In the US, this is a vehicle that would look at home at the hands of rappers and millionaire athletes. Here, it’d be linked more often than not to the well-off with money and power to boot. It’s the Ford Expedition, and it’s quite a lot to handle.
While most of us would settle for an average midsize SUV or a van as our family hauler, the luxury crowd demands something that's much more premium and is designed with passenger comfort and amenities in mind. A vehicle that was meant for the owner to be driven around in, basically. Does the Expedition deliver? Let's find out.
When we went out to our shooting location, one of the Top Gear PH staffers commented that the Expedition looks somewhat like a hearse from a distance. Upon closer inspection, the long overhang and long landscape windows in the rear can certainly give off that impression.
This theme follows throughout the rest of the body, with straight lines and sharp corners galore. Compared to modern design languages, it comes off as a bit dated. The upsides, though, include the imposing grille, shiny chrome accents, and the suitably big 22in tires underneath.
Again, this is a vehicle that was designed to be driven around in, and on that front the interior delivers in spades. The seats are made from a soft, plush brown leather with black accents and pristine stitching details. The panels are mostly black with big jutting knobs and buttons, decorated with the occasional dark brown wooden panels. As expected, body and leg room is plentiful.
The infotainment system will keep you from getting bored inside your business class cabin. You can hook up your phone via Bluetooth, and the sound is emitted through a premium set of Sony speakers. The only letdown in the interior tech is the handbrake, which is engaged via a foot pedal and disengaged by pulling a small latch. It feels out of place in a package this sophisticated.
Under the hood of the Expedition is a 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost with 365hp and 569Nm on tap. It’s the same engine that’s in the top-of-the-line Explorer. While the Expedition doesn’t zip off the line with urgency like the Explorer (understandable given the added weight), it’s still quicker than expected, complete with a sudden kick once you hit the power band. Its size rules out any swift maneuvering, but you can have a bit of fun in a straight line.
The trade-off, naturally, is fuel economy. This test averaged just 3-4km/L after a few days in the city. Then again, the market for this kind of vehicle probably isn’t as frugal as the rest of us.
RIDE AND HANDLING
If the interior can be described as plush, the Expedition’s ride follows suit. The aforementioned 22in tires attached to a multi-link suspension tackle our roads with ease, keeping you nice and comfy inside. Despite the soft ride, it doesn’t feel bouncy even while going over speed humps.
Handling, meanwhile, is about as good as you’d expect from a vehicle this big. The steering feels light but involved, but maneuvering the vehicle takes a few repeats. The dimensions take a while to get used to, and the SUV can be tricky to park. 4WD modes are available if you want to brave some rough terrain.
The Expedition is littered with all sorts of electronic controls to make your life easier, like buttons that automatically shut the rear hatch and memory settings for the driver's seat. One of the cooler features is the step boards which automatically fold in and out when you open and close the doors. For the warmer days, you can turn on the seat coolers attached to the front seats.
This is not a vehicle for the faint of heart. The Expedition is big in every way, from its literal size to the amount of amenities it offers. The price, too, is quite substantial. While some elements of this SUV look and feel a bit dated, its interior amenities and tech will keep even the snobbiest of passengers happy. The ride comfort too, is a big plus. If you can live with the price tag and fuel economy, then get ready to hand the keys over to manong driver while you sit back and relax.
SPECS: FORD EXPEDITION
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Power: 365hp @ 5,500RPM
Torque: 569Nm @ 3,500RPM