By on August 5, 2015

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Has there ever been a longer running runner-up in an automotive category than the Ford Expedition? The large three-row SUV has been outsold by the Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL twins for years by as much as a 2:1 margin in the ever-shrinking large SUV segment. Throw in the Tahoe and regular Yukon numbers and the Expedition lags even further behind. The Expedition does outsell its luxo Lincoln stablemate, the Navigator, by about a 4:1 margin.

It may not be able to overcome the years of momentum and iconic brand image of the Suburban — proclaimed back in 1986 as the “National Car Of Texas” — but the latest iteration of the Expedition is fighting back.


The Tester

2015 Ford Expedition Platinum 4×2

Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 EcoBoost, twin-turbocharged and intercooled, direct injection (365 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm, 420 lbs-ft torque @ 2,500 rpm)
Transmission: 6-speed SelectShift automatic

Fuel Economy (Rating, MPG): 16 city/22 highway/18 combined
Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 17.1 mpg, approx. 75 percent city

Options: Power deployable running boards, power liftgate, 600A Equipment Group (power moonroof and voice-activated navigation system), 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, leather front bucket seats, heated/cooled front seats, heated 2nd-row seats, Powerfold 3rd-row seats, 390W Sony premium audio, SYNC with MyFord Touch, Continuous Control Damping Suspension with three selectable drive modes, HD Trailer Towing Package.

Base Price (U.S.): $59,995
As Tested: $63,750

Additional Reviewer Notes:

Average available savings off MSRP per TrueCar: Los Angeles: $4,974; Dallas: $6,459; Chicago: $6,774; New Jersey: $6,319.

Other styles, base price: XLT, $45,095; Limited, $54,805; King Ranch, $59,035

Add approx. $3,000 for 4WD.

Wheelbase: 119 inches. Add approx. $2,700 for 131-inch wheelbase EL models.

Maximum towing capacity: 9,200 pounds.
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The 2015 Expedition’s refresh highlight was Ford’s dropping the 5.4-liter V-8 engine in favor of the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 power plant. With a jump in horsepower from 310 to 365 and an additional 2 mpg in gas mileage over the V-8, it is hard to argue with this CAFE-driven decision. Other upgrades for 2015 include the optional controlled damping suspension on our tester that offers three driving modes — comfort, normal and sport — and a redesigned center stack.

Exterior changes were minor and included an enlarged grill and tweaked lower bumper, fog lights and taillights. Ford calls these visual updates “fresh and aggressive.” Every automaker calls such changes “fresh and aggressive.”

It may be an 8-year-old design, but the optional 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and Ruby Red Metallic paint on this top of the line Platinum edition make the old war-horse look pretty darn good…until you notice other Expeditions on the street and realize its looks are pretty darn tired.

The first thing you see when climbing aboard is the keyless entry keypad on the doorsill. I had forgotten this feature was still around. first seeing it on a 1990s Lincoln Mk VIII Coupe (which means Sajeev probably has three of the pads in his parts bin). Instructions on how to program the keys and keypad take up 28 pages of the owner’s manual but work intuitively. Open the door and the Escalade-like stainless power running boards whir down to assist you with the two-step climb into the cab.

The voluminous interior is a mix of old and new: tons of outlets, cubbies and cup holders with modern satin aluminum trim clashing with ugly, dark vertical slabs of plastic on the dash. The heated and cooled leather front seats in our tester were comfortable but already showing signs of cracking on the edges after a few thousand miles. It is too bad Ford does not offer a panorama sunroof option because the expanse of black tones made for a dark interior on our tester.

This is a true eight-adult-sized vehicle with third-row seats that fold down at the touch of a button on the back of the seats. Cargo volume is 108 cubic feet (131 cubic feet in the long-wheelbase EL model) with 55 cubic feet available with the 3rd row of seats folded down. A low load height thanks to the independent rear suspension makes access to the rear a snap.

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The last Ford I drove with the MyFord Touch infotainment center was a 2012 Escape and it was fine if you were a Rubik’s Cube champion, but was way too confusing for the average driver. In this redesigned system, with an 8-inch touch screen high sitting in the center stack and twin 4.2-inch LCD screens surrounding the speedometer, every function was easy to find. Syncing phones and iPods was easy and the soft multi-colored glow it emits at night looks great.

One quirk I noted is when you switch the transmission into manual mode a tiny tachometer pops up on one of the small LCD screens and it’s truly comical in appearance.

The center touch screen can be divided into quadrants displaying Phone, Navigation, Entertainment and Climate functions. It resembles an electronic version of the old-school car dealer “Four-Square” closing worksheet. Perhaps Ford could speed up the sales process by programming the elements of the four square into the boxes and you could negotiate your deal with your salesperson during your test drive:

MyFordTouch_Home_screen-640x383 (1) Courtesy extremetech.com

Why yes, I have been in the car business way too long.

