Used 2001 Ford Excursion Review

Edmunds expert review

Too much truck for too many people. Buy a Suburban if you need a nine-passenger SUV that can tow heavy stuff.

What's new for 2001

Performance is beefed up to 250 horsepower on the 7.3-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 and all engines are now LEV compliant. An in-dash six-disc CD player is made available. The Excursion XLT gets platinum cladding and standard chrome steel wheels, and the Limited offers standard power signal aero mirrors, foglamps and an optional rear-seat entertainment system.

Vehicle overview

In a classic "bigger is better" move, Ford has decided to up the SUV ante by producing the largest Bradymobile yet. The Excursion offers more interior room and cargo capacity than the previous heavyweight title-holder, the Chevrolet Suburban. At the same time, Ford is touting the Excursion's "earth-friendly" aspects like an engine lineup that meets LEV standards and the fact that 85 percent of the Excursion, by weight, is recyclable (never mind that 85 percent of an Excursion still equals about 2.5 Honda Civics).

The Excursion's base engine is a 5.4-liter V8 on two-wheel-drive models or a 6.8-liter V10 on models equipped with four-wheel drive. Optional with either drivetrain is a 7.3-liter V8 diesel that makes 250 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of earth-shaking torque. All engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment; no manual transmission is offered in the Excursion.

Two trim levels are available. The base XLT model includes a three-piece rear door, running boards, remote keyless entry, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, an AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo, a 40/20/40 split-bench front seat and a third-row removable bench seat. Angle up to the Limited trim level and you get a leather interior, front captain's chairs, woodgrain trim, rear-seat audio controls, a trip computer, power rear-quarter windows, aluminum wheels, illuminated running boards, power signal aero mirrors and foglamps. An optional rear seat entertainment system, which includes a 6.4-inch overhead LCD monitor and a VCR, is new for this year.

Buy an Excursion and you get tons of cargo- and passenger-carrying capacity, plus the security of knowing that no one else on the road will try to mess with you. Of course, you also get the huge inconvenience of not being able to park in certain garages or use some car wash facilities, and then there's the possibility that other people will assume that, by driving such a behemoth, you're trying to overcompensate for some other area in which you may be lacking. But if you're in the market for such a vehicle, and neither the Chevy Suburban nor the GMC Yukon XL does it for you size-wise, this is your SUV. Just keep in mind that driving the Excursion is like piloting a loaded U-Haul, and you're going to have to become an ultra-safety-conscious driver.

Since it's based on the F-250 Super Duty (the front doors, fenders, and hood will swap between them), Ford was able to develop the Excursion with a bare-minimum investment of company funds. This means a large profit margin for each Excursion sold, even by SUV standards. These same market forces were behind the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Lexus LX470. We've begun to wonder how far this SUV thing can go, but if people keep buying them, automakers will keep building them.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.