|22||Sound speakers (in)||12|
|12 or 15.5||Touchscreen (in)||12|
Any Ford SUV buyer will tell you that comparing the 2022 Ford Expedition vs 2021 Ford Expedition is a bit of a win-win. After all, the previous model year Expedition is loaded with all the latest safety and comfort features this category of buyer demands, but for those seeking the newest version of America’s favorite giant SUV, the 2022 Expedition delivers.
Starting with the all-new rugged Timberline trim, Ford expands its Expedition lineup in 2022 to include more specific lifestyle-oriented versions. Luxury touches like an incredible 22-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system highlight an already plush cabin, and an available 15.5-inch infotainment touchscreen demonstrates this tech-forward Expedition is raising the bar for connected convenience.
Which Expedition – the 2021 or the 2022 – is right for your driveway? We look at both vehicles from every angle, offering our advice on how to decide. Whichever one you choose, you’re behind the wheel of a superior full-size SUV that will keep the whole family safe, comfortable, and entertained, whether you’re in the carpool or off on a family road trip adventure.
The Expedition receives minor exterior refinements for 2022, including standard LED headlights across the trim range and a new grille design for the high-end Platinum trim. The big changes focus on three key areas: performance, capability, and advanced in-cabin technology. Mostly, it’s all about capability. It’s clear that Ford wants this newest Expedition to show off its prowess both on and off the road. Capability comes in the form of new packages and engine tweaks aimed at buyers looking to stand out.
Ford asserts that the 2022 model is the most “off-road-capable Expedition ever,” and that’s thanks to the all-new Timberline trim. With Jeep squarely in its sights, Ford equips the Expedition with 10.6 inches of ground clearance, a more lightweight frame, and significantly more torque than the new Jeep Wagoneer. Add the available Trail Control feature, which is a special cruise control system designed for use at low speeds while on the trail, and the Timberline elevates the off-road experience to new levels.
Not that interested in off-roading but still want a little extra acceleration on the road? Ford designed the Stealth Performance Package just for you. Bespoke glossy black exterior trim features – like mirror caps and headlight surrounds – and red brake calipers adorn the exterior, and a tweaked 3.5-liter High-Output EcoBoost V6 delivers 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. The Stealth Edition also receives a sport-tuned suspension for enhanced ride handling.
By contrast, the 2021 Expedition tops off at 400 horsepower – available only on the most expensive Platinum trim – with other trims achieving a bit less power, at 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Max towing capacity equals that of the 2022 model, at 9,300 pounds, so towing an RV or a boat is effortless. All 2021 Expedition trims are available with four-wheel drive for an additional cost, as well as continuously controlled damping to smooth out the bumps.
The optional FX4 Off-Road Package outfits the 2021 Expedition XLT and Limited with trail-ready goodies like a heavy-duty radiator, seven skid plates, tow hooks, and all-terrain tires. The package also includes off-road shocks in the front and rear, as well as an electronic limited-slip differential to channel torque to the tires that need it. It’s definitely less capable than the new Timberline trim, but it still adds plenty of off-roading features.
Nothing modernizes a vehicle’s cabin faster than touchscreen technology, and Ford has doubled down on its commitment to infotainment and connected services by hiring former Apple special products VP Doug Field as its Chief Advanced Technology and Embedded Systems Officer. Field’s resume also includes time at Tesla, a brand known for featuring advanced digital interfaces in its luxury vehicles. This new digital focus means future Ford models will feature cleaner, more minimalist dashes.
The new Expedition benefits substantially from Ford’s intense focus on the “intelligence stack,” otherwise known as the infotainment touchscreen. For 2022, it receives a massive standard landscape-oriented 12-inch touchscreen, and upper-level trims are equipped with an even larger portrait-mounted 15.5-inch screen with split-screen capability. The screens serve as hubs for accessing entertainment, navigation, and in-vehicle convenience apps.
The larger screens run on the latest Ford SYNC 4A operating system, which is capable of over-the-air updates, an important function that can eliminate pesky bugs in real-time as software improves or add new features down the road. It also includes connected navigation that Ford says will work even without an internet connection. Smartphone integration remains simple via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the innovative digital card organization tool streamlines the display.
For 2022, Ford also equips select trims with a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster with crisp multicolor displays, giving drivers access to vehicle performance data, as well as a way to monitor navigation cues without having to look at the touchscreen. In the rear, an available dual-screen entertainment system now includes Amazon Fire TV, in contrast to the 2021 system, which required special hardware (a Slingbox) for live TV viewing.
The 2021 Expedition offers an 8-inch touchscreen with many of the same capabilities, including smartphone integration and connected navigation. However, it runs on an earlier version of Ford’s operating system, SYNC 3. As for entertainment features, there is an available 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system on high-end 2021 trims. However, the 2022 Expedition bests it with a 22-speaker Bang & Olufsen offering.
By far the biggest headline surrounding the 2022 Expedition is its available BlueCruise hands-free driving system. Standard on the Platinum trim, BlueCruise lets drivers take their hands off the wheel while driving on connected highways. An in-vehicle camera monitors driver attention and alerts when it senses the driver’s eyes have left the road. Every day, Ford is adding more compatible roads to the BlueCruise network, making this feature indispensable for more drivers.
In addition to BlueCruise, the newest Expedition includes more available driver-assist safety features than any other vehicle in its class. One such system is Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering and Stop-and-Go capability: set the cruise control, and it maintains a consistent distance from the vehicle ahead, slowing down as needed and even coming to a complete stop without driver input. It can also read speed signs and adjust for changes.
Active Park Assist 2.0 is a system designed to make life with a giant SUV a little easier. It will locate a size-appropriate spot and parallel park for you. It also senses oncoming traffic when it’s time to leave, alerting you when it’s safe to pull out. Intersection Assist is another driver-assist tool that helps drivers make safe left turns. The system alerts when it senses oncoming traffic and can even apply the brakes if necessary.
Both the 2021 and 2022 Expedition offer Ford Co-Pilot360, a bundled package of driver-assist systems that includes blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and a rear view camera. These systems work together to help drivers stay alert and avoid common road hazards.
The 2021 Expedition received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. While the 2022 model hasn’t yet been evaluated, we expect it will earn similar marks given the minimal platform changes and additional driver-assist features. The Expedition is designed for families, a consideration that puts safety high on the list of directives.