Expedition Reviews

A Full 2014 Ford Expedition Review offered by a dealer in

Louisville Kentucky, KY

What’s New for 2014

The 2014 Ford Expedition is now available with a new mechanical-type, load-leveling rear suspension in place of the previous air-based system. There are also minor changes to trim levels and option packages.

Introduction

With the ability to carry eight passengers and tow up to 9,200 pounds, the 2014 Ford Expedition remains one of the most capable vehicles on the market for large families with a boat or travel trailer. An expected side effect of these qualifications is size: The standard-wheelbase Expedition and long-wheelbase Expedition EL are two of the largest SUVs on the road.

Naturally, this translates to a lot of room in the cabin. There’s plenty of space for adults and teenagers to stretch out in all three rows. Moreover, with a maximum cargo capacity of 108 cubic feet in the regular-size Expedition and upwards of 130 in the Ford Expedition EL, there won’t be many hauling jobs you can’t handle. That said, the extra-large footprint of the 2014 Ford Expedition makes it a bear to maneuver in tight spaces. This full-size SUV is not lightweight, either, and even with a V8 engine under the hood, it’s not quick with a full load of passengers.

Accordingly, if you don’t truly need all the Expedition’s capabilities, there are many other seven- and eight-passenger vehicles that are easier to drive on a daily basis, not to mention significantly more fuel-efficient. Minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest offer spacious passenger quarters, as do large crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford’s own Flex.

However, if a traditional full-size SUV is a must for your household, there are really only three major rivals that provide similar space and utility: the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and the Toyota Sequoia. All of these vehicles are newer designs than the Expedition and come equipped with stronger V8 engines, an important consideration if you have a sizable trailer.

Day to day, though, you might find the Ford friendlier than either of the Chevys (or their GMC counterparts), which don’t offer third-row seats that fold into the floor: a standard convenience on both the Ford and Toyota. Of course you’ll want to assess your priorities carefully before you decide, but on the whole, the 2014 Ford Expedition is a solid contender for families who need all the seating and towing capacity they can get.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Ford Expedition is a full-size, traditional body-on-frame SUV available in two body styles: the regular Expedition and the extended-wheelbase Expedition EL, which is 15 inches longer overall. Both are offered in three trim levels: base XLT, upscale Limited and top-of-the-line King Ranch. (XL models are sold only to fleet customers). Every Expedition comes standard with seating for eight passengers, and optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce that capacity to seven.

The XLT comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, running boards, a roof rack, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, integrated blind-spot mirrors, power rear-quarter windows and keyless entry (both remote and door-mounted keypad). Inside you’ll find cruise control, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (manual recline), power-adjustable pedals, a sliding and reclining 40/20/40-split second-row seat, a fold-flat third-row seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Ford’s voice-operated Sync system (includes an iPod/USB audio interface and Bluetooth phone connectivity) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and rear audio controls.

The XLT 201A package adds contrasting color body trim, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview mirrors with memory functions, leather upholstery (for the first- and second-row seats; the third row has vinyl), a leather-wrapped shift knob, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment and memory functions, a power-folding third-row seat, a 110-volt household-style power outlet and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system. The 202A package gets those items plus a heavy-duty trailer tow package, heated and cooled front seats and an eight-way power passenger seat with power lumbar adjustment.

The Limited trim includes all of the above items along with front parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, a driver-side auto-dimming mirror, heated second-row seats and a wood-trimmed steering wheel. The 301A Package adds a sunroof, retractable running boards, a navigation system that includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, HD radio, 10GB of personal music storage and Sirius Travel Link service (provides traffic, weather, sports, movie listings and local fuel prices).

The Western-chic King Ranch Edition is equipped similarly to the Limited but has special two-tone paint, upgraded headlights, premium “Chaparral” leather upholstery and wood-grain interior trim.

Several items from upper trims are available on lower trims as stand-alone options. Others vary by model and include 20-inch alloy wheels, a load-leveling rear suspension, second-row captain’s chairs, remote ignition, a dual-screen rear video entertainment system and a towing package.

