Expedition:

2014 Ford Expedition/EL Wins AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award

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The 2014 Ford Expedition/EL is the highest scoring Luxury/Large SUV in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The big truck team at Ford knew exactly what their customers wanted and gave it to them. The Expedition EL led its category against some impressive competitors such as the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia, Chevrolet Suburban, Nissan Armada, and the Toyota Land Cruiser.  Ford’s big SUVs swept the Luxury/Large SUV category with Expedition EL, Expedition and Navigator one, two, three.

Expedition/EL owners truly did not want their vehicle changed. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle question battery, the 2014 Ford Expedition/EL led or tied in six satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points of another three.

The top five highest ratings by Expedition/EL owners are: same exterior size, same wheels, same safety features, same interior lighting, and same visibility as now.

Although the Expedition/EL is at the top there are several things owners would change. Owners would like a more relaxed drivers seat, more advanced technology, and would like it to be easier to get in and out of the vehicle.  With the upcoming 2015 model year, these vehicles finally get up-to-date with MyFordTouch and an EcoBoost V6 powertrain.

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2010 Ford Expedition Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large Sport Utility Vehicle

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Ford_10_Expedition.jpgThe 2010 Ford Expedition has a history of performing well in AutoPacific’c VSA research, scoring class-leading VSA wins in 1997 and 2000.
The 2010 Expedition performs well again with top satisfaction scores on critical measures such as overall satisfaction, reliability/dependability, durable/long lasting and overall quality. In all, Expedition had class leading scores in nineteen of the forty-eight categories measured.
No doubt about it: Ford Motor Company knows a thing or two about the sport utility business!
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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2007 Ford Expedition Falls Short In Several Areas

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As a completely biased Expedition driver, I feel it is important to comment on some of the design features on the new 2007 Ford Expedition that fall short. In fact, these are designs that fall into the category of “What Were They Thinking?”.

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Four Expeditions Over the Years
First a little history. I have had four Expeditions since 1997 – 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003. Each was on a two-year lease and performed great. All were 4x2s – two-wheel drive. Don’t need 4×4 in California. The first three Expeditions were the from the initial platform and the 2003 was all new with independent rear suspension and the power fold flat third row seat. In the first three, the first thing I did was remove the third row seat and stow it in the garage. The 2003 (and current) solution is so slick that every Mid-Size and Large SUV should adopt it.
Why didn’t I get a fifth Expedition? Well, even though I thought the Expeditions were exactly what I needed, I couldn’t bring myself to get another (or even a Lincoln Navigator). So, I leased a CAR and missed my SUV for the two years I had it.
2007 Expedition Limited 4×4 = $39,925 base MSRP
Ford was good enough to give us a 2007 Expedition Limited. This is the model with the body color grille and chrome wheels. The MSRP is $48,485 equipped with moonroof, reverse sensing system, navigation system, satellite ratio, power liftgate, rear entertainment system and load leveling suspension. So, what’s not to like? Here you have the ultimate Expedition with all the boxes checked. Should be perfect.


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2007 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL

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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.

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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.


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GMT900 SUVs Miss Important Feature

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General Motors is getting ready to launch its new GMT900 SUVs. This lineup includes the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade ESV. The shorter versions will be launched in the 1st Quarter 2006 as 2007 model year vehicles. The long wheelbase Suburban, et. al. will be launched in March or April.
Early reviews of the GMT900 provided in Burbank, California (GM’s California Design Studio) and Warren, Michigan (GM’s Design HQ) prove that the GMT900s are an excellent piece of work. While they do not look too much different from their predecessors, they have wider front and rear track and larger tires and wheels. This gives the GM SUVs a very purposeful stance avoiding the undertired appearance some past GM vehicles have had. At the same time, the more prominent tires and wheels actually make the vehicles look slightly smaller even though they aren’t.

Lack of Fold Flat 3rd Row a Major Omission

To keep these comments focused on what we want to observe, lets change the order a bit.
The most glaring omission in the GMT900 SUVs is the lack of a 3rd row seat that folds flat into the floor like the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator and now the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer. The key to the Ford system is the use of an independent rear suspension that allows the rear floor to be dropped several inches providing space for the seat to fold flat. GM’s GMT900 management said they “couldn’t break Ford’s code” and it appeared that they were thinking Ford adopted IRS more for ride and handling than for interior package. WRONG. The key all along was the rear seat package.
The resulting seating package is very similar to the GMT800 SUVs. The seats, when folded, rest on top of the floor obstructing the load area of the vehicle.
GM also claimed their research showed that SUV buyers wanted a power folding 2nd row seat more than they wanted a flat folding, power operated 3rd row seat. According to ex-GM researchers who shall remain anonymous, GM’s research actually showed a strong preference for “a seat like in the Expedition in a body like the Suburban”. The real reason, of course, is investment. The expenditures for the combination of IRS and fold flat 3rd row seat has variously been quoted as $165 million or $300 million. Either number would cause a product planner to pause and clearly these very important features were pipped – not easily.


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