It is strange to fire up a 5,600 pound SUV and not hear the rumble of a V-8. You will not miss the sound when you hit the gas on the EcoBoost V-6: the Expedition is quick, whooshing from 0 to 60 mph in the mid 6-second range. There is a touch of turbo lag but the motor shows tremendous flexibility at all speeds, helped along by the smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. I absolutely loved the brakes, which are firm and easy to modulate.

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Along with its independent rear suspension, our tester had the new Continuous Control Suspension option with three selectable drive modes — comfort, normal and sport. You can actually feel the difference in the each mode. In the sport setting, the slightly sloppy steering tightened up, the cornering was much crisper and the ride much more choppy. The comfort mode may as well be called the wallow mode. All three settings eased the pain of driving Tucson’s crater-filled roads. After fooling around with the settings on the first day, I ended up leaving it in normal mode for the duration of the test. Who needs a sport setting on a school bus anyway?

Despite a tiny bit too much wind and road noise, the Expedition is an extremely comfortable long-distance cruiser.

As far as the comparison to the Suburban, tests indicate the refreshed Ford offers a better ride thanks to its independent rear suspension and adjustable damping, slightly better acceleration and better towing capacity at 9,200 pounds vs. 8,000 pounds. With the Suburban you get a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 with only a slight sacrifice in gas mileage (16/23) versus the Expedition, but it’s accompanied by less road noise and a more luxurious interior thanks to a generous use of softer materials.

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The Suburban offers much more interior room than our 119-inch wheelbase tester; the 131-inch wheelbase Expedition EL is slightly roomier than the Chevy.

Basically, the Expedition is the better truck and the Suburban the better car.

Comparing similarly equipped models shows a Suburban LTZ stickering at $70,215, or about $3,600 more than a long-wheelbase Expedition Platinum.

Ford is readying a complete overhaul of the Expedition for 2017. Word is they will add a diesel engine option, which Chevrolet has not offered in the Suburban since 2000. (Ford’s even-larger Excursion, discontinued after 2005, did have an available 6.0-liter Powerstroke diesel.) The Mercedes-Benz GL is the only large SUV currently offered with an oil-burner engine and I think an American-brand, full-size SUV with a diesel powerplant would sell very well.

The 2015 Ford Expedition is an old-school SUV with a new-school motor. If you are a road warrior needing lots of room for cargo or kids and tons of towing capacity, this may be the sport-ute for you.

Picks:

  • Powerful EcoBoost V-6
  • Power-folding third-row seats
  • Plush, comfortable ride

Nit Pics:

  • Some cheap interior materials
  • Even 22-inch dubs can’t hide dated look
  • No pano roof available

Wife Sez: I love the power extending running boards!

Ford provided the vehicle for one week, one tank of gas and insurance.

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134 Comments on “2015 Ford Expedition Platinum Review...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice review. The amounts of money being tossed around for these, I’d go Suburban although the previous Expedition vs Suburban/Tahoe was probably a better value proposition. Ford would have been wise to price this significantly under (say 20%) the Suburban/Tahoe and scoop up new customers for its aged emperor in a new groove.

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      One of the more comfortable cars I’ve driven in a while. Really nice cruiser. Beats a lot of Mercs in comfort. I don’t know why people pay $50K for the Grand Cherokee, but got to drive the new XC90 which is a another very nice car. Interface on the touch screen is different, but a genuinely comfortable drive.

      If only it didn’t feel like I’ve given up on life….

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The list prices are about 10%-20% lower than the GM SUVs. It’s priced high, but probably priced right.

  • avatar

    My first SUV was a Ford Expedition 2002 XLT and that was $38,000 + tax. Moonroof and metal running boards were like the only options.

    Now the price on these things…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What a Wagon Queen Family Truckster!

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm I like it. If in say 5 years or so when its time for a new family ride we’ll have to see what the depreciation/reliability quotient is on these.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It should be. The 2018/19 Expedition/Navigator should boost previous model depreciation. I’m waiting for the 2015+ Navigator to get into my price range for a replacement for our MkT.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      These trucks depreciate like the car bubble never happened. 5 years used for 20K before taxes is no trick at all right now.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The problem with Expeditions is that they age rather quickly, a lot of stupid things go wrong on them. As in most cases, the market prices these things accordingly.

  • avatar

    We just bought one of these a couple months ago for the wife.

    She was dead set on a Suburban because of how much she liked the way it looked and hated the way the Expedition looked but after driving both she ended up hating the Suburban.

    While the Chevy interior is nicer (LTZ vs Platinum) the leather in the seats are rock hard.