Powertrains and Performance

The powertrain for the 2014 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL is a 5.4-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It produces 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but buyers can opt for four-wheel drive with low-range gearing. Properly equipped, the Expedition has a maximum tow rating of 9,200 pounds. This is a good number for this class, but more powerful competitors like the Tahoe and Sequoia feel stronger and more capable when towing on hilly terrain, in spite of their numerically lower towing capacities.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for a two-wheel-drive Expedition or Expedition EL is 16 mpg combined (14 mpg city/20 mpg highway), which is average for a full-size SUV. EPA estimates for 4WD versions drop to 15 mpg combined (13 mpg city/18 mpg highway).

Safety

The Ford Expedition comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Ford’s programmable MyKey system, which allows parents to specify maximum speed limits and stereo volumes for secondary drivers, is also standard. Rear parking sensors are standard across the board, and the Limited and King Ranch also have front sensors. A rearview camera is optional on the XLT and standard on the higher trims.

In government crash tests, the Expedition and Expedition EL earned an overall rating of four stars out of five, along with four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and a perfect five stars for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the 2014 Ford Expedition, you’ll find an interior that’s both attractive and spacious. Limited and King Ranch models are especially classy, though some low-quality materials take away from the otherwise upscale atmosphere. No matter which trim level you go with, however, you’ll find gauges and controls that are simple in design and easier to use than those in Ford’s more recently designed vehicles.

With a cabin this size, everyone — even third-row occupants — has a good amount of room to stretch out. The standard 40/20/40-split second-row seat both slides and reclines for greater comfort, and includes a center section that can be scooted forward to put small kids within reach of mom or dad. The available second-row captain’s chairs are a small luxury, even though they drop seating capacity to seven passengers. The third-row seat folds flat into the floor when you need more cargo room, which is a major advantage over the Tahoe’s (or Suburban’s) heavy, awkward seats that have to be completely removed to free up that same space.

Speaking of cargo room, there’s no shortage of it here. The standard Expedition offers 18.6 cubic feet behind the third row, while the Expedition EL sports 42.6 cubic feet. Fold down both rows of rear seats and you get a flat load floor with 108.3 cubic feet in the regular-size Expedition and 130.8 cubic feet in the Ford Expedition EL.

Driving Impressions

Although the 2014 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.

In most situations, the 5.4-liter V8 provides decent performance. Take on a full load of passengers and cargo or hitch up a large trailer, however, and the engine’s weakness becomes all too apparent. Compared with more powerful rivals from GM and Toyota, the Expedition is at a distinct disadvantage when it’s time to work. In addition, you may find yourself shifting the six-speed automatic transmission manually to maintain the desired gear when hauling a heavy load.

 

The Ford Expedition is a truck-based, full-size SUV that can carry up to eight people. It competes with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia and Dodge Durango. A longer version, called the Expedition EL, is about 15 inches longer and has a standard third row. It competes with the Chevrolet Suburban.

A factory-installed dual-screen entertainment system is now available for Limited and King Ranch trim levels while the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package now includes an integrated trailer-brake controller.

Exterior

 

The front features a squared-off four-bar grille and angular headlights, and the rear window can open independent of the liftgate. Regular- and extended-length Expeditions sport the same exterior styling. Exterior features include:

 

  • Standard capless fueling system
  • Standard fog lamps
  • Standard exterior keypad system
  • Standard heated mirrors
  • Standard 17-inch wheels
  • Optional rain-sensing wipers
  • Optional power moonroof
  • Optional power running boards
  • Optional 18- or 20-inch wheels
  • Optional power liftgate

 

Interior

 

The Expedition can seat up to eight in three rows of seats. The steering wheel, gauge cluster and climate controls are similar to those in Ford’s F-150 pickup truck. Thanks to an independent rear suspension, the third-row seat folds flat into the floor. A power-folding mechanism for the third-row seat is optional. The Expedition EL comes with a cargo organizer that divides the space to suit what is being carried. Interior features include:

