Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition
Manufacturer Ford
Production 1996–present
Body and chassis
Class Full-size SUV
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Curb weight 5,801 lb (2,631 kg) (standard)
6,071 lb (2,754 kg) (EL)[1]
Predecessor Ford Bronco (standard)

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV built by Ford. Introduced in 1996 for the 1997 model year as a replacement to the Bronco, it was previously slotted above the smaller Explorer. It is Ford's largest and last truck-based, off-road and tow-capable SUV. The Expedition is based on the Ford F-150 pickup and shares various components. It comes in a regular-size and in the longer EL/Max version (2007–present) that replaced the Excursion which was discontinued in 2005.

The Expedition is the third Ford vehicle to use the "Expedition" name, as it was originally used on a 1992 concept vehicle, the F-150 Eddie Bauer Expedition.[2] The name was subsequently and briefly used for one of the Ford Explorer Sport (two door)'s trim levels during the 1995 model year, before applied to this SUV for the 1997 model year. Expeditions were originally built in Wayne, Michigan. In 2009, Ford shifted third generation production to Louisville, Kentucky, and converted the Wayne assembly plant to build the Focus. A refreshed third generation arrived to dealers in July 2014 for the 2015 model year.

Vehicle background

The Expedition offered up to 9 nine-passenger seating in model years before 2009 (with a front bench seat option in the first row); 2009–present has bucket seats in the first row and seats 8 eight passengers.[3] It is equipped with a V8 engine. It is similar to the Lincoln Navigator, especially in Limited or King Ranch or Platinum high end trims; both of which were introduced for the 2005 model year except for Platinum which was introduced for 2015. With the 2011 model year, the base model was designated XL, an upgraded XLT, and new for 2011 XLT Premium that replaced the Eddie Bauer trim which was phased out from the entire Ford vehicle lineup. As of 2010, over 1,545,241 Expeditions (both standard and EL/Max) have been sold. A modified Special Service Vehicle version is available for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and emergency medical services.

The Ford Expedition is also known for being one of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road. With 5% of vehicles over 200K miles, it landed the #4 spot in a 2016 study by listing the top 10 longest-lasting vehicles.[4]

First generation (1997–2002)

First generation (UN93)
Production 1996–2002
Model years 1997–2002
Assembly Wayne, Michigan, U.S.
(Michigan Assembly Plant)
Body and chassis
Platform Ford U platform
Related Ford F-150
Lincoln Blackwood
Lincoln Navigator
Engine 4.6 L Triton V-8
5.4 L Triton V-8
Transmission 4-speed E4OD automatic
4-speed 4R100 automatic
4-speed 4R70W automatic
Transfer case (4x4 models)
2-speed BorgWarner 4406
High range ratio: 1.00:1
Low range ratio: 2.64:1
Wheelbase 1996–98: 119.0 in (3,023 mm)
1998–2002: 119.1 in (3,025 mm)
Length 204.6 in (5,197 mm)
Width 78.6 in (1,996 mm)
Height 1996–98 4WD: 76.4 in (1,941 mm)
1996–98 2WD: 74.9 in (1,902 mm)
1998–2000 4WD: 78.4 in (1,991 mm)
1998–2000 2WD: 76.5 in (1,943 mm)
2000–02 4WD: 76.6 in (1,946 mm)
2000–02 2WD: 74.3 in (1,887 mm)
Ford Expedition

Known internally at Ford as the UN93, the first generation Expedition was developed under the UN93 program from 1991 to 1996.[5] The all-new full-size SUV was introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model.[6] It replaced the aging two-door Ford Bronco. The XLT was the base model. The Expedition featured optional three row seating, first row captains chair seating, available second row captains chair seating, leather seating surfaces, illuminated running boards, heated side view mirrors, power moon roof, dual zone climate control and Ford's Mach audio sound system with rear subwoofer. Many of these features were standard on the Eddie Bauer version.

Expedition was available with automatic full-time ControlTrac four-wheel drive with two-speed dual range BorgWarner 4406 transfer case and a center multi-disc differential. ControlTrac was introduced in 1995 and included four selectable modes: Two High, Auto, Four High (lock) and Four Low (lock). Two High mode and Auto mode with auto-lock was not available.[7]

A short- & long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with speed-sensitive power-assisted steering was combined with a multi-link rear live axle. Optional equipment included off-road under-body skid-plate protection, Traction-Lok rear limited-slip differential, and a heavy-duty trailer towing package.

Optional was an electronically controlled pneumatic air suspension system that would raise and lower the vehicle depending on road and load conditions. The system also included a kneel-down mode for easier ingress and egress, as well as loading cargo,[8]

Standard was the 4.6 liter Triton V8 with the 5.4 liter version optional. The first generation Expedition was rated as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV).[9] The latter engine combined with the heavy-duty trailer towing package and appropriate axle ratio can achieve a towing capacity of 8,100 lbs (3,674 kg).[10][11]


Model Year Type/model Power Torque
1997–1998 4.6 Liter (281 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 215 hp (160 kW) 290 lb·ft (393 N·m)
1997–1998 5.4 Liter (330 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 230 hp (172 kW) 325 lb·ft (441 N·m)
1999–2002 4.6 Liter (281 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 230 hp (172 kW) 291 lb·ft (395 N·m)
1999–2002 5.4 Liter (330 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 260 hp (194 kW) 355 lb·ft (481 N·m)


Model Year Type/model
1997-1998 4-speed E4OD automatic
1998–2002 4-speed 4R100 automatic
1996–2002 4-speed 4R70W automatic

Safety and security

A two air bag supplementary restraint system (SRS) with 2-way occupant protection was standard. The air bags would adjust deployment force depending on crash severity. Features included SecuriLock with smart key and engine immobilizer, security approach lamps, four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), side-intrusion door beams, post-crash fuel pump shut-off and three-point safety belts for all rows of seating with tension and locking retractors.

An optional four air bag SRS with 4-way occupant protection was available for the 2000–2002 model years. This included seat-mounted side torso side air bags.

The 2001 model introduced a BeltMinder system to detect when the driver did not have their safety belt secured.

NHTSA NCAP crash scores:[12]
1997–2000 2001–2002
Frontal Driver: Frontal Driver:
Frontal Passenger: Frontal Passenger:
Side Driver: Not tested Side Driver: Not tested
Side Rear Passenger: Not tested Side Rear Passenger: Not tested
Rollover Resistance (RWD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (RWD):
Rollover Resistance (4WD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (4WD):

Model year changes


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. A new exterior color was added: Wedgewood Blue.


1999–2002 facelift

The 1999 model year received a facelift similar to that of the 1999 model year Ford F-150. Included in the update was a new front grille which now dropped lower in the center, grille work, as well as a new front bumper that incorporated the fog lamps into the lower valance and larger center air intake. Both the 4.6 liter and 5.4 liter V8 engines received updates including more power and torque. The Two High mode for automatic full-time ControlTrac four-wheel drive equipped models was dropped leaving only Auto, Four High (lock) and Four Low (lock) modes. The dashboard also received an updated radio and air conditioning controls and revised Gauge Cluster and a Digital Odometer for the first time.


