Best Year For Ford Expedition: Best And Worst Years (Reliable?)

by Conner Mckay

Many enthusiasts have the question, “best year for Ford Expedition” in mind. Before we get into this, the Ford Expedition is a popular full-size SUV that has been in production since 1997. Over the years, the Expedition has undergone numerous updates and redesigns to keep up with changing trends and customer demands.

As such, there is no single “best year” for the Ford Expedition. This is because all the different model years may offer different features and capabilities. But, can it be considered the most reliable SUV model around? Or, is it the worst SUV to buy right now? The performance levels also cater to different preferences.

That being said, some model years of the Ford Expedition have been particularly well-received by both, critics and consumers alike. These years typically offer a balance of features, reliability, and affordability that make them stand out in the crowded SUV market.

In this response, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular model years of the Ford Expedition and highlight their notable features and advantages.

Ford Expedition

Best Year For Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that has been a popular choice for families. It is also a good choice for those in need of a vehicle with a lot of interior space and towing capacity. The Expedition has undergone several updates and redesigns since its introduction in 1997. Each of these new model years offers different features, capabilities, and performance levels.

Among the most notable model years of the Expedition is the 2022 model, which offers an updated infotainment system, new exterior styling, and an available off-road package. The 2018 model year saw a complete redesign of the Expedition, with an all-new aluminum body, a more powerful engine, and a suite of advanced safety features.

The 2015 model year saw a refreshed exterior design, an updated infotainment system, and a new EcoBoost engine option that increased fuel efficiency. In 2007, the Expedition had a larger, more powerful engine, and a redesigned interior with improved materials and features.

The 2003 model year offered a new independent rear suspension system that improved ride quality and handling and a redesigned exterior and interior. Overall, the Ford Expedition has remained popular due to its combination of power, space, and technology features.

When deciding which model year to buy, it is essential to prioritize individual needs and preferences to find the right combination of features and capabilities. Each model year of the Expedition has its own unique advantages, so it is worth asking the question “best year for Ford Expedition”.

Ford Expedition Years To Avoid

It’s worth noting that not all examples from these model years are affected by these issues. Some of these models may be more reliable than others based on individual vehicle history and maintenance records.

However, if you are considering purchasing one from one of these model years, it is recommended to thoroughly research the specific vehicle and have a professional inspection to avoid potential issues down the road. As such, a pre-purchase inspection is highly recommended.

There are specific model years of the Ford Expedition that are considered to be less reliable and have more problems than others. Here is an overview of the Ford Expedition model years to avoid:

2003 Ford Expedition

When it comes to the worst Ford Expedition, the 2003 model year is often the most commonly cited by the community. This particular year had a multitude of issues that were quickly noticed by owners, leading to widespread complaints.

The problems ranged from engine and interior issues to faulty air conditioning and electrical problems. In fact, nearly any issue one could think of was likely present in the 2003 model year.

The most significant problem was with the engine, as the spark plug would often blow out of the head, causing the engine to stutter, seize, and stall. Additionally, the side panels were defective, and the door light often remained on. The air conditioning was also extremely faulty (unless you know how to fix AC in car).

Furthermore, the 2003 model year was plagued by numerous electrical problems, such as the alternator failing and the fuse boards shorting out. These were just a few examples of the many issues that plagued this model year of the Ford Expedition.

2006 Ford Expedition

After the debacle that was the 2003 model year, improvements were made to all areas of the Ford Expedition. However, it appears that none of these changes were made to the engine, which continued to be plagued with problems and was widely criticized by both fans and owners of the car. This is why the 2006 model year is ranked second on the list of worst years.

The engine had a tendency to shut off when the fail-safe light came on, which was a significant issue. Additionally, changing the spark plugs was a difficult task, and the engine ran very roughly in general. It was also prone to stalling and shutting off while driving, and the ignition coils were known to fail.

On the exterior of the car, the paint had a tendency to bubble up and come off, which made the car unappealing and aesthetically unpleasing to drive. This was a significant drawback, as nobody wants to drive a car that looks bad on the outside. Overall, these issues make the 2006 model year a less desirable model year for potential buyers.

1999 Ford Expedition

Engine problems continued to be a significant source of trouble for the Ford Expedition, even in the 1999 model year, which is why it is ranked third on the list of worst years for this vehicle.

In addition to engine issues such as spark plug blowing, bad coils, and blown head gaskets, the 1999 model year was also plagued by a host of other annoyances that many car owners would prefer to avoid. The engine would often rev at idle and stall frequently.

