The nameplate was born in the final years of the 1990s as a full-size three-row SUV, and has soldiered on ever since with all the changes needed to keep it relevant. Now in its fourth generation and with the new model year just around the corner, the Ford's SUV just received some upgrades, and here they are.
But first, a look at what we have now. The current Expedition sells in two configurations presently, Regular and MAX, with prices starting from $50,595. We have five trim levels for the Regular (XL STX, XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum), and four for the MAX (XLT MAX, Limited MAX, King Ranch MAX, and Platinum MAX).
As of next year, a new trim level is joining the fray, Timberline. And it’s not just any trim level (Ford calls it series), but one made with off-roading in mind, “the most off-road-capable in its class” according to the Blue Oval.
As per the data provided by Ford, the Expedition Timberline should come with a slightly higher ground clearance than the Jeep Wagoneer (10.6 inches vs 10 inches), but also four percent less weight than its rival. It also has a wider track than we’re used to, and improved approach and departure angles (Ford gives no specific on those).
Under the hood of the Timberline sits the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that is rated at 440 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, spinning 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler AT tires. A two-speed transfer case and an F-150 Raptor underbody shielding are on deck to help this particular SUV be a solid proposition in its segment.
A second novelty for the 2022 model year is the availability of a so-called Stealth Edition Performance Package. This one is dedicated to the Limited and Limited MAX versions with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, and comes with unique visual appointments, but also some mechanical upgrades.
The design changes include gloss-black elements (grille, mirror caps, roof rails, running boards, tailgate appliqué, rear bumper skid plate, fog lamp bezels), but also red brake calipers, 22-inch black aluminum wheels, and the required emblems all over. Mechanically, we get sport-tuned suspension.
Starting with the facelift version of the SUV, the Platinum gets BlueCruise hands-free highway Driver-Assist Technology, a system that allows “owners to operate their vehicle hands-free on the highway while being monitored by a driver-facing camera.” It, however, only works of “prequalified sections of divided highways called Hands-Free Blue Zones.”
Depending on the trim level, the upgraded Expedition gets a wealth of other extras. We’ve got things like SYNC 4 with a 12-inch center screen as standard (SYNC 4A system with 15.5-inch high-definition touch display is optional), Bang & Olufsen sound system with 22 speakers and subwoofer (only for the King Ranch, Platinum, Stealth Performance Edition Package and Timberline), and Amazon Fire TV for the rear-seat entertainment system.
On the useful side of things, Ford throws into the mix Pro Trailer Backup Assist 2.0. This uses the SUV’s rear camera and park aid sensors to detect a trailer, but unlike the previous version, which required the driver to put a “target” on the trailer and provide trailer dimensions to the system, it now works by means of a control knob and the backup camera screen. And since we’re on the subject, the 2022 Expedition comes with 9,300 pounds towing rating when equipped with the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package.
Ford says the improved version of the SUV will be ready for the streets in the first quarter of next year. At the time of writing, there is no mention of pricing for the Timberline version, the Stealth package, or any of the other trims in their 2022 configuration.