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2017 Ford Expedition Overview
Ford's 2017 Expedition dominates an admittedly small segment with its body-on-frame construction, turbocharged powerplant, surprisingly comfortable ride, good looks, and wealth of standard features.
Ford has, however, delayed a comprehensive overhaul of this outsized ute: a redesign was scheduled for 2017 but is now slated for the 2018 model year instead. The new 2018 Expedition should feature military-grade aluminum components on its frame and body, similar to the current full-size F-150 pickups. In fact, the next-gen Expedition is anticipated to be, essentially, an F-150 reconfigured as a people-hauler instead of a work truck. But for 2017, the Expedition is expected to carry over pretty much the same as the current version, though there are hints of a few tweaks to the Sync infotainment and telematics features, which may include upgrades to smartphone apps and WiFi Hotspot capability.
Look for the Expedition to come in both standard-length and EL (extra-length) versions for the upcoming year. Standard-length trims offer 206 inches (17 feet, 2 inches) of overall length and a 119-inch (9 foot, 11 inch) wheelbase, while the EL stretches to 220.8 inches (18 feet, 4.8 inches) in overall length, with a 131-inch (10 foot, 11 inch) wheelbase. There are four trim levels: the XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum, each offered as either a standard-length or EL vehicle.
The 2017 Expedition stable employs a standard rear-wheel-drivetrain (RWD), with part-time shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive (4WD) available on all trims for those who envision snow-covered highways or off-road travels.
It’s also expected that the 2017 Expedition lineup will keep its current turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, managed by a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque from this combo, with mileage in the RWD trims returning at 16 mpg city/22 highway/18 combined for standard-length and 15/20/17 for EL versions, while mileage for 4WD trim levels in both lengths drops by about one mpg across the board. In one test, the current Expedition scooted from 0-60 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds, and towing capacity should max out at 9,200 pounds with the proper equipment.
Depending on the trim level selected, expect the 2017 Expedition to boast 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels, step running boards, a roof rack, a power liftgate, a towing package (heavy-duty in the Platinum), and heated power-folding mirrors. The Expedition Platinum trim level also gets a standard power sunroof.
Inside, again depending on the trim level selected, look for standard cloth or leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, heated second-row seats, full power accessories, remote engine start, cruise control, and a power-adjustable telescoping and tilting steering wheel. Also returning are such standard niceties as a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, power-adjustable pedals, tri-zone automatic climate control, memory for driver settings, and power-folding third-row seats. With all rear seatbacks folded down, you can pack the standard-length Expedition with up to 108.3 cubic feet of cargo; the EL versions are capable of hauling up to 130.8 cubic feet of cargo.
For technology, Ford’s Bluetooth-integrated Sync--and in higher trims, Sync 3--infotainment and telematics, which replaced the frustrating MyFord Touch systems in 2016, will again come standard (and with the possible upgrades). The basic Sync version in the base XLT offers a 4.2-inch touchscreen, while higher trims feature an 8-inch touchscreen for their standard Sync 3 system. The entry-level XLT features a single CD/MP3 player with 6 Sony speakers, satellite radio, separate rear audio controls, and an auxiliary audio input. All other trims add an upgraded 390-watt system with 12 speakers.
Look for trim-specific optional equipment to again include a load-leveling rear suspension, adaptive suspension dampers, 22-inch alloy wheels, second-row captain’s chairs (for 7-passenger capacity), retractable running boards, GPS navigation (with the Sync 3 feature), and a 3.73 rear axle ratio.
Standard safety equipment returning to the 2017 Expedition lineup includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, 3-row head curtain airbags, front fog/driving lights, Sync emergency alerts and communications, and a post-collision safety system. Ford’s touted MyKey programmable speed and audio system limiting feature, targeted toward teenage drivers, also returns for the upcoming year. The King Ranch and Platinum get standard blind-spot monitoring.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the current Expedition trims scored a flawless 5 stars overall, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) only tested the Expedition's child-seat anchor (LATCH) system for ease of use, awarding it a second-best rating of Adequate.
Look for the 2017 Expedition to arrive in dealer showrooms in the fall of 2016, competing against the likes of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. But none of the GM models boast the ride comfort, acceleration, or plain old roominess of the Expedition, according to most reviewers. And the Expedition's other close competitor, the Toyota Sequoia, is beginning to gain a distinctly dated feel.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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