2014 Ford Expedition


2014 Ford Expedition XLT FlexFuel 4WD
$46,315 base MRSP (2015)
13.5 MPG (real-world, over a week of driving)

Overall Impressions:

Comfortable SUV, if under-powered.

Big (really big) especially compared to the 2014 Ford Edge we reviewed last time.

Would I buy one? Probably not–if I’m going to drive something this big, and with this kind of abysmal gas mileage (13.5 MPG! Ouch!), I think a pickup (e.g. Ford F-150) with an extended cab would be a better choice.

TMS (Tall Man’s Score): B+

Headroom: A+

As you’d expect, headroom was nice on this truck. Could I ask for more? Yes–I’m not sure I could wear a hat comfortably in this (but given the headrest, the hat will likely sit on the dash anyway).

Mirror Location: B-

With such a big vehicle, there really is no reason that the rear-view mirror should intrude into your view–but it does. It’s certainly passable, and not as bad as some, but there is plenty of room to solve the problem here. Sorry Ford, you continue to miss the mark on this.

Side mirrors were good–and blind spots seem to be adequately covered. I didn’t get a chance to tow with them though (it is a rental after all) so I can’t comment on how well they work in that situation.

The backup camera is incorporated into the rear view mirror (kind of a neat trick, appearing to leverage one-way glass) but the downside is that the image is very small, and hard to see.

Given the size of this truck, you can use a bigger screen for the backup camera, so a few points lost here. This car deserves a flat screen in the console (even in the base car), especially given the price.

Headrest: C

Very frustrating here–especially since the headrest was quite good in the Ford Edge we reviewed last time. Not sure why Ford can get this right in one car, and wrong in the next, but this was in the “wrong” category.

This spoils what otherwise is a very comfortable cabin. Most unfortunate.

Legroom: A

Nice legroom, and given the size of the SUV it should be.

Seat Comfort: B+

I like these seats. Comfortable, supportive and adjustable. (But that headrest–such a disappointment that it drops the overall seat rating down into the B range.)

 Vehicle Review

Engine: C

Really felt under-powered.  Yes it’s a big vehicle, and there is a lot of mass to move around. And yes, we are all concerned about gas mileage, but this thing was slow.

Transmission: B

Average, with nothing special. No real manual mode–just the PRNDL console shift (well PRND321). There is a trailer tow mode, but again, I didn’t try this out.

Interior: B

Armrests were well positioned for comfort, and the interior was passable. Seemed a bit dated though–maybe there’ll be an update for 2015.

One thing to remember–with something with this big of a cabin (as opposed to a pickup) you have a lot more cubic feet to cool in summer (and heat in winter). Climate control worked well, but it does take forever to get the cabin to the point where the A/C can back off into “maintenance” mode.

One annoyance–the cup holder in the driver’s door will hit (and trap) your foot when you close the door if you’re not careful. A bit of a poor design here by Ford.

Visibility: B

Good visibility out the sides and back. The front bumper though would be “parking by feel”. This is a big SUV, and it’s impossible to tell exactly where the right side of the car is.

Electronics: B-

Not bad–no touchscreen (so uses switches, knobs and buttons). This is a “throwback” but frankly is easier to use with gloves, and you don’t need to remove your eyes from the road for the most part.

Steering wheel has cruise control and radio controls.

But again–feeling a bit “dated”.

Utility: A-

Rear seats fold down, and can fold completely flat. There is also a power button to lower the rear seats from inside the rear hatch compartment. Nice touch.

But not as much utility as a comparable pickup truck.

Appearance: C

Pretty dull. Just another “box over a pickup”. Maybe a 2015 restyle will help.

 Miscellaneous Musings:

I really wanted to like this SUV. As a truck it might work, but I can’t see the benefit over an F-150. Both could tow the same, and both have front / rear seats…but I think the pickup bed would have more utility than a third row of seats.

Maybe if you had the proverbial “soccer team” to haul around…add to this the difficulty in heating / cooling such a large cabin, and the fact that you can’t just “hose off” the back of the SUV, and I think that for most families, I think the F-150 would be a better choice.

I was also surprised by how slow this was. If you had to stomp on it (e.g. when passing) it just didn’t jump off the line. Likely a result of just weight / mass, but it was disappointing.

Conversely, the brakes on this were strong, and didn’t seem to have a problem bringing this behemoth to a quick, controlled stop.



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