I recently decided it was time to buy a larger SUV. I have impeccable timing. It appears that gas prices are prepared to reach two dollars a gallon by the end of the month, and no decision yet forthcoming from OPEC regarding increased oil production. However, I did not base my decision on gas prices. I was looking for a large SUV to accommodate my growing family. If gasoline prices were my only concern, I probably couldn't afford this vehicle anyway.
While I was conducting my research to purchase a larger SUV, I checked out the Chevy Blazer, the Dodge Durango, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Expedition. I didn't care for the Chevy Blazer at all. The styling and lack of room were my main considerations concerning the Blazer. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was much more attractive than the Blazer, but like the Blazer, it provided minimal room with a hefty price tag. The Dodge Durango was a close call. I love the styling, the inside was spacious and the truck handles well. The options on the Dodge Durango give it a luxurious feel that was absent on the Jeep and Chevy. The Expedition I test drove was a used 1997 Eddie Bauer Expedition. Everything I was looking for came together in one package. A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN! The Expedition was spacious, attractive, comfortable and handled well. Did I mention that is was attractive?
The Eddie Bauer Expedition runs around $40,000 new. I was able to knock a third off that price by buying a 1997 with 25,000 miles on it. The truck gets terrible gas mileage, but not any worse than the Chevy conversion van I used to own. The main page lists a different gas mileage from what the Expedition paperwork reveals. The description I read before writing this lists the gas mileage at 14/18...in reality, it is 12/16. The listing also states that this vehicle seats 6. The Expedition seats 5 unless there is a third row of seats, in which case it seats 8. Now that I have gotten the discrepancies cleared up, I will move on to the other attributes of this SUV.
What are the positive aspects of the Expedition? The Eddie Bauer version of the Ford Expedition has many redeeming qualities. The first thing you notice upon approaching this vehicle is the two-tone color scheme. There are a variety of colors to choose from. The Expedition I purchased is a deep maroon with tan trim. The trim adds a beautiful accent to the appearance of this truck. The interior is equally attractive. The leather seats are comfortable and provide ample back support. The front seats provide additional lumbar support, which can be adjusted to your personal taste. The driver's seat adjusts up, down, forward and backward, to give the driver a wide range of positions to get comfortable. The control panels are lighted, allowing the driver to find the buttons he needs, even in the dark. I have an average build (5' 10", 180) and was able to easily reach all the controls.
Other Options I like... The Eddie Bauer Expedition has an electric sunroof, power windows (to include the two windows in the cargo area), power seats, leather interior, six-CD Changer, cruise control, front and rear A/C, front and rear radio controls, and running board lighting. The Triton V-8 engine provides plenty of power for easy acceleration. This truck handles well and is very easy to operate.
What are the drawbacks? This truck is certainly not for everyone. With a sticker price starting around $40,000 new, it is expensive. The expense is further increased at the gas pump. The 30 gallon tank costs around 45 dollars to fill up, and will probably cost 60 dollars by the end of the month. Although the description on Epinions lists the gas mileage at 14/18, and the paperwork I received lists it at 12/16, I was averaging 10 MPG yesterday. That was normal city driving, without rapid acceleration. At 10 MPG, this truck is a gas guzzler. Environmentally and economically it is a bust. Of course, that is something you must consider before purchasing a car. Another drawback is the size. For me, size was a positive. I love the roominess that this SUV provides for my family. However, that means additional size to park or squeeze through tight spaces. My last truck was a Kia Sportage, which I could park anywhere. The Expedition needs additional clearance.
My overall impression of the Ford Expedition is positive. The negative aspects of the truck are not high on my list of priorities. The items that ARE high on my list of priorities are fulfilled in this vehicle. Among the other SUV's that I tested, the Ford Expedition was heads above the rest.