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.
Ford has one of the broadest SUV lineups in the industry with Escape, Edge, Explorer, Flex and Expedition and the 2015 model year is time for a new Edge. Interestingly, Ford’s introduction to the Edge omitted the word “crossover”. They are merely referring to it as a “mid-size utility”. The concept execution of the new Edge was shown to the media on Tuesday, November 19 at a venue in the Los Angeles garment district. It was shown to the wider media at the Los Angeles Auto Show the next day.
The 2015 Ford Edge is designed to be sold globally and especially targeted at China and the USA. It is based on the front wheel drive platform of the hot-selling Ford Fusion. It retains the dimensions of its predecessor but adds an inch of wheelbase. The styling is sportier than before with the new Ford hexagonal grille treatment, more muscular bodyside graphics and a faster backlite. At a glance, it is still obviously an Edge.
The styling of the new Edge is an appropriate evolution from its predecessor, but technology may be where the Edge breaks the mold. Ford executives were using the term “democratization of technology” a lot at the show. This means that new technology will be available up and down the Ford lineup from the Escape and Focus to the Flex and Taurus.
The upcoming Edge has a full suite of whizbang features available: EcoBoost powertrains, active park assist, a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, MyFordTouch. The concept is shown with a 10-inch touch screen in the center stack. They make a big deal that their old capacitive switches are gone and replaced with “premium mechanical switchgear”.
While the LA Show vehicle is officially termed a “concept”, it is very close to the production model coming later in 2014.
The 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.
The GMT900 Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition tied as the Most Ideal Large Sport Utility Vehicle for 2007. The tie should take nothing away from Suburban’s victory. Each vehicle won top honors in very different ways. Suburban scores well in performance categories such as power and acceleration, and handling. Suburban also scores well in technology. Rear cargo space is hampered by a third row seat that does not fold into the floor but must be removed to have a completely open rear cargo area.
The third-generation Ford Expedition is the Most Ideal Large Sport Utility Vehicle for 2007. Expedition tied for top spot with the all-new GMT900 Chevrolet Suburban, but that should take nothing away from Expedition’s victory. Both vehicles won top honors in very different ways. Expedition scores well in package categories such as passenger room, cargo space, and interior storage. Wheel and tire size and appearance are also highly rated. The Expedition’s independent rear suspension is a clear advantage giving Expedition a fold flat third row seat to maximize rear cargo space that Suburban cannot match.
Showing that Ford Motor Company planners, designers and engineers not only know the traditional SUV market better than most with Ideal Vehicle Award wins by the Ford Expedition and Ford Explorer, Ford’s all new crossover SUVs win in their categories as well. Ford’s new Edge wins as Ideal Premium Crossover SUV. Edge not only wins its category, but has the highest “Ideal” ratings of any SUV overall. Edge is a sales success…and buyers often consider it near ideal. Few buyers would change the exterior size or styling. Both ride and handling are highly rated, as are technology level and interior storage.
Lexus Brings a New Engine and a New Look to Its Flagship SUV
Lexus’ next LX, renamed LX 570 for its 381HP 5.7L V8 engine, was revealed at the 2007 New York auto show. The increased power, which also bumps towing capacity to 8500 pounds (up 2000 pounds), will be delivered with the help of a new six-speed automatic transmission. The new look brings the LX into the brand’s latest design family and generally updates its look significantly inside and out; having last had a major redesign for the 1998 model year, the SUV was looking dated. The new LX manages to bring its looks into this century without losing its basic style. You’re not likely to confuse the LX 570 for a Mercedes-Benz GL, or Audi Q7, or Land Rover Range Rover, or even Cadillac Escalade.
The new chassis and suspension underneath the new look is updated to today’s level of tricks. Lexus had already offered active height control and an adaptive variable suspension, but improved these elements with the 2008MY. The new system gives a greater range of motion and is cross-linked, allowing wheels to react to the action of opposing wheels as well as to driving surfaces. The system employs a valve at each corner as well as a center or master valve to detect extension or deflection of each wheel. The system, Lexus says, reduces body roll by more than thirty percent and changes ride height quickly. The chassis lowers by about two inches for ingress/egress and returns to normal height under acceleration. On the highway, the system will lower the front about an inch and the rear about a half inch.
The LX 570 improves off-road and off-pavement performance with several sets of electronic aids. The same active height system that adjusts vehicle height for freeway travel and that makes it easier to get in and out also maximizes ground clearance by raising the SUV by about three inches when the low range is selected. Further easing off-road performance, which most LXs likely see precious little of, is a Crawl Control feature. Selectable in low range, Crawl Control increases throttle control to help keep the vehicle at the appropriate low speeds, allowing the driver to focus on steering through the path or over obstacles. Crawl Control uses a set of virtual locking differentials to minimize tire slip and maximize chassis behavior. Without canceling the Crawl Control mode, the driver can use the brakes for slowing vehicle speed and increase or decrease speed by adjusting a speed selector switch. There’s also multi-terrain ABS technology, for reduced stopping distances on slippery surfaces.
The Ford Escape was Ford’s first Crossover Sport Utility Vehicle. When it was launched, it hit the sweet spot in the SUV market… good size, great interior package, super visibility, well-priced, looked like an SUV. Over the years, Ford essentially did nothing to the Escape to keep it overtly fresh except launch the Escape Hybrid – a really good move, but not something that sold huge volumes of Escapes.
Now, for the 2008 model year, Ford has implemented what the industry calls a “front and rear six”. This means that, keeping doors, roof, windshield, windows, etc the same, Escape gets new styling for the front “six inches” and for the rear “six inches”. In addition, the Escape gets an interior freshening.
The puzzling part of the Escape redo, however, is the use of a eggcrate grille rather than the horizontal bar motif now rolling out on Ford Edge and Explorer and Expedition. While these three SUVs all are on the market now with the new-look Ford Truck front end, Ford insiders confess that the Escape’s front end styling was approved before the Edge, et al and that there would have been a delay if they had circled around to do the “right thing”. Reality bites.
Since we have identified the vehicles that have the longest days supply, we have been asked to show which vehicles have the shortest days supply. Which vehicles are so hot they just blow off the dealer’s lot? As with the slower moving vehicles where we arbitrarily cut off the days supply at 150 days, here we are using 50 days as the cut off point. The details are shown “below the fold”
Remember the first Pathfinder? The two-door model with the refinement of a skateboard? Well the 2006 Pathfinder has long since grown up. The current (redesigned in 2005) model has come a long way from the earlier testosterone versions. Sitting on the “F-Alpha” family platform like the Xterra, Armada, Frontier and Titan, this new Frontier performs with more comfort and sophistication than any of its predecessors.
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.
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.