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2023 Ford Expedetion Platinum 4X4 - Yes it is big but it's also comfortable
I have to admit that deep down inside there is a certain part of me that enjoys driving these huge SUVs. Maybe it's the commanding view of the road, or the feeling of invincibility. Or maybe it is, just for a moment or two, a feeling of superiority.
All of that evaporated the first time I went to the grocery store in the Expedition. It's not just that it totally filled a parking space - side-to-side and lengthwise - but that there are so many huge SUVs. I'm no Slim Jim so I cannot slip through a door that's cracked open, no I have to park way out in the boonies so I can swing those doors wide.
This Expedition is 210" long (there is a Max model that is almost a foot longer), 79.9" wide (not counting the mirrors), and 76.6" tall. Parking spaces vary in size but are in the area of 192"-216" long and 96"-108" wide, so yes the Expedition (and its most direct competition) doesn't leave much wiggle room.
That's enough about the size for now.
The only engine available is Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Before you moan about it being a V6 consider the 380-hp, and 470 lb-ft of torque. You'll never know it's "only" a V6. For those who crave the ultimate, in some models there is a High Output version that is pumped up to 440 hp, 510 lb-ft!
Every Expedition has a 10-speed automatic transmission; the test Platinum also had 4WD.
Ford uses the EcoBoost in an effort to increase fuel economy. All things considered the economy is okay but is it better than the last V8? Yes, at least on paper. A 2014 Expedition with a 5.4-liter V8 had an EPA rating of 14-mpg city and 20-mpg highway. The 2023 is rated at 16-mpg city and 22-mpg highway. I saw 20.5 on the highway and about 13 around town.
I don't want to harp on fuel economy, it is what it is, but maybe it is time for the EPA to update its test method. I check highway fuel economy with the cruise control set at 70 mph and I am often one of the slower vehicles on the Interstate. If EPA uses an approximation of the legal speed limits their figures are way off what is real world. 'Nuff said.
Cruising on the highway is where the Expedition shines. It's bulk, all 5,532 lbs., allows it to gobble up the miles in relative comfort. Pot holed roads? Crosswinds? No problem.
You do feel the weight when braking. Not that the brakes aren't up to the job, they are, but the laws of inertia still exist.
Rear, or 'way back' as we used to say, seats
I'll be glad when the interior designers get over their infatuation with white seats. Regardless of the color the seats, at least the front and middle seats, were very comfortable. Even though there seemed to be sufficient leg room for adults in the rear seats they are still best for children.
Thankfully the Expedition Platinum had a standard automatic power deployed running board. I don't know who invented these but they are terrific.
But not all was well inside the Expedition. I pride myself in being an aware and alert driver. I do not like visual distractions. There are some vehicles that actually track the driver's attentiveness; I like to ace it. This is why I am not a fan of huge screens, especially not touch screens.
The Expedition Platinum doesn't have the worlds largest screen but it is big. And almost everything is accessible on that screen. Thankfully there is a huge volume knob but if you want to adjust the temperature you have to use the touch screen, and I can't do that without taking my eyes off the road.
Don't get me wrong, I like technology. In fact I like intelligent cruise control with automatic braking. There was a glitch in the Expedition though. At first I thought I'd done something wrong. I had braked and then pushed the "Resume" button but it didn't return to the speed I had set. Then it happened again only this time after the Expedition had automatically slowed from 70 mph to avoid a slower vehicle in front. But this time it sped up to 75 mph - I didn't touch any buttons. This happened a few times, once or twice resuming to a slower speed. It's things like this that keep me from fully trusting autonomous cars or features.
I think a fair number of Expedition owners might tow trailers, whether for a boat, horses, travel trailer, etc., the 4X4 version can tow up to 6,500 lbs.
Storage space can go up to 104.6 cubic feet with the rear two rows folded, or down to 19.3 behind the third row. The rear hatch allows good access but be careful if you're over about 5' 10" or you might smash your head on the door. There is no reason it can't open wider.
If you plan on going off the beaten path you might want to invest in some more aggressive tires. The P285/45R22s on the Platinum version were quiet though.
Now we come to price. Sales of large SUVs are strong so not too many people are scared off by the price. A base Expedition Platinum starts at $82,815. The least expensive Expedition, the XL STX starts at $$55,725. The test Expedition Platinum 4X4 started at $83,615, options added $1,835, destination and delivery $1,895 for a total of $87,345. Tax and license and you're approaching $100,000!
If a vehicle this size is what you're looking for an Expedition is worth checking out.