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Up Close With the 2022 Ford Expedition

The idea of targeting big, expensive SUVs at millennials might seem unusual to you; it sure seemed rather peculiar to me when Ford suggested its new 2022 Expedition has just been redone with them specifically in mind. Apparently, the company has research saying this is now who will be buying such SUVs next, and that these people also quite enjoy going into the wilderness on adventures. But they also might prefer cruising through town in something blacked out and sinister.

Frankly, I enjoy both activities — and that’s why, despite me not being a millennial, the 2022 Expedition’s two new trim levels appeal to me.

Related: 2022 Ford Expedition: Now in Pine-Scented

Green, But Not in That Way

All Expeditions get slightly new exterior styling, new interiors and some new technology for the ‘22 model year, but that’s not the news here. The news is two new trim levels Ford created with millennials in mind: the Timberline and the Stealth Edition Performance Package.

The Timberline is perhaps the most intriguing of the two, billed as the most off-road capable version of the Expedition ever made. It sits higher on 33-inch tires, has decidedly more butch styling front and rear, but its “green” theme is really what sets it apart — most notably, that Cypress Green leather interior that looks fantastic. It’s so good to see actual color on interiors again, and Ford isn’t shying away from hues — our long-term F-150 has a dark-blue interior, which also looks fantastic. But the Timberline’s combination of deep-green leather on the seats, dash, doors and consoles trimmed with a dark-umber stitching just fits with the whole motif of the outdoorsy side of the truck.

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Dark, Like My Soul

Of course, there’s something to be said for the murdered-out urban streetfighter look, as well, which comes with the new Expedition Stealth Performance Package. The unique black leather interior with red stitching complements the blacked-out exterior look quite well, but I find this really does require black exterior paint to look right. Common to both the Stealth Edition and the Timberline is a powerful twin-turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine making a whopping 440 horsepower and 510 pounds-feet of torque, which means it’s quite likely going to be a blast to drive (and rather thirsty), but also common will be the 15.5-inch portrait-oriented multimedia system originally seen in the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. It’s big and very easy to see things at a glance, but I’m not quite yet convinced of its ease of use — Ford points out that it’s not “menu-based,” but “card-based,” meaning you set up a few areas on the screen to be custom to what you want to see.

If I owned this system, it’d likely be a lot easier to use, but finding things on first exposure can be tricky. There’s a definite learning curve with Sync 4A on this big screen, but I suspect that once you have it set up to your liking, it gets a lot simpler.

Keeping It Fresh

Of course, the real point to making these changes for the Expedition is to keep it fresh and relevant in the wake of increasing competition. The Chevy Tahoe and Suburban were refreshed not long ago, the GMC Yukon added a posh interior in the Denali version, and Jeep’s now rolled onto the scene with its pricey Wagoneer. It was time for the Expedition to get some love, and the changes that have been brought to Ford’s big SUV should do well to keep it in the fight — at least until things start to go electric in the next few years. An Expedition Lightning might yet become the most popular version of the big SUV with millennials.

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