A Family Hauler That Can Do It All
The Ford Expedition arrived in the late 1990s, a time when carmakers seemingly couldn’t build SUVs fast enough or big enough to satisfy people’s desire for big off-roaders. Well, through four generations, it has matured into a fully modern utility, checking off all of the boxes of today’s buyer’s must-have list. So, where do we go from there?
While always a big vehicle, when the 4th generation Ford Expedition arrived for 2018, it was even bigger and more capable than ever; done likely as an attempt to satisfy Excursion owners who no longer have a Super Duty-based rig to meet their big hauling needs.
This 2022 Expedition Max is the stretched wheelbase Suburban fighter. It showcases updates that have been made to all Expeditions to keep it competitive in what is once again a growing 3-row truck-based utility segment, seeing that Jeep entered the fight recently with their Wagoneer and Wagoneer L.
Starting inside, where changes are most easily noticed, with a new dash design that allows for a much bigger infotainment setup. A 12-inch touchscreen is now standard, with a 15.5-inch vertical tablet similar to the Mustang Mach-E’s available, as is a fully digital gauge display. Our moderately outfitted XLT stuck with the standard gauge package with traditional analog dials bookending an info-packed 8-inch productivity screen. Some materials have been upgraded, and there’s a revised control layout below the touchscreen, as well as on the center console.
Even as one of the lesser trim grades, XLT comes with the trailer tow package, Ford Co-Pilot 360, and seating for 8 with 3-row climate control and power-folding 3rd row. Heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and power liftgate can be added cost effectively with optional XLT Equipment Group packages.
Until you’ve been inside this gen Expedition, it’s hard to convey just how spacious it is. There’s so much room to spread out in all 3 rows of seating, and an immense amount of cargo space too…
…36 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 79.6 behind the 2nd, and a max of 121.5 cubic-ft.
Our XLT tester sports the carryover 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 which gains 5-ponies; now outputting 380-horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque. But, more significantly, there are now 2 higher output versions available, 400-horsepower for Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum trims: and 440 in either of two new Expedition trims for ’22, Stealth Performance and Timberline.
The new Timberline series is the most intriguing to us with a multitude of unique exterior elements, along with added ground clearance, 33-inch all-terrain tires, and a 2-speed transfer case to make it the most off-road capable Expedition yet.
Regardless of power output or trim, all Expeditions work with a 10-speed automatic transmission; and maximum trailer tow is 9,300-lbs. with rear-wheel-drive and the Heavy Duty Trailer Towing Package. Optional 4-wheel-drive is Ford’s Control Trac system, with an electronic limited slip differential available. So, with standard power and 4-wheel-drive, we rolled our XLT tester into Mason Dixon Dragway.
It’s a big vehicle, yes, but 470 lb-ft. of torque is more than adequate to get it moving in quick fashion; we hit 60 in 6.1–seconds, and finished out the ¼-mile in 14.6 at 99 miles-per-hour. Extremely light steering had us guessing at times exactly where the front wheels were pointed as we worked through the cones; plenty of body roll too, but nothing unusual for a big body-on-frame utility. And Ford claims they have the most driver-assist technologies available in the class, including their BlueCruise hands-free highway driving on top Platinum.
Exterior updates for ’22 are very minor; mostly just refreshed lighting and new grilles for select trims. Government Fuel Economy Ratings for a 4X4 XLT Max are 16-City, 21-Highway, and 18-Combined; we averaged a spot-on 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. That’s still a below average Energy Impact Score; with annual consumption of 16.5-barrels of oil and yearly CO2 emissions of 8.2-tons.
With most of the SUVs we’ve tested recently pushing 6 figures, the Expedition seems like a relative bargain, starting at $56,315. XLTs start at $60,380, with just 2-grand on top of that for the MAX, making it a lot of truck-based SUV for the money.
The latest Ford Expedition is indeed better than ever. And, with more options than before, it’s easy to build the perfect fit for your big utility needs. But no matter which Expedition you choose, you’ll get a great family hauler that can basically do it all.
Engine: 3.5L EcoBoost V6
Torque: 470 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.6 seconds at 99 mph