The Ford Expedition is Ford’s largest SUV offering. Introduced in 1997, the 3-row Expedition is now in its fourth generation. It replaced the Ford Bronco SUV and became the first four-door large Ford SUV. Unlike all the other SUVs in Ford’s stable, the Expedition has held on to its traditional body-on-frame construction. It is based on the Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck, and because of that, it makes an excellent off-road vehicle and it also offers outstanding hauling and towing capability. Also, the Expedition models that came before 2007 could carry up to 9 passengers when they were equipped with a front bench seat option. After 2007, the Expedition only accommodates up to 8 passengers thanks to introducing front bucket seats.
The 1st-generation Expedition was launched in October 1996 for the 1997 model year. In addition to sharing a platform with the F-150 pickup truck, the 1st-generation Ford Expedition also shared front fascia looks, transmissions, engines, and front suspension components. Under the hood, it featured a standard 4.6-liter V8 engine that developed 215 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque or an available 5.4-liter V8 engine that developed 230 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. With the 5.4-liter V8, this SUV could tow up to 8,000 pounds. Both engines paired with 4-speed automatic transmissions. Up front, the 1st-generation Expedition had an independent front suspension, while in the rear it featured a multi-link rear live axle suspension system. An electronically controlled pneumatic air suspension system was optional, as was a Traction-Lok rear limited-slip differential. The 1st-generation Expedition was also generously equipped in comparison with other large body-on-frame SUVs of its time. Its upscale Eddie Bauer version offers features like leather seats, a power moonroof, a dual zone climate control system, heated side view mirrors, illuminated running boards, and Ford’s Mach Audio sound system with rear subwoofer.
The 2nd-generation Expedition was introduced in May 2002 for the 2003 model year. It was just an inch longer than its predecessor and it also offered plenty of seating space in all three rows. This generation also had a sleeker, cleaner look with flowing lines and rounder edges. The 2nd-generation Expedition also inherited the 4.6 L V8 and optional 5.4 L V8 from the 1st generation, but with higher outputs of 232 horsepower and 300 horsepower, respectively. In 2005, the 4.6 L V8 was dropped, leaving just the 5.4 L V8 in all the models. The 2nd-generation Expedition also delivered improved ride quality thanks to the fact that it came equipped with an independent rear suspension. An adaptive pneumatic suspension system was optional. The interior of the 2nd-generation Expedition was also more premium, with plush carpeting and finer interior materials.
The 3rd-generation Expedition was introduced in 2007. It was built on a stronger, lighter, fully boxed Ford T platform that incorporated high-strength, hydroformed steel. The body work of this generation also incorporated more high-strength steel. The 3rd-generation Expedition was also offered in standard and EL (extended length)/Max models. The Expedition EL/Max added 14.8 inches of length to that of the standard Expedition, and so it offered way more cargo space. The standard 3rd-gen Expedition offers 18.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 3rd-row seats, while the Expedition EL/Max models offer 42.6 cubic feet at the back. Under the hood, the 3rd-generation Expedition featured the same 300-hp 5.4-liter V8 between 2007 and 2014. In 2015, a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivered 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft of torque replaced that V8. This new engine returned a fuel economy of 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway in the 2WD standard models. It also improved the SUV’s 0-60mph time to just 6.5 seconds while delivering a maximum towing capacity of 9,200 pounds.
The latest 4th-generation Expedition came into the market in November 2017 for the 2018 model year. It rides on the Ford T3 platform which it shares with the Ford F-150 truck and Lincoln Navigator SUV. Thanks to this new platform, the 4th-generation Expedition is approx. 4 inches longer and its wheelbase is also 3 inches wider than that of its predecessor. Thanks to the above, the 4th-generation offers a roomier interior and more cargo space. This generation is also offered in standard and EL/Max model options. Also, the EcoBoost V6 engine of the prior generation carries over to this generation, but with an increased output of 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. In the Platinum models, this engine offers a higher output of 400 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque.
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