2003 Ford Expedition Overview

     Product Information 
     Special Features



    “The original Ford Expedition set the standard for full-size sport utilities when introduced as a 1997 model. For 2003, we’ve built upon Expedition’s key strengths and added many features customers have been looking for in a full-size SUV. From the passenger and cargo room to its go-anywhere toughness, the new 2003 Expedition features refinements and functionality that significantly raises the bar in the full-size SUV market.”

    Jim O’Connor
    President – Ford Division

    Ford Expedition is Again the Full-size SUV Benchmark

    The all-new 2003 Ford Expedition is designed to rewrite the rules for full-size sport utility vehicles. It delivers dramatically upgraded ride and handling, a four-wheel-drive system that automatically adjusts to a variety of surface conditions, industry-leading active and passive safety systems, refined power that’s always available when needed, less wind noise and engine noise than the competition, and an innovative, spacious interior with the flexibility to seamlessly adjust to meet the ever-changing demands of its owners’ active lifestyles.

    • 2003 Expedition features the segment’s first fold-flat-into-the-floor third row seat. It’s split 60/40, and offers an industry-first power-fold capability.
    • An all-new chassis is 70 percent stiffer than the previous model’s, providing a rock-solid foundation for exceptional on-road capability.
    • The first independent rear suspension on a full-size SUV provides further refinement for class – leading ride and handling, while providing room for innovative passenger and cargo solutions.
    • A new Brake Assist feature interprets driver intent to provide full braking power in an emergency – reducing real-world braking distance by 20 percent or more.
    • AdvanceTracä
      electronic stability enhancement system monitors traction at all wheels and automatically maintains stability while cornering on slippery surfaces.
    • New safety technologies – Safety Canopyä
      side air curtain protection system, Personal Safety System,ä
      tire pressure monitors, and bumper beams designed for compatibility with passenger cars – add to Expedition’s heritage of safety leadership.
    • Expedition’s enhanced tow rating of 8,900 pounds tops its class.

    Best Full-Size SUV on the Road

    A stiffer chassis and body and a new independent rear suspension give Expedition exceptional on-road capability.

    Expedition’s improved road manners begin with its all-new independent rear suspension. But that’s only part of the story. Expedition’s chassis is built from the ground up to deliver surprisingly pleasant on-road performance in a rugged body-on-frame architecture.

    Expedition’s fully boxed frame uses hydroformed rails and laser-cut, through-welded cross-members in a design that is approximately 70 percent stiffer in torsional rigidity than the previous frame, while the passenger compartment makes the industry’s most extensive use of structural foam, helping to make it 42 percent stiffer than the 2002 body – dramatically improving ride and handling.

    With the stiffer body and frame as rock-solid platforms, engineers were able to isolate road vibrations, for better ride comfort. At the same time, new variable assist power rack-and-pinion steering – Ford’s strongest and most rugged ever – works with the sophisticated new fully independent, coil-over-shock double wishbone suspension to deliver even more precise handling response.

    The new independent rear suspension reduces rear unsprung mass by 110 pounds, greatly improving the suspension’s ability to track uneven pavement or terrain for improved ride comfort and control.

    Braking is significantly improved for 2003, thanks to both mechanical and electronic enhancements.

    Expedition’s all-new braking system has the largest rotors in the segment (13 inches front, 13.5 inches rear) with calipers twice as stiff as before, yielding dramatically improved pedal feel, reduced fade and shorter stopping distances. A new Brake Assist feature interprets driver intent to provide full braking power in an emergency – even when the driver doesn’t immediately apply full force to the brake pedal. This can reduce braking distance 20 percent or more in real-world conditions.

    Standard four-wheel antilock braking with electronic brake force distribution maintains driver control by preventing wheel lockup. The optional AdvanceTracä
    electronic stability enhancement system monitors traction at all wheels and automatically maintains stability while cornering on slippery surfaces.

    Best Full-Size SUV In The Dirt and In the Snow

    enhances off-road performance and provides unprecedented control on slippery surfaces.

    The new Expedition features Ford’s most sophisticated and capable ControlTracä
    four-wheel-drive system ever, standard on 4×4 models. The optional AdvanceTracä
    system monitors driver intent, road surface conditions and slip at all four wheels to deliver torque exactly where it’s needed. With its own computer controller, the system is smart enough to respond even before wheels begin to slip.

    The AdvanceTracä
    system uses electronic braking to transfer torque side-to-side, while the ControlTracä
    transfer case divides torque front-to-rear. Even with two wheels completely off the ground – off-roading’s most extreme challenge – the new Expedition can keep moving.

    Using the brakes rather than mechanical limited-slip devices inside the differential gives quicker response and more seamless performance, plus enhanced durability.

    Expedition also offers a new dedicated two-wheel-drive mode that completely disconnects the front axles, differential, and driveshaft when not needed for quieter, more fuel-efficient operation on pavement – saving up to a half-a-mile per gallon of gasoline.

    New for 2003 on XLT models, an FX4 off-road package is available which includes factory-installed skid plates to protect the engine, radiator, transfer case, and fuel tank, as well as shocks tuned for off-road performance. Chromed steel wheels, all-terrain tires and a standard limited slip axle, with available AdvanceTracä
    electronic traction control, enhance off-road performance. The package also includes tubular steel running boards and fog lamps, along with an FX4 badge on the liftgate.

    The Safety Leader

    New safety technologies add to Expedition’s heritage of safety leadership.

    Expedition combines the proven leadership of Ford’s innovative Personal Safety Systemä
    – a concert of features that tailor passenger protection to the severity of the collision – with new technology that helps to keep occupants safe by reducing the risk of accidents.

