1998 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4L V8
Extremely dependable, comfortable and capable
The only things relevant to driving the car that have gone out were the alternator (@ 150,000 miles), the starter (@ 170,000 miles), and the transmission speed sensor (@ 250,000 miles).
Accessory/cosmetic-wise, both front windows came un-done from the brackets holding them on track, simply unscrewed a couple screws/bolts and popped the door panels off and applied epoxy to the brackets. Still good as new 2 years later. Also, the radio face got a little messed up for about a month, all the lights were lighting up, e.g. "FM", "Stereo", "88:88", etc. Then I hit a deer at about 45 mph over a year ago, and it went back to normal. Guess it just needed a good jarring.
And that, my friends, is all that has gone wrong in the 9+ years and 207,000 miles I have had it. I have merely changed the oil myself every 3,000 miles, rotated the tires, replaced brake pads/rotors as needed, serviced the transmission myself about four times over the 9 years, replaced spark plugs and coils twice (tune-up), and changed the anti-freeze once. I've never changed the differential fluid. Maybe I should...
This Expedition has been the best car I have ever owned. Literally. It has never, EVER failed me, always starts up on the first try. Now that the original shocks and bushings have 270,000 miles on them, body roll is a little more evident than before, but it still suppresses bumps well and rides comfortably. Brake pressure and pedal still feel great, these brakes are strong and bring the relatively heavy SUV to a stop surprisingly quick. Four wheel ABS still works great too.
The leather on the bottom of the driver's seat is starting to show wear, but the rest of the leather still looks new, even after being used daily by my family of four. Factory AM/FM radio, tape player, and 6-disc CD changer all still work as new, you won't find any ugly aftermarket head units in MY car. After the blasting of rock music, the front speakers have a little buzzing to them on songs with a lot of bass, but still sound good, and the rear speakers are like new. Not a single crack anywhere on the dash or any other piece of trim or upholstery. Headliner looks brand new. The build quality of these trucks is great.
What surprises me the most though after all these miles, is the powertrain. The Triton 5.4L is an excellent engine. It does have the trademark piston slap of these Ford engines when they have this many miles on them, but it goes away as soon as the engine warms up. The transmission is literally like brand new. No slipping, rough shifts, leaks, or anything. Though this model V8 is only rated at 230 hp, I drive it literally every day never getting it over 2,000-2,300 rpms, and it cruises up to 70 mph SO effortlessly. Most people don't believe me when I tell them I get 20-21 mpg on the highway, especially with all these miles, but I do.
When I used to drive it with a lead foot before I became concerned about keeping it alive as long as possible, it would do 0-60 in about 9.5 - 10 seconds. Not bad for a big SUV with that kind of power. The highest I've had it was 94 mph, and it felt just as stable and secure there as it does at 55. It was in overdrive at full throttle at the time, and it might have gone a little faster had I manually downshifted it out of O/D (the factory programming makes it upshift in to fourth gear WAY before the redline for some reason), but I didn't want to be too cruel to it.
I can't recommend this generation of Ford trucks enough. Mine still goes strong every day with original parts like the P/S pump, fuel pump, A/C compressor, radiator hoses, heater core, water and oil pumps, shocks, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc. that have never given me trouble. Not a single gasket or seal has ever had to be replaced either. No leaks of any kind, anywhere. You just can't beat these things.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th March, 2011