Thursday, August 23, 2018

Devon test drives a Ford Expedition EL

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The large 4x4 still has appeal to drivers who want to tow a boat and/or ferry the family around. There are plenty of them to choose from, with that said the Ford Expedition EL should be on your short list when considering such massively large vehicles. Here’s why:

The sole engine choice is a 3.5-liter turbocharged six-cylinder which produces 365hp. You may think that the six-cylinder really won’t have the pep of the eight-cylinder. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that it can accelerate from zero to 60mph in under 7 seconds. Which means that this engine will give those eight-cylinder rivals a real go for their money. When you are not driving like a total lunatic this engine is smooth and responsive when needed thanks to direct fuel injection, turbo lag is pretty much nonexistent. The beefy 420lb-ft torque for a healthy 6,500lb towing rating and 9,200lbs with the optional heavy duty trailer towing package.

The Expedition EL is a pretty large and bulky vehicle. The sheer size of the vehicle means that navigating around town or in tight narrow parking spaces will be a chore. Steering can be quite heavy when getting up to speed but it does offer a decent amount of feedback. Not that you’ll be shoving this vehicle through bends and corners anyway. Wind noise won’t be much of a problem, even if the Expedition is as aerodynamic as a tower block. Road noise will be a problem with the larger alloys, especially with the 22-inch alloys.

In the cabin you won’t have any trouble seating up to eight people; although the eight people and their luggage trick may be a bit of a push even in a large vehicle such as this. You can however fold down the third row seat and double the boot space to a massive size; with the second row folded also you’ve got a cargo van. The dashboard seems pretty simple to navigate through with all the controls and dials easy to use and somewhat in reach of the driver’s hand. The sheer size of the Expedition EL means that you’ll need all the parking aids you can get. Luckily for you those parking aids are standard. You’ll only have to really pay extra for a parking assist for the front of the car for some trims. Visibility is pretty decent too but the blind spot warning system is a much needed option.

XLT trim offers reverse sensing system, 18-inch alloy wheels, power adjustable foot pedals. EL trim adds perforated leather seats, dual zone climate control, power folding third row seat and forward sensing system. King Ranch trim adds rear view camera, power lift gate, 20 inch alloy wheels while top of the range Platinum trim has all the same features as the King Ranch but instead you can option for HID headlights and a few other luxury bits. Our tester car was the Platinum trim which was pretty nicely kitted, but for our money we’d go with the Limited trim which makes the most sense financially. The price is still high but it’s not as expensive as the King Ranch and Platinum trims.

The Expedition EL has high running costs, a higher purchase price and is a chore to drive around. If you need seven seats and want to be able to tow a large boat or trailer. The Expedition EL should be on your short list, as there are many other rivals to pick from. But none of them have the smoothest six-cylinder engine on hand, and none of them look as flashy with the 22-inch alloys. It really is a great value all round and is our pick for large 4x4s.

Likes: Turbo engine is smooth and not one ounce underpowered. Can seat up to eight people and with all seats folded you’ve got a cargo van sized boot.

Dislikes: Sheer size makes it a chore to drive. Running costs will still be through the roof. Other than the towing ratings and eight seats, it’s pretty hard to justify buying one.

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