Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The demise of the full-sized body-on-frame SUV appears to be on hold, as the big 2014 Ford Expedition’s continued success clearly demonstrates. Fact is, no car-based crossover SUV can match the towing and people-hauling capacity of the Expedition. Furthermore, with modern advances in fuel economy, traction and stability control, shortcomings once thought a liability are no longer an issue.
You'll Like The 2014 Ford Expedition If...
If you have big needs in the areas of towing, passenger accommodation and cargo capacity, the 2014 Ford Expedition makes a great solution. Unlike GM’s SUVs, there is no need to remove the 3rd-row seats to create a level loading floor as the Expedition’s seats fold flush into the floor.
You May Not Like The 2014 Ford Expedition If...
If you need the interior room of a big SUV but not the gargantuan size, hefty fuel costs or massive towing ability, a crossover SUV like the Ford Flex or Explorer makes a much better choice.
Changes to the 2014 Ford Expedition are limited to a new mechanical rear leveling system that replaces last year’s air-suspension system.
While there’s no official relationship between Ford’s interior design team and Dwell magazine, with this generation of Expedition Ford was among the first to incorporate truly contemporary design themes into a truck-based architecture. In any of the 2014 Expedition’s three trim levels, seats are comfortable and provide enough seat travel to comfortably accommodate passengers of virtually any size. As a bonus, the Expedition’s third row provides room for real adults. And when not in use that third row folds flush into the floor, a benefit of the Expedition’s fully independent rear suspension.
A King Ranch Expedition may no longer get you the choice parking spot at the high-end steak place, but it retains a credible spot in the hearts and minds of those doing hard work during the week while playing hard on weekends. The 2014 Expedition’s prominent grille and upright stance speak (cubic) volumes, whether clothing the base XLT or up-market King Ranch. And with a wide-ranging menu of exterior colors and interior trims, the Ford Expedition has historically been every bit as expressive as its clientele. And if "enough" is never enough, opt for the Expedition EL, providing an additional foot of wheelbase, 14 inches of additional length and over 42 cubic feet of storage behind the Expedition’s third row.
It’s pretty much common sense that a vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds isn’t going to ride or handle like a smaller, lighter car or SUV. As the Expedition starts out tipping the scales at nearly three tons, we can tell you that for what it is, the Expedition’s ride and handling are on par with other vehicles in this class. The steering is heavy and somewhat slow to respond, but the cornering is actually better than expected. An independent rear suspension helps lower the Expedition’s center of gravity and aids in better cornering and emergency maneuvers. The Expedition’s 5.4-liter V8 isn’t the most powerful in its class, but it provides sufficient torque (365 lb-ft) to adequately move the vehicle, which comes in both 2-wheel drive (2WD) and 4-wheel drive (4WD). If opting for 4WD, the Expedition’s approach and breakover angles are slightly diminished, whereas the long-wheelbase Expedition EL’s are (incrementally) enhanced. Be careful out there.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Ford Expedition XLT is just over $41,000, some $10,000 below the base sticker of the King Ranch EL. In all trims – XLT, Limited and King Ranch – the EL variant costs roughly $3,000 more than its shorter sibling. Of course, with a wealth of options and accessories available, along with functional adds such as 4WD, that sticker can easily be elevated by some $10,000. At the upper end of the Expedition’s food chain, the Limited and King Ranch offer interior appointments and exterior enhancements fully competitive with Lincoln’s Navigator and GMC’s Yukon Denali. Before you buy, be sure and check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are paying for Expeditions in your area. At the other end of the ownership cycle, Expedition owners can anticipate a return on investment similar to that offered by GM (Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon) and Nissan (Armada).
With room for eight and the ability to tow up to 9,200 pounds (Expedition 2WD), the most notable piece of standard equipment on or in Ford’s 2014 Expedition is its capability. And while "Built Ford Tough" is the product team’s mantra, Ford hasn’t forgotten creature comforts. Ford is the only domestic manufacturer to combine an overhead-cam powerplant with all-independent suspension for levels of performance and composure you can take to the bank – or the beach. And given its family mission, safety is front and center, with AdvanceTrac traction control working with Roll Stability Control to enhance your confidence while driving in unpredictable weather or circumstances.
Ford’s 2014 Expedition and Expedition EL offer a total of 10 equipment levels, one of which should match your needs and/or budget. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is a factory-installed option on Limited and King Ranch versions of the Expedition, while drivers can stay connected with the outside world via MyFord Touch. With a menu of connectivity includes Wi-Fi capability, text-to-voice capability, HD Radio with iTunes tagging and voice-activated navigation, your 2014 Ford Expedition can be every bit the nerd you are.
ENHANCED UTILITYThe Expedition EL’s 12-inch-longer wheelbase and nearly 15 inches of additional length provide a huge improvement in capacity with little increase in cost or reduction in fuel efficiency. Sure, your garage may not accommodate the extra length, but that’s a small price to pay if you’re actually intending to use your full-size SUV.KING RANCH TRIMWith more hide than will be found on some ranches, the King Ranch edition of Ford’s 2014 Expedition is the most expressive combination of truck-like capability and upscale appointment currently on the market. We’d get ours in EL form, with more room to carry more saddles.
Under the Hood
While the 2014 Expedition’s 5.4-liter V8 is certainly adequate, Ford’s one offering is overwhelmed by the multitude of choices available from Chevrolet and GMC. The Ford V8’s 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque are well matched to the chassis, and that power is enhanced by a 6-speed automatic, but the package falls short of GM’s 5.3-liter V8 (at least in horsepower) or GM’s 6.0-liter V8.5.4-liter V8310 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm365 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (2WD), 13/18 mpg (4WD)
If you frequently venture over vast stretches of the country, you’ll likely want to do it in a vehicle big enough to stretch out, move around and even stay in overnight if necessary. The 2014 Ford Expedition offers both a standard 119-inch and extended 131-inch-wheelbase models, both equally adept in towing and off-road adventuring. With room for up to eight people and a tow rating up to 9,200 pounds, the Expedition bests every other full-size SUV in its class. And with its numerous trims and long list of amenities, the Expedition is able to take on challengers from the most basic Chevrolet Tahoe to the most luxuriously equipped Nissan Armada or Toyota Sequoia.