Available features on 2000 models included a hidden radio antenna (integrated into the rear quarter panel window glass), Gentex auto dimming electrochromatic rear view mirrors, lane departure indicators on side view mirrors (before on the glass) and ultrasonic rear park assist /backup sensors. The lower front bumper valance and illuminated running boards were changed over to Arizona beige to complement the standard Arizona beige exterior body trim on Eddie Bauer models.


New trim packages included the XLT model. XLT versions could be optioned with the XLT No Boundaries package that included monochromatic black paint work with chrome grille and special alloy wheels. Eddie Bauer versions could be optioned with the Eddie Bauer Premier package that included either monochromatic Arizona beige or solid black paint work with painted alloy wheels and upgraded leather seating.


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. Last year model for the UN93. This was also the last model year for XLT No Boundaries and Eddie Bauer Premier trims.

Second generation (2003–2006)

Second generation (U222)
Also called Ford Expedition Special Service Vehicle
Production 2002–2006
Model years 2003–2006
Assembly Wayne, Michigan, U.S.
(Michigan Assembly Plant)
Designer Tyler Blake (1999)[13][14]
Body and chassis
Platform Ford U platform
Related Ford F-150
Lincoln Navigator
Engine 4.6 L Triton V-8
5.4 L Triton V-8
Transmission 4-speed 4R70W automatic
4-speed 4R75E automatic

Transfer case (4x4 models)

2-speed BorgWarner 4416
High range ratio: 1.00:1
Low range ratio: 2.62:1
Wheelbase 119.0 in (3,023 mm)
Length 205.8 in (5,227 mm)
Width 78.7 in (1,999 mm)
Height 2005–06 4WD: 76.6 in (1,946 mm)
2005–06 2WD: 76.7 in (1,948 mm)
2002–04: 77.6 in (1,971 mm)

The redesigned second-generation Expedition was developed under the U222 program code name from 1996 to 2002, under Ford chief vehicle engineer Steve von Foerster and chief program engineer John Krafcik from 1998 to 2002.[5][15] Design work began in 1997, with a proposal by Tyler Blake being chosen by management and frozen for production in 1999. UN93-body mules were spotted testing in 2000, with full prototypes running from late 2000. The new Expedition was unveiled at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, in January. It was launched in 2002 for the 2003 model year[6] and featured a new four-wheel independent long-travel suspension system, becoming the first full-size sport utility vehicle to use a fully independent suspension.[16][17]

The new independent rear suspension (IRS) was perceived as being controversial by some at the time of its introduction.[18] A misconception was that the Expedition's towing and off-road capabilities would be reduced, in comparison to the previous generation's rear live axle. Nevertheless, underbody obstacle clearance improved by half an inch, and up to two inches under the axle differentials.[19] The new suspension reduces rear unsprung mass by 110 pounds, and allows for a full 9.4 inches of suspension travel (how much the wheels can travel up or down) improving its ability to traverse uneven terrain for improved control and ride quality.[20][21] The four-wheel independent long-travel suspension itself is a purpose-built version of race suspensions found on off-road desert race vehicles.[22]

Towing capacity increased by 800 lbs (363 kg) for a high towing capacity of 8,900 lbs (4,037 kg) when properly equipped with the appropriate axle ratio and heavy-duty trailer towing package.[23] Payload capacity was increased up to 1,614 lbs (732 kg). Expedition also gained a hydroformed fully boxed frame providing a 70 percent improvement in torsional stiffness.

Along with the high towing capability came all-new steering, braking and electronic systems to help the Expedition better control and maneuver long heavy trailers. Adaptive variable assist power rack-and-pinion steering was introduced along with the largest brake rotors in the segment at that time (13.5 inches up front, 13 inches in back) with brake calipers 100 percent stiffer than the previous generation Expedition. The four-speed 4R70W automatic transmission received all-new control software to allow the transmission to automatically adjust to the demands of towing, using new computer logic that recognizes changes in load and road conditions.[23]

The automatic full-time ControlTrac four-wheel drive system remained available, with an uprated two-speed dual range BorgWarner 4416 transfer case. The new transfer case featured an updated intelligent locking center multi-disc differential with front-to-rear "torque biasing" capability in Auto mode. A new dedicated microprocessor with new control software was added allowing the system to detect different terrain and surface conditions to predict traction loss before it happens. Two High mode was also reintroduced. Four-wheel electronic traction control was now available as an option, and simulated front and rear differential locks.[22]

The V8 engines offered on the previous generation were carried over, but not without major changes and improvements. Both the 4.6 and 5.4-liter Triton V8 engines received further refinements in design and overall efficiency. Expedition qualified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) and was certified under the Environmental Protection Agency Tier 2 regulations one year earlier than required.[24] The 4.6-liter engine received an all-new redesigned cast aluminium engine block optimized for weight reduction and NVH improvements. The 5.4-liter engine received an all-new redesigned cast-iron engine block with computer designed ribbing and bracing, along with thicker side skirts and reinforcement at the oil pan flange. The new engine block helped reduce engine vibration and unwanted noise while providing refined performance.[24]

Both engines featured piston skirts coated with a teflon-based friction-reducing material, and fitted with low-tension, low oil consumption rings. In addition, a new fail-safe cooling mode provided protection even in the case of a catastrophic coolant loss (such as a punctured radiator). In the event of coolant loss, the engine control unit shuts off fuel to alternate cylinders to reduce the risk of engine damage from overheating. The valves continue to operate, in order to pump cooling air through the cylinders. The cooling system was designed to maintain an ideal engine temperature even when subjected to a prolonged 15 percent gradient in 46 °C (115 °F) weather. A returnless fuel supply system helped to reduce evaporative emissions by providing consistent pressure to the fuel injectors through a high-pressure pump.[24]

New active hydraulic engine mounts were introduced to prevent the powertrain from inducing vibrations into the chassis. By optimizing these engine mounts, the engine block can act as a mass damper, absorbing chassis resonance, improving ride comfort.[24]

Expedition's passenger cabin was better sealed than before, in an effort to eliminate intrusive outside noise from reaching the occupants. Wind, powertrain, road and vehicle body noise was reduced by improving interior acoustics through new damping materials, a total of 10 shear-style isolating body mounts, heavier sealing of body and panels, redesigned rubber door seals, and extensive use of interior structural acoustic foam in the upper B-pillars, upper and lower D-pillars and floor pan. Road noise was reduced by 2 decibels, body air leakage reduced by 56 percent, chances for sealant noise disturbances reduced from 15 percent to less than 0.5 percent and wind noise measured at 80 mph (130 km/h) was reduced from 35 sones to a world class level of 29 sones.[24]

The Expedition also received a thorough exterior and interior cosmetic redesign. Expedition featured an all-new front fascia, grille work, headlamps, body trim, rear fascia, tail lamps and liftgate. Interior fit and finish were improved with an all-new interior featuring new dash, door panels, genuine aluminium trim, and plush carpeting. Premium perforated leather seating surfaces were standard on Expedition Eddie Bauer (optional on Expedition XLT). Expedition FX4 models featured all of Expedition's optional off road equipment as standard equipment. Expedition's drag coefficient was 0.41 Cd.[25]

Three-row seating was standard with all-new manual fold-flat stow away third row seats. No longer did owners have to remove the third rows seats for more storage. The third row could simply "disappear" into the floor. Power assisted PowerFold fold-flat third row seating was available as an optional extra.[23] Available features included in-dash CD-ROM based navigation system, DVD based rear entertainment system, ultrasonic rear park assist/back up sensors, power moon roof, power adjustable accelerator and brake pedals (introduced on the first generation Expedition), Gentex auto dimming electrochromatic rear view mirror, lane departure indicators on side-view mirrors, second-row captain's chair luxury seating, premium audiophile sound system with in-dash six-disc CD changer and rear subwoofer[26] and four-wheel independent pneumatic air-ride suspension system.


