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#5

in Affordable Large SUVs

MSRP: $43,390 - $63,640
Invoice: $40,461 - $59,344
MPG: N/A
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Ford Expedition Performance

Test drivers praise the 2015 Ford Expedition for its strong engine, which they say offers impressive power for normal driving conditions, including easy highway passing. Reviewers say the six-speed automatic transmission is responsive in most situations, but they notice a delay in downshifting when cornering. The Expedition’s steering is accurate and nicely weighted, and the ride quality is comfortable, they add.

  • "The 6-cylinder engine certainly feels more than capable of moving the nearly 3-ton SUV in a hurry. Our drive included both highways and steep mountain roads; the EcoBoost performed impressively, with strong acceleration off the line and quiet cruising at higher speeds." -- AutoTrader
  • "The Ford Expedition is an old-school full-size SUV with rugged body-on-frame construction. Although this setup means the Expedition is heavier, thirstier and less agile on the pavement than most crossovers, it also boasts towing and off-road abilities that more efficient unibody crossovers can only dream of." -- Left Lane News
  • "Although the 2015 Ford Expedition is a sizable beast, its independent rear suspension gives it a smooth ride quality for a traditional full-size SUV. Precise and responsive steering also contributes to its easy-to-drive nature, but its considerable dimensions are a notable limitation when trying to negotiate tight spaces." -- Edmunds
  • "After spending a day behind the wheel of Ford's largest available 'ute, we came away with the impression that it's new-but-well-known turbocharged V6 engine is a hearty performer, even in this heavyweight application." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Ford Expedition is powered by a new 365-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The base Expedition earns an EPA-estimated 16/22 mpg city/highway, which are some of the highest estimates in the class. The Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds, which is more than what many competitors are capable of.

The Expedition’s engine delivers ample power and quick acceleration for effortless highway passing, automotive journalists say. They also appreciate that the engine is quiet. Test drivers report that the six-speed automatic transmission performs well in most situations, but some note that when cornering at slower speeds, it isn’t always in the correct gear.

  • "Treat the big Ford with respect and it will return the favor, providing quiet, tractable power almost entirely devoid of the characteristic turbo whine of the V-6 EcoBoost in its F-150 application." -- Car and Driver
  • "The only time we were able to catch the power delivery out was when navigating a set of low-speed corners. We'd return to the throttle and find the automatic transmission consistently a gear or two too high. For sure, the transmission is calibrated to favor high gears in order to reduce fuel consumption." -- Edmunds
  • "Our test drive took place at the wheel of loaded EL model that, by Ford's estimation, weighed in at over 6,000 pounds before three passengers climbed aboard, so we were quite pleased with how effortlessly the EcoBoost mill could get the Expo's considerable mass moving. As it is in the F-150, the turbo six is utterly silent when cruising and heroically smooth and quiet even under full throttle.” -- Autoblog
  • "One problem with turbocharged engines is that they don't produce their quoted power numbers until the turbocharger has spun up to speed, and that takes a bit of time, particularly when the engine is idling. As such, the Expedition doesn't jump off the line if you nail the throttle from a stop quite like it did back in its V8 days. Granted, it picks up fairly quickly - say, halfway across an intersection - and pulls strongly after that, and this ‘lag’ isn't an issue in normal driving, but it's something some people might notice." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers agree that the 2015 Expedition has well-weighted, responsive steering. However, a few critics say that it still doesn’t make the large SUV easy to maneuver in small spaces. An adaptive suspension system with comfort, normal and sport modes is available. Some reviewers think there’s a noticeable difference in ride quality and handling between modes and appreciate the soft ride in comfort mode and sharper handling in sport mode. A few others think there isn’t a significant difference in ride quality between modes. The Expedition comes with rear-wheel drive, while four-wheel drive is available.

  • "A new electrically powered steering system also aims to improve efficiency. Steering feel is commendable, delivering the right amount of feedback, nice weight at high and low speeds, and good on-center feel." -- AutoTrader
  • "Drivers can select Comfort, Normal, or Sport settings, which soften or firm damping accordingly, but also continuously adjust the characteristics of the shocks based on input from sensors that monitor body motion, vehicle weight, steering feedback, and road undulations. The results are tangible, and in Comfort mode, the Expedition's ride is about as plush as that of any full-size SUV we've sampled to date." -- Car and Driver
  • "It's not surprising, then, that a major drawback to owning an Expedition is its sheer size. To assuage parking issues, there are rear parking sensors and a rearview camera equipped as standard, but somehow the Expedition still feels hard to handle and even bigger than it is." -- Edmunds
  • "We have no complaints about Expedition's ride, handling, or steering feel, either. Our preview drive route contained a surprising number of twists and turns, which wouldn't normally be the case with a full-size SUV." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Sport mode adds a bit of weight but no more feel to the steering and allows a few more bumps into the cabin, while Comfort quiets and smoothens out the ride a bit, but frankly, neither setting deviates too far from Normal. In all settings, handling is tidy, hardly scintillating, and perfectly acceptable for the big people-hauler it is." -- Autoblog
Review Last Updated: 10/6/14

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