For 2005, Ford’s biggest-n-baddest SUV comes with only minor changes. There are new jewelled headlamps, a new grille and bumper, new wheel choices, a new two-tone Medium Pebble and Charcoal Black colour scheme on the Eddie Bauer seats, and a new Pebble interior colour.

Based on the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck, the Excursion is the largest SUV in Ford’s stable – or in anyone else’s, for that matter. Three engines are available: a 5.4-litre V8, a 6.8-litre V10, or a 6.0-litre Power Stroke diesel, making it the only full-size SUV available with diesel power. There are three trim lines: the XLT is available with all three engines, while the Eddie Bauer and Limited trim lines come with either the 6.8-litre or diesel engine. Gasoline engines come with a four-speed automatic, while the diesel gets a five-speed automatic. When properly equipped, the Excursion can tow up to 4,989 kg (11,000 lbs.).

The XLT seats eight and includes air conditioning with rear unit, power windows, power heated mirrors, cruise control, cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped wheel, CD/cassette player with six speakers, power driver and passenger seats, four-wheel disc brakes with front ventilated discs and ABS, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome front and rear bumpers, trailer tow package with tow hook, fuel tank skid plate, automatic headlamps and automatic intermittent wipers.

The Eddie Bauer edition adds Arizona Beige front and rear bumpers, illuminated running boards, unique 16-inch wheels, body-colour grille, power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, reverse sensing system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lamps, cherry woodgrain interior accents, automatic climate control with auxiliary rear controls, power-adjustable pedals, and two-tone leather seats with six-way power driver and passenger captain’s chairs.

The Limited adds 16-inch forged aluminum wheels, body-colour cladding, illuminated running boards, memory adjustable pedals, leather-trimmed seats, Homelink universal garage door opener, wheel-mounted stereo and climate controls, and six-CD stereo with six speakers.

Sales of the Excursion have never been high-volume; it seems that, even in “bigger-is-better” North America, it’s possible to build a vehicle that’s just too huge. Still, despite annual rumours of the Excursion’s demise, it soldiers on. It can all but tow a house, which makes it a useful vehicle if you’re regularly pulling very large objects and need more seating capacity than is offered by a pickup truck; but if you just want it for day-to-day driving, it’s tough to manoeuvre, difficult to park, and it drives like the big truck that it is. Even the Expedition can be a bit much for the inner city, but it’s a better choice than the Excursion as a daily driver. Since it’s based on a heavy-duty truck, the Excursion is exempt from government fuel mileage testing. Ford won’t release mileage figures, but that tank’s got to hold 167 litres for a reason.

The Excursion is built in Louisville, Kentucky.

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