Looking at Ford’s website, you see an impressive history of innovation. “Henry Ford transformed not only the automobile but working life and the role of transportation.” The company prides itself on innovation and feels that the “blue oval” is an easily recognizable symbol. The first vehicle they built was the Quadricycle in 1896, built on bicycle wheels and with no reverse feature. Twelve years later, they made the iconic Model-T, the model that ushered in the era of people taking to the road. The “blue oval’s” first truck hit the road in 1917, rating one ton. By 1927, there was fierce competition from the automobile industry; still, a leader in innovation, the Model A rolled off the assembly line. They even closed their factories for six months to prepare for production. The iconic F-series introduced in 1948. Since 1982 it has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States. Models like Thunderbird, Mustang, Explorer, Lincoln Navigator, Bronco, and the Ford Expedition replaced it in 1996. The Ford Bronco was in production since 1966 and needed an upgrade. So, Ford created the Expedition. Although Ford has consistently stayed at the forefront of innovation, many other choices are available for a large SUV. While SUV shopping, there are many models and alternatives to consider.
Is the Ford Expedition worth the investment?
The Expedition is a full-size, four-door SUV developed on Ford’s F-150 pickup’s U platform. Both the Expedition and the F-150 shared front-end styling and mechanical components, including engines, transmissions, and front suspensions. The Expedition was significantly more significant than most sport-utility vehicles at the time, thanks mainly to this platform (though it was similar in size to the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban). The Expedition’s longer wheelbase (119 inches versus 112 inches for the 1997 Lexus LX) allowed third-row seating to accommodate the driver and eight adult passengers. The Expedition was available in two trim levels when it went on sale in October 1996: the base XLT and the more upscale Eddie Bauer version. These models had dual-zone climate control and a power moonroof, standard features in the Eddie Bauer trim.
The second-generation Ford Expeditions boasted a redesigned interior including plush carpeting, aluminum trim, and new door handles. However, the first generation’s boxy shape stayed; however, there were cosmetic upgrades for sleeker lines in eight trim levels, all variations on the original XLT and Eddie Bauer trim. Buyers could select between the two-wheel-drive XLT 4.6-liter V8 Value trim. The four-wheel-drive Eddie Bauer 5.4-liter V8 trim received new variable-assist power steering, improving maneuverability at low speeds and stability at high rates. Ford combined the previous generation’s four-speed automatic transmission with new control software that recognized and adapted to changes in load capacity and road conditions. Additionally, the first generation used an independent rear suspension, setting a precedent for all future models—implementing safety features including an optional four airbag system with six-way occupant protection.
The latest generation cruises on a new chassis — the same one being used by Lincoln Navigator — with a three-inch wider wheelbase and a four-inch longer overall length. The Expedition is more spacious, has more legroom, and weighs 300 pounds less than the previous generation. The Expedition MAX adds nearly afoot to the overall length of the vehicle, resulting in roughly identical passenger space but significantly more cargo room in the back, Ford’s most big SUV as of 2018. The fourth-generation Expedition and Expedition MAX come in four trim levels: XLT (base), Limited (mid-level), and Platinum (luxury). The XLT trim is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations with cloth upholstery, keyless entry, a 4.3-inch LCD screen in the instrument panel, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Climate-controlled and massaging leather seats, a forward sensing system, and polished alloy wheels are standard on the Platinum trim.
All Expedition models remain widely popular, some more than others. It remains the most significant Ford SUV on the American market and a favorite for large families. Motor and Wheels writes, “depending on your use habits; the Expedition will last well over 200,000 miles with minimal repairs. However, avoid problematic model years such as the 2004 Ford Expedition if you want to get the best out of the SUV.” Additionally, significant repairs may happen around 150,000 miles. Depending on how many miles, they can last 10 to 20 years. The first-generation Expedition miles have not faired well, containing many manufacturing defects. The Expedition stacks up favorably to some comparable SUVs while others outshine it. The Nissan Armada will last approximately 100,000 miles longer, but it will rust quicker than the Ford Expedition, six years verses ten. The Armada only has one length, which is not as roomy as the Expedition Max. The Ford Expedition doesn’t come close to the durability of the Chevrolet Suburban, which can run 500000 miles if well maintained. However, the Expedition has better fuel economy. The Chevrolet Tahoe had had more consistent updating than the Ford Expedition until 2021. Also manufactured by Ford, the Lincoln navigator is the Expedition’s closest rival. They share many of the same features. However, the Navigator has many more specialty models like the “Black Label” edition.
Additionally, it is a standout for its equipment, design, and powertrains. The impressive Escalade would be a better choice for those looking for a luxury SUV instead of something geared for adventures, trips to the lake, and overall family-friendly. Ford is very proud of its latest Expedition model, priced between 49 and 78 thousand. Luxury features include B&O sound systems by Bang and Olufsen, heated and ventilated seating, and additional amenities that make longer trips more comfortable. Their website states, “Power, style, and plenty of space for passengers and cargo give the 2021 Ford Expedition its swagger and imposing presence on the road.” Overall, the Ford Expedition is a great option for a durable road-tested SUV manufactured by a company that has shaped the automobile industry. Other options feature more luxury, but as the company is proud of saying, “It’s built Ford Proud.”