Model year Type/model Power Torque
2003–2004 4.6 Liter (281 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 232 hp (173 kW) 291 lb·ft (395 N·m)
2003-2004 5.4 Liter (330 cu in) 16-valve SOHC Triton V-8 gasoline 260 hp (194 kW) 350 lb·ft (475 N·m)
2005–2006 5.4 Liter (330 cu in) 24-valve SOHC VCT Triton V-8 gasoline 300 hp (224 kW) 365 lb·ft (495 N·m)


Model Year Type/model
2003–2004 4-speed 4R70W automatic
2005–2006 4-speed 4R75E automatic

Safety and security

Like the generation before, a 2 air bag supplementary restraint system (SRS) with 2-way occupant protection was standard on Expedition. The dual front SRS air bags now included the Personal Safety System (PSS). PSS would tailor air bag deployment for driver and first passenger and included occupant classification, seat position, crash severity, safety belt pretensioner, load-limiting retractor and safety belt buckle usage sensors.

A new optional 4 air bag supplementary restraint system (SRS) with 6-way occupant protection was also available. This new air bag system included SafetyCanopy dual side curtain air bags for head, upper torso and rollover protection. SafetyCanopy would deploy along the A, B and C-pillars down to the vehicle's beltline. SafetyCanopy could remain inflated after deployment for extended protection and replaced the dual front side airbags featured on the first-generation Expedition.

Other features included side-intrusion door beams, security approach lamps, SecuriLock with smart key and engine immobilizer, BeltMinder, three-point safety belts for all rows of seating, post-crash fuel pump shut-off, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with traction control system was introduced as an optional extra. The electronic traction and stability mitigation system would expand to include roll stability control (RSC) for the 2005 model year.

NHTSA NCAP crash scores:[27]
MY2003–2005 MY2006
Frontal driver: Frontal driver:
Frontal passenger: Frontal passenger:
Side Driver: Not tested Side driver: Not tested
Side rear passenger: Not tested Side rear passenger: Not tested
Rollover Resistance (RWD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (RWD):
Rollover Resistance (4WD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (4WD):

Model year changes


Before the 2003 model year ended, Ford updated the running boards on Expeditions equipped with the Eddie Bauer trim. Earlier in the model year, Eddie Bauer models had received standard black running boards. Toward the end of the model year, Arizona beige running boards were re-introduced to complement the Arizona beige body work which came standard on Eddie Bauer. Body colored running boards had previously been offered on the first-generation Expedition from 2000 to 2002.


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. The Expedition Eddie Bauer Premier model is reintroduced after being absent from the 2003 model trim line-up. Monochromatic paint work with blacked-out headlamps and special alloy wheels were standard on Eddie Bauer Premier versions. A new Expedition XLT Sport model is added with Dark Shadow grey exterior body trim. The FX4 trim level was renamed NBX.[28]


Expedition received new roof rails which replaced the traditional sliding cross-bar roof racks. A new high end Limited trim level replaced the Eddie Bauer Premier model (though the regular Eddie Bauer was still available) and featured chrome accented roof rails, chrome-clad aluminium wheels, PowerFold power assisted stowable side view mirrors and chrome tipped exhaust. An upper high end King Ranch trim level with Castano leather seating was also introduced. The base 4.6 liter Triton V8 engine was dropped for the 2005 model year as the 5.4-liter Triton V8 was made standard on all Expeditions and updated with 24-valve technology and variable valve timing. Along with the 2005 model V8 engine update, the Expedition also received a significantly updated version of the four-speed 4R70W automatic transmission.

The new four-speed automatic transmission, now called 4R75E, featured fully electronic Smart Shift technology. A turbine speed sensor improved transmission control and provided the basis for the fully electronic shift scheduling. The transmission's microprocessor speeds were improved for better responsiveness and precision of the control system. The transmission was continuously learning, and would calculate the torque in the next gear and schedule shift points based on the Expedition's projected performance in the next gear.[29] For 2005 model Expeditions the 4R75E transmission is designated by the letter "B" on the manufacturers safety compliance certification label, located in the driver's-side doorjamb. For 2006 model Expeditions, the 4R75E transmission is designated by the letter "Q".


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. Last year model for the U222. The Gentex auto dimming rear view mirrors were updated. Two new exterior colors were added later on within the model year. They were Pewter metallic and Dark Copper metallic. Medium Flint grey interior was also added to Limited models later on within the model year. Chrome tipped exhaust was made standard on King Ranch models. 2006 would be the last year model for the NBX trim. The ultrasonic rear park assist and SafetyCanopy side curtain airbags were offered as standalone options. Adjustable headrests were also added to the front seats to replace the one piece units.[30]

Russian Москва-Чукотка (Moscow-Chukotka) overland expedition

On April 12, 2006, three second-generation full-size Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer vehicles completed a 32-day overland expedition. This was a 28,000-mile (45,000 km) trip across North Asia and the Arctic Tundra. Six team members consisted of leaders, Alexey Mikhailov and Alexander Borodin, technical director, Andrey Rodionov, and professional off-road drivers,: Sergey Goryachev, Victor Parshikov, and Alexey Simakin. The route took them on permafrost and crossed the Arctic Circle twice. Visited landmarks included where American aviator Carl Ben Eielson was lost, and the birthplace of Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev. The northernmost point on the route was latitude 69°42′ North (Pevek). The easternmost point visited was longitude 169°40′ West (Cape Dezhnev). Temperatures reached -36 °C (-32 °F) and the team encountered whiteouts and a polar cyclone. An estimated 200 kg (440 lbs) of snow was removed from each of the vehicles on the following day.[31]

The vehicles were modified with front end guards along with front and rear utility bumpers, winches, safari roof racks, high-powered off road lights and extra underbody plating for the engines. Two of the vehicles towed a dual axle utility trailer. Two were equipped also with caterpillar track systems supplied by Mattracks. The rubber track systems were only used when off road conditions became too demanding for conventional tires. The rear stabilizer bar failed on both vehicles fitted with the Mattracks system. The vehicles were also equipped with gas stoves (to prepare food) and high-capacity auxiliary fuel tanks (mounted in the rear cargo bay) and sometimes run on poor-quality gasoline.[31][32]

Third generation (2007–2017)

Third generation (U324)
Also called Ford Expedition Special Service Vehicle
Production 2006–2017
Model years 2007–2017
Assembly Wayne, Michigan, U.S.
(Michigan Assembly Plant) (2006–2009)

Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
(Kentucky Truck Plant) (2009–present)
Body and chassis
Platform Ford T1 platform
Related Ford F-150
Lincoln Mark LT
Lincoln Navigator
Engine 5.4 L Triton V-8 (2006-2014)
3.5 L EcoBoost V-6 (2014-present)
Transmission 6-speed 6R75 automatic
6-speed 6R80 automatic
6-speed 6R80 manumatic

Transfer case (4x4 models)

2-speed BorgWarner 4417
High range ratio: 1.00:1
Low range ratio: 2.64:1
Wheelbase 119.0 in (3,023 mm)
Length 206.5 in (5,245 mm)
Width 78.8 in (2,002 mm)
Height SWB: 77.2 in (1,961 mm)
Eddie Bauer: 78.3 in (1,989 mm)

The 2007 model year[33] introduced the third generation developed under the U324 program code name which was an updated version of the second generation Expedition. Most of the improvements were mechanical in nature, and included a sheet metal refresh and redesigned interior with upgraded materials A new long wheelbase Expedition EL in (U.S. only) and called the Expedition Max (in Canada and Mexico only) as a replacement for the discontinued Ford Excursion.

