By on January 4, 2017

2017 Ford Expedition XLT EL

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s a candidate.

While I may have dipped into the good cheer while penning last week’s Ace of Base, the B&B can rest easy knowing I have been off the sauce for at least the last couple of hours. Hey, where I’m from, the Christmas season extends to January 6th.

Ford made a lot of noise yesterday, broadcasting announcements ranging from a sudden aversion to the label “Hecho en Mexico” to the imminent construction of hybrid Mustangs and F-150s. Now, I get the appeal of hybridization — especially when it results in MOAR POWERRR for fun stuff like burnouts or towing a four-ton trailer. Taking technology that was originally developed to save fuel and subverting it to produce shocking 0-60 times or stump-pulling torque is akin to weaponizing a wind farm.

This week’s Ace of Base made a similar polar bear-friendly move when it dropped its V8 in favor of an EcoBoosted V6 for the 2015 model year. I’ll freely admit to espousing all sorts of doomsday prophecies upon learning the Expedition would no longer be powered by the engine equivalent of freedom and bald eagles. My concerns were unfounded, as they likely will be about the hybrid Mustang.

The extended-length and unimaginatively-monikered Expedition EL (the Canadian title of Expedition MAX is much better) adds nearly fifteen inches to the truck’s length and can be easily identified by rear passenger doors which drop straight from roof to rocker. My choice of paint is the fabulous $0 Bronze Fire which, in person, looks like something out of a Range Rover catalog. Snazzy LED fog lights appear on all trims.

A standard rear view camera and reverse sensing system keep tabs on aft activities when drivers are attempting to reverse this 18.5-foot SUV. Rear auxiliary climate control keep ankle biters comfortable while parents keep abreast of the grim news on NPR by way of SiriusXM radio up front. On the base XLT, a leather wrapped steering wheel tilts and telescopes, the driver’s pedals are power adjustable, and I really appreciate the Expedition’s power rear quarter windows. They harken back to 1990’s minivans whose rear side windows used to pop out like a wine bottle’s cork and are probably the closest thing to old-fashioned front vent windows available on a new vehicle today. Four-wheel drive adds three stacks to the Monroney.

It’s not a true Ace of Base, at least not for me — my towing requirements dictate the selection of the heavy-duty towing package and a stouter rear end option — but the $49,835 XLT trim, with its cloth seats and ability to shuttle around a family of eight, lends an air of relative simplicity not found in the upscale Platinum and King Ranch trims.

Sadly, there’s no bench seat, so my choice for a jumbo SUV remains squarely in The General’s camp. However, brutes like the Expedition XLT are the modern equivalent of the Caprice and Crown Vic wagons from my youth. Packed with seven kids headed to a hockey game or school dance, these cars were hardy units piloted by long-suffering parents who didn’t mind the scattered Pepsi getting spilled in a footwell. I like to imagine a base Expedition fills the same bill today.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim — apple pie and bald eagles not included. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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100 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2017 Ford Expedition XLT EL...”


  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’ve definitely got these on my radar for a future do-it-all family rig that would combine the room (and then some) of a minivan, with decent (unfortunately not great) rough-road capability of an SUV. 1-2 year old XLT Ex-rental trucks with 30k miles seem to be going for about $35k, not unreasonable. Still a few lingering doubts about the Ecoboost, but in terms of the massive increase in torque over the old 5.4L (which has its own fairly serious cam phaser/timing chain issues) it’s hands down the way to go. My biggest nit to pick is ford’s sloppily configured rear independent suspension. Somehow Toyota and Nissan and Mitsubishi figured out a way to package their lower control arms much more tightly and out of the way of stray logs and rocks. A modern take on the gen 1 expedition with a solid rear axle (with Ford’s excellent locking rear diff from an FX4) would truly make my decision for me.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      AFAIK they went for floor space and ride quality on the rear suspension, opting to keep a “straight” frame out back and running the halfshafts through openings in the frame rails. While the others arch the frame upward over the rear suspension as is typical for a live rear axle.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’m having a hard time locating photos online of a 2nd gen Sequoia frame or Armada frame, but I know they both offer fold-flat third rows and manage to have more off-road friendly looking IRS pacakging. Mitsubishi’s Montero was reinforced unibody so not exactly apples to apples, but it is a well regarded IRS setup as far as wheel travel and clearance is concerned.

