Fourth generation model debuts this year.
The Ford Motor Company released updated information on Wednesday about its full-size sport-utility vehicle. The 2015 Ford Expedition is the latest version of this big body-on-frame SUV. Standard and stretched wheelbase versions are once again available; a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is now standard.
2015 Ford Expedition
In the new Ford Expedition, the automaker claims that it is its most powerful as well as the most fuel-efficient model we have seen to date. The new engine replaces a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that had been used for many years. The V-6, outfitted with turbochargers and direct injection, makes 365 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque. It is paired with a SelectShift six-speed transmission.
The latest iteration has three rows of seats with room for eight. It sits on a 119-inch wheelbase, coming in at six inches longer than the Ford Explorer, a crossover utility vehicle. A longer wheelbase version adds twelve inches to the wheelbase and raises cargo space capacity from 108.3 cubic feet to 130.8 cubic feet. Both 42 and 44 configurations return.
Meeting Customer Demand
Neither Ford nor General Motors appears ready to abandon the full-size SUV market despite lower sales in recent years. Keith Wilson, Expedition marketing manager, explained why this SUV continues in the Ford product arsenal. “Customers still have a need for a traditional full-size utility vehicle and the new 2015 Expedition delivers what those customers are looking for.”
Indeed, no other vehicles can deliver the combination of space, performance and capability of the largest SUVs which is why the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon also remain in production. The luxury variants of these models are also still around with the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade receiving generational updates for 2015 as well.
The Ford Expedition showed up in 1996 and was joined for several years by the even larger Ford Excursion. The oversized Excursion was produced for six model years, then canceled in 2005. Despite declining demand for large SUVs, Ford Expedition sales were up by 0.8 percent in 2013 on 38,350 units sold. In contrast, Ford sells more than four times as many Explorers as they do Expeditions.
Besides the new engine, the 2015 Ford Expedition will be equipped with a number of new and advanced technologies. Electric power-assisted steering is standard. SYNC with available MyFord Touch, a blind spot information system with cross traffic alert and continuously controlled damping technology will provide a smoother ride. The new Expedition also has a 9,200-pound towing capacity when properly equipped.
Ford engineers also worked diligently to minimize noise. For starters, they included new body seals to reduce air leaks by 20 percent. Additional sound deadening materials were added to the door trim panels and to the headliner, along with acoustic glass, wheel well sound insulation, and new carpeting. Combined, these factors will greatly reduced noise intrusion.
A fresh center stack punctuates the interior, designed to accommodate new technologies such as the available 8-inch touch screen for SYNC with MyFord Touch. That feature displays driver information in the gauge cluster as shown on a pair of full-color 4.2-inch screens.
Other technologies available on the Ford Expedition range include: push button start, front and rear parking sensors, LED ambient lighting, a rear view camera, and truck apps to make trailering and off-roading easier.
Platinum Trim Level Added
Based on the platform underpinning the Ford F-150, the 2015 Ford Expedition will also take a trim level from its truck sibling and apply it to the line. Specifically, a Platinum trim series is a first time offering. That model will offer customers a choice of leather interiors featuring red wine or ebony color schemes. Customers can also choose XLT, Limited and King Ranch editions.
Other changes evident for 2015 are a revised front end design with available halogen projector beam headlights and LED fog lamps. Available 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, an updated rear hatch and a new chrome-tipped exhaust are offered.
Built in Louisville, Kentucky, the 2015 Ford Expedition will go on sale later this year. Pricing is to be announced separately.
See Also — On the Way: 2016 Ford Taurus
Photos courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.