Ford Expedition

High-strength hydroformed fully boxed Ford T platform (chassis) was a modified version of the half-ton Ford P2 platform from the Ford F-150. The new T1 platform replaced the old U platform, and provides 10 percent more torsional rigidity than the U platform. T1 incorporates a four-wheel independent long-travel suspension system (first introduced on the second generation) with redesigned suspension geometry and an all-new five-link rear suspension with new rear lower control-arms. As with previous model years, the suspension system could be had with adaptive pneumatic air-ride springs.

Ford's new 6-speed 6R75 intelligent automatic transmission with dual overdrive gears was introduced. The transmission featured push-button overdrive lock-out, electronic shift scheduling, adaptive shift algorithms and a mechatronic transmission control module (TCM) that would save adaptive shift data in keep alive memory (KAM). This safeguarded against complete data loss in case of a power failure (such as disconnecting the battery). In the event of a power failure, the mechatronic unit would simply read the last saved data entry from the system's memory, thus, the transmission did not have to completely relearn the owner's driving style.

Additionally, the Expedition is powered by the same 5.4 liter Triton V-8 internal combustion engine, rated at 300 hp (220 kW) and 365 lbf·ft (495 N·m) of torque from the previous generation. When properly equipped with the heavy-duty trailer towing package the SUV can tow up to 9,200 lbs (4,130 kg). Expedition is classed under the Tier 2, Bin 5 / ULEV 2 Ultra Low Emission Vehicle environmental classification.[34]

Off road geometry figures for approach, departure and ramp breakover angles are 22°, 21° and 18° respectively.[35] Minimum running (lowest point) ground clearance is 8.7 inches (220 mm). Underbody (overall) ground clearance is 9.1 inches (230 mm).[36]

Selectable automatic full-time Control Trac four-wheel drive continues to be offered, and uses a two-speed dual range BorgWarner 4417 transfer case with intelligent locking center multi-disc differential and "torque biasing" capability. Four-wheel electronic traction control is standard and off road underbody skid plate armor is optional. A new default off road program with throttle response recalibration was added, and is automatically activated when Four Low (lock) mode is selected. Expedition can achieve an off road crawl ratio of 41.06:1 with a low range ratio of 2.64:1 and rear axle ratio of 3.73:1.

The SUV also underwent a nip/tuck with a few cosmetic enhancements, both inside and out. Expedition's front end now featured Ford's signature three "hollow-bar" grille to complement the SUV's truck close relation to the F-150 and Super Duty pickups. New complex stepped style multifaceted headlamps, side view mirrors with updated LED lane departure indicators, sleeker body work and redesigned tail lamps were also added. The interior received a new dash with F-150-like center stack, center console, redesigned first row captains chair luxury seating, door panels and interior trim.

To further reduce outside noise intrusion for quieter, more isolated ride comfort, new SoundScreen laminated acoustic and solar tinted windshield[37] was added with thicker laminated side window glass.

The new SUV was unveiled at the Houston Auto Show rather than at the North American International Auto Show, the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, or the New York International Auto Show where most new models are, as 20 percent of all Expedition sales are in Texas. The third generation Expedition went on sale in August 2006. The first 2007 Expedition to roll off a Ford assembly line was donated by Ford to the Peter family of Jamaica, Queens, New York as part of an episode of the American Broadcasting Company series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired May 7, 2006.

In late 2014, the third generation standard wheelbase U324 Expedition and long-wheelbase U354 Expedition EL/Max underwent a cosmetic and mechanical refresh for the 2015 model year.


Model Year Type/model Power Torque
2006–2008 5.4 Liter (331 cu in) 24-valve SOHC VCT Triton V-8 gasoline 300 hp (224 kW) 365 lb·ft (495 N·m)
2009–2014 5.4 Liter (331 cu in) 24-valve SOHC VCT Triton V-8 gasoline/E85 ethanol 310 hp (231 kW) 365 lb·ft (495 N·m)
2015–present 3.5 Liter (213 cu in) 24-valve DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost V-6 gasoline 365 hp (272 kW) 420 lb·ft (569 N·m)


Model Year Type/model
2006–2008 6-speed 6R75 intelligent automatic
2009–2014 6-speed 6R80 intelligent automatic
2015–present 6-speed 6R80 SelectShift intelligent manumatic


Standard features include 6 speed Automatic transmission, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine with Ti-VCT, and 2 wheel drive using the rear wheels. Available features include: Extended-Length version, 4 wheel drive, Premium Audiophile sound system with in dash six-disc CD changer, rear subwoofer, MP3 device and iPod connectivity, SIRIUS XM satellite radio, HomeLink wireless control system, tri zone automatic climate control for driver, first passenger and rear passengers, PowerFold power stow away side-view mirrors, PowerFold power fold flat third-row seating, Gentex auto-dimming rear view mirror, adaptive pneumatic suspension system, power adjustable pedals, ultrasonic park assist, perforated leather seating, climate-controlled heated and cooled front captain's chairs with 10-way power adjust and memory, second-row captain's chair luxury seating, DVD-based voice activated navigation system with liquid crystal touch display, power moon roof, slimline rear DVD-based entertainment system with flip down LCD screen, power-assisted liftgate and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminium six-spoke wheels with Pirelli Scorpion all-season tires. Some of these features are available on Expedition XLT; many of them are included on Expedition Eddie Bauer and Expedition Limited.

Upgraded perforated leather seating, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio, climate and cruise controls, interior ebony wood trim, stylized blacked-out stepped-style multifaceted headlamps and monochromatic paint finish with body-colored grille and chrome accenting are standard on the Limited.

Safety and security

A 6 air bag supplementary restraint system (SRS) with 10-way occupant protection is standard on Expedition.[38] The occupant protection system consists of dual front SRS air bags with Personal Safety System (PSS), SafetyCanopy dual side curtain air bags, and new dual front side air bags for dedicated upper torso protection. The side air bags are similar to the ones used on the first generation Expedition, and are denoted by a small identification tag reading "Air bag" stitched onto the outboard front seat bolsters. The aforementioned SafetyCanopy dual side curtain air bag system was redesigned to include third row seating and features multi-chamber inflation, roll-fold technology, and extended inflation after deployment. SafetyCanopy will deploy along the A, B, C and D-pillars down to the vehicle's beltline.

Other safety features include side-intrusion door beams, security approach lamps, SecuriLock with smart key and engine immobilizer, BeltMinder, three-point safety belts for all rows of seating, post-crash fuel pump shut-off, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), AdvanceTrac electronic stability control (ESC) with roll stability control (RSC), traction control system (TCS), and four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). 911 Assist, perimeter alarm and SOS Post-Crash Alert features were added for 2009-onward models. SOS Post-Crash Alert will activate the Expedition's horn and continuously flash the hazard/caution lights as well as the lane departure indicators on the side view mirrors after a collision.

