By on February 9, 2017

Suburban/Yukon and 2018 Expedition - Images: GM & Ford

On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company unveiled the all-new, fourth-generation 2018 Ford Expedition outside the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

But does the Expedition matter?

With the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe plus GMC’s Yukon and Yukon XL — setting aside the degree to which the Cadillac Escalade crushes the Lincoln Navigator — General Motors owns 75 percent of America’s full-size, body-on-frame, truck-based SUV market.

Seventy-five per cent.

Three-quarters.

Not just a plurality, but a majority. An overwhelming majority.

Yet in 2016, the tenth year of the third-generation Expedition’s tenure, sales rose to a nine-year high of 59,835 units. And Ford accomplished that feat with a very old SUV that lacks even the availability of adaptive cruise control or auto high beams, among other items found on inexpensive Kias. Ford produced that nine-year high with a very old SUV that had to take the fight to far newer GMT K2XX behemoths.

What might a brand new Ford Expedition accomplish? Could GM’s market share in the category fall below 50 percent? Is a 10-point drop to 65 percent a more reasonable goal for Dearborn? Or does Ford continue to fail at converting F-Series pickup dominance into class-leading full-size SUV demand?

The official line from Ford: “Ultimately, customers will decide how many we’ll sell,” sales analyst Erich Merkle told me after the new Expedition’s debut.

Customers will want more.

Sales in the category rose 22% to 340,530 units in 2016, with slightly less than 18 percent coming from the Expedition (including the EL, known from here on out as the Max) and another 8 percent from the Toyota Sequoia and surging Nissan Armada.

By historical standards, that’s a low number. 15 years ago, the category produced 767,000 sales, more than double last year’s output. GM owned 66 percent of the segment in 2002.

The 767,000-unit result is not going to happen again, even with an expected boost from the Expedition, which generated more than 163,000 sales in 2002 when the Expedition was America’s sixth-best-selling SUV overall. There are far too many alternatives now, including big unibodies and ever-more family-friendly crew cab pickups.

But if fuel prices remain tolerable, we can expect even more growth from General Motors’ biggest SUVs and an Expedition surge. Will the 2018 Expedition be the full-size Ford SUV that finally knocks GM off its perch, a perch that resulted in better than 70 percent market share in each of the last six years?

Or is Ford forever doomed to collect meaningful profits — and trivial market share — in an arena controlled by its chief rival?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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113 Comments on “QOTD: Can a New Ford Expedition End GM’s Full-Size SUV Dominance?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    What incentive do current 3 out of 4 GM buyers cited have to switch to Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Better looks, more power, better fuel efficiency, better handling, better packaging efficiency, more luxury, better value.

      This is typical GM before the fall. They ignore the market with outdated, overpriced product, and then are shocked when a competitor eats their lunch. I say best wished to Ford: go get ’em!

      • 0 avatar
        NovaGuy1973

        What do you mean better looks? They look the same between the pillars and Ford just slapped the Explorer’s face on it. The EcoBoost may make more power and torque but it gets pretty bad fuel economy numbers when you drive it like a V-8. Mag-ride is best in class and they can’t make enough Escalades to keep them in the show rooms. You don’t get 75% market share by mistake. FORD if anybody has been offering 10 year old products that are overpriced. Their new products are competent, but Jesus Christ they waited 10 years to do anything with them.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          MRC doesn’t fully address the solid axle jitters. IMO (as someone who has spent plenty of time riding to/from airports in both) the current (old) Expedition and Navigator ride better than the current Escalade, thanks to IRS.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGo,
        Ford will sell enough to produce.

        These will take some sales from GM, but not many.

        I would think F Series will lose sales as well from these larger Ford SUVs and even the Ranger will take a few F-150 sales.

        Ford might lose as many sales as GM.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t really agree on the looks. But yeah better riding better packaging and value. Of course GM has plenty of room to play with price if they want. Plus many people are happy with their GM’s so not much incentive to look elsewhere. I bet Fords sales will increase but I doubt it will do much to GM’s dominance in the segment. Remember they already had every advantage you listed except looks already.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      28, I think a better question might be: if presented with a fresh, updated product, might some of those GM buyers actually shop Ford? I think they will.

