2015 Ford Expedition REVIEW

2015 Ford Expedition Platinum VIDEO REVIEW

If you’re in the market for a full size SUV now is a very good time to shop, because 2 of the heavy hitters in the segment have recently been redesigned and competition is always good for the consumer. All-new for the first time since 2007, this is the 2015 Ford Expedition.   Ok, so maybe all-new is a bit misleading, but this Expedition has been reengineered to the extent where it feels significantly improved.  Key changes start with a refresh of the exterior, featuring a new front end with projector headlamps and LED fog lights, revised rear hatch and a chrome-tipped exhaust.

2015 Ford ExpeditionCertainly far from a radical departure with plenty of old school SUV still baked in, but we’ll have to wait a couple of more years for a modernized, likely aluminum body. But here’s where things get really good.  The V8 is gone, replaced by the sweet 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with the twin turbos spinning out 365 horses and a mighty 420 pound-feet of torque; huge gains which make it seem like it should be called the Expedition Sport.  It reacts to your right foot in ways that completely belie its 5,700 lbs and it can still tow 9,200 lbs.  It also saves on gas, now rated at 17mpg combined on regular unleaded.  If you liked the flex-fuel nature of the V8 however, you’ll be out of luck here.  It’s mated to the new 6-speed SelectShift automatic with manual mode, and the powertrain operation is buttery smooth increasing the Expedition’s agreeable drivability and overall comfort.

The selectable 4-wheel drive system feels right at home in the snow, too with very confident footing.  Now I also recently tested the new Chevy Tahoe, the Expedition’s key competitor and what I realized this week frankly surprised me.   From a driving and general usability standpoint, the Expedition is far and away better than the Tahoe. For one, it has an independent rear suspension and for the first time in a Ford vehicle uses continuous damping, driver controlled shocks giving it an impeccable ride.

Next there’s the EcoBoost engine…which is so much more alive here and makes the Expedition feel downright fast. And then there’s its easy to use nature, with great visibility out the rear and electric steering that makes this Ford play small in crowded quarters. More sound deadening and acoustic glass have also been added making it a great highway cruiser.

If I was headed out on a vacation I’d love one of these.  It’s incredibly spacious yet never feels ungainly.  And unlike in the Tahoe, the third row can actually accept 2 adults or 3 kids in a way that won’t induce complaints.  Here in this new Platinum trim level, there are power folding 2nd row seats.  It’s also the only vehicle I can ever remember that has a digital clock in back.  And when you require a flat load floor, just click down here for cargo mode to really maximize space.

The updated interior also invites SYNC with MyFord Touch and new safety features like blind spot detection and cross-traffic alert.  Special soft leather and these splashy 22” wheels wrapped in premium Pirelli rubber are other Platinum perks.   There are a couple of bits I deem as design flaws; for one, the smart key access is a little less smart than it should be, requiring you to press a button or 2 to lock and unlock the vehicle. And secondly, placing the button for the power tailgate in here means having to duck and run.

A top of the line Expedition Platinum 4X4 starts at $62,865 while this one with the 22s stickers for $65,045.  Though some oldness still lives in here, the Expedition has a solid foundation for exactly what a big SUV should be and gives its owners the easy to use experience they desire.

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