Ford Expedition Generations
  • Generations

Ford Expedition Generations

By Autolist Editorial | June 26, 2019

2018 – Present Ford Expedition (4th Generation)


The fourth-generation Ford Expedition went on sale in November 2017 as a 2018 model.

This generation rides on a new chassis — the same one the automaker uses for the Lincoln Navigator — which has a wheelbase that’s three inches wider and an overall length that’s four inches longer.

The seven- or eight-seat Expedition is also one inch taller than its predecessors and features a lighter aluminum-alloy body. Thanks to these updates, the Expedition is more spacious, has more legroom and weighs 300 pounds less than the previous generation.

There’s also the Expedition MAX, which adds almost a foot to the overall length of the vehicle, translating into nearly identical passenger space but considerably more cargo room in the back. As of 2018, the Expedition MAX is Ford's biggest SUV.

The fourth-generation Expedition and Expedition MAX come in three trim levels: the base XLT, the mid-level Limited, and the luxury-level Platinum trim.

The XLT trim is offered in rear- and four-wheel drive configurations. It features cloth upholstery, a push-button start, a 4.3-inch LCD screen in the instrument panel and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

The Platinum trim features climate-controlled and massaging leather seats, a forward sensing system, and polished alloy wheels. It also boosts the engine’s horsepower and torque slightly.

All models use the EcoBoost 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine of the previous generation. The engine, which has been updated to make 375 horsepower (400 on the Platinum) and 470 foot-pounds of torque (480 on the Platinum).

This Expedition now has a towing capacity of 9,300 pounds. A new 10-speed automatic transmission that drivers can control with a rotary dial on the center console is also standard in all models.

View 4th Generation Listings

2007 – 2017 Ford Expedition (3rd Generation)


The third-generation Expeditions benefited from sweeping mechanical updates and some minor aesthetic enhancements.

Ford switched to a new T1 platform which enabled it to develop extended-length versions of the standard Expeditions. The new Expedition EL was 14.8 inches longer than the standard Expedition, had more cargo space, and was easily distinguishable by its stretched cargo-area windows. Like its predecessor, this generation used an independent rear suspension, which allows for more cargo space in the rear.

The regular trims—Expedition XL, XLT, XLT Premium, XLT Sport, Limited, and King Ranch— received new hollow-bar grilles and multifaceted headlamps that gave them a sleeker look, among other exterior enhancements. The redesigned interior featured a new dashboard and a more prominent center stack.

A new six-speed intelligent automatic transmission became standard on all Expeditions. Ford later dropped the XL and XLT Sport trims for the 2013 model year. In subsequent years, Ford dropped the XLT Premium version and added a Platinum trim.

The third-generation Expeditions were powered by the same 5.4-liter V8 engine of the previous generation. With a boosted output of 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque, the Expeditions could tow up to 9,200 pounds.

For the 2015 model year, Ford introduced an EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers that was rated at 365 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque. Direct injection in the new engine made the Expedition more fuel efficient (15 miles per gallon city and 21 miles per gallon highway), and Ford decided to discontinue the 5.4-liter V8 engine.

View 3rd Generation Listings

2003 – 2006 Ford Expedition (2nd Generation)


The second-generation Ford Expeditions came with a redesigned interior and exterior. The boxy look of the first generation was still the same, but simpler lines, tighter panel gaps, and other minor body modifications made for a cleaner look. The interior got plush carpeting, aluminum trim, and new door panels.

Through the three model years, Ford offered the Expedition in eight trim levels, all variations of the original XLT and Eddie Bauer trims.

Buyers could choose from the two-wheel drive XLT 4.6-liter V8 Value trim all the way up to the four-wheel drive Eddie Bauer 5.4-liter V8 trim level.

The output of the 4.6-liter engine increased to 232 horsepower and 291 foot-pounds of torque. The new 5.4-liter engine delivered 260 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. Subsequent modifications on the 5.4-liter engine pushed its output to 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque. For the 2005 model year update, Ford dropped the 4.6-liter V8 engine and made the 5.4-liter engine standard on all Expeditions.

All trims came with a new variable-assist power steering that eased maneuverability on low speeds and increased stability on high speeds. Ford paired the four-speed automatic transmission of the previous generation with new control software that recognized and adapted to changes in load capacity and road conditions.

This generation was also noteworthy for being the first Expedition to use an independent rear suspension, a feature which all subsequent generations used. These modifications, coupled with a stiffer chassis increased towing capacity by 800 pounds.

One of the new safety features that this generation carried was an optional four airbag system that offered six-way occupant protection.

View 2nd Generation Listings

1997 – 2002 Ford Expedition (1st Generation)


Ford first announced the Expedition in May 1996. The full-size, four-door SUV was to replace the compact two-door Ford Bronco that had been in production since 1966.

First-generation Expeditions were based on the U platform of Ford’s F-150 pickup. Both models—the Expedition and F-150—shared front-end looks and mechanical components, including engines, transmissions, and front suspensions.

Partly because of this platform, the Expedition was bigger than most of the sport-utility vehicles of the time (though it was similar in size to the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban). The Expedition’s longer wheelbase (119 inches compared to 112 inches of the 1997 Lexus LX) allowed three rows of seating—the third-row rear seat being optional—that could accommodate the driver and eight adult passengers. Up top, the Expedition spotted sliding cross-bar roof racks.

When it went on sale in October 1996, the Expedition was available in two trims: the base XLT and the more upscale Eddie Bauer version. Standard features in the Eddie Bauer trim included leather seats, dual zone climate control, and a power moonroof.

Buyers could choose between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive in either model. Both trims featured four-speed automatic transmissions. Under their hoods, the Expeditions came with V8 engines that gave them plenty of towing capacity. The standard 4.6-liter V8 engine delivered 215 horsepower and put out 290 foot-pounds of torque. The optional 5.4-liter V8 engine delivered 230 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque.

Updated 1999 models featured the same engine choices. However, Ford amped up the horsepower for the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter engines to 230 horsepower and 260 horsepower respectively. The smaller engine could tow 6,000 pounds and the larger one could pull up to 8,000 pounds.

Standard safety features in the first-generation Expeditions included two airbags with two-way occupant protection and three-point safety belts in all seat rows.

View 1st Generation Listings