      I think the reason GM dominated this segment for so long is that no one else has bothered to bring out any new product. The Expedition’s been around for what, 13 years now? The Armada’s also stale, and no one buys Sequoias.

      My only question is why Ford decided to bring the same old stale product to market for so long. Personally, I think that was a mistake.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Ford doesn’t care….they dominate the full-size pick-up market.

    Besides, who’s buying these behemoth SUVs these days anyway? Oh yeah, that’s right–soccer moms are still driving them.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      With gas at $1.75 / gallon, that’s the ride to have LOL

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      They could be big beneficiaries, if The Donald makes their fuel economy less problematic, and autolabor in general more expensive. Compared to complex, little cars of similar cost, they score substantially better on “labor cost” vs “transportation cost” metrics. They’re sold primarily as upscale models with fat markup now, as their fuel economy ends up costing their maker in other ways that they want to recoup. But absent that, they could become a “good deal” for many more people.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The only way the fuel economy for something like this becomes “less problematic” is if fuel prices stay where they are. Car manufacturers have a hard-on over CAFE, but consumers could care less. They just want to be sure they can afford to keep the tank full without breaking the bank.

        Now, with the former head of Exxon – I’ll repeat that, FORMER HEAD OF EXXON – three heartbeats away from the presidency, do you REALLY think gas is going to stay cheap? I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

        • 0 avatar
          whitworth

          “Now, with the former head of Exxon – I’ll repeat that, FORMER HEAD OF EXXON – three heartbeats away from the presidency, do you REALLY think gas is going to stay cheap? I wouldn’t bet the house on it.”
          ________

          Yes, I think it’s more likely to be affordable than say Obama who literally made the quote that electricity rates would “necessarily skyrocket” if he had his way with cap and trade laws.

          It’s the other side of the aisle that wants high energy prices for fossil fuels, even if they have to jack up taxes to get there.

          if you want higher gas prices, you make production domestically as difficult as possible and/or introduce new taxes on it.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Maybe that’s how you feel if you just look at cherry-picked quotes from your favorite right-wing website. But if you look at the actual history of oil and gas prices over time, prices tend to go up when the party that has heavy financial ties to the oil industry is in control.

            Remember that demand for gas is relatively inelastic in the short term (it takes about a decade to adjust to market trends), so pumping up prices in the short term results in almost pure profit with no downside for executives who are evaluated based on quarterly results.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Cap and Trade is a very cost effective way to meet a variety of regulatory limits. Those who oppose such market based approaches either are really ignorant (no offense intended) on how they work, or are just having a hard-on about the fact that a regulation exists in the first place.

            GM has 75% of this market because the product, solid rear axle not withstanding, is superior to the outdated model that Ford has been selling. With a fresh Expedition on the shelf will they get some conquest sales from GM? Yes, but I’m willing to bet not too many. Loyalty in this segment runs pretty high and there are not a whole lot of reasons to not choose the GM product. Styling is highly subjective; that’s probably where most of the conquest sales will be derived from.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      Ford doesn’t sell 75% of pickups. Their domination is pretty weak. Doesn’t GMC + Chevy sell more pickups than Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Honestly this is not 2001. Even large SUVs like these are not really gas guzzlers in this day and age. A vehicle like this is such a good choice because it’s a jack of all trades. If you have to move a lot of people and a lot of stuff nothing does it better. The dirty little secret is most people that talk down about them can’t afford to buy one new anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “The dirty little secret is most people that talk down about them can’t afford to buy one new anyway.”

          And, given the fact that if certain parties have their way, these already-expensive vehicles will end up costing more, I’d say that the “Trump will make this market better” argument goes from 50% bunk to about 90% bunk.

          “Even large SUVs like these are not really gas guzzlers in this day and age.”

          Yes, they are. EPA rates them at 16 around town, and C/D’s test found a real world avg of 14 mpg. And gas prices have a big impact on the cost of these vehicles – if it goes back to $4 a gallon, then assuming 16 mpg overall, and 15,000 miles a year, the monthly gas bill for this car goes up by about $150. I don’t know about your budget, but that’d make a nice-sized dent in mine.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If $150 dollars a month makes a major difference on your budget then your probably out of the target market seeing as these vehicles start at $48k.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Hummer:

            True, but even a family that can afford the $150 extra a month can probably think of ways they’d rather be spending it.