        I honestly prefer a solid rear axle with a removable third row. The gen 1 Sequoia has just about the perfect blend of interior layout, ground clearance/offroadability, and exterior dimensions for my needs IMO. The problem is that the newest ones are now 10 years old.

    • 0 avatar

      Of all the big SUV’s the expedition seems to have the best deals used. I like that, but it also makes me nervous when brands with less typical resale then Ford do better. It makes me wonder about issues. I know the 5.4 has a lot, but the ecoboost seems better. It would hit a lot of check marks for me as a third vehicle doing road trips and towing, but I just can’t convince myself to buy a 5.4 Ford after all the issues family and friends had with theirs back in the early 2000’s.

      Which has led me looking at Armadas lately, thou the early one’s of those had some rear end issues. The 2006 and up seem pretty good other then the interior build quality. I would actually prefer a suburban but finding one with the right rear end for towing and at a decent price without a million miles is pretty hard. Also the rear door access always annoyed me as a guy with size 14 feet that opening needs to be a little bigger.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        I suspect the fact that the Expedition seems to have the best used deals is because the GM SUVs are far more popular and Toyota has the reliability image. How do used Expedition values compare to Armada’s? The Armada’s greater rarity may play a role.

        There really aren’t that many options other than those 4 (GM, Expedition, Sequoia, Armada).

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        When I got to looking at Armadas all I saw was how many electrical issues the earlier ones had. There’s a reason they’re cheaper than the other full size options from the time.

        The rear door opening is indeed small, be careful with foot placement getting in and out.

        And IMO the build quality on the Expedition of that era just isn’t there. I see them in crappier condition so much more often than I see a beat to hell GMT800.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “I see them in crappier condition so much more often than I see a beat to hell GMT800”

          Corey you often use this as a measure of build quality, but I’d argue it’s a chicken or the egg kind of thing. The Expos depreciate like rocks and find themselves passed along to second and third owners sooner (and eventually to the BHPH lot) and thus descend into beaterdom and neglect quicker. I will say the mid-2000s ones had that unpainted body cladding that burned out in the sun, as well as rear air suspensions that failed in a very visible fashion.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Well fair enough – but what’s the reason they depreciate so much faster than the GM?

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            Because they are not as popular as the GM SUVs (warranted or not), who have always been the leader of the segment in part because GM basically invented it and ruled it for decades unopposed.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            See my comment below. If I was buying new I’d buy an Expedition because of the IRS, ride quality, and better 3rd row legroom. If I was buying used and/or beat to hell ex-fleet vehicle I would buy a Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon. I appears the solid axle GM SUVs take the abuse better. I’d also buy GM if I was more concerned about towing than passenger comfort.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            To hazard a guess, the Expy fell into a no-man’s-land between the Explorer and the Excursion. People looking for a family cruiser got the Explorer, and people looking for a big tow rig got the Excursion.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            It still seems like they should sell better. The Excursion wasn’t around at the beginning parts of the SUV boom back then. And GM sold tons of Blazer models and subsequently TrailBlazer models – and still had lots of Tahoe/Suburbans around.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Stupid running boards painfully scrape your shin if you’re tall enough to not need them. Otherwise my in-law’s Expy is suh-weet.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      The power running boards are even more fun. If you leave something in the truck and open the door to reach in and grab it while standing on the ground, the board will swing down and whack you square in the shin. I’ve used all the swear words when that’s happened.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Yep, it’s the power ones I have experience with. Trying to use them instead of curse them results in feeling and looking foolish, like an adult climbing a kid’s bunk bed ladder.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        It’s possible to turn them off.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Oh, what fresh, outside-the-box thinking!

          That’s exactly what I’ll do should I ever be the owner, driver and someone 4’11” who adores the running board feature isn’t along for each ride!

          Thanks!

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “It’s possible to turn them off.”

          I’ve always wondered how those power running boards would hold up after 3 or 4 years in MN with the front wheels constantly kicking up road salt and sand into them all winter. Also knowing how slush kicked up by the wheels can freeze solid as a rock, as the temperature always falls after a snowstorm, it’s good they can be turned off to keep them from being their own worst enemy.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        “the truck and open the door to reach in and grab it while standing on the ground, the board will swing down and whack you square in the shin.”