    The thing that turned her off most though was visibility. The mirrors on the Suburban are tiny. Rear view and side mirrors. You can barely see out of them. With the third row up with headrests you can barely see out of it and the DVD players that are installed in just about any LTZ completely block the rear view mirror when in use. In a vehicle so big it’s inexcusable. After driving the Suburban it feels like driving a green house in the Expedition it’s so much easier to see out of. My wife said she felt on edge driving the Suburban in traffic because of how hard it was to see out of and she hated the blind spot monitor warnings because it vibrated the seat to alert you. She also like the way the Edxpedition drove better (engine/handling) once I actually got her to drive one.
    There is also no way to fit three even small adults in the third row of a Suburban but you can in the Expedition. The cargo area of the Suburban has some weird slope to it too with a bunch of shallow storage compartments under it that are useless and just takes away from cargo space.

    It should have been a slam dunk Suburban for us but we ended up with the Ford. If the difference driving had not been so big my wife would have went with the Suburban just based on looks alone.

    The cost of the Expedition was about $12k less than I could get a comparable LTZ Suburban for too. More if you want the power running boards on the Suburban which my wife loved. They are standard on the Ford.

  • avatar
    Fred

    These are possibly the worse vehicle for parking and driving thru shopping centers. They also tend to move over me on the freeway when I’m driving my Elan. These boats need radar and cameras with a bank of computers to keep them in their lanes.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      But it is a truck. If anybody buys one and is really not in need of what they were built for…shame on them.
      What were they built for? I am guessing ranches, YMCA group camps and boat haulers?
      But then again, what people buy and what they should buy for their needs are totally what is wrong today.
      And yet I do see sooo many single drivers trying to move these around the Publix parking lot! Dreadful…if only there was a God!

      I actually am pretty impressed this huge thing gets the MPG it does.

      Ans seriously…pretty impressive pricing for all this truck! Most BMWs cost more.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      That’s funny. My 5’6″, 135 pound wife finds this and the Yukon extremely easy to drive. The turning circle is actually pretty reasonable. It’s not much bigger than most compact and midsized CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I actually am in need of one of those, where did you get yours?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          A Mid-American Conference university. The closest one to you is Kent State or University of Akron.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ll have to place an order.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            FWIW, I hear that Miami University in Ohio is worth the trip.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            For stuck up girls with daddy money who are entirely into themselves, yes. Hit Miami up.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            See, I did no know that. I just went to a recruiting trip there and I was impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            They DO produce the sort of students people want to hire for whatever reason, and the school has a good reputation for “get a job after college.”

            Which is more important than a lot of other things, and which I wish I’d considered more before I chose my small liberal arts college.

            But graduating in summer 08, I don’t know that it would have made much difference at that time.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            A STEM degree from any university resolves the “employable post-graduation” problem.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            Let’s hit up Miami of Ohio I’ll bring my A game; I think its in the closet somewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ha, we’re a little old for college party time, yeah?

            Funny that I live about 40-45 minutes from there and have never actually been ON campus. It’s hard to get to, and not near any highway.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Never to old to party down.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My wife has friends that were on the synchronized ice skating team at Miami. If they are somewhat representative of the female student body there, you should probably make that short drive.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    This goes straight to the top of my “They’re still around?” list. It’s the Abe Vigoda of cars.

    Also, granted I live in the Boston area where not a lot of civilians own full-size three-row SUVs, but I’m surprised by the stat that this outsells the Navigator 4:1. I see Navigators all the time in livery mode (including from the back seat every few weeks, when I don’t end up with a Suburban or a Tahoe), but literally didn’t even know the Expedition was still being made.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Where do you live, Boston, ME?? I live on the south shore, 20 miles from Boston (MA), and the official car of the soccer moms in my town is the full size three-row SUV. On my street alone, there is an Expedition, Armada, two Tahoes and our Sequoia. The drop-off lines at the pre- and middle-schools look like a scene from the automotive Mesozoic Era.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        North Shore. I should clarify that there are a good number of X5s in my area, and a good number of Lexi, Hondas and Acuras that have third rows as either standard or optional, but these are all over a foot shorter than a Tahoe, so I don’t really put them in the same class.

    • 0 avatar
      honda_lawn_art

      My thoughts exactly.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    To my recollection the first use of that five-button entry keypad was the 1986 Taurus LX.

    That picture of the cargo area is really revealing. There’s just a massive difference in usable space between these and the K2XX SUVs. Ford’s decision to invest in IRS for these really paid dividends. (It helps the ride, too.)

    I can’t understand voluntarily daily driving something this size, but I guess if you have a huge garage and never have to deal with street parking or small city parking spaces the size doesn’t matter as much.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Yes, the keypad was being used looong before the Mark VIII. Several of my Tauruses have had them, namely an 86 LX and an 88 LX.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        IIRC Ford has talked about killing the keyless entry pad and customer uproar has killed those plans each time.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          People get pissed when Ford tries to take their keypad away. I want to say they tried to kill it in the mid-2000s. At least now it’s better integrated on higher end vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I owned an ’89 SHO with that keypad.

            I loved it. And I totally got why it should stick around until keyless start, with doorhandle buttons, turned into a thing.

            Once that feature came into existence I stopped understanding it. I don’t understand what it does today that the doorhandle button doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            They did take it away, it was not available on any 1998 Ford product, not even the Town Car. It returned in 1999. Since then it has been added to more an more models.

