty sand. Flipping the limited-slip rear end made it easier to crawl over rocks. And Tremor's Trail Toolbox worked like magic. At one point, I came across a hairpin turn that would have put me dangerously close to a steep ridge had I had to take a traditional K-turn. Enabling Trail Turn Assist made it a no-brainer.
The multiple camera views made things even easier, as I learned on a particularly steep climb. As I approached the top, I wouldn't have known otherwise that the descent was at an almost 45 degree angle to my left.
Going off-road in a full-size truck typically comes with its own set of challenges. The many features built into Tremor allow you to climb, turn and navigate trails much more easily than would have been possible in the past.
According to Ford, 40% of F-Series owners will pull off the road at one point or another, with even more using their trucks for outdoor recreation, so the potential market for vehicles like the Raptor and Tremor is significant. .
The 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor may not have all of the Raptor's features, but unless you're heading to the Rubicon Trail or Moab's tougher trails, you'll likely never know the difference. Ford's new truck handled everything I threw at it with ease.
And you can outfit it like the rest of the F-150 lineup, load it with luxury features, or equip it with the tools you need at your campsite or job site. And with such a reasonable base price, I expect many full-size truck buyers to give the new Tremor a close inspection.