          • 0 avatar

            If you go on forums for $40k suvs I’m always surprised at the number of people who go nuts about mpg same with pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            Freedmike, as i type this i am on the plane awaiting takeoff.

            An hour ago i turned in a yukon that returned 17.5 chicago mpg according to ths trip computer onboard. Agreed, cant say that i did the math with the gas pump since i am certain the tank was not full when i picked it up.

            I also routinely get 16 out of my 08 burban in mixed denver driving. The 5.3 will get upper teens, the 6.0 amd 6.2 will return less.

        • 0 avatar
          whitworth

          “The dirty little secret is most people that talk down about them can’t afford to buy one new anyway.”

          Bingo.

          Deep down, people want these.

          I’m a sedan guy, but I really can’t imagine not having a full size SUV in the family.

          The idea that a minivan owner is so much more “noble” than an SUV owner is so silly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “The idea that a minivan owner is so much more “noble” than an SUV owner is so silly”

            New-used minivan owner all day long. Better fuel economy, lower price of entry, similar functionality beyond truck like towing. Long term resale is the only thing I can think of the SUV is better suited (NOTE: I am not talking about CUV as these have the strengths of neither SUV or minivan but the weaknesses of both).

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Nobility and intelligence are not the same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah, true. *strokes imaginary beard*

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            And then there’s the Prius owner that thinks he’s the wisest, then the Tesla owner, and then the guy in spandex that commutes on his bike to work and drinks a Kale shake for lunch.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Deep down, people want these.”

            I think you’re channeling Zeppelin now.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            @Freed- I bought a Tahoe new in ’02 and drove it roughly 20k a year for a decade, through the fuel price spike in 2008. It did far less to a gallon than the K2XXs and did not break the bank, not even close.

            If $150 extra per month is going to put you in the poor house, you’re probably not going to be buying one of these anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Agreed, Mandalorian, but there is going to be a slice of buyers who this does matter to, and frankly, even a family who can afford the extra money for gas probably has a rather long list of things they’d rather be spending the money on.

            If you look at the sales charts for SUVs, you’ll find gas prices have a definite impact on their sales.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Who are all these people who secretly want these things? People who can’t afford them are more likely to secretly lust after something other than an Expedition or a Suburban. I mean, seriously, I’d never want anything other than what I have now: a midsize SUV and a sports coupe. Both of my cars cost right around $50K, so affordability has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have no interest in a giant SUV.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “not really gas guzzlers”

          14 mpg

          Does not compute.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            @dal. A Suburban has 8 seats and plentiful cargo space. You’re not going to really find a much more efficient vehicle with 8 seats and plentiful cargo space. Maybe a minivan or crossover does a hair better on paper, but in real world in town conditions it’s a wash. Heck, a Mercedes S-Class probably does similarly fuel wise in town and no one complains about those.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            C&D averaged a real-world 17 mpg in their Traverse, over 20% better than the Suburban. A Traverse can’t tow much, but it has almost exactly as much room inside as a Suburban. Max capacity is 7 rather than 8, but the number of people seating 8 on a regular basis has to be pretty small. And it’s nicer to drive and easier to park.

            My sister-in-law is a typical Suburban driver. She has three kids, and with modern car seats needs three rows. But she’s never used it to tow or off-road and she’s never put more than five people in it. She has it purely because the Suburban has a more upscale image than the Traverse or similar. (This being exurban Texas, though, at least she doesn’t have a problem parking it.)

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    CR says that the current GM full-sizers have major transmission and electrical issues, so maybe Ford won’t be taking their business so much as GM will give it away. GM are historically good at that.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Great point anyone that says the full size GM suv’s are bullet proof, don’t own a 2014 or newer full size GM SUV.
      Neighbor of mine owns a high end limo company that uses full size SUV’s . He sold all his Cadillac Escalade’s for Lincoln Navigator’s . He could not take his vehicles in the shop any longer. It was cutting into his bottom line. He states Ford is just building a more durable product.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VW,
        I would think your neighbour got a deal he couldn’t refuse.