    • 0 avatar
      ATLOffroad

      I have a 99 Expedition with the keypad and I use it all the time. I’m glad Ford still has that option since I’m in the market for a new car and having a keypad is a must.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      There have been a number of different keypads since the ones used in the 80’s. There are a couple that look almost identical from the outside as that one used in the mid 80’s but they have a different electrical connector. Then there are 3 main styles with a couple of those having a horizontal and vertical version.

      • 0 avatar
        JLGOLDEN

        Ford also had a keypad accessory in the mid-2000s which was programmed using the hand held remotes, then stuck onto the door with double-sided tape. They sold well when I was working at a dealer. They looked a little bulky, but worked perfectly.

        http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Ford-7L2Z-14A626-BA-Keyless-Keypad/dp/B00HB9K55S

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I’m confused the article makes it sound like the Chevy V8 gets worse fuel mileage than the Ecoboosts, but by your number the Chevrolet gets the better MPG.

    Either way the IRS killed these trucks, no amount of arguing can change the fact that the only entrants that kept any remotely sizable slice of the pie were those that kept the solid rear axle. Until Ford brings back the rear axle they will continue to be an also ran. Another issue I noticed is that these doors close like 1980s Detroit crap versus the more reassuring vault like closing on the suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Chevy trucks succeed in spite of the rear axle, not because of it. Only a tiny number of buyers know what it is (let alone see it as a plus), and it really hurts packaging badly. For 95% of buyers this isn’t a pickup being used for commercial jobs or heavy off-roading, it’s a family people-mover.

      What killed Expedition sales was a failure to update anything about it, from powerplant to styling to interior, for a decade.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        GM would be in the same boat had they dropped the solid rear axle, the expedition is incapable of towing without increased wear on the rear tires and at times a sketchy sway.
        You don’t see pickups adopting IRS, that alone should clue you in, these buyers want a covered pickup, not a heavy duty crossover.

        Additionally saying the GM SUVs have succeeded in spite of the rear axle also goes against the whole mantra that 4 door pickups are the new family cars. Can’t have it both way. People want this setup, they don’t want IRS, journalist and others that would never buy these be damned.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They want a heavy duty crossover with bigger towing capacity. If they wanted a HD covered pickup, GM would still be selling the Suburban 2500 to consumers.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            They want a regular pickup which is where the Tahoe and Suburban sit, and those that need to tow can step up to the 6.2L.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If they want a pickup, they buy a pickup. The large SUVs are more sold to large families or affluent families that have the need to tow. They basically use the vehicle like a crossover most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Being like a crossover doesn’t much come into play when someone runs into you at 50MPH I hope? I hope that 3 tons of SUV is there for that.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I was just referring to the function. Both the GM and Ford products are still 3 tons of SUV. They are also both more robust than the various crossovers.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “the expedition is incapable of towing without increased wear on the rear tires”

          Last year, GM sold 224,056 Tahoe + Suburban + Yukon + Yukon XL. I would guess that about 10,000 of those buyers even knew what a solid rear axle is and that the trucks have one.

          Next step… of those, how many do you think know about tire wear when towing? Internet forums are not remotely representative of real buyers.

          People are buying the trucks because they like the look inside and out, and because they can carry seven people without minivan stigma and with more machismo than 3-row CUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Many of the people that buy GM full-size SUVs today are well aware of what’s happening, these aren’t BMW buyers that could be convinced their 3-series has a V12.

            Obviously there are those that like them just “because”, but there was also a very large number of buyers before 1995 gave way. The same mindset of buyers still exist and still see the functionality of these trucks.

            I do maintain the expedition has the better visibility and side view mirrors that don’t elicit a laugh; but otherwise it is sorely lacking unless driving to the store 5 times a week is the name of the game.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            To add… my sister-in-law, who lives in Nowhere, Texas (a couple hours from Dallas), is a typical Suburban owner and will soon be replacing her GMT900 with a K2XX. She uses the Burb to carry her three kids, two of which are young enough to need car seats, around her part of exurbia. She’s never taken the thing off-road. It might have towed a couple of times except that my brother-in-law has a pickup which he uses for that. She wouldn’t know a solid axle if one fell on her and knocked her out, and I guarantee you the only time she thinks about tire wear is if her dealer tells her she needs new tires.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’d rather not worry about it myself either, but if she were to keep hearing of it, I’m sure she would full well want the opposite of that. Being able to tow without worrying over stupid stuff, is peace of mind.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I remember you mentioning the Expedition IRS/towing dilemma so I started watching for it on the highway. You’re right, the rear wheels have a lot of negative camber when there’s a large tongue weight. I’d definitely go GM if towing was the name of the game, but there is something to be said about just how much better visibility is in the Ford due to those old bones. New Tahoe is really stupid looking with that mail slot rear window, and very non-functional. I’ll take a low mile GMT900 any day. While we’re at it, make it a GMT400 Suburban, two tone please.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      IRS has nothing to do with it. Dal is 100% right. Expedition and Navigator were never updated because Ford had limited cash, sales were dropping in the segment, they had to refresh other things, production is limited because they are building SuperDutys as fast as possible, and Ford has been happy with the profit per unit.