        Can’t believe there’s no sensor for any blockages, given you could bang a tall curb or something in this instance when getting out. I bet that hurts bad getting hit that way.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Even if they’re already down they’re awkward because they stick out enough to bang/scrape your trailing leg if you enter without using them.

          Fun with shorts on.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah I think you would have to go 2006 or newer the first couple years have grounding and power module issues, also as mentioned before rear end issues (mostly seals blowing). The later ones seem a bit better but still some issues. About 10 years ago I met a guy who worked for consumer reports car testing here in CT (friend of a friend) we talked a bit one thing I remember him saying was never buy a first year Nissan, he said Nissan in general has up’s and downs from year to year on the same model but in general they get better as they age. While this is a common theme he said it’s much more noticeable with Nissan then any other brand.
          Ford has big issues with the 5.4 other wise I like the Expedition, but the 5.4 combined with my own hurdle of owning a Ford kind of eliminates it. Since this would be a third car that see like 3,000 miles a year (but on long trips) I will just wait for what I really want which would be a 3/4 ton 2007 suburban, eventually I assume the market for used trucks will calm a bit.

          This was meant for Coreys post above

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Mopar is a a gen 1 Sequoia a non-starter? 4.7L isn’t the strongest towing motor, but they do alright with moderate loads, and are stupendously reliable and get tolerable MPG. Beware the first few years for transmission troubles and all years for excessive frame rot.

          • 0 avatar

            I really don’t love the styling of the Sequoia (either gen) I took a look but most reviewers say the 4.7 coupled with the added weight of the SUV over the Tundra makes towing over 4,500 lbs painful. I really like Toyota and if I could get a 5.7 Cruiser or 2nd Gen sequoia I would put up with the styling but for a 3rd car I’m trying for 12k or less.
            One reason to get some thing would be a tow rating over 5000lbs (Wifes current Durango can tow that and hopefully the future one will have a tow package as well). I’m thinking about getting rid of my wagon and Ramcharger, and getting a fun subcompact and a 3 row hauler.
            We use the durango that way now but 3 kids and a dog puts it at the limit for longer trips (no room for stuff), and I would like to add a travel trailer to the toys (my boats both weight under 3000 lbs) so a heavy tow limit would be good, and if the ramchargers gone I would at least like something with real 4wd that I can put decent tires on for fire and logging roads up in Maine (I can give up real off roading for a while). I have plenty of time to look new Durango will come first, If I find the right truck cheap subcompacts are everywhere these days. I originally looked at Mega cab rams with a cap but resale on those is insane. So my ideal would be a Suburban 2500 with a 8.1 or 6.0, or a well equipped 1500 with tow package.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            mopar, the 05+ Sequoias with the VVTi update make 325 ft-lb @3400 rpm, which is right neck and neck with the contemporary Tahoe’s 5.3L (335@4000), but of course falls short of the big 6.0L. I can’t say I’ve ever towed with one, but I really like how they drive and the interior packaging. An actual usable third row for adults with a surprising amount of cargo space left over, better than a Tahoe in this regard, while not being much longer. Suburban is cargo king of course, at a cost of exterior length. Towing a serious trailer might put the kibosh on the whole thing, but I highly recommend at least taking one for a test drive. I drove an ’05 with 130k miles and it looked and drove like an absolutely new car. Key to that being a careful first owner who maintained it well (judging by the OE-spec Bridgestone Dueler tires that were installed).

          • 0 avatar
            johnsha

            5.4 Triton V8’s produced from 2003-2014 are bullet proof. Earlier 5.4 were troublesome. Other than spark plugs being difficult to remover with out breaking. My uncle finally killed a 360k mi 2004 Expedition, when the differential gave out (never changed fluid).
            I know an owner of are large construction company w/ a 100 + fleet of pickups say F150’s w/ 5.4 had longer life than the Toyota Tundras and Chevy Silverados in the fleet. I have a 3011 Navigator L w/ 94k miles and have not had a single drivetrain issue.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “This week’s Ace of Base made a similar polar bear-friendly move when it dropped its V8 in favor of an EcoBoosted V6”

    tinyurl.com/gnc4swk

    The Earth is saved!

