2005 Expedition New Car Test Drive
Ford Expedition is a benchmark for full-size SUVs. It's smooth, stable and refined with responsive handling given its size and weight. Its four-wheel-independent suspension is unusually sophisticated in this class, providing better ride and handling, on-road and off.
The Expedition is best exemplified by the popular Eddie Bauer model with its luxurious and inviting interior and feature details that make for a more comfortable and convenient vehicle. A new 2005 Expedition Limited model kicks it up a notch with special trim colors and more standard features.
All 2005 Ford Expedition models come with a new V8 engine that increases horsepower substantially yet improves fuel economy and reduces emissions. Expedition is loaded with safety features, and 2005 brings an optional Roll Stability Control system, which is designed to sense an approaching rollover situation then take action to help prevent it.
What the Expedition does best is move large quantities of people and gear. It can be equipped to tow up to 8900 pounds making it a good choice for families that need to pull a boat or a horse. Its perfectly flat cargo area makes it particularly adept at hauling. The available PowerFold third-row seat folds perfectly flat with the press of a button.
Able to carry up to eight passengers, it's good at hauling children. The second row features a small center seat that slides forward to give parents in the front seat access to a small child. A rear-seat DVD system is available for entertainment. And the Reverse Sensing System can alert the driver as the Expedition is backed toward an object such as a parked car, a short pole, or a child on a tricycle.
The 2005 Ford Expedition comes with one engine, a 5.4-liter sohc V8 that uses variable valve timing and three valves per cylinder to develop 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a four-speed automatic. The new engine replaces both engines used last year.
Four trim levels are available: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited. Each of these is offered with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).
XLS ($32,720) and XLS 4WD ($35,290) are the value-conscious models. They come well equipped, but offer little in the way of options. Standard features on XLS include four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, air conditioning, tilt steering column, cruise control, privacy glass, fold-away power mirrors with approach lamps, power locks with remote keyless entry and SecuriLock security system, automatic headlamps, AM/FM/CD stereo, a Class III trailer hitch with a four-pin connector, and 17-inch steel wheels. Seats are three cloth-covered benches: split 60/40 in the first row with six-way power for the driver; split 40/20/40 in the second row to allow the CenterSlide feature; and split 60/40 in the third row.
XLT ($34,745) and XLT 4WD ($37,495) add auxiliary rear air conditioning and heat controls, overhead console with storage, auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors, color-keyed door handles, the tire-pressure monitoring system, fog lamps, running boards, and aluminum wheels. Many more options are available on XLT than XLS.
An appearance package called XLT Sport ($850) adds Dark Shadow Grey exterior cladding and wheel-lip moldings, high-gloss Dark Shadow Grey tubular step bars, and a two-tone grille treatment.
NBX ($38,595) outfits XLT 4WD models for the backcountry, with all-terrain tires, unique 17-inch chromed steel wheels, skid plates, and Sachs shocks tuned for off-road performance. NBX models are distinguished by their tubular steel running boards and blackout reflector headlamps. Inside are front captain's chairs with six-way power, heavy-duty rubber floor mats and a soft liner for the cargo area.
Eddie Bauer 2WD ($38,910) and 4WD ($42,060) add automatic climate control, leather captain's chairs with power and memory for the driver and manual lumbar support on both sides, power adjustable pedals with memory, power heated exterior mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and climate controls, floor, message center, audiophile stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, and a keypad for the keyless entry system. Externally, Bauer Expeditions are distinguished by 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, Pueblo Gold running boards and generous helping of Pueblo Gold trim.
Limited 2WD ($40,710) and 4WD ($43,860) differ from the Eddie Bauer primarily in color scheme, but add power folding heated mirrors with turn signals and memory; eight-way power and memory for the front seats; and a wood-and-leather steering wheel. Seats are monochromatic leather; complex-reflector headlamps are blacked out; wheel lips, cladding, and mirrors are body color; and the wheels, exhaust tip, and roof rails are chromed.
Safety is enhanced by a big, rigid frame, a low front bumper, adjustable pedals to give smaller drivers a safer seating position, and a tire-pressure monitor. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) and other active safety systems help the driver maintain control of the vehicle and reduce the chance of skidding off the road.
Optional safety features include the Safety Canopy air curtain system ($850), designed to offer head protection for first- and second-row passengers in the event of a rollover or side impact; the package includes the reverse sensing system. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control ($595), Ford's electronic stability control system, monitors traction at all wheels, plus the rate of change of body lean, and automatically cuts power or selectively applies one or more wheel brakes to correct a skid or prevent a rollover; it's only available on Eddie Bauer and Limited m.