With a 9200-pound towing capacity, the Louisville, Kentucky-built Ford Expedition returns for 2012 with best-in-class towing for a medium-duty sport utility vehicle. With seating for up to eight passengers, it's also one of the most accommodating SUVs on the market and one of the last built with truck-like body-on-frame construction.
Available in standard length or extended-wheelbase EL models, the Expedition comes equipped with a powerful standard 5.4-liter V-8 that delivers 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque and puts its power to the pavement via a six-speed automatic through either the rear wheels or Ford's optional Control Trac four-wheel drive system . The Expedition also comes standard with stability control and sensors that can detect trailer motion and adjust the vehicle to compensate.
The Expedition comes standard with a multi-link independent rear suspension unlike several of its competitors, which Ford says provides a smoother ride. Since the vehicle's introduction for the 2007 model year, several other competitors have caught up with suspension refinement. However, Ford keeps pushing ahead with options unique in its class to the Expedition such as SYNC phone integration, a modular second-row bench seat, and an available Vehicle Health Report that will scan the Expedition for and prepare a diagnostics report for the driver.
Body style: Five-door sport utility vehicle
Engine: 5.4L, V8
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Models: Ford Expedition, Ford Expedition EL
The 2012 Ford Expedition adds AppLink to SYNC-equipped vehicles. AppLink allows for further integration of smartphone applications into Ford's SYNC infotainment system beyond Bluetooth cell phone and voice command controls. Expedition EL models add a new modular cargo organizer behind the third row of seats. Spotter mirrors are now standard for all models, heated second-row seats are now available on XLT Premium models, and front park assist comes standard on Limited and King Ranch models.
With an upright look and Ford's large horizontal-bar chrome grille, the Expedition looks rugged and imposing on the road. The body comes standard with gray plastic on the rocker panels while most trim levels come with a monochrome paint finish. On the uplevel King Ranch models, the top-half of the body comes in a choice of five colors while the lower body comes in a platinum metallic color, lending to an upscale look.
With three rows of seating, the Expedition offers a spacious cabin for occupants in the standard model and positively cavernous in the extended-wheelbase EL models. The standard models come with gray cloth seats while XLT models have black and tan cloth seating options available. Limited models come with leather seating, and top-of-the-line King Ranch models come with a coal and black two-tone leather interior, which give the vehicle an added dose of luxury. With SYNC, satellite radio, and a built-in video entertainment system, the Expedition has the potential to absolutely coddle occupants on long-distance journeys.
Performance & Handling
With power lagging behind the competition and a curb weight of more than three tons, the Expedition provides leisurely acceleration. And if you were expecting it to be a sports car in the twisties, think again. With a softly-tuned suspension, the Expedition corners with sure-footed predictability, thanks in large part to Ford's Roll Stability Control, but lumbers with heavy steering feel and a slow turn-in. The Expedition has a whole lot of physics working against it, and that's not even touching upon its ho-hum fuel economy.
With active safety features that include traction control, stability control, roll stability control, and software to monitor towing stability all standard, the Expedition is about as stable as it can get. Inside, the Expedition comes with six large airbags that provide crash protection in all three rows. And if all that weren't enough, the Expedition comes equipped with SOS Post-Crash Alert system to warn drivers on the road and optional 911 Assist that comes with SYNC.
EPA Fuel Economy
Expedition: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway (4x2); 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway (4x4)
Expedition EL: Not rated
- Cargo capacity
- Interior space
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy
Great towing and hauling but clumsy on its feet
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban
- Nissan Armada
- Toyota Sequoia
- Dodge Durango