Dancing Mastodon: The 2015 Ford Expedition EL [First Impression]

2015 ford expedition rocky mountains colorado snow platinum 4x4
2015 Ford Expedition EL 4×4 Platinum

We first drove the 2015 Ford Expedition EL about a year ago during a Ford press event. Grated, it was a short drive, it still made quite an impression. A majority of that positive buzz came from its new 365 horsepower, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that makes 420 lbs-feet of torque. That power is harnessed via a six-speed automatic transmission that, like the EcoBoost V6, many Ford F-150 owners will be familiar with.

The “EL” is the largest version of the Expedition.

Check out these dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 131-inches, about a foot longer than the regular version
  • Length: 206-inches, 14.8-inches longer than the regular model
  • Height: 77.7-inches
  • Minimum ground clearance: 8.3-inches

The 2015 Ford Expedition EL 4X4 can tow 9,100 lbs. If you get the 2WD version OR the shorter Expedition, you can tow up to 9,200 lbs.


One of the nice parts of having that EcoBoost engine is it’s beefy power and flat torque curve. Best of all, it makes maximum torque way down at 2,250 rpm. Unfortunately, the EcoBoost does not help economy with a 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined, it is not that frugal. Still, the payoff is great performance, even at high altitude.

The interior is a 50/50 proposition. The layout, room and passenger comfort is top notch. There is enough room for eight adults; only the Chevrolet Suburban can match the 2015 Ford Expedition EL for this much room. The same goes for cargo space and overall utility. Ford comes up short with the interior’s design and feel.


Many components, including the door-panel and dashboard are covered in a hard, cheap-feeling plastic. It’s downright uncomfortable for elbows and it is unsightly. This is a leftover design component that was notable on the previous Ford F-150 as well. The Platinum model, like our tester, had terrific leather seating options and the seat size can accommodate event the largest behinds.

Other items that were a hindrance to me appealed to others. The automatically deploying (when the correct door opens) step rail easily traps mud and it felt like it was deliberately built to hook the back pant-leg of anybody over six-feet tall. On the other hand, the kids adore it – especially kindergarteners who like to scramble into their seat unassisted.

The interior dimensions are impressive with 85.5-cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and 42.6 cu-ft behind the third row. Fold everything down and you will have a cargo-van-like 130.8 cu-ft of space. That’s over 30 cubic-feet of additional cargo space over the regular 2015 Ford Expedition.


Another added benefit to owning the larger (EL) 2015 Ford Expedition is fuel tank size. The regular 2015 Ford Expedition holds 28 gallons while the Expedition EL has a 33.5 gallon gas tank. That’s a significant difference.

Diving the 2015 Ford Expedition is a breeze, except for parking. Like many companies, Ford should follow Nissan’s lead and adopt a version of a look-down view. It would help when parking this beast and would be awesome for towing. Perhaps their next version of SYNC will have it.

Despite its ridiculously huge (optional) 22-inch wheels, the 2015 Ford Expedition was a smooth highway cruiser. It handles pretty good in traffic and its power comes in handy, often. These wheels also precluded the big Ford from being tested off road. This truck has a proper transfer case and several off-road settings; however, between its meager 8.3-inches of ground clearance and massive overhands, along with those wheels, heading off-road would have been a boneheaded proposition.


Despite its weight, it’s almost nimble in traffic.

There was an opportunity to drive through bad weather and a bunch of sleet. It turned to ice, but the auto 4WD system instilled confidence. Even high elevation driving was a doddle for this truck. The turbocharged V6 was never out of breath and even the brakes were impressive showing no fade, even on Loveland Pass.

Yes, $68,090.00 is a lot of dough for a family hauler. If you have a big family, horses, a large trailer etc. the 2015 Ford Expedition might be worth a look. That new engine makes for a much better truck.

Check out this 2015 Ford Expedition first drive review, while we prepare more videos of the big boy.

Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed  worldwide.
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.