    The optional new AdvanceTracä
    electronic stability enhancement system helps the driver to maintain control in extreme cornering conditions – such as on slippery surfaces ñ by selectively applying the vehicle’s brakes.

    The optional new Safety Canopyä
    side curtain air bag system provides further protection to occupants by cushioning impacts and helping to reduce the potential for occupant ejection. The Safety Canopyä
    provides one of the most advanced side-impact protection systems available on any SUV. In addition, electronic rollover sensors provide additional protection by measuring whether the vehicle is tilting, how fast the lean angle is changing and whether the combination means the vehicle is headed for a rollover. The air bags remain inflated up to 6 seconds – far longer than conventional airbags – to provide additional occupant protection. This innovative safety system debuted on the 2002 Ford Explorer.

    Other elements of the Personal Safety Systemä
    include a seat track sensor, (to match the driver’s air bag deployment to the driver’s size and crash severity) safety belt pretensioners, load-limiting retractors, safety belt buckle sensors, dual-stage driver and passenger air bags and optional Safety Canopyä
    air bags that enhance head protection in side impacts.

    New optional pressure sensors mounted inside the tire alert the driver when the pressure in one or more tires is severely low or high.

    Antilock braking and electronic brake force distribution are standard, as is a new Brake Assist braking feature that can shorten emergency stopping distance by as much as 20 percent in real-world situations by sensing when the driver wants to stop suddenly, and applying full brake force automatically.

    Expedition has been the only SUV to earn double five-star crash ratings from the U.S. government, and the 2003 Expedition has been engineered to continue to deliver superior crash protection. To help protect occupants in collisions with smaller vehicles, Expedition’s front and rear bumper beams are positioned at the height of typical passenger car bumpers and side impact door beams.

    Rugged, Yet Refined

    The 2003 Expedition combines class-leading towing and hauling capability with a quiet, civilized cabin.

    Dozens of improvements make the available powertrains for the 2003 Expedition more refined than ever, while enhancing Expedition’s record for rugged performance.

    The overhead cam, 5.4-liter Tritonä
    V-8 engine has an all-new cast iron engine block that has been computer-designed to reduce vibration for quieter operation. Hydraulic engine mounts on the 5.4-liter engine and a combination of hydraulic and solid mounts on the aluminum-block 4.6-liter engine help to tame both powertrain and suspension NVH by using the engine as a tuned-mass damper.

    Intake and exhaust systems for each engine have been designed to deliver a performance sound under acceleration and quiet confidence during normal daily driving. Ford engineers paid particular attention to the dynamic balance of all moving components of the powertrain, reducing vibration. In four-wheel-drive models, transfer case components are balanced for quiet operation and smooth engagement.

    The new independent rear suspension has a higher axle weight rating than the former live axle, contributing to the new Expedition’s enhanced tow rating of 8,900 pounds ñ the best in its class. Payload also has been improved – 1,614 pounds. Expedition’s transmission automatically adjusts to the demands of towing, using computer logic that recognizes load and road conditions. Both rear differentials are the most robust among full-size sport utilities.

    Go Anywhere without Leaving Anyone or Anything Behind

    The new Expedition’s interior is convenient and versatile.

    The 2003 Ford Expedition is designed to adapt to its owners’ lifestyles. It offers three seating configurations, accommodating up to nine passengers. The second- and third-row seats fold flat to create a spacious cargo area that is 1.3 inches wider than before ñ with the convenience of never having to remove a heavy, bulky seat.

    In a first for full-size sport utilities, the second-row bench seat has a sliding center section that can be moved forward up to 11 inches to give the front-seat passenger easy access to a young child. The second row is available in this 40/20/40 bench configuration, or with two captain’s chairs and a walk-through center passage.

    The third-row seat is split 60/40 for flexibility and convenience. The Eddie Bauer Expedition offers a power-fold option – another industry first – that allows users to fold the third-row seat sections up or down independently, at the push of a button.

    Thanks to efficient packaging of the new independent rear suspension, the third row seat offers the largest passenger accommodations in the class and a natural seating position that is more comfortable for long trips. Expedition’s third row actually offers more hip- and legroom than the larger Chevrolet Suburban. The Expedition’s second row offers more knee and hip room than before.

    The front seat is available with either captain’s chairs and a floor console, or a split bench with fold-down armrest. Clever storage features include door pockets with compartments shaped to hold 20-ounce beverages, a cargo bin in the rear quarter panel, and underfloor storage of all tire-changing tools in the rear cargo area.

    Purpose Built

    Ford’s No Boundaries family of SUVs – Escape, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport Trac, Explorer, Expedition and Excursion – are designed from the ground up to meet owners’ expectations. Three of these purpose-built SUVs – Escape, Explorer and Expedition – feature fully independent suspensions to offer a class-leading combination of comfort, safety and off-road performance. Their interiors are built around comfort, storage and convenience features.

    The new Expedition is a clear expression of how Ford’s No Boundaries lineup of SUV’s enhance active, on-the-go lifestyles with performance, looks and safety. Expedition customers desire the freedom to live life fully while keeping a balance of practical security.

    The Expedition’s exterior design is big, bold and confident. It has a 1.7-inch wider track than before, contributing to a confidence-inspiring stance, while the overall wheelbase is unchanged. Larger standard tires and the lower front ride height contribute to a more athletic image. The headlamps, taillamps, mirrors and door handles are larger and enhance the vehicle’s capability.

    The interior marks a complete departure from past designs, which evolved from pickup trucks, by offering a more modern, precise execution. Interior features marry this rugged and refined design philosophy with intuitive operation, ergonomics and functionality. Several available trim levels package the content consumers want in a full-size sport utility.