Ever since the Ford Expedition was introduced in the Philippines sometime in the year 2001, the common feedback among drivers is its thirsty fuel consumption, which I had a chance driving the 1st generation Expedition (1997-2002) as an official company car. Honestly, fuel economy was personally not my issue because the company I used to work for shouldered the gasoline expense. Fast forward to this 2019 model year of the Expedition, all those memories flashed back right at me once again. The first thing I was curious about whether or not its fuel economy has improved over the years.
Even from a distance, the Ford Expedition looks massive, yet it hits all the right notes when it comes to a large SUV. The front grille and headlight combination neatly integrate with each other, as if the grille and headlights were a single design piece. With a mainly horizontal layout, the Expedition EL’s design emphasizes its width, which stands at a little over two meters wide. The beltline has been made higher, giving it a somewhat sleeker profile despite the boxy proportions, while the retractable running boards provide the expedition a clean, uncluttered look when not in use. At the back, the Expedition nameplate is engraved on a chrome trim piece running the entire width of the vehicle, which is also then integrated into the design of the taillights.
Comparing it to its older models, this version of the Expedition was much more composed on the road, which is contrary to its lazy, bouncy, and sloppy first-generation model. My passengers were all happy, easily dozing-off along the way. It was quiet and serene, plus despite the body-on-frame construction, the ride was pretty good. It felt really solid without much chassis and body flex, a testament to over 18 years worth of improvements made to the Expedition.
Powering the 2018 Ford Expedition EL is a 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that produces 375 hp @ 5,000 rpm and 637 Nm of torque @ 3,500 rpm, sent through a 10-speed automatic transmission developed in collaboration with General Motors. Power goes through all four wheels via an electronically-selectable 4WD system.
As expected, in a highly congested area, the Expedition’s fuel economy is still its weakness, though it’s much better compared to its predecessors. With an auto start/stop function shutting the engine off when the vehicle is stopped, the Expedition achieved 4 to 5 km/l, while clearer roads such as expressways enabled the Expedition to top out at 8 km/l. In the end, if you’re buying an SUV as big as the Expedition, you probably have enough money to gas it up anyway.
As expected from a large SUV in this class, the Expedition is filled with luxury and creature comforts, that range from a gigantic panoramic sunroof, a user-friendly and snappy SYNC3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12-speaker, 1,100-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system which sounds glorious, heated and cooled electronically adjustable front seats, a plethora of USB ports and cupholders to keep everyone onboard happy. If the USB ports are still not satisfactory enough for you, there’s also a 230 V/150 W outlet at the back of the Expedition, which means you can even charge your laptop inside the vehicle. There’s also a remote engine start feature so you could cool down the interior during a hot day before stepping into the vehicle.
This Expedition can fit large adults on all three rows. In total, there’s seating for eight people. For added convenience, there is a power-folding third-row, which means no need to fumble with levers and pulleys anymore. With all seats up, 1,019 liters of space is at your disposal. For perspective, this is what most small SUVs like the Honda HR-V are able to provide with its second row of seats already folded down. Folding down the third row of seats gives you a massive 2,076 liters of open space, which is almost what the Ford Everest provides with its second row of seats folded down. Lastly, if you fold down the Expedition’s second row of seats, you are now provided with a gargantuan 3,440 liters of space, which makes the Expedition exceptionally voluminous for cargo hauling. With up to 834.61 kg of payload limit and 4218.41 kg of towing capacity, the Expedition is more than enough for anyone who needs to tow their trailer or speedboats.
As a father of 3 kids and with my wife tagging along, we decided to try going on a southbound trip for a change as most media drives nowadays prefer going up north. Luckily as we were researching where to go, a friend who is also in the media scene texted me if I want to visit one of their coffee shops. This coffee shop is called Taza Mia, and the branch we specifically visited is located near Villa Escudero. Coincidentally, my last visit to this place was way back in 2001, using the first generation Expedition.
Taza Mia is a chain of specialty coffee shop brands that consistently delights its customers with tasty yet affordable hot and cold coffee alongside a special selection of simple yet delicious food. Founded by Mr. Rodel G. Lacorte in April 2011, the store has now around 40 outlets of combined operating full-sized stores and kiosks. Taza Mia continues to expand in order to serve quality and locally sourced coffee to more customers in different areas around the country.
Unlike most coffee shops in the country, Taza Mia also offers a wide range of food, apart from the usual cakes, pastries, and sandwiches that are common in most coffee shops. We ordered various dishes across the two different branches. Suffice to say, all the food and drinks we ordered were well prepared and tasty. The wide selection of drinks is enough to satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. Likewise, its food offerings are also tasty, which means customers won’t just visit Taza Mia just for their coffee, but to also have a sumptuous breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even meryenda.
As we headed back to Manila, we decided to do some last-minute shopping of fresh rambutans and lanzones. We drove fast this time to compensate for our lost time. The shortcut to the Star Tollway allowed us to test the Expedition’s acceleration. Its 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 delivered power smoothly and linearly, even having a nice deep engine note.
This big, bold and bountiful SUV provided me great comfort as a driver during our trip down south. My family seems to be quite happy with the sheer amount of comfort and space that they enjoyed during the trip. The Expedition’s sheer size won’t be to everyone’s preferences, but for those who definitely want to live large, there’s no other car at its price point that can match the Expedition’s sheer level of comfort and size.
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