Big, bold and beautiful — two out of three ain’t bad!
That about sums up the 2019 Expedition, the largest utility vehicle in Ford’s extensive lineup. The big three-row ute makes no attempt to hide its size, rather, it wears it proudly, in an appeal to large families with active lifestyles. The Expedition can carry eight passengers and tow up to 4,200 kilos.
The Expedition first appeared on the scene in 1997. Based then and now, on a F150 truck platform, it is a body-on-frame vehicle. The Expedition came in for a complete makeover for the 2018 model year, shedding 135 kilos in the process thanks to a new platform and extensive use of aluminum for the body — just like the F150.
There are few changes for the 2019 model year. Among them: triple instead of dual-zone climate control, and different seat material on some trim levels. The Expedition is available in XLT, Limited and Platinum trim levels. The latter two can be had in “Max” form with an extra 220 mm between the front and rear wheels and even more cargo room. Pricing starts at $58,000. Our well-optioned tester was in mid-level Limited trim with lots of optional equipment. It topped out at more than $87,000. The options included a “stealth” package that consisted of LED headlights and lots of black, including 22-inch painted alloy wheels, grill, power-deployed running boards and trim throughout. It also boasted red stitching on some interior trim.
The Expedition is aimed at folks with big families and a need to carry and/or tow the items associated with an active lifestyle. It has seats and belts for eight occupants. The second row can be moved out of the way for third-row access, without having to remove a child seat. Unlike most vehicles with a third row, this one actually accepts a couple of full-sized adults. Both second and third rows can be folded flat through the simple expedient of pushing a button. There is lots of space behind the third row. With it and the second row out of the way, cargo area becomes cavernous.
A two-tier cargo management system is available with provision to prevent cargo from sliding around when cornering or braking.
Because many of the occupants will have and wish to use personal devices, the Expedition has USB ports in all three rows, a 115-volt outlet, a WiFi system that can accommodate up to 10 devices within a dozen metres of the vehicle, wireless charging and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The available rear seat entertainment system can live stream satellite signals.
Power, lots of it, comes from a turbocharged, 3.5-litre V6 with 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque available through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Switch to premium fuel and you have an extra 25 horses beneath your foot.
Power is directed to a standard all-wheel drive system through a 10-speed automatic transmission. During the week of mixed driving conditions, I managed 11.8 litres/100 km — about average for a vehicle of this size and weight.
The Expedition, especially when equipped like this one, is a rolling showcase for Ford’s safety systems. Among them: lane keep assist, inflatable rear seat belts, active cruise control, and automatic braking, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers and a heads-up display. The blind spot system can monitor the space alongside all the way to the rear of any trailer you might be towing.
The 2019 Expedition does what it was designed to do exceedingly well. The rugged, truck-based vehicle has capability galore. It rides and handles like a truck that has been to finishing school and boasts an extensive array of technology.
Model: 2019 Ford Expedition Stealth 4X4
Engine: turbocharged 3.5-litre, V6, 375 horsepower, 470 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel
Transmission: 10-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 14.7 / 11.2
Length: 5,334 mm
Width: 2,372 mm
Wheelbase: 3,111 mm
Weight: 2,556 kg
Price: $73,449 base, $87,595 as tested, including freight
Options on test vehicle: equipment group 303A (20-inch wheels, power deployable running boards, auto-dimming, heated power folding mirrors with memory; blind spot information system, Class IV trailer hitch, three-zone automatic climate control, power locks and windows, power adjustable pedals, front park and rear sensing systems, 110-volt outlet, heated tilt/telescope steering wheel, hands-free tailgate, cruise control, voice-activated navigation system, four smart charging multimedia ports, 12-speaker B&O audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power driver and passenger seats, heated second row seats, power fold third-row seat, 22-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, 360-degree camera, enhanced active park assist, stealth edition package) $7,500; power folding second row captain’s chairs, $400; all-weather floor mats, $200; reversible cargo mat, $56; rear-seat entertainment system, $2,100; convenience package (advanced cargo management, black roof rail cross bars inflatable rear seatbelts) $2,000
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