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#6

in 2012 Affordable Large SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $24,144 - $36,556
Original MSRP: $36,530 - $52,330
MPG: 14 City / 20 Hwy
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2012 Ford Expedition Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Ford Expedition has an interior that's remarkable for its ample space and cargo versatility. While the Expedition has a long list of optional features, some reviewers wish more of the tech goodies, like Ford’s SYNC system, were available on the base model. Plus, reviewers complain about cheap plastics, a button-heavy dash and a subpar navigation system.

  • "Durable, reasonably attractive interior.” -- Car and Driver 
  • "A plethora of hard-plastic panels cheapens Expedition's interior ambiance, even with the available leather upholstery.” -- Consumer Guide

Seating

The 2012 Ford Expedition can seat up to eight, or seven when equipped with second-row bucket seats instead of the standard second-row bench. Standard seats are front cloth buckets, though on all but the base XL trim, buyers can upgrade to leather-trimmed, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, which also come bundled in a package with power-folding third row seats. Heated and cooled front seats are available on XLT models and standard on Limited and King Ranch trims, which also come standard with a power-folding third row and heated second-row seats.

Test drivers say that the front seats are comfortable, and that most drivers will be able to find a good driving position thanks to the available power-adjustable pedals. Reviewers don’t say much about the second-row seats, but many mention that the third row seats are some of the most comfortable and spacious in the class.

  • "The (front) seats are soft and comfortable, with enough seat travel up front to accommodate passengers from 4'11" to 6'4" tall.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In both, 3rd-row accommodations are among the best of any SUV, with adult-size headroom and legroom on a chair-height bench. Three adults can fit on the 3rd-row bench, but it's comfortable only for very short trips.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "In fact, third-row room is among the best of any SUV, though three adults won't want to sit in the back for long. The high ride height also makes getting in and out a task for children.” -- New Car Test Drive

Interior Features

The Ford Expedition comes standard with basic features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, four power outlets and cruise control. Upgrading to the XLT will add the features that most shoppers expect, including rear climate controls, backup sensors, Ford’s SYNC voice-controlled infotainment system and satellite radio. Limited trims of the Expedition add a standard rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, a power liftgate and an upgraded stereo. King Ranch models are downright luxurious, with front parking sensors and upgraded upholstery.

However, even on top-of-the-line King Ranch trims, a navigation system and power-deploying running boards remain as extra-cost options. A loaded Expedition King Ranch can cost more than $54,000, so shoppers considering these trims may also want to consider the $58,000 Lincoln Navigator. Its interior fit and finish are more upscale than the Expedition’s, and the two share a platform, so buyers won’t have to sacrifice capability.

While in general, reviewers love Ford’s SYNC voice-recognition infotainment system, a few mention that the navigation system isn’t as easy to use as competitors’.

  • "The layout of the gauges and controls is easy to understand and no controls are too far out of easy reach.” -- New Car Test Drive
  • “The Expedition's interior design is generally attractive, though some people might find the dash's array of buttons confusing. … Of all the Expedition's available bells and whistles, the voice-operated Sync system -- which, among other services, allows you to control your cell phone and MP3 player without removing your hands from the steering wheel -- is a standout.” -- Edmunds
  • "The navigation system absorbs most audio functions, awkwardly combining push-button and touchscreen operation, and its screen washes out in even moderate sunlight.” -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

Regular-wheelbase models of the Ford Expedition offer 18.6 cubic feet behind the third row of seats, but this space expands to 55 cubic feet behind the second row with the third row folded flat, and a maximum of 108.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. Extended-wheelbase EL trims offer a huge 42.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row of seats, 85.5 cubic feet behind the second row and a maximum of 130.8 cubic feet behind the first row.

Though the Chevy Suburban can carry more cargo, with a maximum capacity of 137.4 cubic feet of space, owners will have to remove the bulky and cumbersome third-row seats in order to pack the Suburban full. By contrast, the Ford Expedition offers a power-folding third row that folds flat into the floor, which reviewers greatly appreciate.

A power liftgate is unavailable on base XL models, but can be added as part of an options package on XLT trims. Limited and King Ranch trims come standard with a power liftgate. The Expedition does offer roof rails so that owners can take even more stuff with them, but one test driver mentions that the SUV’s height can make it hard to load up a roof rack.

  • "A large glovebox, roomy center console, and large door pockets provide abundant small-item storage.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Also notable is how easy it is to stow and raise the third-row seats. In competitors like the Chevy Tahoe, this operation is downright back-breaking.” -- Edmunds
  • "The Expedition's second- and third-row bench-type seats fold flat into the cargo floor, affording a long cargo area that can be easily loaded. This means you don't have to unbolt the passenger seats and leave them on the floor of your garage every time you're making a serious run to the home improvement store. In this regard, the Expedition is much better designed than GM's large SUVs.” -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Unfortunately, the Expedition's height makes it a bit difficult to secure items to the roof rack.” -- Kelley Blue Book

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