It’s fair to say that vehicles have progressed a lot in the past few decades. Hey, it’s fair to say that vehicles have progressed a lot in the past decade alone. If we look at American automotive history (which is over a hundred years of innovation), we can easily see the shift from the singular vehicle style that was put out by every automaker because they could manufacture it easily to a wide range of vehicle types. Over the past fifty years especially, we have seen these different vehicle types––sedan, sports car, pickup truck, SUV, and so on––show their strengths, styles, weaknesses, and overall desirability to a wide range of people.
Over the past 20 years, though, something even more interesting has been taking place; as these different vehicle types have been discovering their space within the market, they have started to crossover into each others’ spaces. Take the 2022 Ford Expedition, for example. This family SUV steps into the space of a pickup truck, an off-road vehicle, and a luxury model, all disguised as a family-oriented SUV. Curious? Let me explain.
Ever-Changing Needs and Wants
People are higher-maintenance today than they used to be. That is not targeted towards anyone specifically––I lump myself right in there with everyone else. We simply have more things that demand our attention and a greater list of wants brought on by a rapidly moving society. There was a time when buying food would have entailed climbing upon our horse, taking a day trip into town, purchasing our food at a large market, making the long trip home, and then not going out again until the next month. Henry Ford had something to say about the inconvenience of horse-based transportation, and he helped us fix that problem. Soon, journeys into town became far more of a convenience than a hassle.
We now live in a culture dependent on convenience, so much so that even our conveniences seem like inconveniences. Fast food used to be the big invention of convenience, but even at that time, those who wanted to focus on clean, organic eating had to take the time to drive to a specialty store and cook their own food. Now, health-conscious buyers everywhere can order from their favorite organic restaurants via DoorDash, UberEats, or whatever service they prefer. As somebody who tries to focus on health-conscious eating, I can attest to how frustrating it is when you ask for no dressing on your salad, but it still comes with dressing. This is what I mean when I say even our conveniences seem inconvenient.
What does any of this have to do with the 2022 Ford Expedition? Well, this culture of convenience has caused us to have higher expectations for the products we purchase. We are used to getting what we want, how we want it, when we want it. Add to that the fact that we live in a fast-paced commuter culture, and you find yourself in a market of drivers looking for a vehicle that can do anything at any time, including providing a homelike environment to make the drives more pleasant. That’s a tall order for a vehicle, but the 2022 Expedition is up to the challenge.
SUV: Short for “Pickup-Off-Road-Luxury-Car.” Wait, What?
The 2022 Ford Expedition is an SUV. Don’t worry; we’ll get more detailed than that. But, let’s think about the baseline purpose of an SUV and the thing it provides that other vehicles don’t: plenty of passenger and cargo space. Focus on only passenger space would be a van, while focusing on only cargo space would be a truck. The thing which sets the SUV apart is that it provides both.
The Expedition is an SUV that comes from the same producer as the F-150, the Bronco, and the Mustang. So, if Ford has developed all of that excellent engineering, technology, and design in their most popular specialized vehicles, why can’t it use the same developments in its other models? Well, it is.
An SUV With Pickup Functionality
So, who is the primary target market for SUVs? Well, there are different submarkets within the SUV category, but the predominant demand for SUVs is from families. It makes sense because having several kids necessitates the passenger space. The Expedition seats eight, and most drivers don’t need eight seats unless they plan on having six-eight passengers on a regular basis. Of course, having a family also necessitates a fair amount of cargo space, especially if family trips are in the picture. But, the Expedition is not a classic family mini-van for dropping the kids off at school. Ford uses the Expedition’s SUV architecture to maximize cargo-hauling capability, allowing it to perform essentially at the level of a pickup truck.
