By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
In a country spanning three time zones, if you hit the road frequently you'll probably want to hit it with something big. And there are few bigger U.S. offerings than those put forth by Ford Motor Company. Its largest is the 2013 Ford Expedition, available in both standard (119-inch wheelbase) and EL (131-inch wheelbase) versions. Regardless of the Expedition's so-last-century architecture, there remain a lot of people hauling kids and towing trailers. And for those that regard a truck-based SUV as a necessary tool, the Expedition remains one of the best. In its competitive segment, cross-shopped against Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans, and – to a lesser extent – the Nissan Armada, Ford's standard feature list is arguably higher, and its mechanical spec more sophisticated.
Should you and your family (or you and your business) require room for eight and 9,000 pounds of towing capability, Ford's 2013 Expedition responds to that need. The now-venerable Expedition offers an ambitious spec (overhead cam powertrain, all-independent suspension) to complement an aggressive menu of options and individualization.
If your urban environs or suburban driveway limit your parking options, and you don't plan on towing large boats or trailers, 6,000 pounds of Ford Expedition may not be the answer.
The Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package now includes an integrated trailer brake controller, available on XLT and standard on Limited and King Ranch. Working with the Expedition's ABS system, it provides improved trailer braking when compared to aftermarket units. For entertainment, Limited and King Ranch models offer a factory-installed DVD system for rear passengers and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels.
Driving Impressions Let's consider a basic law in automotive physics: A vehicle weighing some 6,000 pounds will rarely provide the same driving dynamic of a vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds. Most variants of...the 2013 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL start out weighing almost three tons – when loaded with passengers and cargo they will weigh much more. To that end, anticipate the additional mass when steering, accelerating or braking. Thankfully, Ford's engineers have done their best to disguise the Expedition's heft without actually reducing or eliminating it. The big Ford's center of gravity is lowered with the incorporation of an all-independent suspension, while the SUV's 5.4-liter V8 supplies sufficient torque (365 lb-ft) to adequately move that mass. Directional control is provided by power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, while stopping is accomplished via 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.
The Expedition 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.
KING RANCH TRIM
With more hide than will be found on some ranches, the King Ranch edition of Ford's 2013 Expedition is the most expressive combination of truck-like capability and upscale appointment currently on the market. We'd get ours in EL form, with more room to carry more saddles.
While there's no official relationship between Ford's interior design team and Dwell magazine, with this generation of Expedition Ford was among the first to incorporate truly contemporary design themes into a truck-based architecture. In any of the 2013 Expedition's three trim levels, seats are comfortable and provide enough seat travel to comfortably accommodate passengers of virtually any size. As a bonus, the Expedition's third row provides room for real adults. And when not in use that third row folds flush into the floor, a benefit of the Expedition's fully independent rear suspension.
A King Ranch Expedition may no longer get you the choice parking spot at the high-end steak place, but it retains a credible spot in the hearts and minds of those doing hard work during the week while playing hard on weekends. The 2013 Expedition's prominent grille and upright stance speak (cubic) volumes, whether clothing the base XLT or upmarket King Ranch. And with a wide-ranging menu of exterior colors and interior trims, the Ford Expedition has historically been every bit as expressive as its clientele. And if "enough" is never enough, opt for the Expedition EL, providing an additional foot of wheelbase, 14 inches of additional length and over 42 cubic feet of storage behind the Expedition's third row.
With room for eight and the ability to tow up to 9,200 pounds (Expedition 4X2), the most notable piece of standard equipment on or in Ford's 2013 Expedition is its capability. And while "Built Ford Tough" is the product team's mantra, Ford hasn't forgotten creature comforts. Ford is the only domestic manufacturer to combine an overhead-cam powerplant with all-independent suspension for levels of performance and composure you can take to the bank – or the beach. And given its family mission, safety is front and center, with AdvanceTrac traction control working with Roll Stability Control to enhance your confidence while driving in unpredictable weather or circumstances.
Ford's 2013 Expedition and Expedition EL offer a total of 10 equipment levels, one of which should match your needs and/or budget. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is a factory-installed option on Limited and King Ranch versions of the Expedition, while drivers can stay connected with the outside world via MyFord Touch. With a menu of connectivity includes Wi-Fi capability, text-to-voice capability, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and voice-activated navigation, your 2013 Ford Expedition can be every bit the nerd you are. Finally, new paint colors include Blue Jeans Metallic, Kodiak Brown Metallic and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.
While the 2013 Expedition's 5.4-liter V8 is certainly adequate, Ford's one offering is overwhelmed by the multitude of choices available from Chevrolet and GMC. The Ford V8's 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft 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.
