Ford Expedition EL

The Expedition comes in standard-length and extended-length EL from. Four different trims are available: XLT, Limited, King Ranch and Platinum. All Expeditions are powered by a 3.5L Ecoboost V6 engine enhanced by two turbochargers. The engine can deliver 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic and both rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive are available.

The Expedition has a tough, fully boxed frame for long-term durability in towing and hauling. It also has an independent rear suspension, which helps give it a better ride than many other truck-based SUVs. Variable-boost power steering also improves maneuverability. The 6-speed automatic transmission, with a wider gear ratio, has smaller steps between gears than the commonly used 4-speed automatic and offers improved shift quality, faster acceleration and improved fuel economy. Ford's exclusive AdvanceTrac with RSC is now joined by standard Trailer Sway Control and the two systems work together to detect trailer sway and apply precise braking or reduce engine torque as needed. The Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Both standard and EL Expedition models feature three rows of seating and the second row is available either in a 40/20/40-split bench or two captain's chairs. On the EL, the third row is not only roomier but easier to access, thanks to large rear doors. Both rows of seats fold flat with the touch of a button. The EL is nearly 15 inches longer than the standard-length model and rides on a wheelbase that is a foot longer. This translates into even more cargo space than the standard-length model.

Standard safety equipment includes seat-mounted front side air bags with head-protecting Safety Canopy side-curtain air bags. These features are part of Ford's Personal Safety System, which includes seat belt pre-tensioners, load limiting retractors, driver seat position sensing, crash severity sensing, SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System, Ford's SOS Post Crash Alert System, tire pressure monitoring system and traction control.

Standard equipment includes an anti-theft perimeter alarm system, power driver seat, rear air conditioning and traction and stability control.

The XLT trim includes Ford's SYNC system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and remote keyless entry. The Limited trim adds a power liftgate, SiriusXM satellite radio, leather seating and dual 8-way power-adjustable front seats.

On King Ranch, standard equipment includes woodgrain interior trim and other luxury interior features, including power running boards, rain-sensing wipers, integrated navigation and dual-zone climate control.

The Platinum trim is sort of the more urban answer to the King Ranch edition. Platinum trim features a powered moonroof, a voice activated navigation system and premium leather seating available in a variety of colors.

Options across the lineup include a rear load-leveling suspension, a dual-headrest DVD player, second-row heated bucket seats, a power moonroof and a heavy-duty tow package.

Editors' Review

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SUVs rose to dominance based on their utility, rugged nature and brawny looks, but demands for efficiency diminished the breed in favor of car-based crossovers featuring more streamlined bodywork at the expense of off-road ability and hauling prowess. But fear not -- whether you're a Western Wannabe or the Real McCoy, Ford still has a rig parked squarely in your corner.

The 2015 Ford Expedition EL is that rig, and although rooted firmly in 2002 -- the year the current generation first set sail -- it still has much to recommend it. A new powertrain for 2015, combined with updated technology and a subtle facelift should be enough to keep this model on the shopping lists of those who need a hardworking, body-on-frame truck.

Compared to the Blue Oval's all-singing, all-dancing aluminum-intensive F-150 pickup , the steel-bodied Expedition's first impression is that of yester-tech. This, despite a number of key updates and the surprising fact that you won't find a V-8 engine under hood. The 2015 Expedition is powered exclusively by Ford's impressive 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 -- the very same powerplant nestled between the tin fenders of many new F-150s. Yet even though the 365-horsepower, 420-pound-feet of torque six-cylinder is bang up-to-date, the Expedition lacks some of the F-Series' available creature comforts and much of its advanced safety tech.

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The Good With its torquey and refined turbo V6, the Expedition offers class-leading towing. Whatever can't be dragged out back will likely fit inside, as this Ford has a huge cabin and a massive cargo hold.

The Bad The Expedition's drive experience is marred by a cabin with too many hard plastics, a slow infotainment system, missing advanced safety features and dim headlamps.

The Bottom Line Only those with big families and serious towing requirements need apply.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.1
  • Features 7
  • Design 6.2
  • Media 6.2

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