        That would be closer to the truth.

        • 0 avatar
          VW4motion

          Maybe so. But he was constantly talking about having issues with his Escalade’s.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            I wonder if that is typical experience….the guy I use for limo rides to the airport has an 09 Escalade with a little over 500K on it. Third trans, but for slugging through traffic I don’t think that is so bad…

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            500k on a GM v8 is fantastic. But again I’m referring to 2104 or newer . Don’t think the new 5.3 will make it past 200k miles. Or does the newer Escalade’s have the 6.2 as standard engine ?

  • avatar
    e30gator

    The Escalade looks like a hearse, and at a glance, I can’t tell the difference between an ’07 Tahoe or a ’17. Same with the current Expedition. A neighbor recently bought a new one and it looks like it just rolled out of a time machine from 2004. That said, it seems like I see fewer and fewer new versions of these old BOF SUVs and any changes to bring them current will probably be a good one.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    GM will protect this cash cow, Ford may sell more big boxes this year ut the market will absorb them and GM will keep its market share. Much as Ford will spend to keep their cash cow the F150, GM will spend to defend their cash cow Full size far to big unless you need to tow a house SUV’s

  • avatar
    zip94513

    It would help if busted Ford’s didn’t sit for days if not weeks for a repair at the service department, which has been my experience. My brother had a blown transmission in his Chevy and two days later drove away with a new transmission. GM has it down getting replacement parts to its dealers while Ford customers sometimes wait for months.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    My boss owns two Suburbans and loves both of them. The older one (not sure of the year) has about 250,000 miles and an astonishing amount of corrosion but still drives. He lives in a rural area down a partially paved road. He also has to haul a large family around with all the associated cargo. They are definitely “worked” on a daily basis. I’m not sure a non-BOF vehicle would hold up that well for his uses.

    For soccer moms in the suburbs? Can’t see it would be the best choice.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Did Ford get its Chinese design team to copy the GM models? Guess I shouldn’t complain – at least they didn’t do something to the rear window to make the visibility out of these things even worse.

  • avatar
    gkhize

    I’m a long time Ford guy and remember when the Expedition first came out in ’97. Finally something to compete with the Tahoe, something I wouldn’t be caught dead in at the time. Since the Tahoe had been around for a few years, Ford started the game behind and I don’t know that they ever caught up. I bought a new ’99 Expedition that we only had about a year because the wife hated it (too much bigger than her old Explorer) and it had it’s share of niggling issues.

    Now I’m a Ford guy who’s driving a Yukon Denali because I couldn’t find a decent used Expedition when we were looking for another vehicle. When the time comes to replace the Yukon, we’ll probably look at GMC first since the current unit has done so well. I’ll look at the Expedition but Ford has its work cut out trying to convince me to switch.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Want to take GMs market share?

    Hit it from a value standpoint. The starting point of a Tahoe is 48k.

    Start the expedition at 35k and you immediately have access to 75% of the market. The number one problem with GMs SUVs is the price. People still want these significantly more than the crossovers but pricing is what keeps them out of the SUVs. Fix that one problem and you own the market.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Hard to do when you have built in overhead for lower volume / higher complexity. If it does size-ably impact K2XX, expect those prices to bump if they have to drop a shift of production.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I would love to see the K2XXs replacement move downmarket next generation. If GM is able to cut the starting price 10k, their 75% market share could easily become 90% or better.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The reason that the price is so high is to sell less of them because CAFE. Even if CAFE is brought under control there is no reason that they would drop the prices. Makes no sense to forgo that extra 10K of profit to sell more and end up with a similar or lower total profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If they sell twice as many at half the profit I would imagine they’re getting the better end of that deal. That’s more money for dealers in maintenance and repairs, and better volume pricing.

            Definately will keep the money from parts rolling in longer.

  • avatar
    Dan

    GM outright owned this market even when the Expedition was fresh and in most respects the better truck.

