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Quick Test: 2008 Ford Expedition King Ranch

Brian Vance
Mar 4, 2008
Photographers: Brian Vance
Boasting just 300 horsepower but weighing in at 6104 pounds, the 2008 Ford Expedition seemed a lock to be a total slug. But thanks to a six-speed automatic, 365 pound-feet of torque, and four-wheel vented disc brakes, the Ford hustles to 60 and back to zero. Nevertheless, even with 20-inch wheels wearing 55-series Pirellis, the Expedition was unable to cheat the laws of physics, at least in a curved line, posting a slow figure-eight time (31.0 seconds) and low lateral acceleration (0.68 g).
Photo 2/5   |   suv Comparison ford Expedition King Ranch Interior
Out on the twisty roads through Kennedy Meadows, the Expedition's moves supported these numbers, its soft suspension responding with plenty of roll and dive. And squat? Not enough oomph for that. "Feels sluggish right out of the gate," opines Truck Trend's editor-in-chief Mark Williams. "You can tell there's a lot of weight here, and the engine doesn't seem interested in compensating." Sure, there are six speeds, but without a true manual mode, the tranny hunts with the same fervor as Dick Cheney."
Still, the Ford handles well for such a big girl. Says editor-at-large Arthur St. Antoine, "Although it rolls into corners, it doesn't plow like a tractor -- it hangs on impressively and even shrugs off mid-corner undulations that can set the other rigs heaving up and down." The steering, while heavy in feel and slow on turn-in, did deliver linear response, and the brakes felt strong and a match for the cumbersome curb weight. Off road, the Expedition handled the snow with aplomb. "This is where the massive weight helps push the tires to the ground for grip," claims Williams. Senior editor Ed Loh adds, "It's reassuring over snowy roads-no slipping, no sliding."
Photo 3/5   |   suv Comparison ford Expedition King Ranch Rear View
Inside our King Ranch tester, every editor was impressed by the luxurious "Chaparral" leather, the ultraquiet ambiance, the rearview mirror with integrated backup video screen, and the capacious cabin, the last trumping the others' third-row headroom and legroom. For transporting Eddie and the entire Bauer clan, the Expedition is tough to beat. Plus, the third row comes with a powerfolding feature, alleviating any back-breaking exercises, and the second row boasts a useful "Cargo Mode," which lays the middle row flat with the pull of a lever.
From the driver's seat, though, the view is somewhat disappointing. The instrument panel, with its mix of round and rectangular gauges and chrome, plastic, and wood trim, appears retro for the sake of being retro and at the expense of good function. But with its roomy interior, clever packaging, and commendable offroad performance, not to mention being the only one with cooled front seats and power runningboards, the Ford presents a strong package overall.
Photo 4/5   |   suv Comparison ford Expedition King Ranch Side View
Photo 5/5   |   suv Comparison ford Expedition King Ranch Engine

2008 Ford Expedition KING RANCH 4x4
Drivetrain layout Front engine, 4WD
Engine type 90° v-8, iron block/alum heads
Valvetrain SOHC, 3 valves/cyl
Displacement 330.4 cu in/5414 cc
Compression ratio 9.8:1
Power (SAE net) 300 hp @ 500 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 365 lb-ft @ 3750
Weight to power 20.3 lb/hp
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Axle/final-drive ratios 3.73:1/2.57:1/2.64:1
Suspension, front; rear Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, load-leveling shocks, anti-roll bar
Steering ratio 20.0:1
Turns lock-to-lock 3.2
Brakes, f;r 13.5-in vented disc: 13.2-in vented disc, ABS
Wheels 8.5 x 20 in, cast aluminum
Tires, f;r 275/55R20 111H M+S, Pirelli Scorpion STR
Wheelbase 119.0 in
Track, f/r 67.0/67.2 in
Length x width x height 20635 x 78.8 x 77.2 in
Ground clearance 8.7 in
Apprch/ deapart angle 22.6/21.5 deg
Turning circle 40.8 ft
Curb weight 6104 lb
Weight dist., f/r 50/50 %
Seating capacity 8
Headroom, f/r 39.6/39.8/38.3 in
Legroom, f/r 41.1/39.1/37.7 in
Shoulder room, f/r 63.2/63.7/51.9 in
Cargo volume 108.3/55.0/18.6 cu ft
Acceleration to mph
0-30 2.6 sec
0-40 4.1
0-50 5.8
0-60 8.1
0-70 10.7
0-80 13.8
0-90 -
Passing, 45-65 mph 4.5 sec
Quarter mile 16.1 sec @ 85.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 139 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.68 g (avg)
MT figure eight 31.0 sec @ 0.49 g (avg)
Top-gear revs @ 60 mph 1600 rpm
Base price $44,265
Price as tested $52,840
Stability/traction control Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side, f/mr curtain
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Fuel capacity 28.0 gal
EPA city/hwy econ N/A
CO2 emissions N/A
MT fuel economy 12.2 mpg
Recommended fuel Regular



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