What's New for 2001
Ford's second-largest SUV changes little for 2001. XLT models get privacy glass as standard equipment, while the upscale Eddie Bauer trim level now comes with HomeLink and a class IV trailer towing package (4x4 models only). Eddie Bauers also get second-row leather captain's chairs and a rear-seat entertainment system as optional equipment. A new "No Boundaries" option package includes a monochromatic black exterior, side body cladding, 17-inch wheels, illuminated running boards and special front seats.
Which one do you think Goldilocks would pick? With the new Escape on the breakfast table for 2001, it seems Ford has enough different-sized SUVs to satisfy everyone. And for those people who want something bigger than an Explorer, but smaller than an Excursion, the Expedition should be just right.
After allowing GM to dominate the full-size SUV arena for years, in 1997 Ford introduced the Expedition, which had its sights squarely aimed at the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Able to seat nine people with its optional third-row bench seat, Expedition is also easier to park and maneuver than the larger Chevy Suburban (or Excursion, for that matter). The vehicle has good payload and towing capacity: 2,000 pounds and 8,000 pounds, respectively.
New standard features on the XLT include privacy glass, heated mirrors and a class IV trailer tow package. The Eddie Bauer edition gets a HomeLink navigation system as well as the trailer tow package. Power-adjustable pedals are standard on all trim levels and allow drivers of smaller stature to move the pedals toward their feet rather than moving the seat uncomfortably close to the steering wheel. Interior coddling can be increased on the Eddie Bauer edition with the optional VHS rear-seat entertainment system.
On the road the Expedition is well mannered. It's obviously not a car, but compared to the old Ford Bronco, the Expedition rides like a limousine. Expedition buyers can order the vehicle with two single third-row seats instead of the standard 60/40-split bench seat for 2001. Like the second-row bench seating, the two individual seats can be stowed if extra cargo-carrying capacity is required.
Ford has put a lot of time and money into making this truck a sales leader in their already dominant light-truck lineup. The Expedition comes standard with dual airbags, antilock brakes, while side airbags are optional. Our biggest gripe stems from the powertrain. While Ford has boosted output for both the 4.6- and 5.4-liter engines, they still can seem less powerful when compared to the Vortec powerplants found in GM's full-size trucks. One option that we think everyone should investigate is the lighted running boards. The Expedition towers above the ground, and entering and exiting this truck will take its toll on most passengers after a few days
The Ford Expedition is a nice balance between comfort and function, and its ability to seat nine people makes it popular with large families and those who have to haul stuff around. Nevertheless, we can't overlook the surprisingly roomy Dodge Durango and the outstanding Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon when discussing big trucks. In the last few years, the mid- and full-size sport-ute market has gotten very competitive and choices are much more difficult to make.