2015 Ford Expedition

Ford has pulled the covers off its newest, full-size, and only body-on-frame SUV today, the 2015 Ford Expedition. Still in its third generation, the Expedition gets a much-needed makeover that includes many of the designs and features its cousin, the Lincoln Navigator received just months prior.

Much has changed to better the Expedition and help with fuel economy and drivability, but much remains the same or carryover from the previous year. The biggest news under its resculpted hood is the addition of Ford’s bread-n-butter 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Gone is the old 5.4-liter Triton V-8, leaving the EcoBoost as the Expedition’s only powerplant. Both the standard and EL, or extended length versions return with seating for five and eight passengers in high-riding comfort.

Speaking of comfort, Ford is bringing its popular, top-of-the-line Platinum series to the Expedition. The trim level ranks above the western-style King Ranch that previously held the top spot. Like the F-150s, the Platinum series will focus more on modern luxury with a clean, non-themed design aimed at more the ‘city folk’ type. MyFord Touch, SYNC, push-button start, blind sport warning, and even the F-150’s “Truck Apps” will be available.

Also new is Ford’s first-ever attempt at a continuously controlled damping suspension system. It features three driver-selectable drive modes that tailor the ride style to changing conditions. It’s designed to manage body motion, steering feedback, and unevenness in the road. Helping the system out is Ford’s new electric power-assisted steering. That system is said to improve maneuverability at low speeds and provide more feel at higher speeds. It will ever automatically compensate for heavy cross winds and road crowns.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Expedition.

Exterior

Ford Expedition
Ford Expedition
Ford Expedition

While much of the previous Expedition can still be seen here, there’s been plenty updated. The new front grille, headlights, and lower fascia areas have all been reworked in a more masculine, chiseled way. A new three bar design takes the old, busy four bar’s place and looks something like a Gillette razor. LED fog lights sit at either ends of a chrome bezel running across the front bumper which rests on another chrome piece at the bumpers bottom curve with chrome-plated tow hooks protruding just below that. The added glitz, along with the sharpened upper fascia make the Expedition much more appealing than before.

Out back, a new large chrome bezel run the width of the liftgate and connects both reverse lights. A newly shaped exhaust pipe with a chrome tip, along with a two-inch receiver hitch sit below the body colored bumper. Chrome accents at the bottom of the side windows, along the roof rack, and on the side running boards add even more pop to the exterior.

One thing that isn’t new however, are aluminum body panels. It appears Ford will only be taking those steps with the 2015 F-150. For now, the Expedition will have to stick with steel.

2015 Ford Expedition - Exterior Specifications

Standard wheelbase119 inches
Standard cargo space108.3 cubic feet
Extended wheelbase131-inch wheelbase
Extended cargo space130.8 cubic feet

Interior

Ford Expedition
Ford Expedition
Ford Expedition

There’s a lot to like with the interior changes. A reworked dashboard and instrument cluster put the Expedition closer to the F-150 in terms of styling and integrated technology. An available 8-inch MyFord Touch infotainment screen sits atop the center stack with volume and tuning knobs sitting right below. HVAC controls placed below that with a decently-sized storage area further down.

To the left of the center stack are three sets of controls: the tri-button set-up for the continuously controlled damping suspension, trailer brake controls, and four-wheel-drive selector. To the right is an open slot for random items and a 12-volt power outlet.

For the driver, two separate 4.2-inch screens sit on either side of the single analog speedometer, much like in the Fusion Hybrid. They include many of the “Truck Apps” found on the F-150 that help the driver off road, when towing and keep track of vital stats like transmission and oil temps, and fuel economy readouts.

Passengers are treated to nice accommodations as well. Second row passengers enjoy either a 40/20/40 bench or twin captain’s chairs. With either arrangement, the accommodations are spacious. Foot room, shoulder and hip, and head room would all fit a 6’5" adult. The third row is large, but bigger adults would be happier sitting up front. Cargo room behind the third row is tight on the standard length Expeditions, but grows quite a bit with the EL versions.

Drivetrain

Ford Expedition

Herein lies one of the 2015’s biggest changes. Gone is the ancient 5.4-liter Triton V-8; in its place is Ford’s hyped 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6. Twin independent variable camshaft timing and direct injection help with power and fuel economy — the latter being Ford’s primary reason for dropping in the EcoBoost.

While the Expedition’s output numbers haven’t yet been released, the EcoBoost makes 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque in the F-150. Ford says power and torque should be similar to those numbers, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a modest bump to say 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.

The engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission that features a tow/haul mode and a manual shift mode. In conjunction with that, an integrated trailer brake controller is fitted on the dash for easy adjusting.

