If you’re looking to describe the bling that comes on the 2015 Ford Expedition Platinum to those who would understand, just say: Twenty-two-inch dubs.
As an eternal automotive tightwad, I shudder to think about the $1,000 tire replacements that would come every three or four years if I were to daily drive the 2015 Ford Expedition Platinum that I tested for just a week. The 285/45R22 black sidewall tires gave my two-wheel drive tester plenty of rubber contact patch that resulted in surprising grip when I pushed the hefty SUV around an on-ramp to get into a hole in traffic.
Also a willing dance partner in that on-ramp tango was the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 — the sole powerplant available in the Ford Expedition for 2015 — tuned to make 365 horsepower at 5,000 RPM and a stout 420 ft-lbs of torque at a grunty 2,250 RPM. Granted, the 2015 Ford Expedition is hefty at 5,600 lbs, but the engine is more than up to the task of a spirited merge or an impromptu stoplight drag.
Dropping the V8 engine option from the lineup is at least partially a fuel economy move. But one ought not expect breathtaking fuel economy from a beast this large, heavy, and powerful. Twenty MPG highway is to this class of SUVs what 30 MPG is to midsize crossovers, so I suppose the 2015 Ford Expedition deserves praise for surpassing 20 MPG — barely — for most of my test week.
Understand most of my driving takes place on rural two-lane highways with 45-MPH or slower speed limits, so as the old saying goes, “your mileage may vary.” The 2015 Ford Expedition carries an EPA mileage estimate of 16 MPG city, 22 MPG highway, and 18 MPG combined if you’re driving a two-wheel drive model like the one I tested. Add four-wheel drive, and you can subtract 1 MPG city, 2 MPG highway, and 1 MPG combined.
But neither speed nor fuel economy is the primary M.O. of the 2015 Ford Expedition Platinum. Remember those 22-inch dubs? They foreshadow the luxury the Expedition has to offer. Power-deploying running boards greet you when any door is opened. And the luxury treatment continues inside, where plump leather seats await to coddle up to eight passengers. For occupants of the front buckets, those seats power-adjustable, heated, and cooled. Both rear rows get overhead HVAC vents, with a second-row accessible panel offering passengers a chance to control their own ventilation.
Up front, the controls are headed by SYNC with MyFord Touch. In my tester, there were two mini-screens within the instrument cluster positioned at its left and right sides:
- To the left, I could pull up trip computer information as well as a digital tachometer and water temp gauge, among other things. There was a settings menu on the left as well, where I could change the adaptive suspension calibration between comfort, normal, or sport. If you tow trailers often, take heart in the fact there are special settings in the left menu just for you.
- To the right was a menu that would allow me to cycle through the four panes of MyFord Touch without taking my hands off the wheel. There’s a menu for phone, one for navigation, and one for entertainment on the right side of the cluster.
- In either case, the menus were controlled by corresponding four-way control pads on the left and right of the steering wheel. It’s a clever system that is easy enough to learn.
The optional Sony premium audio system was equipped in our tester, and it would pump out the tunes with more ferocity than your average factory system. Like the 2015 Ford F-150, I found the system to be a bit mid-heavy — easily corrected by adjusting the three-band EQ accordingly from within the touchscreen’s settings menu.
The second-row bench seat features plenty of room for adults — therefore my toddler found it cavernous. The power-folding third row is wide enough that it has three seat belts in place, but it’s probably best used for two passengers on short hops across town only, unless those passengers are young ‘uns. For my test week, it never got used. I valued the larger cargo area instead.
That cargo area was large enough for most people’s runs to Sam’s Club or the antique store district, measuring 55 cubic feet with the third row stowed. If I had put up the third row, with my tester being a “regular” length Ford Expedition and not an Expedition “EL,” I would have found a much smaller cargo area behind that third row: just 18.6 cubic feet. If, say, your wife wants you to cart home a new-old armoire from said antique district, you can also flip two manual latches on the rear of the second-row seats to make a furniture-swallowing 108.3 cubic feet. Those latches are marked “CARGO MODE,” and for good reason. Unlike some crossover SUV pretenders, the full-size Ford Expedition offers second-row seats that fold so that the loading floor is fully flat — a nice touch.
One thing to keep in mind is that the 2015 Ford Expedition is still based heavily on the previous-generation F-150, as its interior betrayed. The dash is straight out of my dad’s 2010 F-150, complete with hard, hollow-sounding plastics. The real reason this may matter is the 2015 F-150 went to all aluminum body panels and a stiffened, high-strength steel frame that make the new truck feel more solidly constructed when closing doors or traversing broken pavement, for instance.
I’d also hope the next generation of the Ford Expedition gets some of the ’15 F-150’s apparent interior upgrades and convenience features, such as touch-sensitive exterior door handles (so I don’t have to remove the key fob from my pocket when I want to enter the vehicle) and one-touch down and up on all four windows, not just the driver’s. Should the Ford Expedition Platinum go aluminum next year, it can only take the blingiest of blingy full-size Ford SUVs to the next level of refinement.
Disclosure: Ford provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.
2015 Ford Expedition Platinum
Base Price: $57,950
Price As Tested: $61,720
- Luxurious interior
- Willing powertrain
- Lots of space
- Huge wheels = expensive tires
- EcoBoost V6 struggled to break 20 MPG in mostly slow, backroad driving
- Older chassis, older tech than ’15 F-150