911 Assist system will be ready to assist in placing a call to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of air bag deployment. When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC (which happens every time the driver enters the vehicle with his/her cell phone), 911 Assist will provide a 10-second window to allow the driver or passenger to decide whether to cancel the call. If not manually cancelled within the 10 second window, 911 Assist will place the emergency call. A pre-recorded message will play when the call is answered, occupants in the Expedition will then be able to communicate directly with the 911 operator. Once the call is connected, 911 operators can respond to the situation exactly as they would with any 911 call. Emergency services can even determine the medical priority and dispatch the appropriate assistance based on the situation. If vehicle occupants are non-responsive, for example, the location of the vehicle can be determined through voice signal triangulation or by phones with a GPS location feature.[39]

NHTSA NCAP crash scores:[40]
MY2007 MY2008–present
Frontal Driver: Frontal Driver:
Frontal Passenger: Frontal Passenger:
Side Driver: Not tested Side Driver:
Side Rear Passenger: Not tested Side Rear Passenger:
Rollover Resistance (RWD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (RWD):
Rollover Resistance (4WD): Not tested Rollover Resistance (4WD):

Model year changes


For the 2008 model year, power deployable/retractable running boards became available, along with a rear view backup camera system. The camera, which is mounted under the Expedition's center liftgate appliqué, utilizes the Gentex auto dimming rear view mirror's picture-in-mirror technology to display what it sees. Expedition King Ranch was also reintroduced after being absent from the 2007 model year trim line-up. Expedition XLT models now get body colored lower body work, replacing the previous black plastic trim and was the Last Ford Model Year For the 9 nine passenger Front Bench seating option in the Ford Full-Size SUV's from Ford Motor Company (Ford Discontinued the 9 passenger Front Bench Seating Option for 2009 and Forward on the old Ford Full-Size SUV's 2009-present)


In July 2008, Ford's Wayne, Michigan plant started production on the 2009 models until December 2008.[41] In January 2009 production of the Expedition was relocated to the Kentucky Truck Assembly in Louisville along with its sister SUV, the Lincoln Navigator, and the Ford F-Series Super Duty. That plant used to build the Ford Excursion until 2005.[42]

Expedition's 6-speed 6R75 automatic was replaced by an improved version, the 6-speed 6R80 automatic. 6R80 features more robust internals, new software logic and a tow/haul mode (replaces the overdrive lock-out) that utilizes new uphill/downhill gradient shift logic for improved performance while towing or hauling heavy loads. The 6-speed automatic can compensate for altitude, grade/slope and present load conditions. The system also reduces the transmission's tendency to "hunt" for the right gear(s) and provides engine braking when descending hills. The 9 nine passenger front bench seating option has been discontinued for the 2009 model year, leaving only the 8 eight passenger seating option left with two front bucket seats and two rear bench seats. and the chrome "Expedition" name plate badges have been removed from the left and right front doors. The chrome "Expedition" name plate badge on the rear liftgate remains.

Additional features included the now standard FlexFuel capability, which can take gasoline, E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline), or any combination of the two, and the newly installed EasyFuel capless fuel-filler system. The 5.4 liter V8/FlexFuel feature also upgraded its power to 310 hp (231 kW), while the torque rating stayed the same at 365 lb·ft (495 N·m). The 2009 model year also boosted its maximum towing capacity to 9,200 lb (4,200 kg) for the 4x2 version, and up to 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) for the 4x4 version.

The new entertainment features added to the 2009 model year included the optional Ford SYNC, and an all-new DVD-based voice-activated, multi-entertainment/navigational system with liquid crystal touch display. The rearview camera system is now integrated to show the video feed through the navigation screen instead for the rearview mirror, however, the rearview mirror is still used to show images on Expeditions not equipped with the navigation system. The new navigation system features up to 10 gigabytes of storage space for more than 2400 songs, a jukebox function, a screened photo display, iPod/Zune capability for downloading and recharging, ripping CDs, and integrated compatibility for cellphones and Bluetooth; the newly compatible Sirius Travel Link, which allow drivers to access traffic, weather, sports, and local movie listings; and a "Route Guidance" mode for road and street information. The steering wheel also has a tilt feature and radio controls, including Ford SYNC buttons, allowing the driver to press the button and use voice commands to activate the system, which became standard on Eddie Bauer, Limited, and King Ranch. The tilt w/radio control feature was optional on the XLT during its Wayne plant built orders, but after production moved to Louisville it became standard. For accessory purposes, a HD radio can be installed upon request at a Ford dealership in the United States. New for 2009 were standard heated second row outboard seats on the Limited and King Ranch models only with either the second row bench seat or the optional bucket seats.


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. For the 2010 model year optional packages have now been renamed (to Rapid Specificated Order Codes) and upgraded (100s for XLT, 200s for Eddie Bauer, 300s for Limited, 400s for King Ranch) for the newer models. It has also announced that the 2010 models will now feature Ford's MyKey and trailer sway control as a standard on all trims.[43] The 2010 models were ranked 6th among the top 11 affordable large size SUVs in "US News & World Report.[44] A diesel version for the 2010 model year did not get past the planning stage.[45] Rain-sensing windshield wipers were added as an optional extra for Eddie Bauer, but standard on the Limited and King Ranch versions.


No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. HD Radio became a standard on all trims, and a dual DVD system that placed at the headrest area became an optional feature. Another change that was made was in the entry-level trim department, with the Expedition offering the newly designated standard XL entry level with lower black cladding, while the XLT level trim was upgraded along with a new XLT Premium trim with gold cladding, replacing the Eddie Bauer level trim. Also, silver cladding was added as an exterior trim as part of a newly optional XLT Premium Sport Appearance Package. Both Limited and King Ranch trims receive new paint and interior trim. The limited trim also has a chrome grille for a change.[46]


2012 Ford Expedition

No major cosmetic or mechanical changes. The second heated row seating option was added to XLT Premium and the front park assists became a standard feature on the Limited and King Ranch trims.[47]


No major cosmetic changes; however the XL trim and XLT Sport options were dropped, leaving only the XLT, XLT Premium, Limited, and King Ranch trims. Updates made to the 2013 models (which went on sale in August 2012) included the TowCommand trailer brake controller system that is bundled with the heavy-duty trailer towing package, a new internal shift control module which allows the six-speed automatic transmission to tailor shifts to engine demand, 10 equipment levels, three new colors (Blue Jeans Metallic, Kodiak Brown Metallic and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat), and a new 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels that was available on both the Limited and King Ranch trims. The latter trim also featured chrome roof racks and side mirrors. Another notable change can be found on the driver's instrumental panel, with the temperature and fuel gauge trading sides.[48]


No major cosmetic changes. Only three trims, XLT, Limited and King Ranch will be offered. The Sirius XM with Navlink and HD radio is added to the XLT as an optional feature. A new, quieter, mechanical Nivomat adaptive hydraulic load-leveling suspension system is available, in place of the adaptive pneumatic air-ride load-leveling suspension. When properly equipped the Expedition continues to offer top-end towing capability with a braked trailer towing capacity of 9,200 lbs (4,173 kg or 4.6 tons).