With up to 121.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the Expedition MAX, drivers can enjoy more cargo capacity than the F-150’s largest cargo bed volume. Now, you won’t be seating all eight passengers with this cargo volume; don’t be deceived. But, if you need to get a big load hauled and you only need one passenger to help, you can potentially have more space than you’ll find in a pickup. Even with all eight people seated, you can have up to 36 cubic feet of cargo space in the MAX trims, which certainly is not bad at all. Not to mention the fact that the Expedition also has a high towing capacity of up to 9,300 pounds. So, not only is the Expedition a family vehicle, but it can also match the capability of a cargo-hauling truck.
An SUV to Take Off-Road
Family driving is usually pretty low-key. A lot of the time, it boils down to dropping kids off wherever they need to go, commuting, and the occasional night out. So, mostly stuff on the road…mostly. Aside from truck-like capability, drivers now want the capacity for adventure, even in an SUV. So, does the Expedition appeal to the adventurous part of the market, too? Yep. Like I said earlier, we’re talking about the brand that is responsible for the Bronco. The Bronco’s build is not dissimilar to the Expedition’s in that they are both SUV bodies, so why not put a little Bronco in this family vehicle?
The Expedition Timberline is a trim that keeps the SUV’s base integrity but adds a few nooks and crannies to make it off-road ready. So, on the Timberline, you’ll find a different suspension system––namely, off-road shocks and increased ground clearance. This doesn’t necessarily make the Expedition a competitive off-road performance vehicle like the Bronco or the Jeep Wrangler, but it certainly allows for effective off-roading experiences when it’s time for adventure while still having an effective family vehicle when it’s time for the workweek.
So, now we’ve covered the truck-like and off-road elements of the Expedition. But what about the luxury element?
An SUV With Luxury and Style
Luxury features seem to be one of the most important features to drivers in the current market; just take a closer look at any car commercial you see on television or while you’re waiting for your YouTube video to start. If we’re talking about a market that wants a vehicle that can do anything at any time while also providing a liveable environment, luxury features are going to be at the top of the checklist. Everyone wants a luxury car; they just don’t necessarily want to pay a luxury price.
No matter what trim or edition you buy, the Expedition is going to provide luxury features. The question is just what kind and to what degree. Some of the available color schemes and contrasts in the Expedition are very striking, welcoming, and comforting. You might think that an eight-seat SUV would sacrifice style and comfort for seating, but it provides plenty of style and plenty of legroom. To get specific, drivers looking for the best features and styling elements should be looking at the higher trims and special packages.
While the Timberline is the trim that focuses on off-roading, the two models focusing mostly on design are the King Ranch and those equipped with the Stealth Edition Package. In the King Ranch, you’ll find the iconic “W” logo imprinted throughout the vehicle, adding a flare of uniqueness that the other Expedition models don’t have. This trim focuses on the finer details, such as Del Rio leather seating, which makes the interior feel more finely crafted. The whole interior scheme of the King Ranch Expedition feels more rustic and refined, making for a luxe driving experience.
The Stealth Edition Package crafts a darker complexion, making for a sleek, sporty feeling. With the Stealth Edition, think nighttime vibes; the whole exterior goes black for this edition, and the interior contrasts its darkness with red stitching. Red stitching always takes things to a sportier level, so those looking for the sports car aesthetic may be a huge fan of this feature. If it’s luxury you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the Expedition.
A Vehicle That Covers Many Bases
It’s amazing how many markets one vehicle can dip into. Our culture of convenience can sometimes make it difficult for us to step back and recognize the remarkableness of the good things we have. Most vehicles now are not able to be just one thing, but they have to be two to three different types of vehicles in one. That is what we see with the 2022 Ford Expedition.
It is impressive how this family SUV covers its own territory, that of a truck, that of an off-roader, and that of a luxury model. Different people may have different opinions on the pace of our culture of convenience, and there certainly are many critiques to give and many things to be adjusted. Regardless of one’s thoughts on the changes brought about by our current culture, though, it is amazing how vehicle producers have innovated to provide drivers with solutions to many different kinds of desires. The 2022 Ford Expedition is sure to be a terrific fit for many different types of drivers, even if an SUV wasn’t initially at the top of their list.