Shopping for a new Ford Expedition? MSRP: $41,635 - $55,070
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2WD 4-Door XLTRegular Unleaded V-8, 5.4 L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 38,824||$ 41,635|
2WD 4-Door LimitedRegular Unleaded V-8, 5.4 L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 44,676||$ 47,910|
4WD 4-Door King RanchRegular Unleaded V-8, 5.4 L
Four Wheel Drive
|$ 51,353||$ 55,070|
4WD 4-Door LimitedRegular Unleaded V-8, 5.4 L
Four Wheel Drive
|$ 47,380||$ 50,810|
The Ford Expedition has stuck to its guns. While vehicles like Ford's own Explorer have evolved in a more family-friendly, carlike direction, the Expedition pulls and hauls with the ruggedness of a truck--and for the most part, the connectivity and comfort of one, too. It's a fine choice for anyone who needs to tow or haul heavy loads, though most casual SUV drivers have swapped down for crossovers.
The Expedition has a straightforward design that no longer looks all that fresh. It's been a few years since it was synched up with the related F-150 pickups on which it's based. The F-150's been improved continually, but the Expedition has lagged. The result is that while the latest F-Series trucks have a crisper, edgier look, the Expedition has stayed more rounded in its details on the outside, while inside it now feels like the relic of another era at Ford, with a less refined, plainer dash than you'll find in most Ford trucks.
The primary difference among Expeditions is in size. You'll want to measure your parking spot and carefully choose between the standard-length Expedition and the extended-length Expedition EL, which is 14.8 inches longer, and has longer rear fenders and glass. It's one of the biggest SUVs on the planet, with a wheelbase of 131 inches—in other words, longer than a Smart fortwo or Mitsubishi i. Cargo space is more abundant and third-row access is considerably easier in the EL, but you'll pay a price in maneuverability.
In either versions, the interior of the Expedition is cavernous, almost like that of a full-size van. The Expedition's front seats are captain's chairs, mounted high and affording a good view out, and a telescopic steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals allow for a vast range of body types. The expansive head and knee room continues in the second row of seats, and even adult passengers will find the third row spacious enough for short trips. In EL models, there's 130.8 cubic feet of cargo space, including an additional 24 cubic feet behind the third-row seat. A PowerFold third-row seat and power liftgate arrangement are handy when hands are full, and the EL's longer rear doors make getting into (and out of) the third row quite easy.
We've been waiting on Ford's 5.0-liter V-8 to make its way into the Expedition since 2012, but it's still on hold. The sole drivetrain is still the proven but power-shy 310-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 that the Expedition has had for years. It makes 365 pound-feet of torque and allows the Expedition to move quickly most of the time. Hitch up a trailer or load the Expedition near its limit (up to 9,200 pounds for towing) and this engine doesn't have the stout, unrelenting character of GM's current batch of V-8s—especially the larger V-8 in the Suburban. Four-wheel drive remains available pretty much throughout the entire lineup, and the six-speed automatic transmission is responsive and smooth-shifting, at least.
Considering the Expedition's mammoth size, driving it is quite easy thanks to light but precise steering, as well as a suspension that does a good job in controlling all that weight. Yes, it's one of the biggest land yachts on the market, but it's manageable. The only issue we've noted in prior years is that the pedal feel of the brakes can be somewhat spongy. Ride quality isn't up to the standards of modern crossovers, for the most part, but the Expedition does keep its composure on rougher surfaces, and it rides better than other body-on-frame trucks.The Expedition has fallen behind on features compared to its pickup brethren. It lacks Ford's innovative (and sometimes frustrating) MyFord Touch connectivity interface, instead offering the more dated Sync system, combined with a voice-activated navigation system and HD Radio in top trims. The lineup includes XL, XLT, Limited, and King Ranch trims, with a total of ten equipment groups. Standard equipment across the entire range includes keyless entry keypad, heated power mirrors, air conditioning, an electrochromic rearview mirror, illuminated visors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while Ford's MyKey system and SecuriCode keypad-entry system are standout features. Options include a DVD entertainment system, and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels. If you can afford it, the King Ranch edition offers a unique spin on a luxury-SUV interior, with unpolished leather like that of a baseball glove.
- Drives better than its size implies
- Rides smoothly
- King Ranch is one of our favorite interiors
- Third-row space is great in Expedition EL
- Infotainment overdue for an update
- Some plastic trim looks cheap
- Design is getting old
- Not easy to park, at all