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1997 Ford Expedition Review
A tank on the road.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1997 Ford Expedition provides an extra-large SUV in both rear-drive and four-wheel-drive models. One of its main attractions remains its capability to transport so many people, while providing five times more trunk space than most roomy sedans. It makes tough competition for the Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Durango, and others in its class.
Drivers get the satisfaction of a smooth experience behind the wheel, highlighted by respectable acceleration, quiet operation, and a host of convenience and standard safety features. Passengers enjoy a comfortable ride with plenty of room to move around.
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Expedition XLT, Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
This marks the first year that Ford offers the Expedition, using it as a replacement for the Bronco. It uses the platform found on Ford’s F-150 truck.
The 1997 Ford Expedition measures approximately 205 inches long, 79 inches wide, 75 inches tall, and sits on a 119-inch wheelbase. Its large size gives it an overwhelming presence wherever it goes. It sports a modern design, highlighted by a handsome appearance and plenty of ruggedness. The Expedition has body side molding, chrome front and rear bumpers, chrome trim on the bumpers and rear, power door mirrors, a chrome rear platform step, a swing-out rear window, and tinted glass. It reaches a curb weight of 5321 pounds and sits on 16-inch steel, alloy, or chrome wheels.
The interior of the 1997 Ford Expedition proves roomy enough to fit between five and nine passengers. In the front, it uses a 60/40-split cloth bench seat with driver manual lumbar and head restraints on all seating positions. The seat fits up to three people. An overhead console includes a covered storage box. On the floor sits another console with two cup holders. The dash contains logically arranged gauges for clear readability and conveniently located controls for easy use. Behind the front seat sit two rows of 60/40-split cloth bench seats that can fold flat. Each seat has a center armrest and two cup holders. The Expedition features a urethane steering wheel, power door locks, one-touch power windows, manual air-conditioning, side window demisters, dual cloth sun visors with vanity mirrors, carpeted floor mats in the front and rear, six coat hooks, cargo area tie-downs, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette player. Captain’s chairs, leather seating, and a CD player remain optional.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Expedition comes standard with a 4.6-liter V-8 that pumps out 215 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. A 5.4-liter V-8 cranks out 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. Both engines mate with a four-speed automatic transmission. It offers good performance, but pales in comparison to trucks powered by GM engines. Trucks with the 4.6-liter V-8 can tow up to 6100 pounds, while those carrying the 5.4-liter V-8 have a maximum towing capacity of 8000 pounds.
The 1997 Ford Expedition uses an independent front suspension with a stabilizer bar and torsion springs. It teams with a rear suspension with a stabilizer bar and coil springs. The Expedition offers a relatively firm ride and nice handling, considering its large size. Maneuvering in close quarters can be difficult. Speed-sensitive power steering allows for precise control most of the time. At low speeds, it can be a little over-sensitive, which negatively effects handling. Models equipped with all-wheel drive deal with off-road conditions without any trouble.
The 1997 Ford Expedition comes equipped with anti-lock brakes on all four wheels and traction control for better handling. Ford installs driver and front-passenger front-impact airbags. Child safety locks come on the rear doors.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Expedition 5.4-liter V-8: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Very reliable
- Roomy interior
- Lots of features available
You Won't Like
- Lacks power
- Below average fuel economy
- Difficult entry and exit
A tank on the road.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- GMC Yukon
- Lexus LX450
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Jeep Grand Cherokee