First Look: 2022 Ford Expedition
Ford refreshes its flagship SUV, and repackages it with more tech and more off-road capability to make it more appealing to outdoorsy Millennials
Remember when auto manufacturers did all they could to attract Baby Boomers to their wares? Well, Boomers are slowly aging out, and it’s now Millennials that are the focus of, well, focus groups. It seems Millennials share a lot with Boomers when it comes to buying cars, though they perhaps put more emphasis on technology.
And according to Ford, they also show an increasing interest in going off-road. “More than one-third of Expedition customers go off-road, and almost 30 per cent say true off-road capability is a must have,” Ford Expedition engineer Mike Kipley claims Ford research has revealed.
Now, Ford’s definition of “off-road” doesn’t mean rock-crawling or wading through metre-deep mud. In this case, it means taking the family on a camping trip, or loading the kayaks onto the roof, or maybe rock climbing — the kind done with ropes and specialized shoes, by humans.
The Expedition Timberline gets improved off-road capability via increased suspension travel and ground clearance (claimed best-in-class at 10.6 inches, 0.6 inches more than the Jeep Wagoneer), unique suspension geometry, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler AT tires, and specially tuned shocks, springs, and sway bars. It also gets a two-speed transfer case, a limited-slip rear differential, and a big skid plate taken from the F-150 Raptor.
If the going gets really tough, the Timberline also has improved approach and departure angles, and it includes Trail Turn Assist, a feature introduced on the new Bronco, that locks the inside rear wheel to tighten the turning radius off-road when needed.
The Timberline is designed for the 30 per cent or so of Expedition customers that aspire to taking the full-sized SUV off the beaten path. For at least a portion of the remaining potential buyers, Ford offers the Stealth Performance Package.
This is a package that can be added to the to the Limited and Limited Max trims, and features a gloss black treatment on exterior trim, red brake calipers, and 22-inch gloss black wheels with low-profile tires. The adaptive dampers are also tuned for a firmer ride than on the non-Stealth Limited models. The Stealth Performance package favours pavement over the Timberline’s penchant for off-road adventures, but both new trims boast the same new powertrain.
Under the hood of each is a 3.5-litre high-output Ecoboost V6 that claims 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. That’s a boost of 40 hp and 30 lb-ft over the most powerful previously available V6. The engine still mates to a 10-speed automatic, and four-wheel-drive is standard across the Expedition range.