Pros: Towing capabilities, brakes, comfort
Cons: gas mileage,soft shifting transmission
Although we are into the 2002 model year, there were no mechanical changes between this year's model and the 2001. The only differences are color and option availability.
I ordered a 2001 Expedition XLT in September of 2000 to be shipped to Roush Performance for modifications. Let me address the vehicle itself first. I ordered my XLT with the 4 corner load leveling suspension and I'm glad I did. The handling is much better and the suspension levels itself depending upon load. You can also turn the system off when unloaded so that the vehicle sits and rides lower when you are not hauling or towing anything.
I also ordered it with a moonroof. This is the first of three Expeditions I have owned with a factory moonroof. My two previous ones had aftermarket roofs installed and they were better. The factory roof does not have the one-touch close feature that the aftermarket roofs had. Other than that, the systems are pretty similar. If you get a moonroof, install a wind deflector. They cut down the noise and the vibration in the vehicle at high speed. I've driven my Expedition at 75 mph with the roof open and the deflector made all the difference in the world. They are also very easy to install.
My Expedition was ordered with front and rear heat and AC. Like microwaves and cell phones, I can't imagine a vehicle of this size without it. It makes it much more comfortable for passengers and allows me to park my vehicle in the summer with my child, a golden retriever, in the vehicle locked and the engine and AC running.
I towed a car from San Francisco to my home in Denver on a trailer and the Expedition towed almost effortlessly. The power was there and the stability was fantastic. This was done through mountain passes and up and down rolling interstate in the wind (Wyoming) and other than feeling the weight of the car and trailer, the Expedition towed beautifully. I have also towed my wife's horse trailer with it and there were no problems, whatsoever.
My experience with Roush Performance, however, was an entirely different matter. It SUCKED! Roush received the vehicle directly from the Ford factory around the beginning of November of 2000 with an expected delivery date to my dealer by the middle of December. That, despite their repeated empty promises, didn't happen. I did not receive the vehicle until January 15 of 2001. On top of it, I had to do the clean up of the vehicle myself. While this only entailed removing window stickers and plastic sheeting, it still took a couple of hours. Unfortunately my dealer is in Idaho and I live in Colorado. The Roush package consists of upgraded shocks, 18 inch wheels and tires, different seats, a performance exhaust system and some trim items. They definitely improve the truck but the Roush package is no where near worth what they charge for it. The Roush modifications added roughly $5,000 to the $36,000 that I paid for the truck. Anybody can have these modifications made for a whole lot less money on their own.
A quick note about my dealer:I purchased this vehicle from Sawtooth Ford in Hailey, Idaho and would go back to them in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, I have. I just purchased a 2002 Explorer Sport Trac from them and take delivery next week. My absolutely horrendous experiences dealing with Roush Performance had nothing to do with Sawtooth Ford. They were treated as badly, if not worse, by Roush as I was. Sawtooth went over, above, and beyond in dealing with Roush's BS. Sawtooth is a small, friendly, professional dealership that does not play the big city games.
Anyone looking for a comfortable, all weather hauler, with decent power and 8,000 pound towing capacity would do well to seriously consider an Expedition. Feature content is high and the vehicle is comfortable for almost all people. With the power adjustable pedals, short people like me (5 foot 5 inches) can sit far enough back from the steering wheel. I like to have my arms out while driving. As a police officer trained in high speed defensive driving, it gives me a better feel for steering control. Should the airbag ever deploy, I'll be far enough back from the steering wheel so that I don't feel like I sparred with Lenox Lewis.
If you are concerned about gas mileage or are expecting to autocross, this is definitely not the vehicle for you. While it handles remarkably well for a large SUV, it is, after all, an SUV. That means high center of gravity, extra running gear for the four wheel drive, and big. It is not a sports car. I also would not recommend the Expedition for serious off-roading due to the size. Think of running the Rubicon in an Expedition as trying to land a 747 on an aircraft carrier.
I have had only a couple of warranty problems with this Expedition none of which caused any driveability problems.