$14,143 - $19,830

2012 Ford Expedition Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Ford Expedition was new.


Performance: 8.0

Test drivers say the 2012 Ford Expedition drives fairly well for a large SUV, with adequate power for most situations and handling that’s smoother than some competitors'.

  • "Not that the Expedition is going to win any slalom events, mind you, but it is remarkably capable for its size, weight and high center of gravity.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's no denying that the … Ford Expedition -- all 17-plus feet and more than 5,500 pounds of it -- is one heck of a big truck. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't really feel like it from behind the steering wheel." -- Edmunds
  • “While not as smooth overall as the 5.3-liter V8 engine found on rival General Motors' large SUVs, Expedition's mill is far from unrefined.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “Despite being no fun, this has to rate as among the liveliest full-size SUVs on the market, with better-than-average steering and a supple ride. Will tow or accommodate pretty much anything you throw its way.” – Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Ford Expedition comes with a 5.4-liter V8 engine that makes 310 horsepower and can tow up to 9,200 pounds when equipped with the optional heavy-duty trailer towing package. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the rear-wheel drive Expedition nets only 14/20 mpg city/highway, while four-wheel drive Expeditions get a dismal 13/18 mpg city/highway.

Reviewers say that the Expedition’s engine is fine for most drivers, though they note that the competing Chevrolet Tahoe’s engine feels stronger. Test drivers especially praise the Expedition’s quick-shifting transmission.

  • "Expedition and Navigator have sufficient power for any situation. The alert 6-speed automatic transmission is always in the right gear. A test Expedition EL coped well with a 5,000-pound trailer over hilly terrain.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The overhead-cam 5.4-liter V8 delivers 310 hp, but it's really tuned to deliver torque, 365 pound-feet of it, for towing. The 6-speed automatic transmission runs seamlessly through the gears, keeping the engine from laboring through its rpm range. The result is a lot of reliable power.” -- New Car Test Drive
  • "While we weren't overwhelmed by the 5.4-liter V8's acceleration while towing, the Expedition seemed fully up to the task.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 5.4-liter V8 under the hood is sufficient for everyday driving, but performance suffers when you've packed up the Expedition with full load of passengers and cargo and/or towing a trailer. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and produces quick shifts, but it has some trouble finding the right gear in certain situations.” -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say that the Ford Expedition has a smooth ride and is relatively agile for such a big, heavy SUV, but it will never have the nimble handling that reviewers find in car-based crossover SUVs.

  • "Because Ford gave the 2012 Expedition an independent rear suspension (the two rear wheels can move independently of each other due to each being attached to a separate axle), its ride and handling are far from truck-like.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Expedition and Navigator display impressive agility for large SUVs. Nicely weighted steering has a natural feel. There's relatively little lean in corners for such large trucks. Except in close-quarters maneuvering, extended-length versions give up little to the shorter regular-length models.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “The ride quality is good overall, though some competitors feel a bit smoother on the highway. Relatively precise and responsive steering also makes the Expedition more nimble than you'd expect.” -- Edmunds

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