    2007, Expedition: 90K. Tahoe/Burban/Yukon: 338K.

    2016, Expedition: 60K. Tahoe/Burban/Yukon: 253K.

    My take is that, IRS to the contrary, the Expedition has been styled and marketed as the more truck-like of the two and most of the people to whom that appeals go the rest of the way and just buy a half ton. The Tahoe is a big car.

    The new one looks nothing like a truck and I think that sales are going to explode.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Nah – Ford doesn’t have to take away market share from GM in this segment. They already have a great share of the truck market. If Ford tries, GM will just pile more money on the hoods and move them.

    A very weak QOTD, if I may say so.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    No, I don’t think so. I think the Expedition is a superior vehicle, but I don’t think most buyers care about IRS or the better third seat accommodations of the Expedition. The Tahoe and Suburban are known quantities and household names. Maybe Ford should try advertising them. The Expedition doesn’t have much name recognition, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a TV commercial for it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Hell no…. Ford should be looking downmarket as that is where GM is weak. Less profit per unit but possibly more overall through volume and market share. Ford needs to implement the “fake Range Rover” design language on the next Escape.

  • avatar
    HattHa

    Ford doesn’t have a shot at any meaningful market share without a V8 option. The reasons people will pay $50k+ for Suburbans is their bulletproof reliability…do you want a tried and true pushrod V8 or a little V6 with a bunch of extra systems (turbocharger, intercooler, additional coolant plumbing, etc) aka points of failure. Realworld fuel economy is on par with a V8. The 5.0 Coyote is an awesome engine – revs nicely and makes plenty of power; with GM’s issues with cylinder deactivation, this could be a deciding factor for some folks.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Bullet proof reliability?? Best friend of mine had his 2014 Tahoe at the dealer 14 times since taking ownership in 2014. A/C failed at 63k miles. 10 of those trips to dealer were recalls. He is now having odd engine noises at start up with his “bullet proof ” non turbo 5.3 liter v8.
      Even thought his dad retired from GM and he gets fantastic deals he will never buy another GM product.

      Go look at a 2107 Tahoe or Yukon. The dash is practically installed sideways. Awful build quality.

      • 0 avatar
        HattHa

        Good point – I should amend my initial comment to say “reputation for bulletproof reliability”…ie: pre-07 Tahoes/Suburbans were solid and many are still on the road…Tahoe/Suburban drivers are super loyal, so I think it will take multiple problematic vehicles before they consider a switch…just my two cents though

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @VW4motion,

        Please stop trolling. There aren’t 10 recalls open for a 2014 Tahoe to fix.

        • 0 avatar
          VW4motion

          Fry,
          How many recalls are out on 2014 Tahoe ‘s ? Was each recall fixed on first service? Anyone that owns that model knows what I’m saying. Not so bullet proof.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “How many recalls are out on 2014 Tahoe ‘s ?”

            https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2014/CHEVROLET/TAHOE/SUV/4WD

            as has been said, 2. One for rear brake caliper bolts which weren’t tightened completely, and one for internal contamination of an electronic module.

            If your “best friend” had to take it in “10 times” for those fixes, I’ll eat my hat. But I’m not getting the ketchup ready or anything, because you’re lying.

            “Anyone that owns that model knows what I’m saying.”

            well, there’s some solid evidence.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @VW4motion
        They sold the Chevrolet Suburban here in 1998, build quality was despicable. Coupled with the fact it could not go off road, it did not last long.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      My friend’s Yukon had to go to the dealer 64 times in the first 40K miles. It also stranded him 15 times and made him get fired from his job. And his wife left him due to all the breakdowns. And the 5.3L gave him cancer. And it gets 8 mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        There’s a warning on the motor which warns against cancer, something like Mechanic’s General Warning. Prob on the firewall.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        Ajla, I doubt your a child. So don’t respond like one. If you want to live in a world of “alternative facts” so be it.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “his 2014 Tahoe”
          “10 of those trips to dealer were recalls.”

          The NHTSA shows two recalls for a 2014 Tahoe. So why did your friend need to go to the dealer 10 times?