310 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
365 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (2-wheel drive), 13/18 mpg (4-wheel drive)
Please note: Fuel economy figures for Expedition EL are not available.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Ford Expedition XLT is just over $40,000, some $10,000 below the base sticker of the King Ranch EL. In all trims – XLT, Limited and King Ranch – the EL variant costs roughly $3,000 more than its shorter sibling. Of course, with a wealth of options and accessories available, along with functional adds such as 4-wheel drive, that sticker can easily be elevated by some $10,000. At the upper end of the Expedition's food chain, the Limited and King Ranch offer interior appointments and exterior enhancements fully competitive with Lincoln's Navigator and GMC's Yukon Denali. Before you buy, be sure and check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are paying for Expeditions in your area. At the other end of the ownership cycle, Expedition owners can anticipate a return on investment similar to that offered by GM (Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon) and Nissan (Armada).
By AutoJoe (FL) on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Luxuious, hauling large families/trailers"
Cons: "Thirsty, too big for some"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Ford Expedition EL is big. Seriously big. Almost comically so. At 18'8" it is too long for my garage. And too tall. And the gas mileage isn't going to earn you a spot on the Sierra Club's Christmas card list. But if you need a large SUV to tow heavy things (8700 lbs if 2WD, 8500 if 4x4) then it's excellent. It hauls 8 people in comfort with room to spare. It's not fast of course, but it has enough power that you can forget you're towing a trailer on the highway. My Limited is very nicely appointed and has been as reliable as you can reasonably hope. (At 130,000 miles, it's had a few minor issues, but they have all been reasonably inexpensive to repair.) And given it's immense size and weight (not to mention the 20-inch wheels) I'm satisfied with the driving dynamics, road noise, and yes, even the gas mileage. When I keep it around 70 mph I can get upward of 18 mpg on the highway, but don't expect more than 13 in the city. Invest in some good tires, though. The factory Pirellis are good, but I prefer the Michelin LTX. People periodically ask me how I feel about my truck, whether I like it or not. I always answer the same way: "No, I don't like it. I love it.""
By vic (AL) on Friday, May 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "What can you say it has everything you could want"
Cons: "pricey, parking it can be picky."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my 3rd Ford Exppy & I love it. It has all the room I need to carry the family on vacation in comfort. I plan to keep this one along, long time. Ford quality"
By Pro (TN) on Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 750overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Runs Great, Good Towing Capacity, Smooth 6-Sp"
Cons: "Poor, full-frame type suv handling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The 5.4L 3V runs super. Smooth 6-speed transmission. Very pleased with the optional 3.73 ratio based on early performance on hills and steep freeway ramps. Strong brakes. Standard Goodyear 18" tires apparently have tremendous amount of "radial drift". Had to try numerous rotations to get a combo that was marginally satisfactory--factory wheel alignment was spot on except the steering wheel was slightly off center and had to be adjusted. Vehicle seems to have poor bouncey handling, not fun to drive. Wonder about the basic design that dates back to 2007MY? Not good is the deleted left storage bin at the back of the vehicle. Same for smallish front row console versus the much larger one 2006 and back. Passenger seat lumbar for cloth seat XLT that was standard in earlier years now not provided."
By Helleyn 3 (AR) on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Like the way you can see all others and negoiateit"
Cons: "gets good gas milage for it's size"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love the quiet ride and handleing of this and the roomy interior-it's great for traveling and plenty of space for people and luaggage-I feel safe in this as I am on the road a lot and the traction control is great for wet roads would consider buying another if anything happens to this one-but plan on keepingit a while longer!!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By HeafNav (LA) on Monday, February 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable ride, good gas mileage."
Cons: "Not built for the long term."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Warranty covers bumper to bumper to 36,000/3 years and 6/60 for drive train only. At 4.5 years an 48,000 had to replace compressor, condenser and flush the a/c system. At stops it idles low and stalls. None of this is covered by warranty. Best bet is to pass it off before this point. I also have a 2004 Explorer with 136,000 miles on it. No major issues. Which makes me very disappointed with this vehicle."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Steve (NV) on Monday, January 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very nice solid ride. Would buy another one."
Cons: "Does have its problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this 2007 EB Expedition new with six miles on it in 2007 from a Ford dealer. I was impressed with the ride and how quiet it was. Very nice on the highway with a lot of power. Drives like a small car. Really nice. However, there was a problem right away. The transmission did not shift correctly. The dealer could not repair it correctly no matter how many times I took it in. This was a big let down that continued until the warranty finally ran out and I took it in on Ford extended warranty. Four years later they finally repaired the transmission and now it works correctly. The problem or why they never could fix it in four years of going back to the dealer was never explained to me by anyone from Ford. Here is a list of the problems I had and had repaired since 2007 until today. Transmission problems (for four years), rack and pinion steering failed @14000 miles, inside door handles all broke, rotors warped, replaced, master cylinder failed, tie rods worn and loose, replaced, today, two door motors for the rear heat went out @26000 Miles. No other major problems. I know things do break and wear out, but the transmission problems were there from day one. There is now a slight ringing noise outside the car when driving at low speeds, It has been doing this for a year, I don't know what it is, when something falls off, I guess I will find out. BTW the SUV has never been off road and the FWD was only used once just to see if it works. I would buy a new one. I will say it does ride nice and quiet right down the road. Over all it is ok as I have never owned a car or truck yet that did not have some kind of problem, so from that stand point, this 2007 Expedition is a just a normal SUV."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful