2022 Ford Expedition Review: Proving More Is Better
A significant refresh gives the 2022 Expedition full-size SUV more of just about everything.
Americans rally around the idea that "size matters" and they should "go big, or go home." That mindset makes full-size SUVs the ideal way to shuttle our families, commute to our jobs, and support our weekend adventures. While their primary purposes are to tow heavy trailers and go off-road, big SUVs also convey a "large and in charge" image that we find irresistible. With rugged styling, powerful engines, high sticker prices, and plenty of interior room to spread out, vehicles like the 2022 Ford Expedition reflect what their owners want to convey about themselves.
To ensure its continued competitiveness, the 2022 Expedition receives substantial technology updates, light styling tweaks, and a new Timberline trim level that adds extra off-roading capability to the SUV. The changes make the Expedition even easier to like and should help Ford continue to chip away at the Chevrolet Tahoe's dominance in the segment. However, the latest Expedition is unlikely to topple the Tahoe from its perch atop the large SUV sales charts.
For this 2022 Ford Expedition review, we test-drove the standard-length model with Limited trim in Southern California. It came with 4WD, Stone Blue paint, the Stealth Edition option package, heavy-duty trailering equipment, an electronic, limited-slip differential, and an upgraded Sync 4A infotainment system with a larger display screen. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) came to $80,155, including the $1,795 destination charge. Ford provided the vehicle for this Expedition review.
2022 Ford Expedition Review: The Design
Angelenos aren't strangers to amazing cars, trucks, and SUVs. You can't drive through L.A. without seeing at least one jaw-dropper on the road, whether it's a rare, vintage machine or an exclusive new exotic. And yet, the 2022 Ford Expedition Limited with the Stealth Edition package drew no fewer than three separate compliments during my week-long evaluation period. The commenters loved the blue metallic paint, the black, 22-inch wheels, and the bold capital letters spelling out the SUV's name on the hood, Range Rover-style.
Ford modified the Expedition's front styling for 2022, and while I prefer the previous look, the new appearance is unlikely to dissuade shoppers. Inside, a redesigned dashboard accommodates the new Sync 4 and Sync 4A infotainment systems, and it represents a step up in style and sophistication. Though plenty of plastic remains, the interior looks and feels like it got a bump in overall quality.
Controls are logically located and easy to find and use. However, several times, I accidentally twisted the smaller driving mode selector knob on the center console instead of the larger transmission gear knob. In addition, I have a user-experience (UX) complaint related to the Sync 4A touchscreen, which I'll discuss within the infotainment system evaluation below.
Thanks to the power running boards, it is easy to climb into and out of a Ford Expedition, and seat comfort in all three rows is outstanding. The test vehicle had leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats with rear climate controls, and a panoramic glass sunroof.
The second-row captain's chairs tilt and slide forward for easy access to the third-row seat, or passengers can walk between them. The third-row accommodations boast adult-sized spaciousness, with excellent legroom and thigh support, as well as outstanding views through the side windows.
Storage space is generous, and the Expedition can swallow quite a bit of cargo, especially if you upgrade to the extended-length version. In standard specification, the Expedition carries 19.3 cubic feet of cargo behind the third-row seat, 57.5 cu-ft behind the second-row seats, and a maximum of 104.6 cu-ft with both rear rows folded down. In the Expedition MAX, cargo space measures 34.3 cu-ft, 73.3 cu-ft, and 121.5 cu-ft. Note that Ford equips the Expedition's cargo floor with a subtle lip where it meets the cargo door, reflecting an effort to prevent items from rolling out when you open the liftgate.
2022 Ford Expedition Review: The Technology
A 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard in the new 2022 Expedition, and it runs Ford's latest Sync 4 back-end technology. Experience with this system in other Ford models, such as the F-150 pickup, demonstrates a high degree of user-friendliness and utility, with only a few minor operational quirks and UX issues of note.
The test vehicle had the upgraded Sync 4A system with enhanced voice recognition, which initially debuted in the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It adds a 15.5-inch touchscreen display mounted portrait-style on the Expedition's dashboard, and it integrates the climate controls, stereo controls, and all infotainment settings using what Ford says is an "adaptive dashcard" user interface that you can tie to specific driver profiles.
Highlights of both systems include wireless smartphone connectivity, including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also has FordPass Connect, which provides access to an extra-cost Wi-Fi hotspot. Each infotainment system also supplies a connected navigation system with natural voice recognition, and service is complimentary for a short 90-day trial period. You can also get SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless smartphone charging, and a choice between two Bang & Olufsen premium sound systems.
Because the test vehicle's satellite radio subscription was inactive, I relied more heavily on Apple CarPlay than is typical. This experience revealed that after Sync 4A's complimentary trial subscriptions expire, you don't need them as long as you use the smartphone connectivity technology. Furthermore, Siri was more adept at finding destinations via voice commands than Sync 4A, cementing the impression that connecting your phone and dispensing with costly, recurring subscriptions is better.
