Tuck this one away for your next game of Scrabble: “chronomentrophobia” is the technical term for being afraid of timekeeping devices like watches or clocks.
On the other hand, “chronophobia” is simply a fear of the passage of time – a condition afflicting every single automaker on the planet. Sitting still and resting on one’s laurels is a surefire path to the bottom of the sales charts, which explains why companies roll out updates and refreshes with alarming regularity. Blue Oval executives have clearly been watching the clock (and the robust sales of rival full-size SUVs from Chevrolet), deciding this was a good year to give their own entry a few new tricks with the 2022 Ford Expedition Stealth Edition.
Appearance, however, is not one of those tricks. Why the stylists at Ford decided to saddle their Tahoe/Suburban fighter with a sad-sack melted face is a mystery that’s lost on this author. The styling choices are even more baffling when looking across the showroom at the handsome F-150 pickup, a vehicle with which the Expedition once shared just about all of its sheet metal from the front doors forward. This is a missed opportunity for Ford, both in terms of saving a few bucks through parts sharing and creating a large-and-in-charge SUV that could take on its rivals in terms of road presence.
For most automakers, chronophobia is most acute amongst their engines. Beating each other over the heads with ever-escalating levels of output seems to be a favourite activity, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Ford’s decision to offer F-150 Raptor-like power in this three-row SUV.
This family-hauler boasts 440 hp – just 10 less than that brawny off-road pickup – to go with the same 510 lb-ft of torque. This is part of the pricey Stealth package, a term which usually denotes a simple smattering of blacked-out trim (which this truck definitely has). Here it also includes sky-high levels of output that outstrips the standard 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, as well as the 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque generated by the optional 6.2L V8 offered in the Tahoe and Suburban (as well as the twin GMC Yukon and Yukon XL).
Driving Feel: 7/10
One doesn’t expect an SUV the size of a politician’s ego to possess a shred of sharp handling characteristics, and the Expedition confirms this stereotype. However, this engine tune and its attendant output erases any complaints the driver may have about other aspects of this rig’s suite of road manners. Planting one’s right foot on the loud pedal rewards all hands with an entertaining rush of acceleration.
Fuel Economy: 5/10
It’s not right to expect fuel-sipping from a machine measuring 5,334 mm (210 in) long, but even then the thirst of this high-output turbocharged 3.5L V6 is frightening. The so-called EcoBoost engine gulped back 80 L of regular-grade gasoline during this week-long test, proving this author’s long-standing claim that drivers can have eco or boost but not both at once.
This model is based on the Limited trim, a step in the ladder that includes leather-trimmed seats and snazzy ambient lighting. Other touch points such as the steering wheel are also wrapped in leather, and occupants’ ears will be treated to the sounds of a 12-speaker stereo system. Ford’s suite of driving helpers, which bundles together lane-keeping and pre-collision braking, is also here. Trailer sway control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a driver alert system come with the package, too.
User Friendliness: 8/10
Ford’s enormous tombstone of an infotainment screen is bright and acceptably responsive, though the divisive physical dial integrated into the base of the display is worthy of a diatribe. As it sits, the sole function is to raise and lower audio volume. That’s it. While that functionality is appreciated – and it provides a visual anchor – one can’t help but wonder why its purpose isn’t dynamic.
For example, touching the screen’s temperature control for cabin ventilation spawns a pop-up menu in which users must either jab at blue/red virtual buttons or drag their pointer finger across the screen to adjust temperature. Why not permit a twirl of that physical dial to carry out that command while the temperature pop-up has appeared? The same could apply to fan speed, seat climate, or radio presets. It would make ample use of an existing control and help keep a driver’s eyes on the road ahead.
The Expedition’s vast dimensions ensure it occupies a space squarely in the XL segment, and Ford has made sure it has a set of seats to match. The cabin is all-day comfortable, featuring wide chairs and stuffed to let-them-eat-cake proportions. This observation is valid for all rows of seating, as even this 6-foot-6 author could easily house himself in the third row that’s seemingly in another area code compared to the driver’s perch. Generally a headroom-robbing feature, even the sunroof kept to itself in this beast.
It’s difficult to get more practical than a huge box on wheels. While its face might be unnecessarily rounded, the Expedition’s cargo area has been rightly styled with a T-square, providing a huge rear storage space which can expand to nearly 3,000 L when the second- and third-row seats are laid flat. That task can be accomplished with the simple flip of an easy-access handle or, even better, the push of buttons conveniently located either in the cargo area itself or near the driver’s seat – although one observer did suggest a 50/50 split third row instead of the 60/40 shown here could help keep a lid on warring siblings. Deep and cavernous cubbies abound, including a large centre console and twin glove boxes ahead of the passenger.
Last year’s model earned top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), scoring five stars in its overall safety score. The not-for-profit hadn’t slammed a 2022 model into its immovable barriers at the time of this writing, but it is logical to think this year’s truck would perform equally as well as its year-old counterpart.
A window sticker pushing six figures is difficult to swallow on most mainstream vehicles. If one simply wants an enormous Ford SUV and cares not about Raptor-like output, then a $72,000 XLT trim may suffice. Those who do desire this high-output engine can opt for the Timberline trim, priced nearly $10,000 less than this Stealth model, which uses the Limited trim as its base and whose major features are extremely similar.
Vehicles in this segment are laser-focused on their tasks, which are to either comfortably seat nearly an entire field of baseball players or tow upwards of 4,000 kg (8,819 lb) while carrying a family and their gear. In the 2022 Ford Expedition Stealth Edition, the brand offers a comfortable and extremely powerful option – one that can go round-for-round with the segment’s dominant players.
|440 hp @ 5,000 rpm
|510 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
|14.8 / 10.6 / 12.9 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
|547 / 1,628 / 2,962 L behind 3rd/2nd/1st row
|2022 Ford Expedition Limited Stealth Edition
|Price as Tested
$14,190 – Stealth Edition Package (304A), $9,995; Control Trac w/ELSD, $1,250; CCD w/Sport Tuning Suspension, $995; 15.5-inch Infotainment Screen, $850; Rapid Red Metallic, $550; Advanced Cargo Manager, $300; Floor Liners, $250