The Ford Expedition undergoes major changes for 2007: it rides on an all-new chassis, with new styling, improved steering and larger brakes, plus a new six-speed automatic transmission. It also receives a new model with the addition of the extended-wheelbase Expedition Max. The AdvanceTrac stability program with roll stability control, and side and curtain airbags also become standard on all Expedition models for 2007.

Both the Expedition and Expedition Max feature eight-passenger seating, but the Max has more cargo space behind the third row. It is unique from the B-pillar back, with its own Max-specific floor pan, one-piece body side, running boards, rear doors, rear fascia, roof rack, rear quarter glass, one-piece headliner and quarter panel trim. The rear doors are also unique to the model.

The new Expedition chassis features an all-new front suspension, front frame section and stiffer construction, with all-new five-link independent rear suspension and monotube shocks on all four corners. A new variable-boost steering pump reduces steering effort by 15 per cent for easier slow-speed manoeuvres.

All Expedition models use a 5.4-litre V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the four-speed used in 2006. There are three trim lines: the XLT in regular-wheelbase only, and the Eddie Bauer and Limited, both of which are available in regular- or extended-wheelbase. (The top-of-the-line King Ranch edition available in 2006 has been discontinued.) All are four-wheel drive, with a two-speed transfer case and optional electronic shift-on-the-fly capability.

Features on the XLT include 17-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, air conditioning, rear HVAC with separate controls and auxiliary rear heater, power mirrors, running boards, trailer package, roof rack, cruise control, six-way power driver’s seat, 40/20/40 folding second-row split-bench seat, 60/40 folding third-row split-bench seat, cloth seats, CD/MP3/SIRIUS satellite radio with four speakers, automatic headlights, fog lights, variable intermittent speed-sensitive wipers, fixed-interval rear wiper, deep-tinted windows, and low tire pressure warning system.

The Eddie Bauer edition adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, heated mirrors, two-tone paint, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver’s seat memory, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, eight-way power driver and six-way power passenger seats, heated leather seats, Audiophile six-CD/MP3/SIRIUS satellite radio with seven speakers, and reverse sensing system.

The Limited adds 18-inch aluminum wheels with chrome-clad covers, mirror-integrated turn signals, power sunroof, eight-way power passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats, and rear power vent windows.

The Expedition benefits from the steering and stopping improvements in its makeover; an extended-wheelbase model might seem like overkill in these days of high fuel prices, but Ford has always been locked in perpetual battle with Chevrolet and its big Suburban, and the loss of the Ford Excursion meant scrambling to fill that niche. The Expedition is also transformed at Lincoln into the Navigator, but while U.S. buyers will get that model in both regular- and long-wheelbase editions, only the shorter Navigator makes the trip over in Canada, at least for now.

Like the Suburban, the Expedition offers considerable interior space in all three rows; the Max version now puts extra cargo space behind the last batch of passengers. It’s expensive and thirsty, and it’s too big for most urban parking spaces, but its size and towing capacity should make it popular for those whose idea of hitting the open road involves bringing an apartment-sized trailer along behind.

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