2007 Ford Expedition Falls Short In Several Areas
- November 22, 2006
- Ford, What Were They Thinking?
- Posted by George Peterson
- 21 Comments
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?”.
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.
Niggling Design Issues That Will Bug You For the Entire Time You Own It
Ford has been selling lots of trucks for more years than I can count. They should have some of these things figured out pretty well. So it is always mind boggling when they make rookie mistakes. Here are just a few.
What Were They Thinking? – Instrument Cluster Design
Probably the first thing I noticed about the new Expedition was that you read the fuel gauge or temperature gauge. In a brilliant move, Expedition’s designers positioned these critically importang gauges at the lower corners of the instrument cluster where they are blocked by the steering wheel. Additionally, the fonts are too small to be easily read. Then they position gauges that are almost NEVER used at the top center of the cluster where they can be easily read at a glance – the ammeter and oil pressure gauge. Egads!
What Were They Thinking? – Instrument Cluster Glare
Ford adopted a muy elegante design for the bezels surrounding the instruments in the new Expedition cluster. While this style looks good, it is very susceptible to glare. This is a problem we have experienced with several new Fords – the Fusion comes immediately to mind. Rookie mistakes – engineers not willing to stand up to the whims of stylists.
What Were They Thinking? – Console Mounted Shifter
I know exactly what J Mays, Ford’s head stylist at the time the Expedition was approved, was thinking. He thought that console mounted shifters are sportier than column mounted shifters. And, frankly, j is right. It’s just that the wrong vehicle type was sacrificed for style. The real estate on the console is very valuable and every self-respecting SUV owner uses it for stuff storage. The fact that the shifter hogs so much space effectively reduces stuff capability by 50%.
What Were They Thinking? – Bluff Hood Styling
Over the years, Ford has decided that Expedition owners want big-looking, tough looking SUVs. Actually, the first Expedition felt like it was much smaller than it was because the hood sloped downward away from the driver. The second generation became much more substantial. The 2007 Expedition now has some sort of bulge… maybe a tumor – on the upper surface. Not clear what purpose it serves but it gives the stylists another undeserved win. Restricts visibility.
What Were They Thinking? – Hard Door Trim Panels
We learned that Ford saved $80 per vehicle on the 2003 Expedition when they went from soft to hard interior trim panels. Well, they did it again for 2007. Hard trim panels. Probably saved them a bundle. But I for one would pay the extra $80 to get a better feeling interior. In a vehicle that costs almost $50,000 this is a travesty.
In 2997, I traded in a GM Yukon for a new Expedition. I liked the fully directional vents, drivers “grab handle,” a/c seats, power third row seat…and it was quieter than the Yukon.
However, the hood with the ski-jump, glare of the instrument panel, dumb gauges, no shifter indicator, console chrome, and plastic steering wheel, constantly shifting down and abrupt bumping transmission, low idle, needed some work.
So, I removed the instrument cluster from the dash and removed the plastic (one problem solved)…I then removed the console chrome and floor shifter chrome and carbon wrapped them (next problem solved). Then, went to Kmart and bought a steering wheel wrap (that problem solved). For the sun reflective ski jump at the terminus of the hood, I masked it off and sprayed pickup bed liner to dull the finish (yeah, problem solved).
With the raised hood, the drivers seat sat low, so I shimmed the rear part of the seat and raised it two inches (wow, another problem solved).
Not likeing the pointers for the tach and speedo (you guessed it), I replaced them with GM needles (problem solved). With the transmission bump, as I slow, I always slip the two-drink holder eliminating floor shifter into N before stopping (and that problem is solved). To raise the enging killing low idle, and getting the gears to hold without constantly shifting, I reprogrammed the computer (gratefully, that problem was solved).
Ford has a serious problem. It’s not that the designers are inept and should be fired (and they should be). It’s that they sabotaures and are trying to kill the product. The Expedition is a magestic beast and they are killing it with ugliness. I told the owner of the dealership after buying my “X” that the blunders would cost Ford 50% or its sales. I was right.
Consumer says the OHC, three-valve, eight equal length runner exhaust system gets bad mpg. My last trip of one thousand miles averaged 23 mpg. Let’s see if the ecoboost 6 can match that.
I love this SUV been a ford guy my whole life. The only complaint I have is the tranny, it does alot of gear hunting from 1st to 2nd but other than that its great…I towed my friends 5000lb boat and it felt like I wasnt towing anything, some little scion tried to race me and I still smoked with a 5000lb boat behind me.
I’ve had a 2000, 2003-2005- 2008 expeditions. the last one has had multiple issues. the prior ones ran and worked fine, this 08 has been head ache after headache. it has had electrical issues since we got it, the rear door has become loose and the dealership had trouble finding out the issue, also the front passanger seat belt sensor and chime havent worked. If the sensor doesnt recognize that no one is sitting there the airbag wont deploy and if you are buckled up the faulty system might or might not work properly. the dealership should have checked the concerns from the get go, but they would say thatif they cant verify it they cant write it up. dont believe that! they are supposed to check any concerns you have wether they can verify it or not.
I JUST THINK THAT`S A GREAT SUV, FOR REAL!!!
HAVE ANY OF YOU FORD OWNERS EVER BEEN IN A UGLY CHRYSLER ASPEN, DURANGO, CHEVY TAHOE, CADDY?? I HAVE CAUSE I HATED FORDS. MY WIFE BOUGHT AN EXPEDITION I CAN HONESTLY SAY THERE IS NO BETTER PRODUCT!! I WAS SO IMPRESSED I BOUGHT A 2004 FOR MYSELF. MY WIFE HAS THE 08. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW THE RIDE YOU DON’T GET FROM THE REST. I CAN ALWAYS GAS UP BEFORE I LEAVE HOME.