          I don’t believe your various second-hand anecdotes and I’m fine living in that world. If others find you credible, that’s their call.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The older 3.5TT, first year excepted, has a pretty good reliability record, as did the LS V8s. The current generation of GM V8s doesn’t. We’ll see if Ford keeps up the good work with the new-gen 3.5TT.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I personally like the GM SUVs more because you can still get them with a front bench seat and a V8.

    I assume the 10A will eventually end up on the GM trucks (right now the 6A is kind of old and the 8A is kind of crappy). I do wish GM would offer the 6.2L on the nonDenali/nonCadillac trims though. They could even do a 400hp 6.0L version of the LT if they wanted to save the 6.2L for the premium lines.

    Offering a 3.73 rear end would be nice too.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    If Ford offers 6-cylinder Expeditions for a base of $35k (vs the $48k of the Chevy Tahoe), yes, Ford will get some GM sales.

    And the Expedition will grab even more EXPLORER sales, as Explorer shoppers see that big Expedition for the same money. Maybe even Escape owners will go for Expeditions….

    Or, Ford can charge a base of $45k, undercut the Chevy a little bit, and see what happens. $10k per unit is a lot of profit for Ford…

    And there is only so much capacity for full-size SUV sales in the world.

    In any case, as others have mentioned, the 6-cylinder uses the same amount of fuel as a V8, but it has a lot more things to go wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      LOL. the *current* Expedition starts at $47k. with the aluminum body, expecting a $10k price cut is unrealistic. It doesn’t have F-150 volumes in which to bury the added cost.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Material / component complexity cost combined with the overhead for a lower volume makes 47k look like a friggin miracle compared to GM’s 45k starting MSRP.

        FORD USES MAGIC TO MAKE EXPEDITION AND NAVIGATOR CARPET RIDES

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ford now employs magic elves at its Kentucky Truck Plant (and they work for free apparently).

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Part of the reason they can keep competitive is they share overhead with the P558. Having a stand alone plant to produce the U22X / U55X would result in the death of the program. That or importing the vehicle from a lower cost country to manufacture (if that’s even feasible).

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    The answer is yes. If anyone actually looked at the build quality of the gm products Ford will have a huge advantage. Last month I looked at all the gm full SUV ‘ s at an auto show. Dash panels, doors, and interior pieces were all out kilter. Even the doors did not match the lines of the quarter panels. It was was a flashback of 1990’ s gm products, awful looking build quality on the outside and god knows what is poorly build in the engine and transmission department.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      In fairness, though, cars at the auto show might not be your best barometer of quality – they get beaten up pretty badly by showgoers.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        This was the show in SLC. Don’t think the vehicles travel from car show to car show. I’m thinking these are models from local dealers.
        Seriously the full size GM SUV ‘s looked completely differentl build from the full size GM pickups. Center console stereo area had huge gaps. One side was flush with the dash and other side had. 3-5 mm gap in the Yukon. Yes a $68,000 looked like crap. Very sad.

        So yes I think Ford and Lincoln will do well with these new full SUV ‘s.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          It depends. Some newer vehicles, and all of the prototype/concept/preproduction cars are shipped in. Stuff that’s been our for a year or three already is sourced from the participating dealers.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Interesting discussion…From what I have seen from friends with current V6 turbo Ford pickups, fuel mileage suffers greatly, whether driving in stop and go, highway, or towing. Ford not offering a V8 with cylinder deactivation capabilities will hurt them, at least with buyers who know and understand the difference between the turbo V6 and a tried and true V8. Extra heat generated by a single turbo is a killer, and when you double that with a twin turbo system, you can’t get enough heat shielding to curtail eventual heat related failures, particularly oil leaks and gasket failures. Even police departments with fleets of new Ford police units, be it SUVs or sedans, with that engine are experiencing failures. Given the amount of idle time on such units, that does not surprise me…excessive heat build up with limited air flow is a killer…

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      I don’t doubt your anecodotal evidence based on (an admittedly fairly limited number of) Expeditions on Fuelly.com. Hard not to dip into the boost with a heavy vehicle that needs some real motivation to get moving. And once you’ve dipped in…

      http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/expedition

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        This is why I don’t see the point in a turbo V6 in a heavy vehicle. It’s not going to improve your fuel economy, it’s just going to stress your smaller (with more moving parts) engine even more.
        Just put a cylinder deactivation setup on an 8.1 liter vortec and get on down with a 4.05L 4 cylinder.

