Way back in 1996, Ford decided it was time to go toe-to-toe with GM with a large SUV based on their pickup trucks. The wildly popular F-Series was just getting a refresh, and incorporated into that design was provision for the fully enclosed version. Through the years, Ford kept on offering the Expedition, always mirroring the chassis/platform of the wildly successful F-Series pickups. The big SUV was wildly popular too, especially at first – but with so many smaller and mid-size SUV’s crowding the market, and with an aging and inefficient platform, sales had declined in recent years. From a peak of over 230,000 back in 1999, to a steady 30-50,000 annually. Will the brand new and refreshed version bring back the sales? Time will tell, but in the meantime let’s take a look at what’s new!
The particular chassis used for the latest Expedition started out with the 2015 F-150, but with an all-new independent suspension as opposed to the pickup’s standard rear solid axle. Powertrain is now exclusively the advanced 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V6 twin-turbo, pushing out 375 Horsepower in most trims, and 400 Horsepower in the top of the range Platinum edition. The Platinum 4WD will set you back $76k, which is a lot of money for an SUV – but when you consider the features, luxury and technology rival the best from GM (Cadillac), and approach some of the top European competitors, it makes more sense. It’s still a lot to shell out for a truck, but if you have a big family and carry lots of stuff, most SUV’s simply won’t cut it.
Starting price for the XLT rear-wheel-drive version is $52k, a somewhat more reasonable number – but start tacking on options and watch it climb. Is it worth it? That will be for you to decide, but it’s certainly available with a dazzling array of features. And the torquey, powerful EcoBoost engine moves it along smartly, especially coupled to the 10-Speed automatic transmission. The entire drivetrain is very advanced, with more efficiency than any Expedition before. Rated at 17-City and 25-Highway MPG, the technology pays dividends at the pump.
Some of the previous generations of the Expedition definitely felt more like a truck, but now it has a much more car-like driving experience. Having a completely dedicated suspension really tames the roughness and sharpens the handling. The overall driving experience is very refined. It really feels like a classic slot game in a fancy casino.
Also shared with the F-150 is lots of Aluminum in the construction of the body, meaning overall lighter weight than previous generations as well. The interior shares lots of trim with the newest F-150 as well, with even more luxurious materials and finishes in the higher trims. As we’ve talked about with our F-150 reviews, there’s more luxury than you’d ever expect from a truck like this – with available heated/cooled massage seats. The excellent Sync-3 infotainment system carries forward as well, one of our favorite systems to use. Another perk of choosing the top of the line Platinum? An amazing Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. Serious audiophiles will recognize the name as one of the most innovative audio companies of the last few decades.
Unlike recent years, the Expedition now has a pretty significant departure from F-150 styling. There’s a really unique front fascia that has more in common with Ford’s Explorer than with the pickup. The overall look is very refined, especially with the Platinum’s 22” wheels. Overall, there’s no mistaking that Ford is serious about the Expedition again, and the end result will really please buyers.
Without question, the new Ford Expedition is leaps and bounds ahead of the stale outgoing model. Sales are already showing increases over the previous years, but it’s not likely to return to its glory days with so many other smaller SUV’s on the market. For those that need the extra space, now you can have all the latest technology, luxury and efficiency too.