New & Used Ford Expedition: In Depth
2015 Ford ExpeditionEnlarge Photo
Shopping for a new Ford Expedition?
GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV with a mission in mind: to carry big families or to tow and haul their belongings in a way today's crossover vehicles simply can't.
The Expedition is one of a small set of truly big utes; it competes with vehicles such as the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon, the Nissan Armada, and the Toyota Sequoia.
For the latest on this big SUV, including prices, photos, and specifications, see our 2015 Ford Expedition preview.
The Expedition gets its running gear from circa-2014 Ford F-150 pickup trucks, although it has a unique independent rear suspension that it shares with the related Lincoln Navigator. The Expedition is offered in both short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase EL versions.
The Expedition was brand-new in the 1997 model year, and was revised significantly for the 2003 model year. It's now in its third generation, which emerged with a 2007 reskin.
At first, the Expedition was an indirect follow-up to the old Ford Bronco, a two-door ute that was sold through the 1991 model year. Based on truck running gear, the Expedition proved popular even while Ford's Explorer saw its sales collapse in the wake of a major tire recall.The first-generation Expedition was produced from 1997 to 2002. Sharing the F-Series platform of the day, the Expedition could seat up to nine passengers. Buyers could choose either a 4.6-liter V-8 coupled to a four-speed automatic or a 5.4-liter V-8 with a four-speed automatic. Power output of 215 horsepower in the smaller engine rose to 240 hp with an upgrade in the 2000 model year; the larger V-8 saw power rise from 230 hp to 260 hp at the same time. The upgrades synced with a revised front end and rear end, the addition of side airbags as an option, and the availability of rear parking sensors.
The second-generation Expedition was sold from 2003 to 2006. With its upgraded architecture came an independent rear suspension that vastly improved the SUV's ride quality. It also helped the cargo space in the rear, enabling Ford to add a power-folding third-row seat. This Expedition's styling was smoothed and refined almost to the point of anonymity, especially inside, though the impression of quality construction grew with better-fitting trim. The drivetrains, including available four-wheel drive, carried over but in the 2005 model year the smaller V-8 was dropped. In the same year, Ford added a new version of stability control with anti-roll programming.
The current Expedition went on sale in 2007, and wears a much more straight-edged suit of sheetmetal than its predecessors. At launch, it was powered by a 310-hp 5.4-liter V-8, and in its makeover it received a six-speed automatic transmission. With 365 pound-feet of torque and a heavy-duty towing package offered, this Expedition could tow up to 9,200 pounds. It also came in an "EL" edition almost 15 inches longer than the standard SUV, with 24 cubic feet of additional room.
Over the past several model years, Ford has added a rearview camera, flex-fuel capability, a capless fuel-filler system, and Ford's SYNC entertainment controller, which connects drivers to phone and audio functions via Bluetooth.
The most extensive updates have come for the 2015 model year. Ford's now given this model an updated look to match the 2014 F-150, plus its twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 has been fitted as the Expedition's only engine offering. The Expedition has also been brought fully up to the expectations of a new decade of SUV shoppers with a new continuous-damping suspension system for more comfort and quiet, and cosmetic improvements all around.
The 2015 Ford Expedition remains based on the Ford F-150, albeit the outgoing model. With the 2015 F-150 going in a radical new direction, with lightweight aluminum body panels, there’s no longer an explicit link between the pickup and its once-related SUV spin-off.