Go

2012 Ford Expedition EL

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Ford Expedition EL Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Full-size SUVs may no longer be all the rage in cash-strapped America, but like it or not, the need for such vehicles has not gone away. For families with more than four kids, or the need to tow a boat or trailer, a 6-cylinder CUV isn't going to cut it. Thankfully, the 2012 Ford Expedition has plenty of muscle and room to spare, and although the Expedition's fuel economy is not great, it is tolerable considering big Ford's herculean capabilities. Roughly the same size as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Nissan Armada, the Expedition distinguishes itself with its available 2-tone exterior packages, upscale interior options and cleaver interior features such as a power flush-folding third-row seat and the SYNC hands-free communication and entertainment system. For those who need more interior room, the Expedition EL offers an extended rear area that puts the 2012 Expedition in direct competition with the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban, Toyota Sequoia, and GMC Yukon.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you and your family have needs as big as the 2012 Expedition itself (such as the need to fit eight people or tow up to 9,300 pounds), Ford's full-size family hauler makes a great addition to any garage. With so many well-thought-out features, the 2012 Ford Expedition is easily the best Expedition to date.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your only requirement is room for six or seven passengers, then a CUV such as the 2012 Ford Flex or GMC Acadia is probably a better choice. A CUV offers more carlike handling, better fuel economy and improved safety.

What's New for 2012

Spotter mirrors are made standard on all trims, while second-row heated seats can now be ordered on the XLT Premium. Ford's Front Park Assist is standard on Limited and King Ranch trims.

Driving the Expedition EL

Driving Impressions Because Ford gave the 2012 Expedition an independent rear suspension (the two rear wheels can move independently of each other due to each being attached to a separate axle), its...

ride and handling are far from truck-like. Whereas a solid-axle vehicle tends to hop around on rough pavement and perform poorly in tight turns, the Expedition's suspension seems unfazed by bumps, ruts and other road obstacles. Not that the Expedition is going to win any slalom events, mind you, but it is remarkably capable for its size, weight and high center of gravity. The steering setup is firm with good feedback to the driver and the tall seating position gives an excellent 360-degree view, although it can be difficult to see objects near the lower rear-quarter panel; we suggest using those big spot mirrors before changing lanes. While we weren't overwhelmed by the 5.4-liter V8's acceleration while towing, the Expedition seemed fully up to the task.

Enhanced Utility
The 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.

Keyless Entry Keypad
No more worrying about where to hide your key fob; with the keyless keypad entry system you can simply lock your keys and other items safely inside the vehicle. A preset combination entered via the door-mounted keypad unlocks the doors.

2012 Ford Expedition EL Details
Interior

We'll save the explanation about the 2012 Ford Expedition's interior volume except to say it is impressive. The seats are soft and comfortable, with enough seat travel up front to accommodate passengers from 4'11" to 6'4" tall. The Expedition's third-row seat can handily accommodate two adults. Better yet, when not in use the Expedition's third row folds flush into the floor, a function that requires only a push of a button on XLT, XLT Premium, Limited and King Ranch models. While the base trims are nicely equipped, you'll find the most desirable colors and materials inside the Limited and King Ranch versions. Heated second-row seats, soft leather seating and a host of electronic aids make the top-level Expedition models feel nearly Lincoln-like. Opting for the EL version nets you 42.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat, a serious improvement over the 18.6 cubic feet available on the standard Expedition.

