SEE ALSO: Ford Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 39,885 Price As Tested $ 41,115 Engine Type SOHC 16-valve 5.4 Liter V8 w/SMFI* Engine Size 330 cid/5398 cc Horsepower 260 @ 4500 RPM Torque (lb-ft) 350 @ 2500 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 119.1"/78.6"/204.6" Transmission Four-speed automatic Curb Weight 5643 pounds Fuel Capacity 30.0 gallons Tires (F/R) P265/70R17 all-terrain Brakes (F/R) Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS) Drive Train Front-engine/four-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Eight-passenger/five-door Domestic Content 85 percent Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) N/A PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 13/18/15 0-60 MPH 9.5 seconds Maximum cargo capacity 1730 pounds Maximum towing capacity 7300 pounds * Sequential multi-port fuel injection
BRENDAN - With a bevy of models available, Ford has owned a large share in the family/off-road SUV market during the last decade or so. With so many to choose from, Ford fans may be confused as to which one is the right fit; the old reliable Explorer, the monstrous Excursion, or the new mini-ute Escape? The answer may be the fourth and most practical, the 2001 Expedition. It's not the biggest Ford SUV, but it's got enough room enough for a soccer team or a group of mountain bikers. Our test version of the Expedition was the 4x4 Eddie Bauer Edition, which sports a 5.4-liter Triton V8 motor that gives the Expedition all the juice needed for a grueling trip to the mountains. It balances 260 horsepower with a stump-pulling 350 pound-feet of torque that gets the Expedition up and over the toughest driving obstructions.
MIKELE - I agree with you on the Expedition's pulling power, Brendan. Too bad Dad doesn't let us go four wheeling on his land anymore. All that acreage going to waste but I know he worries every time we do it. The four-speed automatic transmission on our Expedition shifted very smooth during my daily driving, and now that I work at home, it's mainly in town, stop and go and it's a bit big for that. I saw a lot of them on the road, and they all seemed to be driven by mothers with kids. They seemed happy too, as long as they avoided tight parking. It drives like a truck and that's one of the only drawbacks to SUV's that aren't based on car platforms. The ride was passable and it's a credit to the Ford engineers who "tuned" the heavy-duty suspension for family use. The inside is cavernous, and a third row of seating makes enough room for our dogs and our parents but not necessarily at the same time. But even with the third row up, there's enough cargo space behind it for some groceries, and that's amazing because most SUV's offer very little area for anything when you're transporting seven or eight people.
BRENDAN - I would rate the Expedition Eddie Bauer very high on my tailgating vehicle list, Mikele. There is plenty of room for my buddies as well as a barbecue and giant cooler. It also has the works in interior features. The air-conditioning system kept our tester frosty, even in our recent 100-degree California weather. A sunglasses holder is standard, as are six cupholders. Storage pockets are everywhere, and the six-disc CD changer and AM/FM tuner sounded clear. I would have preferred cloth upholstery to the leather that came in our Expedition. During these hot days my skin sticks to leather seats. The outside is classic Ford with chrome bumper inserts, fog lights, and that age old Ford "blue-oval" emblem on the grille. The interior was big enough for a six-footer like me and it fit me like my old baseball mitt.
MIKELE - I enjoy it when a vehicle I'm testing is big and high up. It makes me feel more confident in the rough and tumble world of highway driving. The Expedition is just the right size to accommodate my fears and makes me feel safe in almost all traffic situations. It's not flashy compared to some of today's SUVs but the Expedition does have a hint of luxury in its body lines and its fancy chromed steel wheels. The running boards made it easy for me to get in and out, and the tailgate has a rear windshield that opens separately for cross-ventilation or loading light packages.
BRENDAN - I thought the Expedition fit you well Mikele, and it's a safe vehicle also. Driver and front passenger air bags are standard, and it also has an anti-lock braking system and the brakes on the rear are disks. It wouldn't seem right to have rear drum brakes on a rig this big. I don't want my tailgate parties to have anything but the best.
MIKELE - You must have an upcoming tailgate party at the ballpark in mind, Bren, but remember that we only have these tester vehicles for a week or so and if you want to avoid having to use a little econobox instead of this big Expedition, you'll have to plan ahead.
BRENDAN - Maybe we should buy one for ourselves, honey.
MIKELE - Somehow I can't fit a new Tailgate Wagon into our budget.