With all the praise that’s been heaped on the 2021 Chevy Tahoe and its family of platform-sharing SUVs, it’s high time for Ford to introduce a new Expedition. And while this isn’t exactly a new generation, it’s a hefty mid-cycle refresh that brings with it a redesigned front fascia, Ford’s hands-free BlueCruise driving assist, a new off-road Timberline trim, and a more powerful tune for the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. The Blue Oval reckons that’ll be enough for buyers needing a three-row family hauler for the 2022 model year.
Present across the entire Expedition lineup is the new headlight design, which now features C-shaped daytime running lights both above and below the actual headlamps. The grille in between varies from trim to trim, though it’s a clear update that should help passersby distinguish a 2022 Expedition from those built between 2018 and now. The taillights have also been redesigned and are a little reminiscent of the smaller Explorer crossover’s.
The truck’s overall shape is more or less the same, leaving more subtle details to do the bulk of the work. Where that’s best displayed is on the rugged Timberline trim, which is the freshest Expedition on offer with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires and an EcoBoost engine making 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than you’ll find in any Tahoe or its GMC kin, and if you want something more beastly from Dodge, it’ll have to be a Durango with “SRT” added somewhere in the name—even then, only the Hellcat beats that torque figure. The Expedition Timberline features underbody skid plates from the Raptor pickup and boasts improved approach and departure angles over more urban-oriented trims. Ground clearance is upped to a best-in-class 10.6 inches while the track is also wider than on non-Timberlines, too.
While it’d be easy for Ford to slap on bigger tires and Active Orange accents, call this an “off-road SUV,” and be done with it, there’s a little more to the Expedition Timberline. Along with the aforementioned upgrades, it also has four-wheeling features like a two-speed transfer case and Trail Turn Assist, a feature we first saw on the revived Bronco. It locks the rear inside wheel to create a pivot point when you’re on tight paths, something that’ll certainly come in handy for the sizable Expedition. Standard-length models measure 210 inches long while the Expedition Max is 221.9 inches from its front bumper to the rear one.
The Stealth Edition Performance Package is another Expedition variant that gets the sweetly modified EcoBoost engine, though this time, it’s shod in a sleek, dark scheme. Twenty-two-inch wheels are seeming like par for the big SUV course, and this ride gets ’em. LED headlights are standard and the taillights are smoked from the factory.
Regular Expeditions maintain the same power levels from 2021: 375 hp and 470 pound-feet.
Inside, even the lowliest Expeditions get a 12-inch infotainment screen as standard running Ford’s SYNC4 software. However, the available 15.5-inch vertical display is the largest in its class, and it’s similar to what we’ve seen already on the Mustang Mach-E, for example. It operates with the even more capable SYNC4A system and can control the 22-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system that’s offered on King Ranch, Platinum, Stealth, and Timberline models.
BlueCruise is the headlining driver assist feature, allowing users to take their hands off the wheel on 200,000 miles of pre-mapped routes around the United States and Canada. It proved to be solid when we tested the tech in August, and it ought to be a formidable fighter in taking on General Motors’ Super Cruise. That said, Ford’s automated driving suite can’t do hands-free towing yet, something that the forthcoming Super Cruise update will enable.
There’s no pricing available for the 2022 Expedition right now, though we know it’ll continue to be built at the Kentucky Truck Plant and go on sale in the first quarter of next year.
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