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The 2022 Ford Expedition.Courtesy of manufacturer

Ford’s flagship SUV, the Expedition, is a staple in the lineup. First launched in 1997, it’s been on the road for nearly 25 years. And for 2022, it gets additional safety and connected technology, more capability features for tackling the great outdoors and new trims for busy adventure-seeking families.

One of the new trims is called Timberline, and it’s the most off-road capable Expedition ever built. Off-roading might seem odd for a three-row, full-size family SUV. But according to Expedition’s chief engineer, Mike Kipley, “Our research shows more than one-third of Expedition customers go off-road, and almost 30 per cent say true off-road capability is a must-have.”

Since the last redesign in 2018, the Expedition has nearly tripled its market share in the full-size SUV category, according to Ford officials. And this time around, Ford is targeting more diverse buyers including women and millennials. “Millennials are now Expedition’s fastest growing buyer group. In fact, they now make up 28 per cent of the large SUV segment industry wide compared to just 18 per cent five years ago,” boasts Jeff Marentic, Ford passenger vehicle general manager in North America.

The Timberline’s rugged design might appeal to millennials more than women. It stands out from its siblings with unique front and rear facias that hint at its off-roading capabilities. It has a dark front grille with cool orange accents below, 18-inch wheels, Timberline badges on the C-pillar and an F-150 Raptor heavy-duty skid plate to protect the underbody.

While a range of colours are available, deep forest green is the signature exterior shade; while deep cyprus green envelopes the interior wrapping around the seats and door panels with bold orange accents and a large 15-inch portrait screen that takes centre stage – it’s the same screen borrowed from the Mustang Mach E and Ford Lightning electric truck.

The 2022 Ford Expedition is available in several models, from XL to Platinum.Courtesy of manufacturer

For off-roading adventures, the Timberline gets a two-speed transfer case, trail turn assist, which was first introduced on the Bronco for making tight turns, intelligent four-wheel-drive, seven selectable drive modes, standard limited slip differential, revised steering calibration and larger stabilizer bars. It also has a wider track, a higher ground clearance of 10.6-inches and an improved approach angle of 28.5 degrees and departure angle of 23.7 degrees to tackle tougher trails.

While you might expect Ford’s F-150 Powerboost hybrid powertrain to make its debut in the Expedition, it doesn’t. There’s no hybrid offering. Instead, two engines are offered – a standard and high-output version of the 3.5-litre EcoBoost. The Timberline gets the more powerful 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, which produces 440 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Also new is the Expedition Stealth Performance Edition – it’s not just an appearance package, but it’s tailored to on-road performance. It has sport tuned suspension and the same powertrain as the Timberline. It’s aggressive in its styling with high-gloss black accents on the front grille, mirror caps, roof rails, running boards and 22-inch aluminum wheels with red brake calipers. Similarly, the black theme continues inside with an all black cabin and red accent stitching in all three rows that gives an upscale, premium feel to the cabin.

Smart technology and connectivity features are at the heart of the Expedition – features millennials will definitely appreciate. Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driver-assist technology makes its debut on the Expedition. It builds upon intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane centring assist and speed sign recognition, allowing drivers to operate hands-free on certain sections of divided highways in Canada and the U.S. All models come standard with Ford’s Co-pilot 360 driver assist safety with automatic emergency braking with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, blind spot warning and automatic high-beam headlights.

Smart technology and connectivity features are at the heart of the Expedition.Courtesy of manufacturer

Other cool, new technology includes an intersection assist system that senses oncoming traffic and applies the brake if the vehicle is at risk of being hit, and an evasive steer assist system, which helps the driver get out of the lane to avoid an obstacle without overshooting the next lane or spinning out of control, and a reverse brake assist system, which senses oncoming pedestrians and vehicles, alerts the driver and automatically brakes if the vehicle is at risk of a collision – all smart technology which will likely come in handy given the size of this SUV.

Over-the-air software updates and the latest version of Sync 4, enabled by cloud connectivity, offers twice the computing power to wirelessly connect smart phones to Apple Car Play and Android Auto. A new 360-degree corner-view camera also helps with parking, towing and backing up. The Expedition tows up to 9,300 pounds, when equipped with the heavy-duty trailer tow package. An updated version of the Pro Trailer Backup Assist 2.0 system uses the rear camera and park aid sensors to make it easier to hitch and manage a trailer.

The 2022 Ford Expedition is available in several models, from XL to Platinum, with seating for up to eight passengers. It rolls off the line at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., and will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022. Prices aren’t available, yet.

The Expedition is available in a wide range of colours.Courtesy of manufacturer

Tech specs

2022 Ford Expedition full-size three-row SUV

Base price: TBA

Engine: base 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine with 380 hp and 477 lb-ft of torque or higher output 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine producing 440 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque

Transmission/Drive: 10-speed automatic, 2WD/4WD

Fuel economy (litres/100 km city and highway): TBA

Alternatives: Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Durango, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, GMC Yukon

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