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2012 Ford Expedition EL

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2012 Ford Expedition EL Review

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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)

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2012 Ford Expedition EL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 312 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

I Love My Truck

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This truck has been amazing and reliable. I now have have 200,000 miles on it and still going strong. Original engine, trans, exhaust system and everything except the wear and tear stuff. I've used full synthetic oil and 93 gas in it from the getgo. it pays off in the long run. looking to get another 100k :)"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best mileage for a vehicle this size!

By on Monday, October 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

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: "comfort & relibility"

Cons: "Ford has the better deal"

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

"I like more medal around me for safety.. 2007 Expedition Limiter is the only model to get 17/24 MPG!! I have owned it for 7 years and don't don't ever want to get read of it!"

23 people out of 44 found this review helpful

Luv my truck.............

By on Saturday, October 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great with oversize tires and wheels"

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

"Two things.....put some decent clothing hangers in the vehicle from the factory. The placing of the oil dip stick is terrible."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

I like it, handles good, has capacity that I want

By on Monday, September 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "None specific--like the whole car"

Cons: "None at this time."

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

"Have had no difficulties with the car. Have not had to have any major repairs--only normal maintenance. Can't complain in anyway about the vehicle. Would purchase another one when that time comes--but at the rate that we use it, replacement will not be for many more years."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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."

19 people out of 31 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."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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