2007 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL
- January 31, 2006
- Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, More Categories...
- Posted by George Peterson
- 5 Comments
With Ford and GM easily dominating the full-size SUV segment and both companies offering heavily revised and improved entries for the 2007 model year, it is a good time to be a large-SUV buyer. Beyond the updates to Expedition and the GM lineup (GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban), Chrysler joins the fray with the Aspen and change is in the wind for the Toyota Sequoia soon as well. Though the sheer number of people buying full-size SUVs is shrinking in the current climate of fuel-cost concerns and an uncertain economy, there are still customers whose lives demand the level of utility that can only be found in a vehicle this large, and these buyers have lots of new toys to pick from this fall.
Ford has released much of the information on the new Expedition, which reaches showrooms in fall 2006 in two lengths. With the 2007MY, Ford buyers can go from Escape to Edge to Explorer to Expedition to Expedition XL in their search for their own “just right” sized SUV.
VehicleVoice contributor and AutoPacific president George Peterson has had considerable experience with the Ford Expedition, having leased four in a row until he decided he was in a rut. Will the new Expedition be enough of a change to get him out of his CAR and back into an SUV? Time will tell.
New Expedition Uses Tricks from F-Series and Explorer
Not only does the Expedition get an all-new chassis, using tube-through-tube frame technology learned with the latest F-Series trucks and also applied to the new-for-2006MY Explorer, the long-wheelbase Expedition EL provides direct competition for the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. The standard Expedition is sized more near the Tahoe and Yukon. The bigger truck casts a shadow made larger by nearly fifteen more inches in overall length and more than twelve extra inches between the wheelwells. Among the important differentiators, however, is that Ford has retained an independent rear suspension. The all-new five-link setup still allows for the third-row to be folded into the floor, something not possible with the GM products.
Ford has taken a similar approach to the upcoming Expedition as they have with the latest Explorer, reducing noise, vibration, and harshness dramatically and further refining the interior package to add seemingly minor touches that should improve the overall experience of ownership and make the Expedition an even better fit into its buyer’s lifestyles. Among the new touches are a center section that slides forward by eleven inches to allow easier access to the kids in the second row, as well as moving the motor for the power liftgate out of the driver’s rear sightline. Similar to the process used with the latest Explorer, the shape of the outside mirrors on the new Expedition was fine-tuned in the wind tunnel for reduced interior noise. Family-oriented features like the navigation and in-car entertainment systems are improved as well, including iPod plug-and-play capability and optional satellite radio.
The biggest news in the powertrain department is an all-new six-speed automatic transmission, though the 300HP 5.4L V8 carries over, and that the EL is now capable of towing 9100 pounds, properly equipped.
Vehicle Voice and AutoPacific contributors have not yet had the opportunity to touch and see the new Expedition, but we can’t wait to share what we know. Keep scrolling to read the initial press release from Ford and for pictures of the new truck, inside and out.
2007 Ford Expedition Bold Design, Quiet Comfort And More Capability
* Design adds cues from best-selling Ford F-Series
* New interior features improved craftsmanship and impressive quietness
* Standard AdvanceTrac(r) with RSC(r) (Roll Stability Control) and advanced, comprehensive safety features
Many customers demand the kind of capability for hauling people and cargo that can only come from a full-size SUV. The new 2007 Ford Expedition and all-new Expedition EL extended length model deliver with a fresh design and best-ever capability and comfort developed specifically for those core SUV customers.
Expedition’s new design, inspired by the best-selling Ford F-Series truck, signals big improvements in capability, functionality and toughness. And new levels of interior refinement, flexibility and quietness change the game in Expedition’s favor among discriminating full-size SUV customers.
“Full-size SUV buyers are, perhaps, the most demanding customers of all,” says Cisco Codina, Ford group vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service. “They want uncompromised capability and unquestioned toughness, along with interior flexibility and refinement. The new Expedition has been designed with unique customer appeal that makes it stand out in a competitive market.”
