Changes breathe life into Ford’s Expedition

By Roy J. Eaton | Published Saturday, March 10, 2018

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Ford Expedition

For the first time in 15 years, Ford has completely redone the Expedition, and the improvements are significant.

I spent a few days behind the wheel of a “ruby red metallic” Expedition recently courtesy of Joe Redwine, sales manager at Karl Klement Ford in Decatur. My only “what it used to be” reference is a 2010 King Ranch Expedition I owned until a year ago.

The most striking improvement was in performance. The new Expedition is powered by a 375 horsepower, turbo-charged V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Expedition I drove was the base XLT model with equipment group 202A that included power leather seats, hands-free rear liftgate, voice-activated navigation system, heated front seats and steering wheel. It tipped the pricing scale just below $60,000 – comparable to the Chevrolet Tahoe LT.

Motor Trend magazine recently gave the new Expedition top honors in a comparison test with the Tahoe, Dodge Durango, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia. The magazine called the Expedition a “game changer” in the large truck-based SUV category.

“The Expedition is a jack-of-all trades. It will do anything you ask without breaking a sweat,” the magazine writers said. The Durango came in second in the test with the Tahoe a close third. The two foreign-made vehicles were last in the test.

For a family with children, the Expedition has a neat feature in the second row bench seat. The middle section of the split bench seat slides forward to get the child closer to the driver.

There are three trim-level versions of the new Expedition, including the base XLT, the Limited and the Platinum. The Platinum is priced along with the GMC Yukon Denali. The extended length Expedition is now called the Expedition MAX. also drove the Expedition and said it was a “top pick if you need a vehicle that can haul families, toys or both.” The Expedition can tow up to 9,000 pounds.

For those who might want to haul a few sheets of Plywood home from Lowe’s or Decatur Lumber, the regular Expedition, with all the seats folded down, has 108.3 cubic feet of space. In the Expedition MAX, that space grows to 130.8 cubic feet.

Motor Trend used a firm called IntelliChoice to calculate the five-year cost of ownership of the vehicles tested and the Expedition and Tahoe were clear winners – with only $243 difference between the two in Tahoe’s favor. The calculation included depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, maintenance and repairs. Of course, all those can vary greatly depending on how the vehicle is used.

Ford admittedly has a long way to go to catch the Tahoe and Suburban in total sales, but if my few days behind the wheel of the Expedition are any indication, they now have a fighting chance to improve their sales in the large SUV market.

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