The Expedition will be offered in both rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive applications.

2015 Ford Expedition - Drivetrain Specifications

Type3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine
Output (HP @ RPM)370 (est) @ TBA
Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)430 (est) @ TBA
TransmissionSix-speed SelectShift automatic transmission

Prices

Ford Expedition

At this point, pricing is still under Ford’s hat. Once we get those numbers, we’ll report them, but until such time, speculation shall run wild. The current Expedition in base XLT trim runs $41,635 and the EL version bumps the cost to $44,345. Stepping up to the top-dog King Ranch pushed the price to $54,820 in EL trim. A slight increase in the MSRP would is quite expected, especially since the EcoBoost is present.

2015 Ford Expedition - Pricing

Ford Expedition$TBA
Ford Expedition Platinum $TBA
Ford Expedition EL$TBA
Ford Expedition EL Platinum$TBA

Competition

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

The all-new Tahoe and its bigger brother Suburban have undergone a significant transformation for 2015 that renews their competitiveness in the segment. GM’s group of EcoTec3 engines are available under the newly shaped hood and new interior appointments are much classier than the outgoing model’s. The two also – after years of trailing the pack – get fold-flat second and third row seats that make hauling cargo much easier.

Pricing for a base Tahoe starts at $44,600 while a loaded out Suburban can reach $70,000 if every option box is checked.

It is important to note the Tahoe and Suburban are marketed as two separate vehicles despite having few differences besides their overall length and interior cargo capacity.

2014 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Sequoia

The Sequoia is another body-on-frame SUV that has survived the unibody crossover onslaught, though it is the oldest here. It has three rows with optional second row captain’s chairs like the other two, but the Sequoia only comes in one length. It does, however, provide adequate room behind the third row for cargo, though not as much as either the Suburban or Expedition EL.

Power comes from Toyota’s 5.7-liter V-8 making 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Interior accoutrements are well-suited for family duty or hitting the mountains for the weekend. Four-wheel-drive is an option, of course.

Prices for the Sequoia start at $44,095 and rise upwards of $65,000 when selecting the limited trim. We imagine the Sequoia is due for a refresh soon, with the Tundra having just undergone one itself. If you’re in the market and want the latest thing from Japan, you’d better wait a year for any news coming from Toyota.

Conclusion

Ford Expedition

Overall, the new Expedition is much more rugged and handsome than the model it replaces. it’s sharpened front end and reworked interior are very welcome points of improvements. While this is only a mid-generation refresh, not much was changed. We are glad to see the EcoBoost enter into play here as it’s proved itself in the F-150. We don’t suspect Expedition buyers will mind the V-8 is no longer an option - especially as they’re filling the fuel tank.

The market for body-on-frame full-size SUVs still seems to be alive and well with the competition between rivals finally starting to heat up again after a 10 year break.

LOVE IT
  • New looks make it handsome
  • Plush interior looks great
  • EcoBoost power and efficiency
LEAVE IT
  • Not much has changed
  • Not cheap
  • No official word on pricing

Press Release

The new 2015 Ford Expedition, revealed here today ahead of the 2014 DFW Auto Show, continues to represent the smart choice for people who need a full-size utility vehicle that provides capable performance, usable space and advanced technology.

Ford Expedition

Expedition now features Ford F-Series’ popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, more technology than ever and a fresh new look. Launching later this year, it is the latest Ford nameplate to offer a Platinum series. Expedition is being shown for the first time in Texas, Ford’s largest market by sales volume, and home to the top two cities for Expedition sales – Dallas and Houston.

Expedition debuted in 1996 and is Ford’s largest utility vehicle. By most measures, it is a leader in interior space, accommodating eight passengers. Two versions are offered – the standard 119-inch wheelbase is just more than 6 inches longer than Ford Explorer. It has three rows of seats and up to 108.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The longer-wheelbase version sits on a 131-inch wheelbase, and features three rows of seats and up to 130.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Expedition remains the only full-size utility vehicle not classified as a luxury offering to feature an independent rear suspension. This helps deliver more confident ride and handling characteristics, and allows for the lower, more convenient fold-flat third-row bench seat.

Ford Expedition

Both standard and EL versions of Expedition are built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, alongside Ford’s popular Super Duty pickup. Last month, the company confirmed plans to add more workers and invest an additional $80 million in facility upgrades to improve automation and increase capacity at the plant.

Ford is responding to strong customer feedback and introducing a top-of-the-line Platinum series Expedition with unique, premium interior appointments. The new vehicle features the latest popular technologies like SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, push-button start and Blind Spot Information System®. A new 3.5-liter, direct-injected twin-turbocharged EcoBoost delivers more power and performance than the current 5.4-liter V8, and is designed to be more efficient.