New Expedition EL Extends Full-Size Appeal
For full-size SUV customers who want even more cargo-carrying capability, Ford has extended its Expedition lineup with the new 2007 Expedition EL. With 14.8 inches of additional overall length, Expedition EL delivers 130.8 cubic feet of cargo space – including 24 cubic feet more behind the third-row seat than the already spacious Expedition. Expedition EL rides on a 131-inch wheelbase – 12 inches longer than the standard Expedition – to preserve the base model’s superior ride and handling. “We lengthened the wheelbase on the Expedition EL to add all that extra cargo capacity without compromising driving dynamics,” says John Viera, Expedition chief engineer.
Expedition EL is unique from the B-pillar back with its own floor pan, one-piece body side, running boards, rear fascia, roof rack, rear quarter glass, one-piece headliner and quarter panel trim. The second-row doors are also unique to improve the ingress and egress to both second and third rows.
Bold Styling Sets Tone for Tough New Expedition
Expedition’s new design makes a promise of powerful capability. Inspired by Ford F-Series – America’s best-selling truck for 29 straight years – Expedition melds that ruggedness with expressive lines, delivering a vehicle that exudes confidence, from the prominent three-bar grille to the large blue oval mounted on the lift gate.
“The crisply defined surfaces and chiseled good looks exemplify the feeling of athleticism,” says Chelsia Lau, Expedition chief designer. “Expedition’s unique design proudly displays its Ford SUV heritage while creating its own unique personality and character.”
Expedition’s prominent grille serves as the focal point for the raised powerdome hood. New dual-beam headlamps feature the Ford-themed step-up design with the integrated side-marker lights wrapping around into the front fenders.
Smooth sides and large wheel lips further define Expedition’s confident stance and frame its large wheels and tires. Expedition owners can choose from five wheel designs, including available 20-inch chrome-clad, five-spoke wheels wearing P275/55-R20 all-season tires.
Comfortable and Capable on the Inside
The 2007 Expedition delivers a new level of interior comfort, refinement and quality. For example, Expedition’s seats have been redesigned from the floor up with improved contours, larger bolsters, softer cushions and upgraded materials to provide increased comfort on long trips.
“Like we’ve done for F-Series, we’ve aimed with Expedition to set a new standard for interior refinement for full-size SUVs,” says Viera. “Expedition’s all-new interior is as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans.”
Improvements in quality, comfort and capability are evident throughout Expedition’s interior. Each trim level features a distinctive, bold, modern look.
Expedition XLT defines tough luxury. The technical grain of the deep gray dashboard contrasts nicely with the elegantly embossed cloth seat inserts and warm steel trim. Two Eddie Bauer options combine rich, warm-gray first- and second-row leather-trimmed seats with a choice of camel or stone accents. Expedition Limited is a statement in monochromatic rich gray or charcoal black luxury. Available caramel-colored leather seat inserts bring out the richness of the mahogany wood accents. Heated and cooled front seats are available.
Expedition’s seating also is more capable. The driver’s seat’s rearward track travel was increased by 20 millimeters to accommodate drivers from 4 feet, 11 inches up to 6 feet, 4 inches. Expedition XLT features six-way power-adjustable front seats, with a 10-way-power driver’s seat standard on all models with leather trim.
One-lever action, kneel-down, 40/20/40-split second-row seats fold flat with the load floor to offer extra cargo space and easy third-row access.
A Centerslide(tm) sliding center section can be moved forward up to 11 inches to give the front-seat passenger easy access to a young child. The second row is available in this 40/20/40 bench configuration, or with two captain’s chairs and a walk-through center passage. The available 60/40-split third-row seats are designed to accommodate passengers as tall as 6 feet, 2 inches.
The seat folds flat into the load floor, providing easily accessible cargo space without the inconvenience of removing a heavy, cumbersome rear seat. For the ultimate in convenience, Expedition buyers can choose a segment-exclusive, optional Powerfold(tm) third-row seat that folds flat with the touch of a button. For 2007, the power-folding rear seat features a faster and more fluid folding action.
