2004 Excursion New Car Test Drive
In terms of size, the Ford Excursion is the king of big sport-utilities. Supremely stable at speed, it feels safe and secure on the open highway. Whether you have a lot of cargo to carry, a bunch of people to transport, a big trailer to pull, or all of the above, the Excursion is ready for whatever you throw its way.
The Excursion seats eight or nine passengers, depending on how it is configured. It can tow up to 11,000 pounds. Options include a powerful gasoline-fueled V10, and a state-of-the-art turbo-diesel V8. While the Excursion is too large for serious off-road driving, its optional four-wheel-drive and all-terrain tires enable it to handle hilly shale roads, snowy highways, and slippery boat ramps, those places that are accessible in a heavy-duty Ford pickup.
The Excursion is a beast, however, taking up more garage space, parking space, and street space than anything else this side of a dually. It's no minivan. The Excursion best suited for families who tow boats, horses or other heavy trailers. Properly equipped, Excursion is rated to tow up to 11,000 pounds.
For 2004, the Ford Excursion comes primarily in four trim levels: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited. Each is available with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).
XLS 2WD ($36,585) and XLS 4WD ($39,840) come with a moderate level of standard equipment, including four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), tilt steering wheel, cruise control, a 40/20/40 split front bench seat, a 60/40 split-folding second-row seat, a folding/removable third-row seat, power/heated mirrors, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo, and an overhead console. XLS is visually identified by body-color side moldings, black running boards, and 16-inch chromed steel wheels.
XLT 2WD ($37,575) and XLT 4WD ($40,830) add power adjustable front bucket seats with a floor console, automatic headlamps, and rear-seat audio controls. Recognize an XLT by its platinum-finish body-side cladding and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
Eddie Bauer 2WD ($40,660) and 4WD ($43,760) add power rear quarter windows, Reverse Sensing System, automatic climate control, trip computer, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming rearview mirror, two-tone leather seating surfaces and cherry woodgrain interior accents. Arizona Beige front and rear bumpers, grille, body cladding and wheel lips provide exterior identity, along with illuminated running boards.
Limited 2WD ($41,985) and 4WD ($45,085) add a premium stereo with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, heated front seats, memory seats and pedals, climate and audio controls on the steering wheel, premium leather seating surfaces and a HomeLink transmitter. Body cladding and wheel lips revert to body color, but with a chrome insert. Grille and bumpers are body-color, too, for a monochromatic effect.
Three engines are available: a 5.4-liter V8, a 6.8-liter V10, and a 6.0-liter turbocharged diesel V8. The 5.4-liter V8 is standard in XLS, XLT, and 2WD versions of the Eddie Bauer and Limited. The V10 is standard in 4WD Eddie Bauer and Limited models, optional ($585) on other models. The diesel ($4,755-$5,345) is available for all models. All Excursions come with an automatic transmission: a four-speed automatic with the gasoline engines, a five-speed automatic with the diesel.
Many of the deluxe-model luxuries are available as options on even the basic XLS, including the adjustable pedals ($120), and six-disc CD changer ($255). The DVD entertainment system ($1500) is available on all models except the XLS; wireless headphones have been added to the system for 2004.All Excursions come with a seven-wire trailer harness. An optional 4WD Trailer Tow Group ($275) includes manually telescoping trailer mirrors with heated glass, integrated turn signals and clearance lights; plus a rear anti-roll bar. The mirrors are also available by themselves ($220).