For more on this review of the 2015 Ford Expedition Limited please visit AutoGuide.com.There’s a time and place for everything. Burping out loud at work, bringing Jell-O shots to a child’s first birthday party or making out during Sunday morning service are examples of inappropriate behavior. But simply change the setting to a football game, your friend’s going-away party or the grandparent’s living room and all of these things can become perfectly acceptable.
Full-size, body-on-frame SUV are gross overkill for most drivers that just need something to ferry them to work five days a week. Commuting in one of these behemoths is like ordering a tanker-car full of tartar sauce to go a fish-stick lunch.
But what if you’ve got a big family, own a large boat or live in the wilderness with an abandoned logging trail for a driveway? A generously portioned, all-weather utility vehicle might just fit the bill. And the folks at Ford hope you consider their refreshed Expedition over rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Dodge Durango. But should you? Appearances can be deceiving.
Like Your Favorite Pair of Shoes
The good news about the updated model is that if you like today’s Expedition you’re going to love the 2015 model; it’ll fit like your favorite pair of shoes. Inside and out it looks and feels like the version it’s replacing.
On the outside Ford designers hardly changed a thing. Either they didn’t want to mess with a proven formula or more realistically they were only given a budget of a couple hundred bucks to complete this refresh. It’s the same story inside where the new Expedition’s cabin is a spittin’ image of the outgoing model.
Substance over Style
No, the 2015 Expedition may not have the suave styling of Chevy’s new Tahoe. Instead of something from London’s Savile Row it’s dressed in an ill-fitting, off-the-rack suit purchased at a J.C. Penny clearance sale. But don’t think that it doesn’t have any advantages just because this vehicle looks outdated.
The 2015 edition is quieter than ever thanks to 20 percent better body sealing as well as additional sound deadening material. These enhancements become obvious after even a short trip around the block. This truck remains hushed at all speeds.
As it has for more than a decade the Expedition features an independent rear suspension. So, why did it take so long to put one under the hindquarters of the Mustang? Anyway, this arrangement has several advantages over a traditional live axle.
It’s more compact, which allows for a lower floor and greater cargo room. It also affords a more spacious third-row seat and much better driving dynamics.
Beyond this, Ford also offers an adjustable suspension system called Continuously Controlled Damping. It’s available on higher-level Expeditions, including the Limited model I evaluated. With a battery of 46 sensors sprinkled throughout the body and chassis it automatically tailors the suspension to the driver’s needs and offers three different settings: sport, normal and comfort.
On the topic of roominess Ford’s latest Expedition offers about 19 cubic feet of space behind the aft-most seats, but fold them down and that figure grows to 55. Tucking the second-row chairs away results in up to 108 cubes’ worth of room. In each configuration this truck is more spacious than a Tahoe or Dodge Durango.
Need even more? Ford also offers a stretched version, the Expedition EL. Its wheelbase has been lengthened by a foot and its body is nearly 15 inches longer. This variant is a proper competitor for the Chevy Suburban.
But Wait, There’s MOAR!
The most significant update to the 2015 Expedition is found under its expensive hood. The company’s wheezy 5.4-liter V8 engine has been dumped like fracking runoff into the water table. It’s been replaced by a much more modern engine and one I’ve crowed about many times.
The truck’s new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 may have lost two cylinders and a considerable amount of displacement but it more than makes up for these deficits with technology. Thanks to direct injection, variable valve timing and twin turbochargers it delivers 365 hp. But torque is even more impressive, clocking in at a whopping 420 lb-ft, which peaks at just 2,500 RPM!
The engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Together this combination is strong, silky smooth and nearly silent. Thanks to this drivetrain the Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped.
With four-wheel drive the Expedition should average 17 miles per gallon, one MPG less than a comparable Tahoe. Around town it’s rated at 15 MPG and on the highway it stickers at 20. In mixed driving I averaged about 15.3 MPG; it’s hard to resist all of that torquey EcoBoost goodness!
The upscale Limited-trim Expedition I evaluated was also equipped with a number of premium features including things like electrically folding third-row seats, a moonroof, polished 22-inch wheels, power running boards that motor out when the doors are opened, dual-zone automatic climate control and MyFord Touch.
You’ve seen me defend this supposedly confusing infotainment system in the past and I’m going to do it again. MyFord Touch worked flawlessly for me, with no stuttering, restarts or delays. In fact I’ve really grown to like it and actually prefer it over MANY competing systems. It’s super easy and fast to pair a phone via Bluetooth, something that cannot be said about the Range Rover Evoque I evaluated just a few weeks ago.