Full Disclosure: Ford wanted me to drive the Excursion so bad they talked my father into buying one in 2004 and forced him to put gas in it forever and always.
Let me begin by saying I have a soft spot for the Ford Excursion. Especially this Excursion. My father bought it new in 2004 as a second vehicle for the family. This was primarily our towing and vacation car. Every summer we would all pile into the family truckster and go to the beach, the lake or some other tourist destination. This towed our boat to the lake and our friends to football games. It has done everything we have asked it to do. Its new owner is coming tomorrow and I figured now is as good of time as any to do my own Oppo review.
The Ford Excursion was introduced in 1999 as a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Suburban. The Excursion is built on a Ford F-250 platform and they share the same drivetrain, suspension, and frame.
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or beerholder) but I’ve always thought this was a pretty car. It is clear where Ford got its inspiration for the Excursion. It is based on Ford’s Superduty and from the front door forward the two are carbon copies. The rear pillar behind the rear door is sloped slightly to allow for the so large I’m surprised these haven’t broken side windows. And yes they do open.
Ford trucks have always been known for having solid and clean lines and the Excursion is no different. This is just a giant bread box but its a tasteful breadbox. The two tone white and tan paint do a good job of breaking up the truck and give it a very clean look. This is a massive truck. Measuring almost 19 feet long the Excursion is 7 inches longer than a Suburban and four inches taller. Basic rule of thumb is take a suburban and add 6 inches. I think thats how Ford designed it.
If you have ever ridden in a Ford truck in the past 10 year the interior of the ford excursion will look very familiar. Saying that it is a very nice place to ride. The seats are comfortable and supportive. The front seats and power adjustable and heated.
The other bits are what let the excursion down. The interior is riddled with hard plastic. Everything you touch is hard plastic or fake wood. Not maybe thats fake wood i cant tell, but yep thats fake wood. Its never bothered me but a Lexus of the same era has a much better interior. Surprisingly though the whole thing has stood up very well to the test of time. This is an eleven year old truck and everything is still in one piece. Nothing is falling off or loose. Considering this thing hauled teenagers for 11 years thats impressive.
The excursions party trick and the reason why these cars are still popular today is the vast amounts of room this car has. Even with the third seat installed (it really doesn’t fold down) you still have plenty of room for luggage or whatever you need. The amount of leg room is insane and frankly is something i haven’t seen repeated in newer suvs. We have a newer Suburban and the second seat in that feels cramped compared to the excursion. Tagline: Transporting an NBA team? The excursion is for you.
This is where the Excursion reminds you of just how big it is. This model came with the 6.8 liter V10 rated at 310 hp and 415 pound feet of torque. I know what your thinking. Damn thats a lot of torque and yes it is. But keep in mind the Excursion weighs 7,230 pounds. Hmm thats a lot of weight to push around. Acceleration isn’t bad but you won’t win any drag races off the line. The newer Suburbans and Expeditions are much faster. If pushed hard the lazy V10 will rev hard and get up to speed quickly but thats not what this vehicle is built to do.
This is big car and is based off the Ford F-250 Superduty. So it has large disk brakes front and rear. Thebrakes are good and will bring the truck to a stop. It does however do so with plenty of nose dive.
This really is a good highway cruiser. The seats are comfortable and well padded. The truck is built on the f250 platform but I’m guessing since it has so much weight over the rear is smooths out the ride. I’ve taken plenty of long trips in this thing and it really does the job well. The second row seats are far apart and recline. The 3rd row is actually wide enough wear you can lay down comfortably. Bring a pillow and go to sleep while someone else drives.
As amazing as it sounds the handling isn’t bad. If you can drive a car you can drive the excursion. Ive had this truck in some small parking lots with no trouble. Visibility is excellent and the rear parking sensors allow you avoid any small cars that might be in your way. On the highway it maintains lane with little to no effort and the steering is lighter than other cars its size. Body roll is surprisingly absent. When you do a fast turn its definitely there but no where near as bad as you would expect. The lexus GX I just purchased has much worse body roll.
