Having been substantially redesigned for 2003, the Ford Expedition encounters few changes for 2005. The biggest one is more power: it’s still a 5.4-litre V8, but now it’s a three-valve-per-cylinder Triton borrowed from the F-Series pickup, and power jumps 40 horses to 300. A new top-of-the-line Limited joins the XLT and Eddie Bauer editions. The instrument cluster has been redesigned, raised roof rails are used in place of a roof rack for a cleaner appearance, and roll stability control has been added to the AdvanceTrac.
All Canadian models come with four-wheel-drive; a rear-wheel version available in the U.S. is not sold here. The Expedition also appears over at Lincoln as the Navigator.
The XLT features four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, cruise control, six-way power driver’s seat, 40/20/40 split second seat, third-row 60/40 split-bench seat, privacy glass, power mirrors with approach lamps, power locks, air conditioning with rear air and heater controls, automatic headlamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels, Class III trailer hitch receiver, CD/MP3/cassette stereo, fog lamps, running boards and tire pressure monitoring system.
The Eddie Bauer edition, named for the clothing and outfitting store, adds 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, Pueblo Gold two-tone exterior appearance, keyless entry keypad, dual automatic climate control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio and climate controls, two-toned leather-trimmed front captain’s chairs with memory function, vinyl third-row bench seat, centre floor console with rear audio and auxiliary climate controls, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming mirror, six-CD stereo and power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The Limited adds 17-inch “Chrometec” aluminum wheels, body-coloured cladding, complex reflector headlamps, chrome roof rails, monochromatic leather-faced seats with eight-way power, curtain air bags and wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel with climate, audio and speed controls.
For all its bulk, the Expedition delivers a remarkably civilized ride, with handling more nimble than its size would suggest, and a luxurious interior that would be expected for its price. It’s still a handful in the face of sky-high gas prices, but the new V8 actually delivers better mileage than its predecessor while giving the Expedition an appreciable boost in performance.
The Expedition is built in Wayne, Michigan.