Used 1997 Ford Expedition Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

Ford's replacement for the aging Bronco is the all-new Expedition. Based on the 1997 F-150 platform, this full-size sport-utility vehicle is poised to do battle with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

Vehicle overview

Here it is folks, the truck you've all been waiting for. After allowing GM to dominate the full-size SUV arena for years, Ford introduces a vehicle that has its sights squarely aimed at the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Ford boasts that its Expedition is superior to the GM full-size sport-utes in every way.

Larger than the Tahoe and Yukon, the Expedition can seat nine people with its optional third row bench seat; the Tahoe and Yukon can seat only six. Unlike the Suburban, which may have difficulty fitting into a standard garage, the Expedition can be handled with ease in most parking maneuvers. The Expedition also has the best payload and towing capacity in its class: 2,000-lbs. and 8000-lbs., respectively.

On the road the Expedition is well mannered. It's obvious that this is not a car, but compared to the vehicle it replaces the Expedition rides like a limousine. Interior ergonomics are first rate and will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in the new F-150. From the front seat forward the Expedition is nearly identical to the new pickup. That's a good thing; we love the cab of the 1997 F-150 with its easy-to-use climate and stereo controls, steering wheel mounted cruise control, plenty of cupholders and great storage space.

Ford has put a lot of time and money into making this truck the next sales leader in their already dominant light-truck lineup. We came away impressed and think you will too. The Expedition comes standard with dual airbags, a first in this segment, antilock brakes, and fold-flat second row seats; features that we feel are important in this increasingly competitive segment. Our few gripes stem from the powertrain. After driving a few Vortec powered Suburbans this year, we've become spoiled by the GM engine's gobs of torque and horsepower. The Expedition's power output won't be confused with a Geo Tracker, but it did leave us wondering if we could squeeze one of GM's 5.7-liter powerhouses into the engine bay. 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.

We think that the Expedition will be turning up in our neighborhood parking lots and driveways very soon. If you're thinking of buying a full-size SUV in the near future, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this truck.

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.