Parking can be tough. You can and will not be able to get into the tight spot at the front of the store. Back of the lot for you.
Nothing special to write about here. Simple 4 speed unit that Ford has been using for years . Shifts are good and well spaced. Truck likes to cruise at 80 mph at 2,000 rpm. You do have an overdrive that is useful for towing trailers but i never needed it.
A radio is a toy right? No. Ok well then...It has a DVD player that is useful for entertaining the troops during a long drive. Always has wireless earphones so you dont have to listen to their awful choices in movies. A great feature this car has is steering wheel controls. I know that might not seem like much but this a wide car. Reaching over to change the station is an ordeal and lord help you if preset 6 is your favorite. Might have to unbuckle. It has an overhead console with a trip computer. Which is great for letting you know how abysmal your gas mileage is. And if your ever in Canada it can be changed to Liters. Fancy.
So it doesn’t have any toys. That doesn’t matter because i have a v10 under the hood. POWER!!!!!! Before you go off comparing your exhaust note to the Audi V10 remember that this is a single overhead cam and 2 valves per cylinder. Doesn’t rev very high or make a lot of noise. Sorry. You can throw on a new exhaust and get some sound out of the old girl but she is quite. Inside things aren’t much better. This is the Eddie Bauer trim model so it has what i imagine is Ford’s best radio for 2004. Its decent.... Take that back. Its horrible. Speakers need replacing with something with more POWER!!! Ford would have been smart to include the Excursion with some sort of factory sub but it doesn’t have one. The truck only has 6 speakers with might seem adequate but it really is too few for a car of this size.
The Excursion is kind of a mixed bag when it comes to value and it depends on what your needs are. If for example you have 6 kids, 2 dogs, and a boat then the Excursion makes perfect sense for you. There really isn’t much to compare it to in that category as the Excursion is its own category. I know GM made a 2500 Suburban but they didnt make many and they are hard to find. A big drawback to the Excursion and what initially killed it off is the gas mileage. Its awful. Like take your definition of what you think awful mileage is and throw it out the window. Running around town with no one else in the car you might get 12-13 with an easy right foot. Towing subtracts a few mpg. I actually got (and i swear this is true) 8.5 mpg towing a boat back from Florida. My god is was bad. Truck drove great but damn that mileage stinks. The gas tank is 42 gallons. Which is nice for trips but a kick in the teeth when its time to fill up. Now that gas prices are low its not terrible but when gas was $4.00 a gallon it was about $120 to fill up.
Since you cant buy these any more that means your looking at an Excursion on the used market. Well good news. Prices are reasonable for a used gas engine Excursion. The V10 is a good motor and if your willing to keep putting in gas and oil it should run forever. Ford also made these with a 5.4 but i would stay away from those. If diesel is more your style (lets be honest when is it not) first sell you kidney and your first born son. That should free up some cash. Diesel Excursions are unbelievable expensive and very sought after. The earlier 7.3 models are prized and hold the most value. The later models came with the troublesome 6.0 Diesel. Those aren’t bad motors once repaired but type in 6.0 diesel problems in google before you chase down that rabbit.
Overall this is great car. It has served my family well and will continue to do so for its new family. Im sad to see it go but even good friends have to part ways at some time. If you choose to buy an excursion look for a well maintained diesel that has had the head bolts addressed on the 6.0. The diesel model returns mpg in the high teens to low twenties. Even with the higher price of diesel it really is worth it.
Engine: 6.8 Liter V10.
Power: 310 hp/ 425 torque
Transmission: 4 speed automatic
0-60 time: unsure but not fast
Top Speed: Limited to 95 mph
Drivetrain: Depends on model but 4x2 and 4x4
Curb Weight: 7,230 pounds
MPG: 12 city / 15 highway
MSRP: $43,000 when new