On February 18, 2014, Ford introduced an enhanced Expedition (U324) and Expedition EL (U354), dubbed the U3242 and U3542 respectively, for the 2015 model year.[49] The "2" signifying the second phase of the U324 and U354. The mid life cycle update will be the full-size SUV's first major rework since the 2007 model year. The debut was at the Dallas-Fort Worth Auto Show on February 19, 2014; because Texas (especially Dallas and Houston) is an important market. Despite a 27% drop in sales since 2008, Ford is committed to continuing producing the Expeditions.[50] Ford started production on the updated Expedition (and Expedition EL, which will continue to compete with the Suburban and Yukon XL) around the first quarter of 2014 and placed the 2015 models in dealerships in July 2014. Ford announced that the three level trims, XLT, Limited, and King Ranch, will continue to be offered along with a new top of the line Platinum trim.[51] On September 12, 2013, (which was the same day that GM unveiled their next generation SUVs), Automobile Magazine posted a spyshot of the 2015 Expedition, which showed a repositioned tailpipe, and a more upright front fascia which bore a taller, wider grille that appeared inspired by the F-150 and Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks.[52]

Official photos released on February 18, 2014 revealed an all-new aggressive armadillo-like three-bar grille, which features step-stacked bars that evoke the appearance of stepped armor-plating on an armadillo's back. All-new thinner headlamps with high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting was added, in addition to an all-new front bumper with oversized lower air intake. The new bumper also features a lower chrome bar and twin LED fog lamps that flank the chrome bar. Brightwork was added on the rear liftgate; and the tailpipe was repositioned straight, instead of making a 90 degree turn behind the right rear wheel.[53]

Expedition remained a body-on-frame (BOF), allowing the SUV to retain its heavy-duty truck underpinnings for towing and hauling needs.[54][55] The full-size SUV received the 3.5 liter 24-valve DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost V-6 engine which features an aluminium engine block, twin-turbochargers, direct injection, and twin independent variable camshaft timing. Power output for the EcoBoost V-6 will be rated around 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, and will be the only engine featured, dropping the 5.4 liter V-8 that was available in the 2007-2014 models due to Ford wanting to make the Expedition more fuel efficient. Despite the changeover from V-8 to V-6, the Expedition did boost its MPG to 16 (city)/23 (highway) for the 2WD and 15 (city)/21 (highway) for the 4WD, but it is now on par with the GM large-size SUVs, which also boasts the same MPGs as the Expedition.[56] In addition to the new engine, Expedition received an updated 6-speed 6R80 SelectShift intelligent manumatic gearbox with manual shift mode. Expedition also features a new electric power servo-assisted steering and Pull-Drift Compensation (PDC) which detects crosswinds and compensates for it.

The interior remained similar to the outgoing models, but with upgraded materials and a revised prominent center stack, which introduces the latest version of the 8-inch MyFord Touch touchscreen infotainment and telematics system. Push-to-start engine ignition with intelligent access was added and the four-wheel drive mode selector (for models with 4x4) was revised and repositioned. The TowCommand paddle controls was repositioned over the four-wheel drive mode selector, to make way for revised audio and climate controls on the center stack.[49]

The new features for 2015 included an optional, revised four-wheel independent suspension system with intelligent continuously-controlled damping (CCD) system that alters suspension settings constantly based on 46 parameters and offers comfort, normal, and sport modes. Expedition is the first Ford vehicle in North America to have continuously-controlled damping. Other new optional features includes blind-spot information system (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera and apps for the infotainment system to help with towing and off-road driving, all of which is standard in the Platinum trim, whose seating and interior features include Brunello leather, a red wine color with tuxedo-stripe accents and French seamed stitching, or black leather with Agate Gray accents.[57]

The selectable automatic full-time ControlTrac four-wheel drive system continues to be offered, but gains a trio of new off-road electronic systems in the form of Hill Ascent Assist (HAA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), and Ford Truck Apps (FTA). FTA gives off-road orientation/geometry, 4x4 system status, and traction control system status in real-time. The four-wheel electronic traction control system (brake differential locking control) was recalibrated to take into account the new EcoBoost V-6's higher torque output and earlier torque delivery.

EcoBoost Performance

The heavyweight 6,155 lb (3+ ton) as tested, 2015 Expedition Platinum with 3.5 EcoBoost V-6 and selectable automatic full-time ControlTrac four-wheel drive was clocked from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. The full-size SUV can clip 100 mph in 18.2 seconds, 110 mph in 24.3 seconds, and is electronically safety-limited to 113 mph. Expedition has a near perfect 50:50 front:rear balanced weight distribution and center of gravity positioned at 28.5 inches.[58]

Expedition Platinum averaged 39.2 mph in a 610 ft slalom run and pulled 0.78g in roadholding skidpad testing. High speed emergency braking from 70 mph to 0 (full stop) was completed in 170 ft. In comparison, the Expedition's main rival took a full 10 feet longer, completing the same emergency brake test in 180 ft.[58]


For the 2016 model year, most of the features that were introduced from 2015 were carried over. However, the Expedition began adding Ford's upgraded enhanced SYNC3 to its trims, as an optional feature on the XLT and standard on Limited, King Ranch and Platinum. The Limited added Sony's Premium Audio System as a standard.


In June 2016, Ford began selling the 2017 model year Expedition, with no major changes being made and continued to be offered in XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum level trims. This is expected to be the final year of the third generation Expedition and Expedition EL (U324) and (U354)

Fourth Generation (U553) (2018-present)

The fourth-generation Expedition is known internally at Ford Motor Company as the "U553", and will arrive in 2017 as a 2018 model.[59] The all-new Expedition was developed in secret under the U553 program codename and will feature body-on-frame (BOF) architecture with exotic high-strength lightweight material construction consisting of boron steel and aluminium.[60] The U553 will move to the all-new half-ton T3 platform (chassis), which is a modified version of the half-ton platform underpinning the 2015 Ford F-150. The T3 platform will use a new four-wheel independent suspension system design. Updated powertrain systems (engines and transmissions) including a Hybrid variant with proprietary parallel hybrid electric-drive system to help increase fuel efficiency are expected.[54] A 10-speed 10R80 SelectShift intelligent manumatic transmission is also expected.[61] The next-generation Expedition's chief engineer is Jackie Marshall DiMarco, who is also the chief engineer for the next-generation F-150 pickup.[62]

Spy photographers captured early engineering test mules of the U553 in late 2015, which sported a modified non-production intent F-150 SuperCrew body on the production intent platform chassis. In late 2016, spy photographers managed to capture photos of the actual first prototypes of the U553 wearing the production intent body on the production intent platform. Styling of the U553 will be more aerodynamic and streamlined, with raked windshield and sloped roofline that will lead to a rear liftgate spoiler. The new Expedition's (U553) body will feature sculpted sides with character lines, as opposed to the straight slab sides of the current Expedition (U324) [63]

Expedition EL/Max

Expedition EL (U354)
Also called Expedition Max, Excursion, Everest (proposed name)
Production 2006–present
Assembly (2006–2009): Wayne, Michigan, United States
(2009–present): Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Body and chassis
Platform Ford T1 platform
Related Ford Expedition
Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln Navigator L
Engine 5.4 L Triton V-8 (2007-2014)
3.5 L EcoBoost V-6 (2015-)
Transmission 6-speed 6R75 automatic
6-speed 6R80 automatic
6-speed 6R80 manumatic