“This new Expedition is proof Ford is committed to remaining the leader in utilities – small, medium and large,” said Jackie DiMarco, Expedition chief engineer. “We listened to our customers and created a full-size utility vehicle that doesn’t compromise in performance, technology or design.”

Improved on the road

From the outset, engineers worked to make the 2015 Expedition a technologically advanced vehicle that is easy to drive and offers refinement for all types of drivers.

The new EcoBoost engine dramatically changes the driving characteristics of Expedition. Compared with the 5.4-liter V8, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gives drivers not just better fuel economy, but more power and torque on demand at very low engine speeds.

“Expedition becoming the latest Ford utility vehicle to wear the EcoBoost badge will be exciting for customers,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Increased torque and horsepower, combined with new levels of efficiency and an advanced suspension not only will make Expedition more fun to drive, but also easier to own. This is another ‘and’ solution from Ford.”

Ford Expedition

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost will be the only engine offered in the new Expedition in North America. To maximize performance and control, the vehicle is equipped with a six-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission featuring a manual mode that allows the driver to use a shift-mounted rocker switch to select the desired gear.

With EcoBoost now standard equipment across the 2015 Expedition range, the entire U.S. lineup of Ford utility vehicles will be available with EcoBoost power by the end of 2014.

New continuously controlled damping, available for the first time on a Ford nameplate, will make Expedition the only Blue Oval-branded vehicle in the United States with three selectable drive modes – comfort, normal and sport.

Using a suite of sensors that detect 46 unique body, steering and braking inputs, the advanced suspension monitors body motion and then adjusts Expedition’s damping system in milliseconds to manage the vehicle’s natural body motion. A vehicle with poor damping feels as if it is bouncing on its suspension springs; continuously controlled damping recognizes the weight of the vehicle, steering feedback and road undulations and then reacts accordingly, helping to control body motion so passengers experience an orderly, comfortable ride.

Ford Expedition

The new Expedition also features Ford’s innovative electric power-assisted steering, which gives drivers noticeably improved maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds, and saves fuel because it operates more efficiently than traditional pump-driven systems. The technology reduces steering effort and makes Expedition more engaging to drive.

More technology customers want

The new Expedition debuts with popular technology upgrades consumers are now demanding, including SYNC with MyFord Touch and driver-assist features such as radar-based Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.

The updated interior of Expedition incorporates a fresh center stack to accommodate new technologies, such as an 8-inch touch screen for SYNC with MyFord Touch. The driver information cluster features two full-color 4.2-inch LCD screens.

Other new technologies on the 2015 Expedition include a 10-speaker, 700-watt Sony audio system; Intelligent Access with push-button start; rearview camera; seven-color, interior ambient LED lighting; and Ford truck apps to help make trailer towing and off-road driving easier.

Fresh style and design

Ford Expedition

The new Expedition pushes full-size utility vehicle design to a higher level, with fresh interior and exterior styling and a diverse series lineup – each with a distinct look and feel to give customers more choice than ever. A Platinum trim package, which has been very successful on Ford F-Series, will be available on Expedition for the first time.

“The Platinum series brings Expedition into a whole new arena of design and style,” said Scott. “One of the strengths of Expedition has always been the different trim series we offer. From XLT to Limited and now with Platinum, we have an Expedition that will fit any customer’s needs.”

The Platinum series is tailored with lush leather seating described by designers as buttery – soft and smooth to the touch. It’s available in a new Brunello leather, a red wine color with tuxedo-stripe accents and French-seamed stitching. Platinum customers can also choose black leather with Agate Gray accents.

Ford Expedition

Beyond the new Platinum series, the 2015 Expedition lineup includes the XLT, Limited and a new King Ranch edition to be revealed later.

The design team, finding inspiration in the world around them, incorporated different themes to define the look for each series. The intent was to reflect a consumer lifestyle, from the sporty XLT, to the confident, elegant Limited, to the sophisticated, urban Platinum. Each series has unique finishes specially selected to reflect the lifestyle and desires of the customer. For example, Expedition Limited features refined yet traditional finishes, while for the Platinum edition, the colors and material finishes are fresh and sophisticated.

The Expedition exterior has been updated with an all-new front end featuring available LED fog lamps for a fresh, aggressive look.

An all-new wheel lineup including factory-installed 22-inch models, a redesigned rear hatch and subtle, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes round out the exterior changes to the 2015 Expedition.

With this new model debuting at the DFW Auto Show – deep in the heart of the full-size utility vehicle market – Ford is building on a successful tradition of Expedition capability and quality with significant improvements in design, performance, efficiency and available technology.


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