Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ford Expedition gets the Ecoboost treatment in 2015

Video HERE  Why blogger won't embed is beyond me.

It was bound to happen, and I for one can't believe it took the good guys at Ford this long to plunk the Ecoboost 3.5LV6 into the Expedition. I can't think of a better place to put this power train than in the Expedition.  That simple engine swap makes the Expedition uber competitive with the Tahoe from Chevy and the Sequoia from Toyota.

The 5.4L V8 it replaces was a good, durable engine, but lacking in power and refinement compared to the V8's of its immediate competition.  The Ecoboost solves that in spades and will likely yield better mileage than the Chevy in the process.

The particulars.   The outgoing V8 produced respectable 310 horsepower and 365 ft lbs of torque.  It was thirsty, sucking down fuel at the rate of 14 mpg on the generous EPA estimates for city driving.  Real world in the Ecoboost with 365 horsepower on tap and a whopping 420 ft lbs of torque.  Couple it with 2 fewer cylinders to feed this next iteration of the Expedition with the Ecoboost will pick up an easy couple of mpgs over that out going V8.  Having your cake and eating it too I say.

Its competition has V8s, but are weak compared to the Ecoboost.  Chevy 5.3L small block V8 generates only 320bhp and epa estimates of 15/21.  The Toyota Sequoia has a large 5.7L V8 that generates 381 thirsty horsepower with an epa estimate of 13/18.  The Ecoboost hits right in the middle with power.  EPA estimates aren't available yet, but the 2014 F150 with this engine is rated at 16/22 and I'd expect similar ratings out of the Expedition.

The Expedition Platinum I got to peak at the other day has MyFord Touch and navigation. The automatic tranny is a full 6 speeds and has the option of full manual mode, or partial locking in gear ranges for better speed control in hilly country.  There is an optional independent rear suspension with mechanical leveling that should take the squat out of full loads quite nicely.  There's even a new trailer brake control (TBC) that better synchronises your brakes/trailer brakes for safer trailering.

Aside from the drop dead gorgeous gray interior of the Platinum edition that's in this video, there is also a King Ranch edition named after the fabled ranch in Texas that was founded in 1853.  The King Ranch edition is swathed in deep brown  leather with the center console branded with the King Ranch brand.  Nice.