      The door close issue will be taken care of in the next model. There is an unbelievable amount of work that goes into that and is limited by the old platform. Benchmarks for the clean sheet model include the Escalade, Range Rover, and Lexus LX.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        There are plenty of families that use these things to tow boats, campers, etc. It’s not rare.

        The layman can’t tell the difference in ride quality between the two suspensions, so might as well go with the beefier one that tows better. I’ve personally ridden in both and they both felt plenty smooth to me. It’s a truck-based SUV, not a frickin’ Miata.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Most people that own a Tahoe/Suburban or Expedition tow. They don’t cross the Expedition off the list because it has IRS though. As long as it can tow a camper or 30 foot boat, people don’t care.

          Expeditions do ride more smoothly and they have better packaging than the GM SUVs because of the hourglass shaped frame and IRS. They are both excellent trucks though.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          A layman can certainly tell the difference in interior room, which is much better with IRS. IRS makes Expedition’s third row useful for adults, which is crazy crampt in the Tahoe. IRS is an advantage for Expedition given how most people use their vehicles. Its not as though Expedition cant tow, the insinuation that the opposite is true is moronic.

          Blaming IRS for the Expedition playing second to the GM fullsizers is idiotic. Ford simply chose to spend money on F-150, Fusion/Mondeo, and Escape/Kuga leaving Expedition to wilt on the vine. A new Expedition is on its way, but Ford had bigger fish to fry at the time GM was redesigning its fullsizers. Sales of the Escape vs. Equinox, F-Series vs. Silverado and Fusion vs. Malibu is proof Ford made the correct decisions.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They also moved production to Kentucky with the Super Duty. That decision resulted in Ford building fewer, but more profitable, full size SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          “The layman can’t tell the difference in ride quality between the two suspensions, so might as well go with the beefier one that tows better.”

          When I was last shopping I drove the Frontier Crew Cab, Xterra, and previous gen Pathfinder back to back to back. Now discounting the truck, the other 2 are pretty darn similar sharing the same frame (the Frontier too for that matter) and pretty much everything else save the IRS on the Pathfinder. This laymen didn’t buy the Pathfinder, but it was the best riding by a long shot.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      There is some irony that a post from Hummer laments the IRS in the Expedition…but the original (real) Hummer H1 uses an extremely capable IRS system. The H2 and H3 (fake) Hummers with the solid rear axle are simply re-bodied Chevy pickups.

      The number of new vehicle buyers worried about the rear axle setup in their full size SUV would probably fit into a phone booth. Space and ride quality are far more important.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Its just an excuse to belittle Ford and sing the praises of GM. Paying no attention to how much GM has invested in their fullsizers vs. what Ford has spent on the Expedition and how it affects the sales of these vehicles allows him to insert his own opinions based on nothing but his personal bias.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        False-consensus effect.

        Hummer really likes large, solid-axle, simple, tough pushrod gas V8 trucks. As a result, he believes everyone else does too.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I’m not really concerned about pushing what I like onto other people, it doesn’t make sense for many to drive what I like in certain places, I’m just stating from a perspective of capability, which one of these has the upper hand.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You also asserted that people are making buying decisions based on that capability in numbers sufficient to explain most of the sales in this segment. That’s where you and I disagree.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Well, yeah, but IRS+Portal Axles aren’t really in the league of anything on sale currently.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        As merica just said, you appear to have no understanding of portal axles vs what’s used on every civilian IS setup, the two aren’t even close, not by a long shot.
        But neither are costs, if the expedition had the same setup as the H1 it would cost well over $80k starting out, and would rival an ox cart in comfort.

        But I wouldn’t expect you to understand that if you are so blind sighted by some baseless hatred to believe the H2 and even the H3 are re bodied anything.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      In the real world the 3.5 Eb and Chevy 5.3 get very similar mileage but of course you need to take the rear axle ratio into consideration.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Steve-

    You are 100% right about the lack of a pano roof. It is Ford leaving money on the table. The next Expedition/Navigator will have a pano roof and expectations are that more will sell with the roof than without.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Once again this story makes me proud of this very same engine in my 2010 MKS.
    This engine is just awesome and fun. It pulls like no tomorrow.
    Keeping the thrill out is what skill is required for MPG.
    Just having it around is like telling me to eat fewer Snickers bars in the bowl sitting on the table right in front of me and I will not gain weight.
    No kidding.
    No problems.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    “the Expedition is the better truck and the Suburban is the better car.” Really? The better packaging resulting in a legitimate load floor in the cargo area and useful 3rd row seats seam to make the Expedition the choice for family hauling duty.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Amazing how the price has swelled, I have a family member that has bought something like 3-4 of these in a row brand new, but the price finally broke him to look elsewhere.

