|Class||Full Size SUV|
|Body Style||5-Door Wagon|
|Transmission|| 4-speed automatic, RWD/4WD|
5-speed automatic, RWD/4WD
|Engine|| 5.4L (330 cid) V8 (2000-2005)|
6.0L (363 cid) turbodiesel V8 (2003-2005)
6.8L (412 cid) V10 (2000-2005)
7.3L (444 cid) turbodiesel V8 (2000-2003)
Determined to be the biggest on the block, Ford debuted the jumbo Excursion in 2000 as the world's largest, heaviest SUV to date. Unlike the smaller Expedition that was based on the F-150 half-ton pickup, the Excursion was based on the heavier-duty 3/4 ton F-250 pickup line, with either rear or four wheel drive. During the Excursion's tenure, it was (and to date, still is) the only SUV to be available with a V10 or a turbo-diesel engine shared with its heavy-duty truck line. And its primary role was to dethrone the almighty Chevrolet Suburban and the rest of its corporate mates as the biggest SUV available, and in this endeavor it succeeded handily (and then some), being 7.4" longer than the Suburban, on a wheelbase 7" longer, and 6" taller. The Excursion also was some 1,900 pounds heavier, tipping the scales at more than 7,000 pounds.
While the Excursion was a boon to those who needed to seat 9 people with room to spare and tow a 10,000 lb trailer, it was also not without controversy. Critics from various environmental and safety camps were quick to take aim at the Excursion as an example of wretched automotive excess and waste. Ford responded by noting that all three available engines ranked as LEV (low emission vehicle), and that the Excursion made extensive use of recycled materials. Whether or not the Excursion is a classic case of overkill is subject to your own personal interpretation, but if you were truly in need of the Excursion's unique size and brawn and didn't need or want a heavy-duty pickup or a full-size van, this was the rig for you.
Here's a quick rundown:
The 2000 Expedition shared the chassis and running gear with the F250 pickup line, along with its standard Triton 5.4L V8 (330 cid, 255hp @4000rpm / 350lb ft. torque @ 2500rpm). It is often criticized for being a bit undersized to propel a vehicle this size, especially in 4x4 trim (most fleet Excursions utilize this engine due to its low cost and the low end torque it produced). The vast majority of Excursions were equipped with either the standard (on 4x4 models) Triton 6.8L V10 (415 cid, 310hp @4250rpm /425lb ft. torque @3250rpm) or the 235 hp 7.3L (444 cid, 235hp 2700rpm / 500lb ft @ 1600rpm) turbo-diesel V8. All engines had the 4R100 designated, 4-speed automatic transmission. The four-wheel-drive system utilized New Process Gear electronic shift, 2-speed transfer case. It shifted between 2WD and 4-High or 4-Low via a dashboard switch, but was not intended for use on dry pavement. The front axle (Dana 50) has vacuum operated locking hubs that would lock in the front axle when the inside selector switch was turned to 4WD. They also have an manual override on them in case of vacuum failure. All Excursion have a Sterling/Visteon 10.5" rear full-floating axle. Excursion came equipped with D-rated tires but were replaced E-rated tires after a couple of model years.
There were base XLT and Limited models, XLTs seated 9 while the Limiteds seated 8 with its front bucket "captain's chair" seats. Both versions had a fold-down second-row bench and a removable third-row bench. The body had four side doors as well as center-opening rear half-doors below a one-piece, top-hinged tailgate window.
2001 model changes were very slight, other than the turbo-diesel V8 gaining 15 hp to 250. Fog lamps became standard on the Limiteds, and the side-view mirrors also gained built-in turn signals. In 2002, the models expanded to include the base XLT, XLT Premium, Limited and top-of-the-line Limited Ultimate, and all models acquired more standard equipment. Dashboards were revised slightly with new gauge graphics, but the gauge placement remained the same as before. For 2003, a new Eddie Bauer packaged debuted, slotted between the base XLT line and top-line Limited models. Eddie Bauer models all had front and rear body-color trim set off by beige accents, while the XLTs and Limiteds still had the chrome trim. Also, in midyear, Ford dropped the 7.3L turbo diesel V8 in favor of a smaller 325 HP 6.0L (363 cid) turbo-diesel V8 engine. The gas 5.4L V8 and 6.8L V10s were still available. The 6.0L turbo-diesel got a 5-speed automatic, while the others still used the 4-speed auto.
2004 Excursions saw basically slight cosmetic changes, including a couple of new colors. But owners were now offered a rear anti-sway bar which the earlier models were said to have needed, improving the handling of the Excursion greatly. 2005 Excursions got a new 4-bar grille, but that was about it for Ford's jumbo SUV, which was in its last year. The last Excursion was built on September 30,2005. Still there would be no direct successor to the Excursion, but when Ford redesigned its smaller half-ton based Expedition for 2007, it was now available in an extended-length EL version, which one could say is at least a spiritual Excursion successor.
Design Quirks and Oddities
- Environmental activist group Sierra Club awarded the Excursion an "Exxon Valdez" award for its enormous size and poor fuel economy.
- A Mystery Machine limousine of this Excursion was used in the 2004 movie Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
- Car Talk did a humorous translation of Ford's Excursion press release.
- The Excursion is often mentioned in Rap lyrics, one of the most popular being by Krazie Bone in Chamillionaire's hit song Ridin', and also an entire song about the vehicle called "Candy Coated Excursion" by E.S.G. (Featuring Slim Thug).
- Avon Barksdale, a character from HBO series The Wire drives a Ford Excursion in the ninth episode of the first season.
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