Transfer case (4x4 models)

2-speed BorgWarner 4417
High range ratio: 1.00:1
Low range ratio: 2.64:1
Wheelbase 131.0 in (3,327 mm)
Length 221.3 in (5,621 mm)
Width 78.8 in (2,002 mm)
Height EL/Max: 77.7 in (1,974 mm)
Eddie Bauer (2007–10)/XLT (2011–present): 78.3 in (1,989 mm)
Ford Expedition EL/Max (United Arab Emirates)

For the 2007 model year, an extended-wheelbase version of the Expedition called the Expedition EL (for "extended length") was introduced in the United States. In Canada and Mexico it is badged as an Expedition Max because of confusion with the Canada-sold Acura EL, which was replaced in 2005 by the Acura CSX (the Expedition Max name continues to be used in Canada). At first it was supposed to be called the Everest but Ford changed their minds at the last minute.[64] However, Ford now uses the Everest name for its SUVs in Asia. As with the standard size Expedition, the EL/Max version continued to have the same features from the 2007 to 2011 model year, but for the 2012 model year it added a cargo organizer as an exclusive feature.[65]

The EL/Max replaced the discontinued Excursion and is expected to compete more effectively with the Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL. While both GM and Ford vehicles are similar in size (as both Suburban/Yukon XL 1500s and EL vehicles are packaged as half-tons), there is a difference in the pricing range, as the sale price for the EL model Expedition is lower than the sale price of the Suburban/Yukon XL. Another difference is that while Chevrolet and GMC offer bigger engine sizes for their Suburban/Yukon XL models (5.3L and 6.2L), the EL/Max comes with 5.4L/V8 engine (until 2014) and the twin-turbocharged 3.5L/V6 (2014+), just like its standard-size sibling and does not have a 3/4 ton version like the Suburban/Yukon XL has (GM discontinued the 3/4 ton versions after the 2013 model year).

Outside North America, including the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, the Expedition EL is also imported to and sold in the Middle East, Taiwan, and the Philippines, where in the latter the EL version is the only type of Expedition that is imported and sold there. Coincidentally, the Philippines is also where Ford also sells the Everest SUV.

The Expedition EL is about 14.8 in (39 cm) longer than the standard Expedition for a total of approximately 222 in (18.5 feet or 563 cm), and has a 131 in (333 cm) wheelbase, producing 24 ft³ of additional cargo space over the standard 119 in (302 cm) wheelbase model. The EL/Max versions also carries the same updated (2007–present) features as noted above, save for the Eddie Bauer version (18" machine-aluminum wheels). And while they are larger in size, its maximum towing capacity is 8,900 lb (4,000 kg) on the 4x2 version and 8,700 lb (3,900 kg) on the 4×4 version, about 300 lb (140 kg) short of the regular sized Expedition. They also received a 5-star rating from the NHTSA.[66] The Expedition EL was also ranked 9th among the top 15 "Best Family Haulers", according to a June 2009 consumers favorite survey conducted by Edmunds.[67]

The Expedition EL originally came in 4 trim lines: XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited, and the King Ranch series during the 2007-2010 model year. After the 2011 model year was introduced, the trims expanded to 5, with the XLT and XLT Premium levels replacing the Eddie Bauer level and the newly designated standard XL entry level taking the XLT's place. The XL, XL Premium and XL Sport levels were dropped after the 2012 model year. The Expedition EL can be distinguished by its longer rear-quarter windows and the aft wheel well trim not cutting into the rear passenger doors.

2012 Ford Expedition Max (U354)

The Expedition EL was refreshed for the 2015 model year and have the same features and trims as the standard size Expedition.


Full Size Expedition

The standard size Expedition are sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the CMNI, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, Republic of China Taiwan, the Philippines, the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, South America (except Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela), Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia and South Korea), Africa (Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal), and Europe (Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan).[68]

After the 2015 refresh, the standard size Expedition became exclusive to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Republic of China (Taiwan), and the Middle East. The US and Canadian Expeditions are available in XLT, Limited, King Ranch and Platinum, while The Mexican Expedition offers the XLT, Limited, and King Ranch trims. The Middle East Expeditions are offered in XL, XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and in Platinum (RWD only) trims.

Expedition EL

For the Expedition EL/Max, all six versions (XL, XLT/Eddie Bauer, XLT Platinum/Sport, Limited, King Ranch and Platinum) are available in the United States. From the 2007 to 2010 model years, The EL/Max level trims were limited to only 3 versions for Canada, Republic of China (Taiwan), and The Middle East, two for Mexico, and one for the Philippines. Canada's Expedition Max offered the Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch trims, Mexico's Expedition Max in Limited and King Ranch trims, and the Middle East's EL level trims in XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The Philippines' lone Expedition EL level trim was the Eddie Bauer model from 2007 to 2010.

After the 2011 model year Ford made changes in the international exportation of the EL/Max trims. As a result of the changes, the Limited trim became the only version available in Canada and Mexico as Eddie Bauer (in Canada) and King Ranch trims (in both Canada and Mexico) were discontinued, while the Philippines and the Middle East replaced the Eddie Bauer with the XLT trim. The Middle East also started to get all of the 5 US level base trims, including the new XL trims that took the XLT's place and the King Ranch trim.

With the 2015 refresh, the Expedition EL US level trims are the same as the standard versions: XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum, all four available in rear wheel and four wheel drive. The Canadian Expedition Max are only featured in Limited and Platinum level trims, also available in RWD and 4WD. Mexico's Expedition Max are available in rear wheel drive XLT only, but available in RWD and 4WD Limited versions. The Philippines, Republic of China (Taiwan), and Middle East ELs are only available in 4WD Limited trims.

Four-wheel drive system

Selectable automatic full-time Control Trac four-wheel drive designed by BorgWarner is standard on all 4x4 Expeditions. There are four modes: Two High mode, Auto mode, Four High mode and Four Low mode. Each mode can be selected via a rotary control dial on the dash.

The Expedition's system uses a two-speed dual range BorgWarner transfer case with a software controlled variable intelligent locking center multi-disc differential. The four-wheel drive system does not use a planetary or bevel geared center differential, which are typically found in permanent four-wheel drive systems where torque is supplied to all four wheels.

Selectable Automatic Full-Time ControlTrac Four-Wheel Drive[69]
Mode Drive type Operation
Two High (2H) Rear-wheel drive The intelligent locking center multi-disc differential is inactive, torque is routed to the rear-wheels only, with high range gearing. Imitates rear-wheel drive and is more economical for on road driving.
Auto (4A) All-wheel drive
(unlocked, variable)
Software does all the work, adjusting the torque split between the front and rear wheels when wheelslip is anticipated or detected. The intelligent locking center multi-disc differential is unlocked and allows for a variable front:rear torque split that ranges from 0:100 to 100:0, or anywhere in-between. Up to 100 percent of torque can be sent to the front wheels, via "torque biasing" for temporary front-wheel drive, in extreme situations where the rear drive axle loses complete traction. High range gearing is used. For use in all-weather on road (dry, wet or slippery pavement) conditions or light off road conditions.
Four High (4H) All-wheel drive
The intelligent locking center multi-disc differential is locked providing a permanently locked 50:50 torque split.[70] The front and rear drive shafts are mechanically locked together forcing them to turn together with absolute zero rotational speed difference. High range gearing is used. Not for use on pavement, only for off road conditions. If Four High mode is used on pavement, torque windup and drivetrain binding can occur resulting in catastrophic driveline failure.
Four Low (4L) All-wheel drive
Similar to Four High mode in operation, the permanently locked 50:50 torque split is maintained; however, low range off road reduction gearing is engaged. A default off road program is automatically selected and remaps (reprograms) the electronic throttle control, traction control system (engine control), and turns off AdvanceTrac's electronic stability control and roll stability control safety systems for off road use.[22][71] The four-wheel electronic traction control system (brake differential locking control) remains active and continues to function as normal.[22] Not for use on pavement, only for off road conditions. If Four Low mode is used on pavement, torque windup and drivetrain binding can occur resulting in catastrophic driveline failure.