    The Limited model is something like $75,000 out the door. When he bought his last Limited brand new in 2007 it was around $41k.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Is there enough of a market for these to induce Ford to bring them up to the latest alu-F150 standard? I’m assuming they, like the Sequoia, are related to some iteration of the half ton platform, just with an irs grafted on.

    Unless you live to punish them, treating them like a covered truck, the Flex and Durango are just so much nicer and easier to drive on paved roads.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes the next Expedition will be based on the current F150 just like this one was based on a previous F150. Yes it will cost money to do so but it will reduce costs in the long run by sharing F150 components.

  • avatar

    I only have TWO spare keyless entry pads, Lynch! The third is still on my parts car, so there.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    By this point, there’s not much trim fiddling they can do to keep this thing updated looking. Those slabs of prior-gen F150 plastic aren’t really acceptable at this price level. And I guess since the Platinum is now top of the line (just barely) the King Ranch has become less popular?

    It comes in two-tone, and says KING RANCH on it, so that’s the one I’m having. I think two-tone helps hide the heft of this vehicle a bit, though I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    The current Navigator ONLY hides it’s Expedition bones even the slightest bit in all black with deep tints, and then it just sort of looks like an imposing limousine. I think if I wanted “one of these” I’d go find a top spec 06 Navigator Ultimate. Cause that was the last time they looked good and avoided cartoony.

    http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/2003-lincoln-navigator-ultimate-americanlisted_27637135.jpg

    It’s 35 grand cheaper.
    It’s the same thing as current.
    It looks better.
    Ludacris did a cool powerslide in it in Crash after he stole it from racist white lady Sandra Bullock.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It’s not the same thing as current. The current Expigator had a heavy refresh. The body panel may not have changed, but there are numerous changes beneath the surface. The changes are so significant that I am personally waiting for the 2015+ models to depreciate instead of going after a 2013.

      But as a value, you are right. A used last gen Expigator is were the smart money is at.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The national car of Texas article is a very good read.

    • 0 avatar
      madman2k

      I enjoyed it as well.

      A story/review from when cars were just supposed to be cars, and not measured by the size of the touch screen or what the dashboard is made out of.

      Doesn’t hurt that I really like those old Suburbans and would love to have one, although a well-kept GMT900-era 4×4 would be even cooler.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, are we realizing here this is the SAME cost as a QX80, which seats 7 or 8 as well and has a 400HP 5.6L V8, a luxury badge on the front, and a -much- better interior?

    Just saying. The Expedition has got ahead of itself.

    • 0 avatar
      3XC

      Looks are subjective, but the QX80 is one of the most vulgar, tacky looking vehicles on the road. Just my opinion. I find Nissan to have some of the most polarizing styling of the mainstream marques.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Which is worse: old, or eyeball-gougingly ugly?

      I agree the QX80 is a compelling value in this segment. I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. It’s just too awful.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’d love a QX80, but I think I’d need someone to walk me to the car blindfolded so I only had to look at the interior/never the exterior.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I agree it’s ugly! But – when it’s more powerful, has more equipment, is better made, will have higher resale, and is newer…

        Oh and is as off-road capable as a Land Cruiser, because it’s a Patrol underneath. And when you’re in it, you’re not looking at the exterior.

        And when you sell it, you’ll get lots more money back.

        I’m going QX. It’s not so bad in dark colors. Only the light ones are whale-like.

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vd-weR3EnYE/VMJ2Ld5KKuI/AAAAAAAAImw/hEqtDgooSvQ/s1600/Untitled-1.jpg

        Look at the interior for chrissakes.
        http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/infiniti/qx80/2015/oem/2015_infiniti_qx80_4dr-suv_limited_i_oem_1_600.jpg

        And that leather is butter soft, I’ve felt it. No rock hard cracky leather after 6 months like the tester above.

        • 0 avatar
          3XC

          You’re a bigger man that I am. I’d be self conscious when everyone else in traffic looks at me and thinks to themselves that I might be some sort of Russian mobster.

          The design language is Techno-Lovecraftian. Someone said the old JX looked like a sea monster, the QX80 looks like Cthulhu’s ride.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s a better car. If that comes at a price of looking like an individual and standing out, so be it!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The dark colors make that fender vent more obvious. Yes, it’s really that bad. Every vehicle in this segment has way too much tacky bling but that vent stands out above the rest. The shape of everything forward of the A-pillar is also just bulbous and awkward.

