UPDATE 7/29/22: This review has been updated with test results for the Expedition Timberline model.
Over the course of four model years, the current-generation Ford Expedition has gone from one of the full-size SUV segment's newest entrants to one of its oldest. With the 2021 redesigns of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the rebirth of the Jeep Wagoneer for the 2022 model year, and the imminent arrival of a new 2023 Toyota Sequoia, the aging Expedition now finds itself grouped with the even older Nissan Armada. Rather than rest on laurels, Ford has thoroughly updated the Expedition and its extended Expedition Max counterpart for 2022, donning it with more attractive and memorable front and rear ends, a modern dashboard design, new trim packages, the availability of Ford's latest infotainment and driver-assist technology, and slightly more power.
A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 continues to power every 2022 Expedition. The engine now produces 380 horsepower (five more than before) in XL, STX, and XLT trims. Higher-end Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum models get a boost to 400 ponies, which Ford previously reserved only for the Platinum. Check the option box for the Limited's available Stealth Performance bundle or opt for the off-road-oriented Timberline trim and the output swells to 440 horsepower, a sum shared with the mechanically similar Lincoln Navigator.
Both the Stealth Performance package and the Timberline are new to the Expedition lineup for 2022. The former setup pairs the top powertrain's additional grunt with model-specific tuning for the suspension and brake pedal, neither of which notably improved the Expedition's plodding dynamics during our drive on the largely straight, flat, and surprisingly heavily trafficked two-lane roads around Holly, Michigan.
The boosted V-6 and the standard 10-speed automatic transmission gave us little reason to suspect anything amiss about the Stealth Performance package's straight-line power. The setup shares the minimal turbo lag and the deluge of low-end torque (its 510 pound-feet of twist peaks at 2250 rpm) of its less powerful stablemates. Though the Stealth Performance package's suspension updates and accompanying adaptive dampers seem to quell excess body motions without noticeably affecting ride quality, the setup fails to make the Expedition any less cumbersome. The regular version's 210.0-inch length and slow, numb steering exacerbate the Expedition's unwieldy nature in urban environments.
Given its $78,070 cost of entry (nearly $10,000 more than a base Expedition Limited), the Stealth Performance package seems to offer minimal performance enhancements for a hefty premium. Admittedly, this sum also brings a handful of handsome styling details, including black-painted 22-inch wheels, black exterior decor, red-painted brake calipers, and red stitching throughout the cabin. But many of these decorative items can be had with the simpler Stealth package, which costs over $5000 less.
We'd wager that those in the market to spend north of $75K on an Expedition should look to the $81,345 Platinum model. Besides ditching the standard analog gauges and 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment setup for a 12.4-inch digital gauge cluster and a portrait-oriented 15.5-inch touchscreen, the Platinum also includes Ford's BlueCruise hands-free driving assistant. Unlike the big screens that are optional on other Expedition models, BlueCruise is a Platinum-exclusive feature that allows the driver to cede control of the vehicle on more than 130,000 miles of divided roads at speeds up to 80 mph. In practice, the setup performed as advertised on a short stretch of I-75. Still, BlueCruise remains a step behind General Motors' Super Cruise, which enables hands-free driving at higher speeds and, in its latest iteration, performs automated passing maneuvers. (Ford plans to add that latter feature to BlueCruise via an over-the-air update.)
Potential high-dollar buyers unmoved by BlueCruise's capabilities may want to consider stepping up to a fancier full-sizer, such as the $78,965 Lincoln Navigator. Whereas the Expedition's cabin relies on hard plastics befitting the entry-level $54,200 XL's base price, the Navigator's high-quality insides look and feel like those of a proper luxury vehicle. While the Lincoln's 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system lacks some of the pizazz of the Ford's available display, its landscape orientation and physical buttons make it far easier to operate on the move.
The Expedition's big screen, on the other hand, relies almost entirely on touch-sensitive onscreen buttons that occasionally require a brief glance to identify, particularly the low-mounted climate-control functions. Of course, sticking to the Expedition's smaller touchscreen largely eliminates this issue, as it, like the Lincoln, employs physical climate-control and audio switches.
Those bent on buying a 440-hp Expedition may want to set their sights on the new $72,245 Timberline model. Ford limits this trail-friendly trim to the standard-wheelbase version and offers it strictly with four-wheel drive (a $3050 extra on all other Expeditions). Alongside its distinct styling and decor—beefy front and rear bumpers, red tow hooks, black-painted 18-inch wheels, and green interior upholstery with contrasting orange stitching—the Timberline includes a multitude of hardware enhancements that we put to use at Holly Oaks ORV Park.
Despite its girth, the Timberline clambered over rocks and ruts with little drama, its knobby 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires gripping the trail’s dusty surface as F-150 Raptor–sourced skid plates clanked and clanged against the undulating terrain. Like in the Bronco, a Trail Turn Assist function can brake the inside rear wheel to help the Timberline pivot around tight turns. With 10.6 inches of ground clearance plus greater approach, departure, and break-over angles—28.5, 23.7, and 21.9 degrees, respectively—the Timberline ably ascended and descended large rock faces that probably would have hung up its less capable siblings. Meanwhile, its two-speed transfer case and electronically locking rear differential helped this full-size Ford crawl through sand and mud pits with ease. We're anxious to see how this setup compares to other trail-oriented big rigs, such as the Tahoe Z71, the Yukon AT4, and the Sequoia TRD Pro.
The Timberline's off-road gear does few favors for the SUV's on-road performance. Those knobby all-terrain tires, which contribute to the Timberline's off-road prowess, notably hinder its lateral acceleration and braking capabilities. Our 5832-pound test vehicle exhibited just 0.65 g of grip around the skidpad and needed a pitiful 216 feet to come to a stop from 70 mph—significant downgrades versus the surprising 0.79-g and iffy 196-foot figures we recorded for a 2018 Platinum model on more street-friendly all-seasons.
Nonetheless, the tall sidewalls of the Timberline's tires contribute to an appropriately cushy ride that's complemented by soft springs that deftly absorb any road irregularities. The chunky tread has little effect on cabin quietness, with our example producing just 65 decibels of interior noise at 70 mph—two decibels less than a six-figure Lincoln Navigator Black Label we recently tested.
Though the Timberline kit may negatively affect the Expedition's handling and braking, its impacts on the 440-hp SUV's straight-line acceleration are minimal: Runs to 60 mph take just 5.1 seconds, and accelerating from 50 to 70 mph is done in 3.9 seconds. For reference, the aforementioned 2018 Expedition Platinum needed 5.7 seconds to reach 60 mph, and a similarly hefty 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 equipped with a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 required 7.5 seconds.
While the 2022 Ford Expedition is no longer the young gun in the segment, its revised looks, extra power, additional trim packages, and available hands-free driving tech certainly enhance its appeal, even if its trucklike driving characteristics and middling interior materials remain. In a highly competitive segment, Ford's full-size SUV remains solidly capable and has even learned a few new tricks.