4WD Expeditions come with standard dual front frame-mounted closed-loop recovery hooks and available off-road under body protection. Steel plates are placed over vital areas with a composite shield for the fuel tank. Expedition 4x4s are tested alongside the F-150 and Super Duty trucks at Ford's California and Arizona proving grounds. Expedition is put through the same durability tests and evaluations to meet the same durability standards as its pickup truck brethren.[72]

Traction control

Rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive have conventional open-type differentials with a choice of axle ratios. Traction control systems, both mechanical and electronic, are optional.

Mechanical traction control (1997–2006)

Both first and second generation Ford Expeditions (UN93 and U222) had optional Traction-Lok rear limited-slip differential (LSD). The clutch packs inside the LSD tend to be weak, will wear over time, gradually losing their ability to transfer torque, and LSD will function like an open-type differential.[73] The front differential on four-wheel drive models are open-type differential. The AdvanceTrac electronic stability control for the 2003 model year. The 2006 was the last model year for the Traction-Lok limited-slip differential.

Electronic traction control (2003–present)

AdvanceTrac electronic stability control was introduced for the 2003 model year as an optional extra on the second generation Ford Expedition (U222). Bundled with the electronic stability control system is four-wheel electronic traction control (functions at all wheels) for Expeditions with four-wheel drive.[22] Two-wheel drive Expeditions only receive two-wheel electronic traction control for rear wheels. AdvanceTrac was made standard equipment on all third generation Expeditions (U324).

The traction control system uses four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) to apply and release the disc brakes on the drive wheel that has lost traction. The ABS clamps down on the slipping drive wheel or wheels, "brake locking" the differential, which can transfer up to 100 percent of supplied torque to the opposing drive wheel with better traction. By ABS "brake locking" both the front and rear differentials, the traction control system can simulate front and rear differential locks. The system works even if two of its drive wheels (one front, one rear) are completely off the ground.[22][23]

Using the ABS brakes rather than mechanical limited-slip or locking devices inside the axle differentials gives quicker response, more seamless performance, and enhanced durability.[22][23]

Towing capability

When first introduced in 1996, the Expedition competed with both the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon in the full-size half-ton SUV towing segment. New competitors included the Dodge Durango (which was discontinued in 2009, but reintroduced in 2011), Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia. Product research conducted by Ford indicated that 92 percent of Expedition owners use the SUV for vacations. Some 60 percent use it to transport outdoor sports equipment, while 40 percent of Expedition owners use the vehicle for towing.[74] The half-ton Expedition EL/Max competes with the half-ton Chevrolet Suburban 1500 and GMC Yukon XL 1500 in the towing segment.

Since its introduction, the Expedition's braked trailer towing capacity has grown from 8,100 lbs (3,674 kg or 4.05 tons) to a current rating of 9,200 lbs (4,173 kg or 4.6 tons) when properly equipped. The list of towing features is also ever growing. Towing features common to all generations of the Expedition include: smallest possible turning radius for increased trailer maneuverability, large side view mirrors to improve rearward visibility, rearward-facing lane departure indicators which are helpful to other motorist when the Expedition is towing a long trailer providing added visual safety, heavy-duty flashers,[75] heavy-duty large disc brakes to withstand prolonged braking while towing, and an available heavy-duty trailer towing package which includes necessary additions for heavy-duty towing.

As of the 2010 model year, the Expedition received trailer sway control (TSC) as standard equipment. TSC detects trailer oscillations and corrects it via asymmetrical ABS braking and reducing engine power until the Expedition and its trailer are both back under control.[76]

Heavy-duty trailer towing package

Expeditions equipped with the heavy-duty trailer towing package are prepped and readied, at the factory, for towing. The package includes a "V-5" safety rated heavy-duty Class IV (Class 4) trailer hitch with weight distribution capability, heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty auxiliary transmission fluid cooler, hitch mounted 4 and 7-pin trailer electrics connector and factory prewiring for an electronic trailer brake controller module. The brake controller wiring harness is located under the dash on the driver's side for easy installment of the brake controller module.[77][78]

For the 2013 model year, Expedition received the TowCommand electronic trailer brake controller system, which is now equipped at the factory, included with the heavy-duty trailer towing package. The Expedition's trailer brake controller features +/– gain brake adjustment with support for heavy-duty trailers with up to four axles (quad axle trailers) and is compatible with electrically actuated trailer drum brakes and electric-over-hydraulic (EOH) actuated trailer drum or disc brake systems. The trailer brake controller is fully integrated into the Expedition's four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), and trailer sway control (TSC).[79][80]

Expeditions were offered with an adaptive pneumatic air-ride suspension system with self leveling, payload leveling and trailer load leveling capability from 1997-2013. For the 2014 model year, a Nivomat adaptive hydraulic suspension system with self leveling, payload leveling and trailer load leveling replaced the pneumatic system. Both systems can automatically detect when a heavy trailer is coupled, such as a travel trailer, and level the load. Additional ride-height sensors placed on the left and right sides of the SUV also monitor and compensate for any listing caused by improper cargo loading. This keeps the Expedition running straight and level while towing, and at night helps to keep the Expedition's headlamps from blinding oncoming traffic.

Special Service Vehicle

A 2nd-Generation Ford Expedition Special Service
3rd-Generation Ford Expedition Special Service Vehicle Used by the Amtrak Police.

To compete with large police SUVs that are sold by other automobile companies, primarily the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford has made a special version of the Expedition available to law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and EMS agencies. Ford calls it the Expedition Special Service Vehicle (SSV). The only differences between the standard Expedition and the Special Service Vehicle Expedition are provisions for emergency services related equipment such as radios, lightbars, and sirens.

Funkmaster Flex edition

A special limited edition Ford Expedition with Funkmaster Flex "FMF" trim and logos was offered for the 2008 model year only. This limited production model is based on the Limited trim level regular length Expedition and featured special Solid black and bright Colorado red two-tone paint work. Only 650 were produced and each are individually numbered on the center console.[81][82]

Yearly American sales

Calendar Year Total American sales
1996 45,974[83]
1997 214,524[84]
1998 225,703
1999[85] 233,125
2000 213,483
2001[86] 178,045
2002[87] 163,454
2003 181,547
2004[88] 159,846
2005 114,137
2006[89] 87,203
2007 90,287
2008[90] 55,123
2009[91] 31,655
2010[92] 37,336
2011[93] 40,499
2012 38,062
2013 38,350[94]
2014 44,632[95]
2015 41,443[96]


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