There is something strange but satisfying about a large utility vehicle pretending to be sporty.
The Ford Expedition 4X4 Limited, with the Stealth package, is such an incongruous brute. The tester was a big, truck-based body-on-frame ute cloaked in Rapid Red metallic paint. It had a 440-horsepower twin-turbo engine under the hood, and bright red brake calipers visible through the black spokes of all four 22-inch alloy wheels.
To say the 2022 Ford Expedition in Rapid Red paint made a statement is an understatement.
Whether parked or rolling, it drew stares, and comments (mostly positive). In addition to putting the Sport into this Sport Utility Vehicle, Ford’s design team ensured the interior was equally worthy of comment. In addition to upgraded materials and cavernous space, it boasted all the latest tech, centered around a giant (40-cm) portrait-oriented infotainment screen.
With the same foundation found beneath the F-150 pickup, the Expedition is capable of towing up to 9,300 pounds, making it an ideal companion for the owner with toys to haul.
Despite the truck underpinnings, and capability, the tester was a treat to drive on the open road. The ride was much more supple and forgiving than its F-150 brother. Credit for the smooth ride, and a surprising degree of alacrity goes to the Expedition’s independent rear suspension.
The Stealth package was new for the 2022 model year as Ford freshened the Expedition after four years on the market since its last major makeover. Available on only the Limited trim, it boasts a sinister appearance with the aforementioned black wheels, plenty of other black exterior details, and lower more aggressive stance. It also boasts Stealth-specific suspension tuning.
In addition to improved ride/handling and plenty of visual cues, the Stealth package includes a more powerful engine.
All Expeditions get a 3.5 -litre twin-turbo V6, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Output varies from 380-horsepower in lower trim levels, to 400 in the top two trims. But opt for the Stealth package, and output bumps up to 440-horsepower and a whopping 510 lb. ft. of torque available from 2,250 rpm.
This brings the ability to move this 5,800-lb. brute with verve. Impressive punch is available from rest with minimal turbo lag. Able to propel this big truck from rest to 100 km/hr in little more than five seconds, passing, towing, and climbing steep grades are a breeze. In all respects this blown V6 holds its own against the V8s offered by the competition.
But don’t think that two fewer cylinders means better fuel economy. Out here in the real world where hills are routine, the mileage was about what you’d expect from a big heavy truck with this much power. I averaged 17.0 litres/100 km in the city and rarely got below 12 on the highway.
All that room and comfort makes the Ford Expedition a superb highway cruiser.
It gobbles up great distances in relative silence with little road or wind noise.
Among the minor features and appearance updates for the 2022 model year is a new instrument panel similar to that on the latest F-150. The huge 40-cm touchscreen provides access to the latest Sync 4 infotainment system. Unfortunately, it relies almost exclusively on touch-sensitive onscreen buttons, making it necessary to take your eyes off the road.
Plenty of room for stuff
The Expedition and the even bigger Expedition Max are Ford’s largest family vehicle. In the configuration I tested, there was comfortable accommodations for six full-size adults, seven if three are willing to share the third row seat. Even with all seats in place, there is room for plenty of stuff behind the third row.
The 2022 Ford Expedition remains a viable competitor in the large SUV segment. The $93,000 as-tested price puts it deep in the heart of luxury ute territory where brand recognition (Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes etc.) plays a major role. But the Stealth package allows it to stand out.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Ford Expedition Limited Stealth 4X4
As tested: $92,985 including freight
22-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, 30-cm infotainment screen
LED headlights, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-Go and lane centering assist, rear park sensors, Co-Pilot 360 drive assist (automatic high beams, rear cross traffic braking, lane keep alert, aid and assist, driver alert system, blind spot information with cross traffic alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, trailer sway control
Panoramic sunroof, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, foot-activated power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, power windows and locks, cargo management system, universal garage door opener, windshield wiper de-icer, liftgate with flip-up glass, 60/40 third row power fold and recline seats
Stealth Equipment Group 304A, $9,995, (3.5-litre high-output V6, 22-in painted aluminum wheels, sport-tuned suspension, dual exhaust system, auto-dimming, power folding, heated mirrors with memory; red brake calipers, black trim, power deployable running boards, 22-speaker B&O Unleashed audio system, enhanced active noise control, and engine sound enhancement; unique interior trim, Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0.) Sport tuned suspension with continuous control damping and road preview, $995; Rapid red metallic paint, $550; enhanced cargo manager, $300; front and second row floor liners, $250; control trac with electronic limited slip differential, 40-cm LCD screen with touch cap, $850
Twin-turbo 3.5 litre V6, 440-horsepower, 510 lb.ft. of torque. 10-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive with terrain management system, NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway):14.8/10.6
Length, 5,333-mm; wheelbase, 3,112-mm; width, 2,272-mm; weight, 2,550-kg