2002 Expedition New Car Test Drive
Ford's Expedition continues to be popular with its strong V8 engine, seating for up to nine, and available four-wheel drive. Flexible seating arrangements give families versatility. It's roomier than the Explorer, but not as unwieldy as the mammoth Excursion.
Expedition offers comfortable seating in the first two rows; leather-clad seats in the pricey Eddie Bauer edition approach luxury-car levels. The third row is cramped for all but smaller children. Expedition's soft suspension filters out unwanted road vibration, and softens potholes, driveway entrances and other bumps. Its 5.4-liter V8 delivers responsive acceleration performance, while the automatic transmission provides impressively smooth shifting. Power steering is over-assisted to ease maneuvering in crowded parking lots, and a reverse warning system reduces the chance of backing into something.
Two trim levels, XLT and Eddie Bauer, make up the Expedition model range. With little demand for plain, entry-level vehicles in this class, Ford equips the XLT well and the Eddie Bauer even better. Standard equipment for both models includes antilock brakes, third-row seating, and remote keyless entry. Visual differences between XLT and Eddie Bauer versions are confined to paint and trim. Checking off items from a long list of optional equipment for the XLT blurs equipment level distinctions between the two.
XLT and Eddie Bauer trim levels are available with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The Expedition derives much of its chassis and mechanical hardware from Ford's F-150 pickup.
XLT comes standard with a 232-horsepower 4.6-liter V8.
Stepping up to the Eddie Bauer 4x4 model brings a larger, more powerful 5.4-liter V8 that produces 260 horsepower. Eddie Bauer also adds a power moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 290-watt Mach AM/FM cassette audio system, a 6-CD changer in the center console, and automatic climate control. A TV/VHS rear-seat entertainment system is a new option for the top-level Expedition.