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I didn’t look at the interior shots so I’m not sure, but with regard to the bench seats the F150’s front 40/20/40 bench should be bolt in assuming the expedition is a column shift and you can match the fabric. Might just be able to bolt in the center portion in exchange for the console and they should be readily available and easily reupholstered if required from the scrap yard since the previous F150 is the basis of this rig.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Never mind…floor shift, stupid in a truck.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “floor shift, stupid in a truck”

        Stupid in any AT vehicle.

        Column shift, please; you never have to turn your head away from the road.

        (No, a little digital PRNDL in the display cluster isn’t as good and it’s usually blocked by the steering wheel rim anyway.)

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Agreed

        • 0 avatar
          Tandoor

          Save the column shift! I don’t know why it ever ended up between the seats anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            People often bitch about GM not putting the shift lever in between the seats on their FS SUV’s but I say leave it on the column. It’s a truck, not a sports car. Plus I need that area for my can of Mountain Dew.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            My personal opinion is to always have a 3-person bench with flip-down console if the vehicle is wide enough, but if ome must have the console, then one might as well use some of the space on the console.

            It’s not like the thing is crowded–Ford has space on the console for two cupholders and the shifter on F-150s, and four cupholders on Super Dutys (no Super Duty has a console shifter).

            Really, my beef with all GM SUVs having the column shift is not that it’s on every model, but that the shifter has only minimal changes from a $26K Silverado WT to a $95K Escalade.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            There’s a lot of space left as result of the column shift. Room for storage and plug ins and cup holders. I don’t see a need for a console shift in a big truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The current Expy is still based off the 2003 version, so if it didn’t have a console shift (not a floor shift, because yes, we must be pedantic), you could probably use a 40/60 cloth bench seat from 2003-06. I dunno if any F-150 versions from 2004-2014 would work.

      The next Expy may or may not have an identical interior to the F-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      If you don’t mind a used one and are patient, trolling ebay will occasionally turn up a government-spec one with vinyl bench seats and a column shift. Also, vinyl floors and hubcaps. And if you must have new, a flexible dealer or a friend with the ability to buy from the Ford’s Fleet department can get you one similarly equipped. I believe it’s the XL trim, which is technically orderable, though I think you have to get the SSV (police, etc.) version to get the column shifter.

  • avatar
    Feds

    I’m coming up on a year with my (2005) Expedition. No issues at just over 100k miles. So far my only regret is not holding out for the Torsen limited slip.

    The brake-based traction control works well (I took it through ~30″ of snow this weekend), I think the torsen would be smoother. Front and rear lim-slips are in my future.

    As a family station wagon, it’s pretty fantastic. I’ve got the Limited, so leather, DVD, and power folding rear seats. The latter 2 are worth the price of admission. If you were getting the LWB, I think the power 3rd row would be essential if you plan on using the rear seat at all.

    Even in the as-launched ’05, the ride and handling upgrades over the solid axle GM equivalents are worth the added complexity. And mine is rated for something like 8,600 lbs. The new ones are over 9000.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      My neighbor has a 2009 with a little over 300,000 miles and said it’s been as reliable as his wife’s 4Runner. It appears to do a good job hauling around their five kids and he recently mentioned they’re looking to buy another one.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        How are his cam phasers sounding? That and exhaust manifolds seem to be common themes with the 3V 5.4L motors, that and spark plugs breaking off inside heads.

        • 0 avatar
          Feds

          Had the plugs changed when I bought it. All of them came out in 1 piece. Cam phasers are quiet, and I’m working a 7000km oil change interval to make sure they stay that way.

          Exhaust manifolds are solid so far, but a failed manifold is just an excuse to fit headers.

  • avatar
    319583076

    It’s a good looking SUV and you could certainly do a lot worse.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Great truck. Flat folding rear seat, real torque, it would be my choice. However, I believe a brand-spanking new one is coming soon?

    Good, quick article, but silly, silly, silly Mathew, nobody that owns one of these listens to NPR!

  • avatar

    We have a 2015 going on two years now and couldn’t be happier with it. My wife was dead set on a Suburban because she loved the way the new generation looked, but once you drive both back to back there was no comparison. The only problem we had was a leaky sunroof, but there was a TSB to reroute the rear drain lines and since that fix we haven’t had any issues.