        Though I have been in someone’s 2017 5.3 Silverado that had averaged 24MPG over 9k miles.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Turbo sixes are by far the most common engine configuration in the heaviest vehicles on the road (semis and articulated transit buses). And they last for seven-figure numbers of miles. If engineered correctly there’s no problem with the layout.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            A very large and heavy inline 6 Diesel that’s max RPM is 4-5k is different than a high strung V6 that’s designed to be light weight.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Those diesels max out at ~2300 rpm and are happiest pulling at ~2000.

            The EcoBoost block really isn’t all that light at all. The first-gen 3.5 was very much overengineered for the power level it had from the factory. It’s a stout bottom end and has proven quite durable — to the extent there have been EcoBoost problems they’ve been on the top end.

        • 0 avatar
          TomHend

          Excellent point Hummer I’m shopping for a car now and that is what is steering me away from Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          Actually, turbos do help improve economy. It’s pretty much a given that under most conditions a smaller engine will consumer less fuel than a larger engine. So when you aren’t calling for the extra power, the smaller turbo engine is getting better economy than the larger naturally aspirated engine. And the way most people drive most of the time, they just aren’t working their engines very hard at all, no matter the displacement.

          Cylinder deactivation works too, but not as well as a proper turbo set-up. This is why we are seeing turbo engines popping up all over the place these days. Small engine economy with big engine power.

          • 0 avatar
            TomHend

            Thanks, now another concern, the 2017 Lacrosse is the first year of cylinder deactivation, which I don’t want to experiment with, so now I am back to the Ecoboast or a 2016 Lacrosse, which they are making deals on.

            Can not stand car shopping anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          OzCop

          My 6.2 Corvette had cylinder deactivation in 06, so I’m fairly certain GM has that feature on most, if not all it’s normally aspirated V8s in the past several years. My Corvette averaged nearly 36 mpg on a trip from Dallas to So. Cal a few years ago…and that included local driving in horrendous traffic, some spirited driving through the mountains, and of course mostly highway cruising trying to stay within 5 to 7 mph of the posted speed limits. Cylinder deactivation is seamless and you seldom notice or feel it when it goes into CD mode. I would get a quick flash of an economy icon when it went into CD mode. I get the same on my Hemi Ram…and that truck has gotten as much as 24 mpg highway mileage on extended trips. Cylinder Deactivation is nothing to be scared of, as one poster appears to be…

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I rented an Expedition on vacation before; whether you use 91+ or 87 octane is the main arbiter of MPG in my experience.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    One silly, small issue I have with the Expedition over the Tahoe spending time with both.

    Why can’t Ford make great Air Conditioning like GM does? I mean it’s amazing how much better the AC is, like a meat locker whereas the Ford seems to struggle.

    I’ve had several Expeditions and none of them cool off a hot car like they should. The last Expedition basically got sold early over it, I took it to the dealer since new and they just admitted they don’t have strong AC.

    I’ve had little economy cars with better AC.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    GM has a large advantage over Ford with pickups and large SUVs sales. GM still sell mote pickups than Ford. Add the massive advantage GM has with large SUVs gives Ford a challenge.

    Ford could steal some sales away from GM. How many? Not as many as some are assuming.

    Maybe in a decade or two Ford might overtake GM.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Ford needs a better-looking SUV.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    New expedition front looks a lot like the old Ford Five Hundred.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    I’m the target market and I was already cross shopping the Expy EL vs a Suburban. I’ve found that the Ford really isn’t any cheaper when adjusted for similar equipment. The base Suburban 4×4 gives me Android Auto, remote start, power folding mirrors (a necessity for my garage at home), and a limited slip differential. Once you get that stuff equipped on an Expy EL its well over the Burb’s MSRP.