Exterior

Who would have thought that boxy could be beautiful? Someone at Ford clearly did and in the case of the 2012 Expedition they've pulled off quite the styling job. Rich paint colors are highlighted by a bright chrome grille and tasteful side trim, and on King Ranch models, contrasting lower body cladding. Wheel sizes vary by trim, but can be ordered as large as 20 inches, negating the need for expensive aftermarket rims to trick out your ride. One very cool feature unique to Ford is the external keypad locking system that allows you to leave the key fob in the car and operate the locks via a combination lock keypad. For anyone who has ever lost a fob hiking or dropped it in the river while rafting, the keypad option is an indispensable feature worth its weight in gold. The Expedition's high ground clearance requires side running boards to make entry and exit a bit easier, not to mention less clumsy. Unfortunately, the Expedition's height makes it a bit difficult to secure items to the roof rack. Items not roof-bound can be safely tucked inside the Expedition, easily accessed via the available power liftgate.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Ford Expedition includes the AdvanceTrac stability-control system with Roll Stability Control that modulates braking and engine power to help maintain driver control in marginal conditions, particularly those involving slippery surfaces. Trailer Sway Control and the MyKey programmable key system – which allows parents to limit vehicle speed and audio volume, among other things – are also standard. Occupant protection is enhanced with seat-mounted front-side airbags and a three-row "safety canopy." Other standard features include keyless keypad entry, 6-way power front seats, sliding center-section second-row seat, heated seats, rain-sensing wipers and a 310-horsepower V8 engine.

Optional Equipment

2012 Ford Expedition buyers can choose an optional PowerFold third-row seat that folds flat with the touch of a button. An optional power liftgate is also available. Stand-alone options include a rearview camera, DVD navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link, heated second-row seats, the voice-activated SYNC communications and entertainment system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, auto-leveling rear air suspension and a 340-watt audio system.

Under the Hood

While the 5.4-liter V8 is certainly adequate, Ford's one offering is overwhelmed by the multitude of choices available from Chevrolet and GMC. The V8's 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet 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 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Ford Expedition EL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 307 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Great Vehicle for a large family!!!! Has it all!!

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome, roomy, comfortable ride, good value"

Cons: "13 mpg city is brutal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this since new. It has served us well for 77,400 trouble free miles. I mean not one service related issue. Normal wear and tear and it is still a great ride and comfortable for a family of 6."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Absolute best vehicle for travel/vacations

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,625

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Has been great vehicle, but I'm selling it in order to purchase a new 2016 Expedition Limited provided I can fin the same color and of course get a good deal from the Dealer."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great, reliable travel car. Roomy, comfortable

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Room, gas milage, reliable!"

Cons: "Rides a little rough sometimes - but nothing bad."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I ordered this car in 2008, and have maintained it-by the book- since day one. It gets 21-22mpg driving at 70mph. Drive 65 and gets 22.6mpg. Have never had any trouble with it. Power third row seats make it very good for either children(uo) or cargo(down)."

7 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Very impressed overall

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very roomy. Great towing. Smooth transmission."

Cons: "Paint on tailgate"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"2012 expedition EL Limited with 36,000 miles. Only issue was with paint bubbling on tailgate. Found out that the tailgates and hoods are aluminum and it is not rust but impurities in the metal when painted. Ford repainted without questions and looks great. Move the drive and the 6 psd tranny is very smooth. Have the bucket seats in 2nd row and would recommend to anyone. Gas mileage is the same as my previous three pickups and more functionality. Not sure why complain about mileage with these 5500 pound trucks.... Recommend to change oil at 4500-5000 ... Factory recommend is 7500 but the mechanics at a Ford dealership told me no way. They said if you change the oil at 4500 these 5.4 motors will last a long time. As big suv's go, this one gives you the most for your money."

16 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever!!!

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "affordable luxury, smooth, feels ahhhhhh"

Cons: "no cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my second expedition and third SUV. My first SUV was before I was introduced to the amazing Expedition. My current Exp. is the love of my life (aside from my husband and beautiful children of course) :). I could go in detail for days about my love affair with the silver v8 tucked in all cozy in my garage, but at the risk of boring you, I won't. If you gave me 800 million dollars and said, "Go buy any vehicle you want (land or sea)". I would buy my Expedition. Seriously! I LOVE IT! ALWAYS HAVE, ALWAYS WILL."

15 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Great For Towing travel trailer

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and very comfortable"

Cons: "The retracting running boards stick some times but"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This truck has been the best and most reliable truck I have ever had. It rides great we are getting 18MPG combined city and highway driving. It tows our 3500lb travel trailer like it is not there. of course the MPG does drop to 11-12mpg depending on the how steep the hills may be I would defiantly buy this truck again"

17 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

Advertisement