    Visibility out of the Expedition is excellent while the Suburban is dismal at best, and the Expedition has a lot more interior space. We can actually fit three kids in the third row. There is a third seatbelt in the Suburban but it can’t actually fit three kids it’s so narrow. And the flip down DVD players completely block any rear visibility. Not to mention the Suburbans are about $8-$12k more for comparable trims, and that’s before you even talk about going up to a Yukon.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Tough to call a $50,000 truck with power everything base but I like these a lot. Open and cheerful straight out of 15 years ago with no angry road bunker. And they finally dropped the wheezing 5.4 V8, which was also straight out of 15 years ago. (Yeah three valve heads, yeah six speed, yeah cam phasers, yeah it eats them, but at the end of the day it was still a total dog.)

    If it were my money I’d buy a truck for $12,000 less, and I did, but I’d be happy to drive one of these.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      “Tough to call a $50,000 truck with power everything base…”

      I really don’t see how. Its a base model because those items are standard.

      No options on the lowest trim = base model. Even if power everything comes with it.

      It doesn’t need crank windows, rubber floors and vinyl seats to be a base model.

      A few would prefer it that way, but the majority want power everything and a comfortable interior that doesn’t make them think of a school bus every time they sit in it.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’m amazed that someone still builds a nice rectangular SUV, no super angry or blingy front face treatment either.

    Only concern is the Ecoboost, don’t they have the sparkplugs behind the wheel wells or was that a different engine?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    50K for this wow really stretching the base part of car I guess, really how many folks need this vs a mini van? I get if your towing but how many really do that. well I do not know what the station wagons of the 70’s cost vs their sedans cousins I doubt it was over 50% more ( say a ford sedan 30 k vs this)

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      LOL

      A BASE MODEL = 0 OPTIONS.

      What is so hard to understand? It doesn’t matter if its $750k. If its the entry model with 0 options, its a base!

      He included it because it has many standard features that are included on the basic entry-level model.

      He didn’t mention a minivan because this isn’t a “how to haul your family in the cheapest vehicle possible” article, is it? Its an article about a base model providing most of, if not all, the equipment one would desire in a full size SUV family hauler, standard.

      Would it be cheaper to buy a basic minivan (even if it has power windows!!) over a full size SUV? Duh! Can you tow as much? No. Can you get a true 4wd system? No. You get unibody car-based vehicle with a car-like AWD system if you’re lucky. The only thing they share with Expedition is seating capacity.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I didn’t realize Ford still made these. How does it compare to a Flex for people-hauling duties?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Lol so you’re aware of the Flex, but didn’t know they still built the Expedition? They only built more than twice as many Expeditions as they did Flex in the last year.

      2016 Ford Expedition sales: 59,835

      2016 Ford Flex sales: 22,668

      And, the Expedition compares with Flex just like the Toyota Avalon compares with the Toyota Yaris iA. What? Both models seat the same, must be about the same vehicle.

      Comparing the two based on seating capacity alone misses the point. They’re two different vehicles with two very different sets of abilities. If you need, or simply want, a truck-based SUV, the Flex wouldn’t be on your radar.

      If your *only* requirement was a vehicle to seat seven, then yes there are far more economical choices. That wasn’t the point of this exercise. It was assuming you are planning to buy a truck-based full sized SUV, and goes on to show how the base model of this one gives you plenty of equipment.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        In his defense, the current Expy isn’t all that distinguishable on the road from the 2007-14 version.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Geez, sorry for pissing in your Cheerios. It’s not my fault the Expedition looks like the same vehicle they were building 15 years ago. And it’s not my fault I never see any newer, well-kept Expeditions on the road, when Suburbans are plentiful.

        Of course the Flex stands out more. It’s unique. This vehicle isn’t.

        Believe it or not, I know what giant SUVs are made for. And what they’re actually used for: stroking buyer’s egos. Was I comparing tow ratings or off-roading abilities? No, I was asking how they compare on the basis of which they’ll actually be used: hauling people.

      • 0 avatar
        MrF

        John Bull: Thank you for sharing.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Did you read, or just spout out into a tangent to make yourself look smart?

