By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
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.
By Candy on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very roomy and spacious"
Cons: "Gets 15 mpg on average day to day driving.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'd love to sell this Expedition EL. It has been an excellent SUV. Clean and never smoked in. It still looks new. Drives and rides good. Just want something new. Kids are now driving their own vehicles and don't need something so big to haul them in."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By SunshineHillbilly on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Size, comfort, safety, dependability."
Cons: "Small design issues, expensive to buy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my 5th Expedition, I would drive them forever if I could. I had to give up my 1998 Expedition last year, it broke my heart. It was the best vehicle I ever owned. The overall quality of the 2008 falls somewhere in the middle of the 5 Expeditions I have owned. Like all of them, it is a great vehicle, but it probably will be my last one, I can't afford to buy another."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Charlie on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great cargo space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"This is the 4th Expedition I've owned. All was fine until it got over 50,000 miles when things started going down hill- seal in transmission, running boards not retracting, rear wiper motor going. Never had such problems with my other Expeditions."
By Long Legs on Thursday, February 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of cup holders & USB ports."
Cons: "Suspension not good on rough roads."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Reliable SUV with little repairs in last three years of owning my Expedition. Third-row seats are comfortable with plenty of space to haul items when needed. Automatic third-row seats are very handy instead of manual. Only issue has been Instrument panel lacks lighting during day-time. When sun shines on it, panel is really difficult to see info that is on display. Radio system is great, and satellite plus hands-free phone system works well. Navigation maps are a really nice feature, too."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By George on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Wish I'd added heated steering wheel & AWD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Excellent machine -- too large for our garage. Love the 20" wheel height, outstanding 360 visibility. Need a work horse, this is one.............. City 14mpg. Hwy 22mpg............"
33 people out of 56 found this review helpful
By rev on Thursday, January 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Really enjoy the extra cargo room. I have 4 kids, all in car seats, and the space is great! Great engine, performance, and value in my book."
12 people out of 25 found this review helpful