    One thing that will kill the Expedition for me is if “Premium recommended” appears anywhere in the service manual. I want advertised power, MPG, and tow/haul ability on horse piss 87 octane. We’re gouged $0.80 per gallon here for premium I refuse to support that. It would also reallly help its case if it could burn E-85 (anyone know if the new CGI 3.5TT burns E85) as I’m a big proponent of the fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      On the F-150 with this engine, Ford requires at least 87 octane (which means regular in most places and mid-grade in high-altitude places), and recommends higher octane only for severe duty service such as heavy towing.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    No, and I’ll tell you why from my POV. Full disclosure, I own a ’16 Yukon XL Denali and cross-shopped the Ford products.

    The GM K2XX SUVs will have a head start on any improvements the Ford products have and will adjust accordingly. That alone will give GM the edge they need to protect their cash cow SUVs.

    And of course, the GM products come with a proper V8 engine. Turbo V6s are great and all. I own a 2010 Taurus SHO and I owned a 2012 F-150 4×4 EB. GM’s LS/LT motors have a better driving experience, they sound better, and they get better real world fuel economy.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    If CAFE is forcing Ford/GM to push the price floor up I don’t see why they don’t bring back the 3/4-ton BOF SUV. Make the HD version with the big V8 (Coyote mill has got to be cheaper than 3.5TT EB, right?) and older-tech transmissions, work-truck spec with 8 vinyl seats and start it at 30-35k and I’m in. Keep the tow rating up at ~9k or higher.

    Ford’s missing out on the easy non-CAFE affecting extra sales of a reduced-price 2.7T model with less feature content.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      The Coyote 5 liter is seriously deficient in torque as compared to the 3.5 Ecoboost or the GM 6.2 (not sure about the smaller 5.3). The Coyote engine, with its complicated OHC valvetrain and 4-valves per cylinder needs to be revved to really make its power. Most people (other than throttle jockeys in Mustangs) interpret this — rightly or wrongly — as “strain” and they don’t like it. That’s why if you go on to any travel trailer forum (such as the Airstream forum), you’ll find hordes of people insisting that anything less than a 3/4 ton diesel to tow their 25- 28 foot trailer is “just not enough,” not withstanding 1/2 tons (including the F-150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost) that are rated to tow 10-20% more than the GVWR of these relatively small trailers. They like that these 6.7 liter diesels rarely exceed 2,000 rpm doing their job.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    It all comes down to the “driving experience.” My experience test-driving 1/2 ton pickups with the GM 5.3 engine is that it doesn’t “feel” particularly powerful, even empty. By contrast, test-driving the Ford Ecoboost, the engine “feels” much more powerful . . . the result of the shape of the torque curve and the way the drive-by-wire throttle is programmed to respond to pedal angle. Now, if GM makes the 6.2 engine more widely available, that will be a whole ‘nother story.

    I’m no longer in the market for a vehicle that hauls more than 4 people, so I can’t really say. I bought the truck to pull an Airstream trailer; and I would prefer not to have things like a gasoline generator, gas for the generator and other dirty, nasty stuff inside the passenger compartment.

  • avatar
    zip94513

    I’ll give Ford this much over GM, the turbo performs well at elevation and doesn’t have the power loss of normally aspirated motors. The GM 6.2 can compete, but unless one springs for a Denali you’ll never see anything bigger than a 5.3 motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I’ve driven the old (current production) 3.5L Expedition. It feels quick around town but the 5.3 GM feels stronger on the highway. This new ones weight loss should help, but the 10 speed will hurt 1/4 times.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Buyers didn’t notice when Ford made major changes in the chassis for 2003, neither did they care with the introduction of the GTDI engines in the last few years. GM covers this market well and loyalty is strong, buyers will stick with what they know. The same phenomenon keeps Ford’s pickups at the top.

  • avatar
    orange260z

    The Ford TT3.5L feels a lot more powerful than the GM 5.3L, particularly when towing. On paper, the 3.5L is more fuel efficient; but in reality I think the TT3.5L drinks more. The GM full-size SUVs with the 5.3L really give incredible real-world fuel economy when not towing, better than many larger CUVs and and as good as minivans. Additionally, the GM 5.3L is typically quite reliable while the TT3.5L seems to have a pretty spotty reliability record.


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