        HOW DOES IT COMPARE HAULING PEOPLE? Get it?

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Land Rover charges $2000 for that color. They call it Zanzibar.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Checking out the various manufacturer websites I did not realize the price gap between Tahoe/Suburban and Expedition (reg)/Expedition EL was so small. I’d have thought the up charge for “coming with length” was greater.

    Although I have to have 4×4. The conditions of the secondary roads around here I could likely justify buying an ext fleet model of the GM beasts.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      My state’s bids for 2017 are starting to hit the internet. The Suburban @ $41,453 is actually over $500 cheaper than the Tahoe @ $41,988, both with 4wd. I haven’t checked out the specs for each I would expect the same basic level of equipment. Now if you want to step up to the fleet only Suburban 3500 HD that will set us tax payers back $78,825. The RWD Tahoe PPV is the bargain of the bunch with its low $31,299 price.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m not talking “new” I’m talking used fleet. I see them on Craigslist frequently for $7K to $12K depending on age/condition/mileage. Always Tahoe police units, always 4×4.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    If the newest Expy does turn out to be little more than an F-150 SuperCrew with a shorter tail and third row, we could potentially see the return of the front bench for 9-passenger seating. At one point, I was confident that this would be the case (also would make for a relatively easy Excursion build), but now I’m not so sure.

  • avatar
    markholli

    I happened upon a 2016 Expedition EL Limited in the National “Emerald Aisle” a couple months back. It was totally impractical for my purposes–a few business meetings–but I thought, “what the hell, it will be much more interesting than a Camry.”

    Over the next few days piloting this giant around the DC area, I totally fell for it. I loved how quiet, composed and comfortable it was on the road and the way I towered over other cars in traffic. But what really impressed my was the power and responsiveness of the EcoBoost V6. It’s seriously quick and never feels out of breath. I loved digging riding the torque wave, and then hearing the subdued turbo blow off whistle. Burnouts can happen with very little effort.

    I came home from my trip trying to figure out a way to justify owning one of these, as I only have two kids and don’t tow anything.

    I always thought Expeditions were overweight dogs and also-rans compared to the GM full-sizers, but the EcoBoost has been a game changer, breathing new life into an old platform.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Over the next few days piloting this giant around the DC area, I totally fell for it.”

      I’ve always preferred to pilot bigger vehicles (namely SUVs) on longer road trips, especially driving to/through NYC and other big cities. Much more relaxing to be honest.

      Do you recall what sort of mpg you were getting?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    This price is ridiculous and the fact that people are willing to pay this sort of price is what’s wrong in the market. I seriously doubt that everyone buying Expeditions actually needs the vehicles towing/hauling capabilities and its space. It really only make sense if you need all of those things. Minivans can offer the passenger space and pickups can offer the towing capacity for $15k less. Other SUVs like the Traverse, Highlander, Durango, Explorer, Pathfinder, and even Infiniti QX60 offer competitive towing capabilities (4.5k-6.5k lbs) and a third row that is at least useful for kids for either thousands less or equivalent prices. Hell, that now $51.9k Expedition (MSRP) is right on top of a lot or only a few thousand off some very nice premium SUVs offering good capabilities (and 4wd) like the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Lexus GX460, and Land Rover LR4/Discovery.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      “I seriously doubt that everyone buying Expeditions actually needs the vehicles towing/hauling capabilities and its space.”

      If the “market” were based on “needs,” .02% of cars would have a V8, and the vast majority of the population would be in something like a Honda Fit, only with less equipment.

      A market based on desires is what you want, it gives you more options as consumer.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Some customers buy new and hold on to their vehicle, if I was buying Ford it would go Exp or possibly F-150 over everything else they offer which is similar.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @28-Cars-Later:

          I think that’s a consideration as well. If I want to buy new and keep for 300,000 miles I’m getting a BOF beast like an Expedition, Tahoe, Suburban.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I keep thinking back to my search for used BOF things. It was so hard to find an Expedition which someone had even remotely taken care of, or looked decent in the 2002-2006 year range I was looking for.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is the mentality of the truly wealthy.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            You see these people today – in their excellent condition 2005 Land Cruisers in two-tone.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I understand that people are not rational buyers. It just makes me role my eyes and SMH that it results in such ridiculous things as this Expedition and its price.

