2008 Ford Expedition Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Ford Expedition was new.
The 2008 Ford Expedition provides a pleasant and powerful driving experience despite its massive size, earning a very good performance score and a high performance ranking within the class. Thesays "we enjoyed almost sedan-like ride without being bounced and brutalized in the cabin."
Cars.com adds that the Expedition "delivers a driving experience that rivals -- and in some ways bests -- that of Chevrolet's redesigned Tahoe."
Acceleration and Power
Automotive.com says the 2008 Ford Expedition's 5.4-liter, 3V SOHC V8 engine leaves "an impression of reliable power," an opinion reviewers tend to share. Even with its considerable bulk, Motor Trend finds the SUV clocks better acceleration speeds than its competitor the Chevrolet Suburban during a road test. "It nailed the 60-mph mark in 8.4 seconds versus an 8.9 best for the Suburban and toured the quarter mile in 16.2 seconds at 84.2 mph against a 16.6-second/84.4-mph best for the Chevy," its reviewers write.
The Environmental Protection Agency only rates the 2008 Ford Expedition's fuel economy with rear wheel drive at 12 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highways. However, many reviewers note the Expedition's true purpose is separate from its poor fuel economy, which is nicely put by reviewers. "In foul weather, we never considered what the next gallon of fuel would cost...When the roads were dry, on the other hand, the eyes tended to look at the huge numbers outside the refueling stations."
The Expedition's six-speed automatic transmission is an improvement for many over previous Expeditions' four-speed transmissions, Forbes notes. In fact, Edmunds discovers the six-speed "upshifts smoothly," but cautions that it "takes a few ticks to find the right gear in passing situations."
Handling and Braking
There are mixed feelings on the Expedition's handling. Edmunds is the most kind, calling the variable assist power rack-and-pinion steering "tight and direct," while Cars.com tempers its praise with "it goes without saying that you have to take corners with care in a vehicle like this, but body roll has been reined in fairly well."
Car and Driver is the most displeased with the handling mechanics. "Ford claims that the new Expedition 'doesn't handle like a big truck,' but what does it handle like, then? A thirty year-old school bus riding twenty pounds low in the tires is probably a good approximation." The reviewer then describes the steering as delayed, "like Wile E. Coyote taking off in a panic, with his feet running off and his torso stretching and remaining behind at the starting line."
Reviewers think the 2008 Expedition's sheer mass might hinder the performance of its power four-wheel disc, four-wheel anti-lock brakes. As Automobile Magazine explains best, "though the Expedition has decent brakes, you still need room to come to a complete stop," where as Edmunds discovers " the Expedition's pedal feels softer and a bit less comforting in daily use, and it stopped in a ho-hum 137 feet." Lesser known sources find differently. To Autoweb, the brakes are "effective and well-modulated, despite the mass they're charged with slowing," and Auto Mall USA calls them "smooth and responsive."
All Wheel Drive
Reviews have nothing negative to report concerning the Expedition's four-wheel drive, which is standard on the EL trims and an optional for the remaining trims. Automobile.com says the four-wheel drive is "ideal for wet weather or snowy conditions as it automatically apportions torque to the wheel with grip, four-wheel drive high, for traveling across lighter duty off-road sections, and four-wheel drive low, for the really tough stuff."
The 2008 Ford Expeditions also have an AdvanceTrac system that Kelley Blue Book especially enjoys as it "greatly improves the driver's ability to control the vehicle in a skid or if wheel slippage occurs."
Surprisingly, reviews shed little light on the Expedition's off-road capabilities, but the XLT four-wheel drive models have the option for an off-road package with running boards, step bars and skid plates.
Edmunds on its drive tested the Ford Expedition's hauling capabilities, specifically when matched against the Chevrolet Tahoe and finds both give a "worthy performance." Nonetheless, the test discovers "the Tahoe's fewer gears led to a mid-hill bout of gear hunting, which wasn't evident in the Ford. The Chevy's 20-hp advantage showed itself higher up at the steepest portion where both trucks were at wide-open throttle. Here the Tahoe maintained 58.3 mph, while the Expedition faded slightly to 55.8 mph."
As The Family Car explains it, "one of the main reasons that people buy these huge SUVs is for their towing capability. In this respect, the Expedition is certainly not lacking." It's a sentiment that is not challenged by other auto writers. All trims of the 2008 Ford Expedition have the option for a heavy-duty trailer towing package, which includes a wiring harness, trailer hitch receiver, pin connectors and other items. Ford boasts that fully equipped its models can tow up to 9,200 pounds, which is "more than the maximum ratings for the Tahoe, Armada, Sequoia and Dodge Durango," Cars.com writes.