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We'll skip all the millennium stuff and get right to point. We've been handing out this award for more than 25 years and testing new trucks for almost 40. One day, we're bound to get it right. However, as long as manufacturers keep coming out with new or substantially revised four-wheelers, we'll be here to test them head to head to find their strengths and weaknesses and then report what we discover.
It's a love/hate deal. We love testing new vehicles but we hate the weeks of filling in the judging books, pondering the minute details of every vehicle, and ranking the vehicles against each other. Sure it's satisfying to emerge from a locked office at the end of the whole ordeal with the points tallied and the winning vehicle's name in hand, but getting to that point is no easy task.
One of the most well-known features of the Ford Excursion was this vehicle's amazing towing and hauling capabilities. The Excursion, with its above average size and weight, is more than capable of moving large or heavy objects much like full-sized trucks and cargo vans. Many consumers who chose the Excursion did so because not only did it offer a great deal of interior space with moveable second and third row seating for transporting things and people, but also because it is equipped with a towing package with the ability to pull large objects such as boats and trailers if necessary.Origins
For most of recent history and even before, the Ford company has been known for making every attempt to meet the American public's need for size and strength in family vehicles. Starting with the Bronco in the 1960s, this company has offered SUVs to meet the needs of not only families, but anyone looking for the convenience and power of a truck while offering the interior space of a car or minivan. The Ford Excursion was introduced in the 2000 model year following its predecessors, the Explorer and the Expedition. As a full-sized SUV, the Excursion managed to gain its own fame. This vehicle is the longest and heaviest SUV ever made. It's only all too clear how this trait could be a benefit as well as a detriment to the SUV.About
When the Ford Excursion was first introduced for the 2000 model year, it was offered in only two trim levels, the XLT and the Limited. By the time its final year of production, 2005, rolled around the Excursion had branched out a bit. For the 2005 model year, it was offered in four trim levels including the XLS, XLT, the Eddie Bauer, and the Limited. The base models were fairly utilitarian in interior design, but still offered plenty of nice features. A CD player, full cabin air conditioning, and power accessories were among the standard features. Moving up the trim level ladder offered more extras such as heated front seats and an upgraded audio system. Unlike some of the other more recent additions to the SUV class, the Excursion is capable of towing much like full-sized pickup trucks. This capability gives the Excursion a decided advantage for people looking for plenty of power along with its roomy interior. It should be noted heavy duty towing abilities come at high gas prices.
With great power comes a ton of responsibility, especially at the fuel pumps. So notably, the Excursion is its seemingly unquenchable thirst. Trying to gain popularity in a time when fuel costs were reaching an all time high, the Excursion had a hard time getting a foot hold in the highly competitive market of the SUVs. While no full-sized SUV has good fuel economy, the Excursion is cursed with an even less efficient estimated fuel usage.
The Ford Excursion also had another challenge against due to its size. Driving this SUV required the ability to maneuver its long, sometimes unwieldy body on roads and in parking lots made for much smaller vehicles. For some drivers this challenge was simply too much and more people chose the smaller, more driver friendly options as their SUV choice.Features
For the 2005 model year, the Excursion was equipped with one of three powertrain choices. The base models offer a 5.4-liter V-8 capable of 255 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Next up is the 7.3-liter, turbocharged, diesel V-8 offering up 250 hp. The final engine option was the 6.0-liter, turbocharged diesel V-8 engine giving up 325 hp.Evolution
Overall the Ford Excursion wasn't in production long enough to really develop much of a history. This powerful, well equipped SUV may have been simply too large and expensive to maintain for most of the populace. However there was nothing wrong in theory with its design and capabilities. First offered to the public in the 2000 model year, the Excursion was offered in two trim levels and was equipped with a 5.4-liter, V-8 engine for the base models. This engine, like the rest of the powertrain options, was paired with an automatic four –speed transmission. The exception to this rule was the 6.0-liter, turbocharged, diesel V-8 engine that came standard with a five-speed automatic transmission.
In addition to lower than average fuel economy, due to its size and pickup platform the Excursion wasn't the easiest vehicle to drive either. Some test drivers cited bouncy, unsupported ride quality and sluggish steering.