Road Test: 2002 Ford Excursion
The Excursion diesel 4x4 is a bus of the first order
The mega-'ute segment is limited to two players--as good as it is, we don't consider the Toyota Sequoia a contender at this level. In the Suburban/ Yukon XL versus Excursion round, we went for the Excursion.
The Suburban 4WD base price was slightly above the Excursion's, with that Suburban powered by a 6.0L/320-hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. But the less-expensive Excursion had a 6.8L V-10, down 10 hp but on top by 60 lb-ft in torque. We stepped up engines to the big-block 8.1 in the Sub, raising the price over $40,000, and opted for the Power Stroke in the Excursion, bringing it to $42,000.
When we tested a diesel Excursion, it went nearly as fast empty as a V-10 and faster when it was loaded. It averaged 18-plus mpg and bettered 20 on a couple of trips, a feat no 8.1 Sub or V-10 Excursion will manage. Plus, the diesel won't lose nearly as much power at altitude on cross-country trips.
We also assumed that, when you get to this size, bigger is better, and a solid axle's penalty in ride comfort is overcome by its flexibility and strength. The Excursion diesel 4x4 is a bus of the first order and our choice for when you have to take it all with you.