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2022 Ford Expedition vs Chevrolet Suburban

2022 Ford Expedition vs Chevrolet Suburban

2022 Expedition vs Suburban - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

Buying a large SUV used to be relatively easy, as there weren't that many of them around. Now, though, the market is flooded with SUVs of all shapes and sizes, with so many makes and models to choose from. It can be hard to wrap your head around them and all the technological changes that have been made in recent years.

Two vehicles that will likely crop up in your search are the 2022 Ford Expedition and the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban. Both the Expedition and the Suburban have been around for years, and they have been staples of the large SUV segment since their inceptions. But, with the segment rapidly expanding with strong competitors, are either one of them worth the investment?

There are some pros and cons to each of these vehicles. They are both large and, therefore, quite difficult to drive at times. You also are not going to get great fuel economy. But if you need a capable people-hauler that can also tow a good amount of weight, both the Expedition and the Suburban are good options. Let's explore their differences to see which one might be the best deal for you.

The Powertrain

First off, we need to address the powertrain options on these two large SUVs since a powertrain can make or break your driving experience. Starting with the 2022 Ford Expedition, you get a standard 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine. On most of the Expedition's trim levels, this engine makes 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. However, on the Platinum trim level, the power output gets bumped up to 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. On the Timberline trim and in the Stealth Performance Package, you can get an even stronger version of this V6 that generates 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.

Any iteration of this V6 engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers power via rear-wheel drive (RWD). Four-wheel drive (4WD) is optional on each and every trim level though and tends to be a popular choice among buyers.

EPA estimates place the RWD-equipped V6 at 19 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. That is mostly on par with what other SUVs in this segment achieve. Unfortunately, real-world testing does not reflect this number, as testers get a few mpg lower than the estimates. Also, it is important to note that you have to use premium fuel in order to get those reported numbers, so gas is going to be quite expensive for Expedition drivers. The driving performance is noticeably better with premium fuel.

That being said, the V6 does show a lot of athletic prowess. The AWD-equipped V6 can actually sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.9 seconds, which is quick for a vehicle in this segment. The V6 is easy to drive around town and on the highway, but the brake pedal sure could use some work. The pedal has a squishy feel to it but will come to a smooth stop as it builds up bulk. The Expedition drives like a large vehicle, sure, but it feels secure and has a light and easy steering effort.

Shifting gears, we're going to look at the 2022 Chevy Suburban's powertrain offerings. The Suburban is a bit more versatile with its engine offerings. You get a standard 5.3-liter V8 that is good for 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque and is matched up to a 10-speed automatic transmission. All trims have available four-wheel drive - which is standard on the Z71 - that comes with either a single- or two-speed transfer case.

There are two more engines to choose from. First, you can opt for the powerful 6.2-liter V8 (which makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque) on either the RST, Z71, or Premier trim levels. That V8 does come standard on the High Country. Also, you can opt for a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine. It makes 277 hp, and a massive 460 lb-ft of torque. It is an option for all trim levels save for the Z71.

The 6.2-L V8 has no problem getting up to speed, zipping from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds, putting it right on track with the Expedition. The brakes feel more composed though, coming to a stop in just 122 feet from 60 mph. It handles with ease and doesn't feel like the big, bulky vehicle it is. The only flaw is that the steering doesn't give enough feedback, and while towing, you need to keep the vehicle tracking straight on.

EPA estimates put the Suburban at 16 mpg in combined city and highway driving. However, real-world tests delightfully and surprisingly best it, coming in at about 18-19 mpg combined. For such a big, bulky vehicle, that is quite impressive. The Expedition and Expedition Max struggle to match their numbers, with the Max falling well below its EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined.

What makes the Suburban stand out in terms of fuel economy. We suspect it is the advanced cylinder deactivation technology on the 6.2-L V8. This bit of tech saves fuel at highway speeds. Of course, premium fuel is required for a good driving performance, but the Suburban still turns out a good fuel economy for its class.

Drivability

Drivability is a blanket term that we use to describe multiple aspects of a vehicle's driving performance. This refers to how comfortable the vehicle feels, how well it is put together, how much space the vehicle offers, and how effective its technology and safety features are. In other words, we're looking at how well-rounded these SUVs happen to be.

Let's start with the Expedition. It is not short on comfort when it comes to the seats. The multiple lumbar support zones feel incredibly supportive, and the higher trims offer a massage function that actually feels like a nice, gentle massage. The second row of seats are plushily padded, and the third row - while being somewhat firm - is still comfortable enough for occasional adult occupants. The ride quality feels smooth enough for its segment.

One of the more disappointing aspects of the Expedition's interior is its climate control system. The front vents push out too much noise when the air is on, and the air flow does not feel all that strong. The heated seats are just okay; they will not get very hot, which is a bummer on cold days or when you have really sore muscles that crave the heat. At least the Expedition remains quiet while driving around town, not letting much wind or road noise in until you take it up to speed on the highway.

