click above image to view more pics of the 2007 Ford Expedition EL Ford's new Expedition EL has to follow in some huge footsteps – or, perhaps more appropriately, tire tracks. The stretched-wheelbase SUV not only has to do battle with GM's Suburban and Yukon XL duo (long the sales leaders in the extended-wheelbase segment), but it also has to live up to the reputation of the Excursion. That monstrous predecessor never sold in large numbers, but it built a loyal following that remains to this day (if you doubt this, just try to find a bargain on a low-mileage example with the Powerstroke diesel). Since Ford's previous attempt at building a cargo conveyance and people mover on the Super Duty platform didn't appeal to the average mass-market buyer, this go-around utilizes the far more civilized Expedition platform – and its independent front and rear suspension – as a starting point. Will this move create a kinder, gentler mastodon of metal? We put one through the paces for a week to learn more. %Gallery-3515% Click any image to view our 2007 Ford Expedition EL gallery of pics The new Expedition's sheetmetal brings with it an edgier appearance that makes a strong first impression. We dig the brawny new look, especially on the longer-wheelbase model, and our tester's two-tone paint complimented it well. The twenty-inch wheels at each corner are well-proportioned to the EL's huge exterior dimensions, as is the Ford signature three-bar chrome grille (note the ample size of the Blue Oval badge, which gives Chevy's oversized Bowtie a run for its money in the Detroit quest to build the biggest logo). Overall, we think the Expedition is as good-looking as any of the full-size SUVs, and it should age well. Underneath that sharp new shape is an all-new platform that Ford calls the T1. It's got a lot of current-generation F-150 in its bloodline. Where the Expedition differs most strongly from its pickup truck siblings – and the rest of the competition – is in how it locates its rear wheels. The solid rear axle was dropped in favor of a multilink independent setup at each rear corner for 2003, and that continues forward to the latest iteration. Surprisingly enough, the most significant impact isn't the ride – it's good, but not a significant step above the competition – but a feature it allows that we'll discuss a bit later in this review. To move all this mass around, the Expedition relies on a three-valve version of the trusty 5.4L SOHC V8, with Ford's new six-speed automatic gear changer channeling that power to the ground via the ControlTrac 4WD system. Options for operation in 2WD, Automatic, and both high-range and low-range modes in 4WD are selected via a dial on the dashboard, and the operation is instantaneous and free of noise. The first two modes will be the only ones that matter to most users, but should the urge strike one to take a jaunt off-road, it's nice to …
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|MPG||14 City / 17 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||300 @ 5000 rpm|
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