 

  • Standard auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Standard power locks and windows
  • Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Optional Sync multimedia system
  • Optional heated and cooled front seats
  • Optional power-folding third row
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional DVD entertainment system

 

Under the Hood

 

When properly equipped, the Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds. Unlike the Suburban, which is available with heavy-duty payload ratings, the Expedition comes only as a regular-duty, half-ton truck-based SUV. The sole powertrain is a flex-fuel engine that can run on regular gas or E85 ethanol. Mechanical features include:

 

  • 310-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 with 365 pounds-feet of torque
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard rear-wheel drive; optional four-wheel drive
  • Optional load-leveling air suspension

 

Safety

A trailer-sway control feature is standard and works in conjunction with the electronic stability system to detect trailer movement and apply braking, as well as reduce engine torque, to keep the vehicle in control. A standard MyKey system allows parents to impose vehicle restrictions on teen drivers. Parents can limit the vehicle’s top speed, add a persistent seat-belt reminder, limit the volume on the stereo to 44 percent of its maximum volume and have a chime activate at 45, 55 or 65 mph. A backup camera is optional. Standard safety features include:

 

  • Front-seat side-impact airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system with anti-rollover technology
  • Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes

In a country spanning three time zones, if you hit the road frequently you’ll probably want to hit it with something big. And there are few bigger U.S. offerings than those put forth by Ford Motor Company. Its largest is the 2013 Ford Expedition, available in both standard (119-inch wheelbase) and EL (131-inch wheelbase) versions. Regardless of the Expedition’s so-last-century architecture, there remain a lot of people hauling kids and towing trailers. And for those that regard a truck-based SUV as a necessary tool, the Expedition remains one of the best. In its competitive segment, cross-shopped against Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans, and – to a lesser extent – the Nissan Armada, Ford’s standard feature list is arguably higher, and its mechanical spec more sophisticated.

You’ll Like This Car If…Should you and your family (or you and your business) require room for eight and 9,000 pounds of towing capability, Ford’s 2013 Expedition responds to that need. The now-venerable Expedition offers an ambitious spec (overhead cam powertrain, all-independent suspension) to complement an aggressive menu of options and individualization.
You May Not Like This Car If…If your urban environs or suburban driveway limit your parking options, and you don’t plan on towing large boats or trailers, 6,000 pounds of Ford Expedition may not be the answer.The Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package now includes an integrated trailer brake controller, available on XLT and standard on Limited and King Ranch. Working with the Expedition’s ABS system, it provides improved trailer braking when compared to aftermarket units. For entertainment, Limited and King Ranch models offer a factory-installed DVD system for rear passengers and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels.

Driving the Expedition EL
2013 Ford Expedition EL Front angle view photo

Driving ImpressionsLet’s consider a basic law in automotive physics: A vehicle weighing some 6,000 pounds will rarely provide the same driving dynamic of a vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds. Most variants of…

the 2014 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL start out weighing almost three tons – when loaded with passengers and cargo they will weigh much more. To that end, anticipate the additional mass when steering, accelerating or braking. Thankfully, Ford’s engineers have done their best to disguise the Expedition’s heft without actually reducing or eliminating it.

The big Ford’s center of gravity is lowered with the incorporation of an all-independent suspension, while the SUV’s 5.4-liter V8 supplies sufficient torque (365 lb-ft) to adequately move that mass. Directional control is provided by power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, while stopping is accomplished via 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.

Notably, if opting for 4-wheel drive, the Expedition’s approach and breakover angles are slightly diminished, whereas the long-wheelbase Expedition EL’s are (incrementally) enhanced. Be careful out there.

Favorite Features

ENHANCED UTILITY

The Expedition EL’s 12-inch-longer wheelbase and nearly 15 inches of additional length provide a huge improvement in capacity with little increase in cost or reduction in fuel efficiency. Sure, your garage may not accommodate the extra length, but that’s a small price to pay if you’re actually intending to use your full-size SUV.