In addition, I noticed that it is too easy to accidentally activate the touch-sensing windshield defroster button when reaching for the stereo volume knob. The testing week was a scorcher. The last thing I intended to do was switch to defrost mode, which also changed the climate system's temperature from a chilly 66 degrees to a toasty maximum heat setting. After all, logic dictates that if you need to use the defroster, you likely also want maximum heat.
Aside from Sync 4 and 4A, Ford loads the 2022 Expedition with tech, including an available 12.4-inch digital instrumentation panel, an extra-cost rear-seat entertainment system with new Amazon Fire TV technology, and optional next-generation Pro Trailer Backup Assist 2.0 with Trailer Reverse Guidance. Experience using the Amazon Fire TV system in a Lincoln Navigator and the trailering tech in a Ford F-150 has proven to me that either upgrade is worthy.
BlueCruise, a semi-autonomous driving assistance system that combines adaptive cruise control with lane-centering to offer hands-free driving on approved, limited-access highways, is also new to the 2022 Expedition.
As with similar systems, you must pay attention to the road and be ready to take complete control at a moment's notice. I've used BlueCruise in the 2022 Lincoln Navigator, and it works well enough to impress, though the driver's heightened state of readiness it requires isn't the stress-reliever you might expect.
Otherwise, Ford groups the Expedition's advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) into Ford Co-Pilot360, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+, and Ford Co-Pilot Assist 2.0 packages. The test vehicle had Assist 2.0, which included a surround-view camera, a reverse automatic braking system, and a semi-autonomous parking assistance system, plus the contents of Co-Pilot360 and Assist+. New features to Assist+ for the 2022 model year include evasive steering assist and intersection assist.
During the evaluation, the adaptive cruise control demonstrated remarkably refined speed adjustment and smooth, confident reactions to changing traffic conditions. Unfortunately, the lane-keeping and lane-centering systems were not as satisfying.
From issuing false warnings to keep my hands on the steering wheel and sometimes canceling operations for no apparent reason, to demonstrating an occasionally unnerving tendency to hug lane markings rather than center the SUV within them, I found the lane-keeping and lane-centering tech stressful and distracting.
2022 Ford Expedition Review: The Drive
Depending on the model and options you choose, as well as the octane rating of the fuel you feed it, the Ford Expedition's twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine generates a minimum of 380 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and a maximum of 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission channels power to the SUV's rear wheels unless you opt for 4WD, and, depending on the version you choose, the Expedition's powertrain can tow up to 9,300 pounds and return as much as 19 mpg in combined driving.
Though Ford doesn't offer a traditional, rumbling V8 engine in the Expedition, it tunes the twin-turbo V6 to emit a unique and pleasing exhaust note. Also, with peak torque arriving at just 2,250 rpm, there is no shortage of acceleration, and the broad powerband makes running the SUV quickly to speed an addictive experience. In addition, the Expedition not only tows more weight, but is also more fuel-efficient than a V8 Tahoe, which is EPA-rated at up to 17 mpg combined. However, during the evaluation, the Expedition averaged only 16.2 mpg, falling short of its official estimate of 18 mpg.
With the Stealth Edition package, the Expedition Limited adds 22-inch wheels, 285/45 tires, and sport suspension tuning. Building on this, the new-for-2022 Stealth Performance Edition package adds a high-output engine, red brake calipers, and a dual exhaust system. With either of the Stealth packages, the ride quality suffers, but the handling improves, and, as reported previously, the wheels look terrific. What the Stealth packages need is the adaptive damping suspension available on the Expedition King Ranch and Platinum trim levels, which could further quell unwanted body motion while filtering some of the ride harshness.
Otherwise, the Expedition is a satisfying SUV to drive on the Interstate, where it effortlessly covers long stretches of pavement. Moreover, it proves remarkably maneuverable in urban and suburban settings thanks to its boxy dimensions and excellent outward visibility. The test vehicle's front and rear cameras, and reasonably tight turning radius also contribute to this nimble feel.
During mountain driving, the sport suspension allows too much body motion on rumpled, uneven pavement. Otherwise, the enormous 22-inch wheels and tires supply impressive grip, and the brakes feel good underfoot. However, the twistier the road, the more you'll work the steering, which becomes tiresome. Also, narrow ribbons of road are a challenge for the Expedition's substantial girth.
Considering the low-profile tires and spiffy 22-inch wheels, I did not take the Expedition off-roading. If you're expecting to hit the dirt, I recommend the new Timberline trim level for its improved clearances, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and off-roading tech, including Trail Control and Trail Turn Assist.
Is the 2022 Ford Expedition a Good SUV?
Yes, the Ford Expedition is a good SUV. Its twin-turbo V6 supplies plenty of power, and the vehicle tows more weight than its primary rival, the 2022 Chevy Tahoe. It doesn't quite match the Tahoe for cargo capacity, but you could argue that the Expedition is more comfortable in each row of seats. In addition, the new Timberline trim level gives the Expedition model lineup something to rival the Tahoe Z71, and the MAX body style is Ford's answer to the Chevrolet Suburban.
Choosing between these competitors could come down to styling preference, and based on our time in the 2022 Expedition Limited with the Stealth Edition package, people like how this SUV looks.