      As far as durability goes, I get that people think and expect this to be more durable over the long run. That being said, the price delta from the Expedition to something like the Traverse, Explorer, Highlander, Pathfinder, or Durango is over $15k and approaching $20,000 (!!!!!!). You can pay for a lot of repairs to the car for that price difference, never mind the Durango offering a lifetime extended warranty. If you want BoF, I’m all for going to the F150 instead – I listed it as one of my alternatives because the price difference between that and the Expedition is about what I listed above. I didn’t mention it but a 4Runner also offers BoF design, 5k lbs towing, and 3 rows of seating for nearly $20k less.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “3 rows of seating for nearly $20k less.”

        Now, I love me some 4Runners, but those trucks are not made for third rows, it is a laughable torture chamber.

        Expedition is significantly more roomy and versatile (particularly in EL trim) than any of your listed crossovers. Same with the pickups, the Expedition EL I’d argue has more interior transformation possibilities, and offers inarguable advantages to families with dogs.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          It is tight, but how many Expedition EL buyers are regularly transporting adults in their third row? I get that the Expedition is more capable than any of the vehicles listed, but my whole point was that few owners actually make use its full capabilities. Clearly for those who are going to take advantage of its full capabilities, its a worthwhile expenditure since its really their only option (along with the Suburban). That being said, if its my car, its likely not going to be me riding in the back so I’m less concerned about the space back there anyway. As a parent, I could not see myself spending $15-20k extra just to give my kids more space. If you’ve got 4 tall teenagers such that space is that big of a problem, a Van is going to have way more room anyway (not to mention, as pointed out below, you won’t really be able to take full advantage of the Expeditions towing capacity with all those people on board anyway).

          I did some digging and I should also note the Expeditions (relatively disappointing) 1600 lb payload. It’s only 100-200 lbs more than the allegedly less capable crossovers. Put another way, fill the seats with adults, no cargo, no trailer, and you’re at your GVWR. The Pacifica actually has the exact same payload for comparison purposes. Inelegant though it may be, your best bet for carrying 8 people with lots of stuff and/or while towing a trailer is the aforementioned Transit, with its 5k towing capacity and ginormous 2900 lb payload and lower price. For the $49k price I could get a diesel powered Mercedes Sprinter.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            A few points:

            The 4Runner third row is tight to the point of unusable/pointless. The Expedition EL’s third row probably sees as much use as a minivan’s third row, realistically.

            “That being said, if its my car, its likely not going to be me riding in the back so I’m less concerned about the space back there anyway. As a parent, I could not see myself spending $15-20k extra just to give my kids more space.”

            Sounds pretty selfish to be honest. If you can afford it, why NOT get a vehicle that’s comfortable for the whole family and not just the egoist father? Imagine a family of 4/5 that has a pair of dogs, and pack for a holiday trip to see family (somewhere where there is snow). An Expedition EL or Suburban are simply the ideal variant, full stop.

            Payload ratings are one thing. Sustained use at full payload, I’d trust an Expedition or other RWD-based SUV to last much longer than the minivan, particularly in regards to transmission longevity.

            A sprinter type van certainly is king for hauling capabilities, but it cannot come close to driving comfort/highway ride to these fullsize SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          Shawnski

          You would also like the EB3.5 gtemnykh, smooth power and mates well to the 6A trans.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I should also mention two other alternatives for the more financially prudent that were hinted at by other posters – vans. yeah they aren’t stylish, but a Mercedes Metris or Ford Transit offers lots of capabilities for far less than the Expedition.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    For $49,000 you could buy the new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid loaded with everything, a real luxury vehicle, get $7500 back from the government and drive a vehicle that returns 30 mpg vs one that averages 16 mpg. That’s a 5,833 gallon difference. At $2.50 per gallon, that’s $14,582 difference in fuel expense. I will agree the Expedition can outtow the Pacifica Hybrid, but it seems like for $14,523 one could improvise a solution to the towing problem.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Reviewers have been getting 30 MPG from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. If you are going less than 30 miles starting with a full battery, the Pacifica Hybrid tested at 84MPGe, not much less than a Tesla Model S, which isn’t surprising because the weights are similar.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Conslaw’s comment went away, so never mind.


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