The new, available power liftgate is designed with the lift mechanism moved off to the side and out of the driver’s rear view. A new climate control system utilizes a new scroll compressor and larger air ducts and vents for improved airflow. This increased capability will warm the cabin and defrost windows in two-thirds the time of the previous model’s system.
“A lot of thought and energy went into the design and flow of the interior components,” says Chelsia Lau, Expedition chief designer. “Every button and switch was purposefully and ergonomically placed with an astute attention to detail.”
Improved Road-Cruising Quietness
Expedition engineers set aggressive targets for reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Normal conversation is easily discernible from the front row all the way to the third-row seat, thanks to improved sound-deadening materials in the carpet and headliner, increased insulation behind the dashboard and door panels, thicker side glass and a specially engineered roof panel that doesn’t move as much, thereby reducing interior noise. And it doesn’t stop there.
Bigger, softer body mounts and improved engine and transmission mounts isolate the cabin from unwanted vibration. Wind tunnel-tuned-and-tested outside mirrors further reduce wind and road noise. Even Expedition’s tires have been specifically tuned to reduce road noise.
New Navigation System, MP3 Audio, Satellite Radio
Getting to the adventure in the new Expedition is easier with the help of a new DVD-based navigation system that covers the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The system features an improved 6.5-inch color touch screen, voice activation and spoken upcoming street names and intersection programming in three languages.
An available 340-watt AM/FM audio system is MP3 capable and features an in-dash six-CD changer with six premium speakers, plus a subwoofer. Expedition comes standard with an audio input jack with plug-and-play iPod capability. Expedition owners may also choose factory-installed SIRIUS satellite radio and the family-entertainment DVD system with a large 8-inch flush-mounted flat-panel display and two sets of remote-control infrared headphones.
All-New Chassis Provides Solid Foundation
The 2007 Expedition is even stronger and tougher than its predecessor, beginning with an all-new chassis. Engineered to F-Series tough truck durability standards, Expedition’s chassis uses revised front geometry and increased box section thickness to provide a 10 percent improvement in torsional rigidity and bending stiffness over the previous model’s stout frame. This provides a solid foundation to deliver superior driving dynamics.
The new Expedition’s chassis features an all-new front suspension, front frame section and modular front-end construction for ease of assembly and improved quality. The tube-through-tube frame construction increases frame stiffness to provide a solid foundation for improved driving dynamics. Ford’s patented porthole-through-frame design allows the drive shafts to feed through the frame rails, lowering the center of gravity for better ride and handling and maximizing passenger space in the third-row seat.
New Independent Rear Suspension Leaves Competitors Behind
The 2007 Expedition’s all-new independent rear suspension (IRS) features a five-link design for better control of fore/aft and lateral load forces. Monotube shocks on all four corners allow for more precise tuning and a better ride. Expedition’s second-generation IRS improves upon the segment-leading system introduced in the 2003 Expedition.
“The independent rear suspension is a superior architecture for controlling and tuning ride and handling,” says Raj Nair, executive director, SUV and Body on Frame Platforms. “While Expedition has plenty of room and plenty of capability, it doesn’t handle like a big truck.”
Steering performance also has been improved on the new Expedition. A new variable boost steering pump uses lightweight aluminum components and reduces steering efforts by 15 percent for easy maneuverability at slow speeds while delivering a firm, responsive feel at highway speeds.
Larger front and rear brake calipers and thicker rotors improve durability and increase stopping capability. A new dual-bore master cylinder gives a better brake pedal feel and more control over the brake curve, increasing stopping confidence.
4×4 Capability, Tough Truck Standards
Expedition’s available 4×4 system provides the capability required by today’s full-size SUV owners, who can confidently rely on its toughness and durability. Expedition is tested to meet the same Ford tough truck standards as the F-Series pickup, including being put through the same durability tests at extreme test facilities in Arizona and California.
