2015 Ford Expedition King Ranch Review and Test Drive

Jerry Reynolds | December 5, 2014
2015 Ford Expedition King Ranch Review and Test Drive

Going back to my days as a Ford dealership owner, I was never a fan of the Expedition and said so on my radio show many times. There were things I liked, like the fold flat third-row seat, but the 5.4-liter V8 just wasn’t enough. I always felt like I had to “push” the vehicle. Luckily, that has all changed now!

2015 Ford Expedition King Ranch Edition

My review vehicle is the short wheelbase, two-wheel drive, and it is the King Ranch edition in a new color called Bronze Fire Metallic. All King Ranch models have exceptional leather interiors that are comfortable and very attractive. All 2015 Expeditions come with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which is powered by twin-turbos that are putting out 365-horses and 420 pound-feet of torque. My previous concerns about lack of power are gone. Acceleration is strong and steady, and this body-on-frame beast will tow over 9000 pounds. You can get the 2015 Expedition in a long wheelbase, and it comes in four trim levels, XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and the new top-of-the-line Platinum. All four trims come in a short wheelbase to compete with Tahoe and Yukon, and a long wheelbase to compete with Suburban and Yukon XL. You can get the Expedition in a 7-passenger configuration by getting the second-row captain chairs, or with the second-row bench seat, it will fit 8 adults. Ford did an exceptional job of making the 3rd-row seat easy to get to, and then once seated, there is excellent room for adults.

Ride and Handling

Ride and drive of the Expedition are exceptional thanks primarily to the independent rear suspension that Ford implemented in 2003. That allowed Expedition to be one of the first SUVs with fold-flat third-row seating that operates with the push of a button. New for 2015 is a intelligent continuously-controlled damping (CCD) system that alters suspension settings constantly based on 46 parameters and offers comfort, normal, and sport modes. There is a big difference in ride and handling between the three settings.

King Rang Trim Features

The King Ranch Expedition comes nicely equipped with a power liftgate, power fold 3rd-row seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd-row seats, adjustable pedals, blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, trailer towing package, a voice-activated navigation system, and remote start. My test vehicle has power-deployable running boards for $995, and load leveling suspension for $280.

Monotone Exterior Now Offered

One thing people have wanted for years on the King Ranch is the ability to get it in a monotone exterior, and you can do that for 2015. You no longer have to have the tan bottom as in years past. Heavily based on the popular F-150, the Expedition is extremely capable, especially for those who tow a boat or trailer. Ford’s trailering apps on the dash are fantastic, the brake controller is positioned in a great spot next to the steering wheel, and the low-cost load leveling system is a real plus for those who tow something.

Ford Sync and MyFord Touch Systems

The often-maligned Sync and MyFord Touch systems worked flawlessly. You get hands-free calling, you can answer with the push of a button, and you can make a call with the sound of your voice. Use the automatic phonebook download to find the names and numbers programmed in your phone. Plug in your digital music player, USB drive or SD card and browse your music collection using voice commands. You can say Bluetooth audio and you can listen wirelessly to whatever's on your phone, even Pandora Internet radio. Use your laptop or desktop to map your destination and have the directions sent directly to your vehicle's SYNC system, and 911 Assist can use your phone to call 911 when you can't. You can even send and receive audible text messages.

Overall Impressions

Although not completely new, the 2015 Expedition is much improved and the new front end and rear end treatments give it a more modern look. I am happy to say that I will recommend Expedition in the future. For me, it still comes up a little short of the new General Motors large SUVs, but it finally belongs on your shopping list, and it is an outstanding value.

  • What I liked most: The EcoBoost engine performance.
  • What I would change: I wish it had a 7-speed automatic for better mileage.
  • MSRP: Base price $56,990. As equipped $59,520.
  • Fuel Economy: 16 City/22 highway/18 combined. Doing slightly better.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 2770 miles.
  • Weight: 5600 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 206” long/91.8” wide/77.2” High.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 28 gallons.
  • Towing Capacity: 9200 pounds.
  • 2015 Expedition in a few words: Much improved, on my recommended list now!
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain coverage, 5-year/60,000 miles of roadside assistance.
  • Dealers: We have great Ford dealers in Austin, Cleveland, (4) in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Portland, Sacramento, san Antonio, and San Francisco. Click here for a dealer near you:Click Here to Find A Car Pro Certified Dealer Near You
  • Manufacturer’s website: http://www.ford.com/suvs/expedition/

Photo Credit: Ford