          If I were living a very different life and looking for a vehicle in this segment, I’d probably buy something used while waiting for the all-new Expedition. The GMs just don’t have the space that I would need in any scenario where I wanted one of these, the Sequoia looks like a fat American, the Armada is older than Noah, and the QX (the only luxury contender priced reasonably) is just simply too ugly to contemplate.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s a shame that they can’t -simplify- the styling. It’s not like the bulbous helps the mpg any. Making it more simple and straightforward looking (like the QX4, for example) would make it so much more popular.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Not sure if I’d exactly put the US market luxo-barge QX quite toe to toe with the 200 series Land Cruiser, but you’re right, underneath all that gaudy styling is a pretty legit 4wd truck.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Nissan’s quality has been sketchy as of late which gives me pause on there more expensive cousins at Infinity. So far 3 out of 5 recent co-workers have needed to bring there SUV’s in for warranty work and two were under a year old.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Corey-

      This is above the price of where the Navigator starts too. Also, the QX80 may have more HP, but the 3.5TT punches above it’s weight and is faster in both the Navi and Expedition. The Navi has the top dog 3.5TT right now at 380 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque. When you get into the top end Expeditions, it’s time to go buy a Navigator for less than 10% more. However, people in the middle of Texas prefer the Ford badge.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The Nav interior looks better certainly, though I imagine some dislike the dual pod retro design. IIRC Jack thought the materials in the current one are not up to par at all.

        I guess being in Texas, the “average joe wealthy man” is more of a thing than other places.

        What does your wife think, if anything, of the QX?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          No, the interior materials aren’t what’s in the QX, LX, or Escalade. That won’t happen until it’s completely redone.

          My wife likes the QX more than the GM SUVs. She drives an MkT currently, so she’s willing to drive weird looking cars. The interior of the QX is really nice, and I’m sure they will be reliable. Last time she test drove one it got 9 MPG, so there is that…

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      I agree that if it was my money and I wanted a full size SUV, the QX80 seems to be a lot more vehicle for the dollar. With the Expedition, I can’t help but feel $20k of content is missing somewhere.

      I’m in the minority in that I don’t think the QX is hideously ugly, although I would have preferred a more understated look.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Have you seen the ludicrously fake-looking, tacked-on fender vents???? I swear I throw up in my mouth a little when I see those.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    So, with the V8 gone from the Expedition, that means the only Ford passenger vehicle with a V8 is the Mustang? My, the times are changing.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Just curious as to why Expedition’s sales werent compared to the rest of the market, namely the Sequoia and Armada. I believe it out sells them both by a wide margin. Seems kinda funny how nobody wants to mention them when talking about how poorly the Expedition sells.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      good call.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The Sequioa and Armada are fullsize only by a widely defined measurement that is used to classify these vehicles. Only the two American vehicles actually typify the fullsize SUV.
      ie. The two Japanese entrants need more width and less height. Even then it would need a truck based setup backing it up with a live axle, the Armada may as well be based on something in China.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Is the Armada Patrol Based too or Titan? The Patrol is pretty stout. Interestingly this sort of argument always came up with reference to front axles back in my Land Cruiser days. The 80 series (or 105 if you lived in other parts of the world) were the last to have the solid front axle. As such they were the last “real cruisers”, or so everyone said. In reality unless you were hitting the rocks frequently the IFS wasn’t bad and although purely anecdotal, the front diff exploding on my solid 80 axle remains my only diff issue, ever.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Wait, is it the patrol?

          I can’t possibly believe they would be able to make the armada fit in the Titan frame as big of a perceived difference in width there is.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Armada is on the F-Alpha platform with the Titan and Frontier.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Makes me feel good about the Frontier, not so much the Titan. I wonder if Nissan ever decided what to do with the frontier. I’m sure the Armada will also move if those two are leaving.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Uhhhhh, no. The Armada and Land Cruiser have basically the same width and height as the Expedition and Tahoe/Suburban. It’s literally an inch or so in difference.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Well damn, the armada and Sequioa are about 3 inches taller and slightly narrower but I guess they just haven’t got any precense. The Armada looks midsize in the flesh, the Sequioa picture I just saw when I looked up the numbers is different than I remember, guess I just haven’t seen one in a while. I remember the land cruiser and Armada as two SUVs that look as ready to tip as a bronco II.

          Mind blown there.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You are right when you say they have no presence. The GM and Ford SUVs convey their size well while being better products than the competition.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The Sequoia in particular is actually better packaged than either of the standard length domestic entrants. Like the Ford, it uses IRS.

            If I was in the market, I’d be hard pressed not to end up with the Sequoia, as plasticky as the interior is and like Hummer I have an aversion to IRS in SUVs for maintenance and durability reasons. Oh and it has a roll down rear window, absolutely priceless feature IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I like the exterior of the Sequoia (meaning it’s alright but not great), but for the price the interior doesn’t do it for me. It’s too cheapo, and has too many big plastic knobs and panels (much like a Ridgeline). Outside, it looks big and “blankety” like a Traverse, and is not masculine and “defined” like the Expedition or Land Cruiser.

