Used 2002 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.

What's new for 2002

Excursions get crystalline headlamp lenses for 2002, as well as "smart" intermittent front and rear wipers. XLTs gain a new auto-lock feature as well as standard third-row child seat tethers with a BeltMinder system. Excursion Limited receives a chrome side strip, automatic climate control and power-adjustable pedals. New options on XLT include power-adjustable pedals and a power front passenger seat. Limited models can be equipped with memory seats and pedals, second-row captain's chairs and redundant controls for climate and audio on the steering wheel. Both XLT and Limited will get a DVD-based entertainment system for rear-seat passengers later this year. Skid plates are no longer optional.

Vehicle overview

In a classic "bigger is better" move, Ford has upped 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 (albeit for heavy-duty trucks, not passenger cars and light-duty trucks) 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 (255 hp/350 pound-feet) on two-wheel-drive models or a 6.8-liter V10 (310 hp/425 lb-ft) on models equipped with four-wheel drive. Optional is a 7.3-liter V8 diesel that makes 250 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of earth-shaking torque. All engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment; no manual transmission is offered in the Excursion.

A trailer tow hitch comes standard, and the Excursion can tug 11,000 pounds in 4WD guise. For comparison, the Chevy Suburban 2500 equipped with the 8.0-liter Vortec V8 can manage 12,000 pounds. But the Ford holds slightly more cubic feet of stuff than the Chevy. The Excursion measures 146.4 cubic feet versus the Suburban's 138.4.

Two trim levels are available. The base XLT model includes 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, automatic climate control, 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 fog lamps. An optional rear seat entertainment system, which includes a 6.4-inch overhead LCD monitor, is DVD-powered 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.

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.