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May 30, 2017

Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition

Edmunds.com

The Ford Expedition is a vehicle for Good Moms. Moms whose children are halfway through high school, tops. Moms with 2.5 children, inexplicably, daring you to parse, existentially, their half-child. Maybe it’s a family friend that’s always over, a girlfriend of the lacrosse-playing daughter or some sort of wholesome buddy for 11-year-old Tyler, who is showing a serious precocity for mathematics, but not in, you know, an autistic way. Moms who plaster the backs of their Ford Expeditions with stickers either 1) decrying the virtues of their children, or 2) making some kind of social statement, e.g. ‘Porn Is Lame!’ This is not a joke for the purpose of illustration; I’ve really seen this sticker on a Ford Expedition.

Mom’s hair is clinically dyed and dialed exactly to Pantone 14-1118 TPX Beige. Her nails are crisply painted. She herds her well-behaved children like a well-respected teacher. Her children and half-child gather, von-Trapp-like, by the sidewalk. She hands me the keys without looking at me.

The Ford Expedition smells like makeup and women’s perfume, but only a little. It’s very tasteful. The seats are upholstered in that same 14-1118 TPX Beige.

I’m always struck by the door handles, which pull straight out, perpendicularly, from the door. Rather than hinging anywhere. They clunk satisfactorily. The door is heavy and slams like the period at the end of a disciplinarian’s judgment. Outdoor noise is bitten off and silenced. The A/C is pretty good in the Ford Expedition.

Production quality is surprisingly high in a vehicle that hasn’t been updated in years. Tolerances are tight, the dash and steering wheel give only slightly, but softly, in that early 2010s way. The plastic gear lever is obviously not sculpted for human hands. But it skips over the detentes between gears with ease. There’s a surprising amount of chromed plastic brightwork in here, for a Ford. It matches the chromes alloy wheels. Must be a higher-end trim. Somehow it always is.

Ford Expedition Interior

ford.com

Throttle response is sluggish but this is an SUV so what do you want. Not nearly as bad as anything by GM short of a Corvette. If mom has splurged for the EcoBoost, it can be surprisingly peppy charging down a yellow light. Considering the size of the thing. Steering is very light, which is strange since the wheel is blocky and angular and trimmed with faux wood, like a 1980s wheel. Its hard to grim because mom applied moisturizer like ten minutes ago and now it’s all over the wheel and the faux wood has come uncomfortably slick.

I feel like I’m sitting high up within the car, but the car doesn’t feel that big from within. I wonder how Ford pulled that one off.

The dash is high-browed and stern-looking. Nothing invites touching. Everything in here is firm. I feel immensely pressured to drive exactly in the center of my lane.

I feel like this is where Rolls Royce or Bentley could start with a car, if only they would get off their Teutonic-owned asses and stop pandering to American celebrities and get back to making cars that treat you like an English matron.