The 4×4 models have two-speed transfer cases with optional electronic shift-on-the-fly capability, controlled from a dash-mounted rotary knob. In low range, the electronic throttle control changes to a special off-road calibration for more precise torque management in the worst conditions, such as a sandy hill climb or when pulling a heavy boat out of the water on a moss-slicked ramp.
As an added benefit, the transfer case is mounted directly to the rear of the transmission for more robustness and improved NVH.
5.4L V-8 Mated to New Fuel-Efficient 6-Speed
Expedition is powered by Ford’s tough truck-proven 5.4-liter Triton(tm) V-8. With single overhead cams, three valves per cylinder and variable cam timing, the 5.4-liter engine delivers a balance of refinement and muscle. Rated at 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque, Expedition can tow up to 9,100 pounds.
The Triton engine is paired with a new standard 6-speed automatic transmission. The 6R transmission has manual shift capability, and its wide 6.04:1 gear ratio and two overdrive gears deliver improved performance and fuel economy over the 4-speed it replaces.
Standard AdvanceTrac(r) with RSC(r) Plus Added Safety
The 2000 Expedition was the first full-size SUV to earn five-star front safety NCAP ratings for the driver and passenger from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a recognition it has maintained every year since 2000. Expedition has been redesigned to meet all known future government crash standards. For instance, the new frame has been designed to meet the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility impact standards two years ahead of the required time.
“Expedition’s confident handling paired with standard class-exclusive AdvanceTrac(r) with RSC(r) (Roll Stability Control) actively helps drivers prevent accidents from occurring. Should an accident occur, Expedition features a comprehensive package of passive safety features to help enhance safety protection,” says Stephen Kozak, safety chief engineer.
AdvanceTrac(r) with RSC(r) (Roll Stability Control) is standard on both Expedition and Expedition EL. Unlike competitors’ systems, Ford’s system utilizes a gyroscopic roll rate sensor to accurately measure the vehicle’s yaw and roll angles. If the roll rate sensor detects a significant roll angle, the system applies additional countermeasures – such as applying brakes to one or more wheels or reducing engine power – to help the driver maintain control. The system is so advanced that Ford has 82 active patents and 197 pending patents.
Dual-stage front air bags deploy with varying power based on crash severity, the driver’s seat position and safety-belt usage. Expedition uses environmentally responsible heated-gas hydrogen inflators for the passenger air bag. The available three-row Safety Canopy(tm) rollover detection system includes extended-duration side curtain air bags that extend down to the beltline, offering increased coverage, and features roll-fold deployment for enhanced protection.
The stroking steering column is designed to compress as much as 3 to 4 inches to help absorb energy in a frontal crash. Expedition’s door trim features a unique design that works with the available seat-mounted side air bags to enhance occupant safety in a side impact.
Changing SUV Landscape: Core Customers Value Boldness, Toughness and Capability
Ford Expedition launched the modern large-SUV segment in 1997 and has continued to be the innovation leader among full-size SUVs. The 2003 Expedition introduced several firsts to the segment, including independent rear suspension, fold-flat seats with a power-folding third row, Safety Canopy(tm) air bags and AdvanceTrac(r) with RSC(r) (Roll Stability Control).
Today, the landscape of the utility vehicle market in America is changing. Large traditional utility vehicle sales have declined from a peak of more than 1 million units in 2003 to a bit more than 800,000 in 2005. Ford anticipates the market of large SUVs will continue to decline through the rest of the decade before stabilizing at around 650,000 units. While smaller than its peak years, a market that large continues to present opportunity for an auto company that truly understands SUV customers.
“The large-SUV market is concentrating around a core customer group valuing bold styling, toughness and full-size capability,” says Barry Redler, SUV group marketing manager.
Refinement and quietness will be key differentiators among the best of the large SUVs. In this new SUV landscape, the new 2007 Ford Expedition has been designed with unique customer appeal.
“Full-size SUV customers want room for all of their friends and all of their gear,” Redler says. “Many want four-wheel drive and towing capability to go anywhere the adventure takes them. For trips to Yellowstone, weekend ski trips or towing their ski boat, Expedition fits their needs, now better than ever.”