The cabin is quite spacious, even for a segment that is typically generous on space. The third row has plenty of space for adults to sit back there, and the accessway is not as narrow as it is in many other third-row SUVs. It basically just feels like sitting in the second row - it is that easy.

That being said, though, forward visibility could be better. The windshield pillars are much bulkier than they should be, and you will probably want to rely on the Expedition's standard rear-view camera and optional 360-degree surround view camera for good rear visibility.

Technology is hit-and-miss on this vehicle. The infotainment system has grown by leaps and bounds, now acting in a much more user-oriented manner. Pinch-to-zoom makes the navigation system simple to use even though the interface looks slightly outdated. Voice controls are intuitive to use and will understand most of your commands. The one thing we'd like to see is the inclusion of wireless smartphone app integration, which is becoming the norm on other vehicles. You can still use wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it does make for more cord clutter up front.

The Expedition doesn't quite match its top contenders in terms of cargo space. It has 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, 57.5 cubic feet if you fold that row down, and 104.6 cubes maximum if you take both back rows down. However, its seating arrangements are more flexible, and the Expedition offers a lot of small item storage areas throughout the cabin.

When properly equipped, the Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds. It is also a capable family hauler with an easy-to-access LATCH system for child safety seats. You'll even have plenty of room for those bulky rear-facing safety seats.

So, how does the Suburban compete with this? Pretty well, actually. The brand-new independent rear suspension dispatches bumps much more easily than its predecessor. Adding the optional Magnetic Ride Control and adaptive air suspension help create more stability for off-roading and driving on the paved roadway. You get a little more ground clearance when you need it.

Comfort, however, feels a bit lacking. The Suburban still feels like a truck in terms of build, with the front seats seeming flatter than they should be in a SUV. While the climate control works well, the buttons are small and therefore hard to press.

You do get a lot of leg- and head-space in the cabin. Adults can sit in the third row, although the seats are somewhat narrow. Controls up front aren't the most logically laid-out, and some of them are hard to reach, especially while driving. Those with shorter arms will have to lean forward to use them. At least the driver's seat and steering wheel are height adjustable, making it easy to find a comfortable driving position.

Wireless smartphone integration is standard on the Suburban, which is nice to see. The touchscreen display is sizable and easy to use. But, again, drivers will have to stretch in order to use it due to the spacing issue up front. If you can swing it, upgrade to the 10-speaker Bose premium sound system; the sound quality is some of the best you will find at this price point.

Quite naturally, cargo space is where the Suburban excels. You can max the cargo space out to 93.8 cubic feet, which bests the Expedition Max. You indeed get a ton of space in the cabin, and there are enough small item storage areas, although they can come off as being industry average in terms of size. The max towing capacity of 8,300 pounds is respectable for this segment, and you can opt to equip a lot of helpful towing features.

Safety

Safety is a primary concern for the average buyer, especially for those with small children. The Expedition does not boast the broadest array of driver aids, but what it offers is pretty functional. Every trim level is outfitted with the Ford Co-Pilot360 bundle of driver aids. This bundle includes automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane keeping system. Upgrading to the Limited adds the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist package, which has the navigation system and full-speed adaptive cruise control (which means it works down to 0 mph). The King Ranch has Park Assist and the surround-view camera while the line-topping Platinum offers BlueCruise (which is Ford's semi-automated driving system).

The Chevy Suburban has a fair smattering of driver aids as well. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are essentials on a big vehicle like this, and they work well on the Suburban. Standard features also include parking sensors and forward collision mitigation. Blind-spot monitoring comes equipped on the Premier trim and higher, and the line-topping High Country gives you a head-up display, rear pedestrian alert system, and a surround-view camera system.

Which Has the Best Value?

In terms of value, the 2022 Ford Expedition is pretty average for its segment. Warranty coverage is industry standard, and this vehicle is priced quite similarly to others in its segment. What helps it stand out in terms of value is a nicer interior design quality and use of better-than-average materials. It is a non-luxury vehicle, but the higher trim levels come closer to luxury than their competitors.

That isn't to say the 2022 Suburban doesn't offer much value - it does have some value indeed. For the space and engine power, the base trim's price is quite a good deal. You might just find yourself wishing some features that come standard on other vehicles weren't bundled into expensive optional packages on the Suburban. The High Country can end up costing you well over $80,000. Budget wisely on this vehicle.

Warranty coverage is where the Suburban really shines. It comes with three-year/36,000-mile basic and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties. This vehicle also packs in a six-year/100,000-mile rust protection warranty and five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance. You even get free maintenance for the very first year of ownership.

Which is Better?

In terms of power, space, and coverage, the 2022 Chevy Suburban is the better vehicle. But the Expedition is no slouch with its quality interior design. The Expedition's technology also has a shorter learning curve. The front controls are also laid out in a much smarter fashion. So, truly, this is a bit of a toss-up.

If you need more space and crave more power, the Suburban might be best suited for you. But if you privilege comfort and tech above all else, the Expedition could be a better fit.

View Comparisons for other Years:

2021 Ford Expedition VS Chevrolet Suburban
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