Meet the 2015 Ford Expedition — a mid-cycle refresh to Ford’s already-capable and well-liked line of full-size SUVs. Unveiled in Dallas, Texas ahead of the 2014 DFW Auto Show, the update to the Fusion delivers several notable features, including Ford’s EcoBoost V6 engine, more technology, an updated look, and some new trim levels.
Replacing the aging 5.4-liter Triton V8 is Ford’s popular twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 making 355 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Not only will the engine deliver more power and performance then the outgoing Triton V8, but it will also be more efficient. The EcoBoost is mated to a SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode that allow the driver to select gears using a shifter-mounted rocker switch.
Complementing the new engine is a new continuously controlled damping system that makes possible three selectable driving modes — a first for a Ford nameplate, which makes the Expedition the only Blue Oval-branded vehicle in the U.S. with three selectable drive modes. New electric power-assisted steering provides improved maneuverability (due to reduced effort) at low speeds and better feel at high speeds, making the Expedition more engaging to drive, all while saving fuel.
Freshened exterior styling consists of an all-new front end with available LED fog lamps. Rounding out the exterior changes to the 2015 Expedition are an all-new wheel lineup that includes a set of factory-installed 22-inch units, a redesigned rear hatch and subtle, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes.
The interior has been freshened with a new center stack to accommodate new technologies, including SYNC with MyFord Touch that’s driven by an 8-inch touch screen, while the driver information cluster features two full-color 4.2-inch LCD screens. Driver-assist technologies include a rearview camera, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, and Ford truck apps to help make trailer towing and off-road driving easier. Other new tech includes a 10-speaker, 700-watt Sony audio system, Intelligent Access with push-button start, and seven-color interior ambient LED lighting.
Ford will also offer some new trim levels on the 2015 Expedition, including Platinum and King Ranch. The SUV also remains the only full-size utility vehicle not classified as a luxury offering to feature an independent rear suspension, which helps deliver more confident ride and handling attributes, while allowing for the lower and more convenient fold-flat third-row bench seat.
Both, the standard- and extended-length EL versions of the Expedition are built at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville alongside the popular Ford Super Duty pickup trucks. In January, the automaker confirmed plans to add more workers and invest an additional $80 million in facility upgrades to improve automation and increase capacity at the plant.
Ford chose to show the updated Expedition for the first time in Texas due to the area being the largest market by sales volume for Ford, as well as home to the top two cities for Expedition sales – Dallas and Houston. And although the Expedition is popular in Texas, The Blue Oval has been losing sales in the segment to GM’s full-size SUV offerings — the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon. Here’s to hoping that this refresh can turn that trend around.