KING RANCH TRIM
With more hide than will be found on some ranches, the King Ranch edition of Ford’s 2013 Expedition is the most expressive combination of truck-like capability and upscale appointment currently on the market. We’d get ours in EL form, with more room to carry more saddles.

2014 Ford Expedition Details

2013 Ford Expedition EL Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photoInteriorWhile there’s no official relationship between Ford’s interior design team and Dwell magazine, with this generation of Expedition Ford was among the first to incorporate truly contemporary design themes into a truck-based architecture.  In any of the 2014 Expedition’s three trim levels, seats are comfortable and provide enough seat travel to comfortably accommodate passengers of virtually any size. As a bonus, the Expedition’s third row provides room for real adults. And when not in use that third row folds flush into the floor, a benefit of the Expedition’s fully independent rear suspension.

Exterior

2013 Ford Expedition EL photo

A King Ranch Expedition may no longer get you the choice parking spot at the high-end steak place, but it retains a credible spot in the hearts and minds of those doing hard work during the week while playing hard on weekends. The 2013 Expedition’s prominent grille and upright stance speak (cubic) volumes, whether clothing the base XLT or upmarket King Ranch. And with a wide-ranging menu of exterior colors and interior trims, the Ford Expedition has historically been every bit as expressive as its clientele. And if “enough” is never enough, opt for the Expedition EL, providing an additional foot of wheelbase, 14 inches of additional length and over 42 cubic feet of storage behind the Expedition’s third row.

Notable Equipment
Standard EquipmentWith room for eight and the ability to tow up to 9,200 pounds (Expedition 4X2), the most notable piece of standard equipment on or in Ford’s 2013 Expedition is its capability. And while “Built Ford Tough” is the product team’s mantra, Ford hasn’t forgotten creature comforts. Ford is the only domestic manufacturer to combine an overhead-cam powerplant with all-independent suspension for levels of performance and composure you can take to the bank – or the beach. And given its family mission, safety is front and center, with AdvanceTrac traction control working with Roll Stability Control to enhance your confidence while driving in unpredictable weather or circumstances.
Optional EquipmentFord’s 2013 Expedition and Expedition EL offer a total of 10 equipment levels, one of which should match your needs and/or budget. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is a factory-installed option on Limited and King Ranch versions of the Expedition, while drivers can stay connected with the outside world via MyFord Touch. With a menu of connectivity includes Wi-Fi capability, text-to-voice capability, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and voice-activated navigation, your 2013 Ford Expedition can be every bit the nerd you are. Finally, new paint colors include Blue Jeans Metallic, Kodiak Brown Metallic and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.
Under the Hood

2013 Ford Expedition EL Engine photoWhile the 2013 Expedition’s 5.4-liter V8 is certainly adequate, Ford’s one offering is overwhelmed by the multitude of choices available from Chevrolet and GMC. The Ford V8′s 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque are well-matched to the chassis, and that power is enhanced by a 6-speed automatic, but the package falls short of GM’s 5.3-liter V8 (at least in horsepower) or GM’s 6.0-liter V8.

5.4-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
365 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (2-wheel drive), 13/18 mpg (4-wheel drive)

Please note: Fuel economy figures for Expedition EL are not available.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Ford Expedition XLT is just over $40,000, some $10,000 below the base sticker of the King Ranch EL. In all trims – XLT, Limited and King Ranch – the EL variant costs roughly $3,000 more than its shorter sibling. Of course, with a wealth of options and accessories available, along with functional adds such as 4-wheel drive, that sticker can easily be elevated by some $10,000. At the upper end of the Expedition’s food chain, the Limited and King Ranch offer interior appointments and exterior enhancements fully competitive with Lincoln’s Navigator and GMC’s Yukon Denali. Before you buy, be sure and check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are paying for Expeditions in your area. At the other end of the ownership cycle, Expedition owners can anticipate a return on investment similar to that offered by GM (Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon) and Nissan (Armada).