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2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

Review: 1,500 Miles in a 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

We learned a lot about Ford's biggest SUV

After telling most people your job is to drive and review new cars for a living, a very common follow-up question is this: How do you get to know everything about a car after just a few weeks? The short answer is we drive them ... A LOT. Once in a while you get the chance to pack a heap of miles in a loaner. My case in point? The 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline that I recently covered 1,480 miles over the course of 11 days in — mostly on a road trip with some old friends from L.A. to Napa Valley and back. In that time, my rear was parked in the driver's seat for more than 28 hours, I used nearly 100 gallons of fuel (ouch) and drove the equivalent of a round trip from California's tip to tail.

Longer road trips have been done in far less time. But after so many hours behind the wheel, I'm more than comfortable saying I am intimately familiar with Ford's biggest SUV. So, what did I learn?

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

The 2022 Expedition is a big softy

This isn't my first time in an Expedition from this generation. In 2020 I was handed the keys to one for a week, and while I didn't cover nearly the same amount of ground, there were a few key takeaways. Chief among them was, for something so big, it sure did ride harshly. I'm happy to report, however, that the refresh the Expedition received for 2022 has seemingly dialed that roughness right out. Off-road-oriented tires (courtesy of our test car's Timberline trim) with a juicy amount of sidewall certainly helped, though.

Bumps that would normally cause a harsh impact are rounded off, and the floatiness that leads to head toss in so many other body-on-frame machines has been dialed back to a minimum. Even backseat passengers were surprised with just how smoothly the big, bad Ford rode on I–5. There's so much space in the Expedition's rear quarters that it feels like those behind the driver and passenger are occasionally in a different county — but that isolated feel also adds an air of calm for rear occupants.

And it isn't just the Expedition's relaxing road manners that make long hauls with lots of gear easy. Ford's Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 (Ford, you might want to work on that naming scheme) was on board to help take some of the burden off our hands. It's part of the $9,220 501A option package that also grants a bigger center screen and upgraded audio system. Ford's Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 system works to keep the truck centered in the lane and maintain a set speed to the car in front. It worked almost flawlessly, though occasionally it ping-ponged the truck between the lane's markers. You still have to keep your eyes on the road, but being able to trust the system made most of our time on the interstate a cinch. Occasionally the cabin would get a little too quiet, and I'd look over my shoulder to find two fully grown men fast asleep in their green leather captain's chairs.

Yes, it really is green inside. A shade unique to the Timberline model, the cabin's leather is only available in what Ford calls Deep Cypress. It's accented by orange contrast stitching and orange accents on the Timberline's dashboard. It's the sort of above-and-beyond touch that elevates this Expedition to something special and is simply more interesting than black, tan or brown.

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

As for the rest of the interior, it's a surprisingly nice place to spend a lot of time. The seats themselves are a particular highlight, being quite supportive on the long drive and helping curb fatigue. The seating position is just right for a truck-based SUV like this, too. The Bronco, Ford's other body-on-frame SUV, makes you feel like you're sitting on top of the truck, but the Expedition does a good job of placing you nice and low in the cabin. The seating position also offers a good view out of all the available glass, and while blind spots in something this massive are always going to be a problem, blind-spot warning did a good job of making sure we didn't run any Miatas off the road.

Our only issue was with the infotainment system. Ford's massive center-console-mounted display was easy enough to get the hang of, but we'd still prefer physical controls for things like the A/C and heater. However, while the screen itself was fine, the software occasionally threw a fit. On multiple occasions the screen-controlled climate system switched from full cold to full hot, blasting us with hot air in the middle of a July heatwave. It was the last thing my passengers or I asked for, and the reason behind it was essentially impossible to discern. It would just take over itself and change the temperature at random. This isn't something buyers should have to worry about, and it makes us think Ford needs to refine its software just a touch more.

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

Big beating heart

While the infotainment system did present a sport of bother, there's another, even bigger positive that might make up for it. Under that plateau of a hood is the same engine Ford uses in the F-150 Raptor. It's detuned a touch, down 10 horses from the Raptor's 450 horsepower, but it makes the same 510 lb-ft of torque. The only real drawback of such a punchy engine is its constant need for fuel. We regularly saw 14 mpg or less during our time with the Timberline, and that's on par with competitors like the Chevy Tahoe and its burly 6.2-liter V8. That said, the powertrain makes a big difference to the way the Expedition feels on the road.

Where the pre-refresh (2018-2021) Expedition felt a little on the lazy side, with slow pickup and laggy torque delivery, the Timberline with the boosted engine feels up on its toes. It's easy to get up to highway speeds and execute passes on slower-moving traffic. In our testing, the big Ford launched from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. That's surprisingly quick for something that weighs 5,762 pounds. For a little context, that's actually quicker than the Raptor itself, which needed 5.8 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint when we strapped our testing equipment to it.

That said, as much as we like the idea, this isn't an Expedition Raptor. It won't handle woops and lumpy off-road terrain with anywhere near the same aplomb, but it does have some off-road goodies that standard Expeditions don't get. Trail turn assist, which locks the inside rear wheel to tighten the car's turn radius off-road, is a feature you'll only find on the Timberline. Combine that with the underbody skid plates (that are, in fact, shared with the Raptor), some off-road oriented tires, and a slight lift compared to regular Expeditions and you get something you can confidently take off the more well-worn path.

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

We suspect terrain more challenging than sandy tracks and the occasional berm would eventually flummox the big, boxy Ford. But in general, the Timberline dismissed the light off-roading we put it through with a simple smack of the gums and a confident "I got this." Most SUVs find their way into parking lots at malls and covering ground between home and the kids' soccer practices, but you can expect the Timberline to do more.

A real do-it-all machine?

If all you ever really need to do is take the kiddos to camp and back, the Expedition has you covered there, too. The interior space is cavernous, sure, but put third-row seats down and slide the second-row seats forward, and you're granted access to 63.6 cubic feet of cargo space. If you need room for even more, dropping the second row gives more than 100 cubic feet of free air to work with. It's like having a whale's mouth on wheels, easily swallowing whole whatever you might need to throw inside.

It's hard to find an honest-to-goodness do-it-all machine these days. Most cars, trucks and SUVs present some sort of compromise, and the same is true of the Expedition, the most obvious of which is its size. It is ma-hoo-sive, and this isn't even the extended-wheelbase model (which isn't available in Timberline guise). Parking in cramped city lots results in an anxiety-inducing amount of seesawing at the wheel and razor-thin margins between the truck's exterior and those pesky parking spot lines.

Another con is the price. At $79,860 as tested, the Expedition Timberline ain't cheap. It's one of the most expensive Fords you can buy, and that might give potential buyers some pause. At the Timberline's base price of just over $72,000, it's an almost perfect deal. But at nearly $80,000 with add-ons, this is one pricey machine. We think buyers who have that kind of free cash will also have other options swirling around in their heads, too, but they should bear this in mind: The Expedition Timberline does almost everything well, something we rarely get to confidently say.

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

Edmunds says

After 1,500 miles in one, I'd happily put the Expedition Timberline on my short list.