- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2002

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia The full-size 2003 Expedition SUV from the Ford camp may not project a decidedly different image from last year's model, but it features an almost entirely new skin (only the front doors are a carry-over), including new fascias, along with a totally new chassis that is 70 percent stiffer than before, offering the first independent rear suspension on a full-size SUV. The stance is one inch lower and the track is wider than before as well.
The base engine is a 4.6-liter, single-overhead camshaft Triton V-8 with a 5.4-liter SOHC Triton V-8 offered as an option. Both engines mate to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive lockout and a standard oil cooler. A new Brake Assist feature helps to reduce braking distance by 20 percent or better, and Ford's optional AdvanceTrac electronic stability enhancement system automatically monitors traction at all four wheels for better grip and control.
Next year's Expedition is available in either two-wheel (rear) or four-wheel drive the 4x4 version provides the ControlTrac system as standard fare. Trim levels will include the base XLT, a sporty, rugged-looking FX4 model, or the top-of-the-line Eddie Bauer ride. A Premium package enhances the ambience of the XLT.
The test 2003 Expedition was a 4x4 XLT Premium. The base price was set at $38,795. Adding an AM/FM stereo with six-CD changer, Safety Canopy side air bag system, a power moon roof, reverse-sensing system, rear seat DVD entertainment system, AdvanceTrac along with destination and delivery charges, elevated the final price to $43,515. A handy and unique third-row, power fold-flat seat option is only offered on Eddie Bauer models.
The Ford Expedition for 2003 represents a much better mousetrap it comes across now, as being a smaller vehicle in terms of handling agility and ride comfort. The beauty of course, is that it isn't smaller at all it just seems that way with its enhanced maneuverability.
Ford claims that this latest iteration Expedition is "Best in Snow" "Best in Dirt" and "Best on the Road". Demonstrations were set up to illustrate the Expedition's prowess in substantiating these claims. It handles curvy mountain roads with ease, plows surefootedly through the snow and loves to play in the mud, demonstrating positive traction capability.
Upgrades in the chassis construction and the implementation of independent rear suspension, not to mention creature comfort enhancements all result in big dividends with a superior new Expedition that truly raises the bar for competitors.


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