  • avatar
    yetibiker

    I am just happy to see improvement in these very capable vehicles. Choices are very limited when you have a large family and tow a travel trailer. I have had enough of people with a family that can fit in a small car going on about how unnecessary and excessive full sized SUVs are. Some of us need more than a minivan. I just wish that more people bought them. Used ones are scarce, VERY expensive, and move fast. You absolutely cannot complain about the performance numbers of this ecoboost engine, either. My GMT400 Suburban gets 15 highway/ 10 towing, if I am lucky, and it really has to work at the towing. Forget about using overdrive with a trailer hitched.

  • avatar
    olivebranch2006

    Just bought a 2015 Navigator 4×4 L (same as long EL) for the wife because the seats and ride are more comfortable than suburban, yukon xl, or mercedes GL we drove. Loving it so far!!! I really wanted to wait for the aluminum redesign in 2 years but we couldn’t wait with our daughter due to be born late September. Good review!

  • avatar
    Arminius

    We have a 2007 Expedition EL I bought used for the wife in 2010 at half the MSRP. It has been an absolutely great purchase. Why this over the Suburban? Primarily the IRS. It allows for a 3rd row seat that can accommodate adults plus the 3rd row can fold flat with a lower load height than the Suburban. At the time of the purchase the third row in the Suburban folded up against the 2nd row, not flat. If you wanted the extra cargo space the seats had to be manually removed. The current generation Suburban gets around this by raising the floor height so that the 3rd row can fold flat. However this sacrifices cargo space and load height.

    I’m not sure about the QX80 mentioned as a competitor but in the Expedition with the 2nd and 3rd row down you can fit a full size sheet of plywood flat on the floor.

    It is a great highway cruiser loping along at about 2K RPM at 80 MPH. On the flip side it is huge and drives like a boat. I hate driving it in a city or in rush hour traffic. But regardless what I think the wife loves it and happy wife, happy life.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The problem with body on frame large suvs like the Expedition,Navigator, Suburban, Tahoe (GMC versions), and Escalade is after a few years they take a major hit on depreciation which has been covered on this website. These vehicles are based on the full size trucks and the mechanics on them are bullet proof. If you want or need a vehicle like this it is better to get them used after a couple of years–let the original owner take the hit on the depreciation. Many of these suvs end up on the pay day used car lots and are sold to those who can least afford to operate them with their final destination to the salvage yard dying long before their useful life is up. It appears that Arminius is one of the more astute purchasers by buying a 3 year old Expedition for half of what the MSRP. You will get many years of useful life out the Expedition with a lot less cost. The same is true with the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis in that they had heavy depreciation but mechanically they are one of the soundest vehicles you can buy and because of the depreciation hit many of them have gone to the salvage yard before their time. Many vehicles that are junked are perfectly sound but because of a low value many are junked with many years of useful life left in them. It is a real waste to junk a vehicle that is mechanically sound with a good body even though I understand that the value is so low that it is better not to put anymore money in them or the scrap value of the car is worth more than it can be sold for.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Rarely do good 4WD BOF fullsize vehicles become junked, there are way to many people willing to hand over more than scrap value to have an offroad toy, same can’t be said of Corolla or a Subaru.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Not anymore. That was true in the past. Price out a 2007+ used tahoe with 100k+ on it. It is eye opening if you haven’t done it lately.

      It’s better to buy new, bite the new price bullet, and sell after 7 years and 100k for mid to high 20s.

  • avatar
    MisterScott

    I purchased a 2015 Platinium 4X4 EL with 22’s for my wife. Tried to get one with 20’s and the load leveling but that was apparently an act of God. My wife came out of a 2008 Yukon XL Denali that was a POS. I pretty much agree with review. The drivetrain is very refined and it is fast. Not hard to chirp the tires. The suspension gets choppy on the Sport setting. The interior is dated but fine for it’s purpose. The new center stack is good, I don’t mind the Sync Touch system. Remember the interior is basically two generations ago F-150 – definitely smaller than the 14 F150 Screw Platinum that I drive. I am very impressed with the turning radius on it. It is great for our purposes which is to haul three boys under 12 and 2 dogs around to stuff. I am one of those with a huge negative GM bias based on past experience. My good friend spent 90K on a new Escalade. Might as well sit there and throw money on a fire. This will be a good 4 year vehicle until the new one comes out and matures. I expect it to be more Explorer like unless they want to share the cab like they are going to do with the SD and F-150 lines for commonality but my personal belief is they go towards the explorer. I don’t mind if the exterior shrinks as long as the interior stays the same and they keep the EL. Good solid workhorse without a lot of flash, excellent drivetrain.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “Other upgrades for 2015 include the optional controlled damping suspension on our tester that offers three driving modes — comfort, normal and sport…”

    Stop. Just stop. “Sport” on a behemoth, regardless of it’s twin-turboed motviator, is just asinine. I suppose it may be good for shooting the Wally-World parking lot at the after-Halloween-pre-Thanksgiving-Xmas-Sale but the thought of this pig slaloming the Nurburgring just kills me.


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