Inside the car, things were not much better, as the actuator was often faulty, leading to extremely poor air conditioning performance. Alternator failure was also a common issue with this model year.

All of these issues make the 1999 model year a less desirable option for potential buyers. This is especially true when compared to newer models that have been improved and refined over the years.

Best Years For Ford Expedition

As said many times in this article, the Ford Expedition has been a popular full-size SUV for many years. There have been several model years that have proven to be reliable and well-liked by drivers. Hence here is an answer to the question,” best year for Ford Expedition”.


The 2020 model year is the top pick when it comes to the best years for Ford Expedition, mainly due to its powerful and reliable engine. Unlike the problematic engines of previous models, Ford stepped up their game by creating a model with an exceptional engine that delivers excellent riding quality and handling.

This car offers spacious interiors and is great for towing, making it a fan favorite. The 2020 model year introduced five different trims, each with its unique features, with the Platinum model being the most expensive of the lot. However, this year’s model is well-regarded, and none of the trims or models faced any significant issues.

The twin-turbo V6 engine, which was standard for this model year, received much praise from car enthusiasts. Overall, the 2020 model year is a culmination of all the improvements made in previous models, making it a great choice for anyone in the market for an SUV. That is why the 2020 year is one of the best years for the Ford Expedition.

Best Year For Ford Expedition


Despite facing difficulties during its first decade on the market, the Ford Expedition lineup proved skeptics wrong with the release of the 2009 model. This iteration was widely regarded as the best model in the lineup at the time, thanks to its exceptional ride quality and stability on highways. It boasted ample third-row space, making it an ideal car for camping and long-distance travel.

Additionally, the 2009 model year offered a power-folding option for the third row, providing even more space for passengers and cargo. The car was also a powerhouse when it came to towing, with an impressive towing capacity.

While subsequent models may have surpassed the 2009 Expedition in terms of features, it was a significant milestone for the lineup and showcased significant improvements in design and performance. Despite its age, the 2009 model remains a solid choice for anyone seeking a reliable and spacious SUV.


The 2014 model year is a commendable addition to the lineup with its impressive features such as ample space and formidable power. Its remarkable attributes, coupled with minimal problems, make it a strong contender for third place on this list.

Moreover, despite its older design, the 2014 model year still incorporates modern features. While its ride quality and stability have been previously mentioned, it is worth emphasizing how exceptional they are for this model year.

There are four available trims for the 2014 model year, all boasting a V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower. With room for eight passengers and abundant luggage space, this vehicle is perfect for any road trip or family vacation.


The 2012 model year is a noteworthy addition to the lineup that should not be overlooked. With four available trims, including the exclusive and reasonably priced King Ranch version, this model earns its place at 4th on my list. This year’s model also introduced several new standard features, such as blind spot side mirrors integrated into the side mirrors.

In addition, the King Ranch version comes with a parking assist, which is particularly useful for a vehicle of this size. There are many other standard features that could be highlighted, but I’ll move on by saying that this model is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-quality Ford Expedition at a reasonable price.


The final model on this list is the 2013 model year, which falls in between the 2012 and 2014 models that were previously discussed. While it is a capable vehicle, it has a few issues that impacted its reputation and ultimately lands it in last place on this list.

Similar to the 2012 model, the 2013 Expedition has four different trims available, with similar ride quality and highway stability. It also boasts impressive towing capacity and cargo space. However, it lacks significant changes from previous models and the few issues it had caused it to lose some of its appeals to buyers.

Therefore, if you want an SUV with the most cargo space available, this is a good starting point. Overall, the 2013 Ford Expedition is still a decent option, but it is last on the list of the best years for Ford Expedition.

Ford Expedition Reliability

Ford Expedition has had a mixed record in terms of reliability over the years. Some model years have been known for their reliability, while others have had significant issues. However, overall, the Ford Expedition is considered a reasonably reliable SUV.

According to Consumer Reports, the most reliable model years for the Ford Expedition are the 2017, 2018, and 2019 models. These years have a predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5, which is considered above average. The 2020 and 2021 models also have a good reliability rating. Even though they have good ratings, there is not enough data available to make a definitive judgment.

On the other hand, earlier model years of the Ford Expedition had more reliability issues. The 2003, 2004, and 2005 models, for instance, were known for transmission problems, engine issues, and electrical system failures. The 1999 model, in particular, had a lot of engine-related problems. These problems include issues with the spark plugs, coils, and head gasket.

Overall, while some model years of the Ford Expedition may have had reliability issues, the lineup has improved over the years, with more recent models generally having a good reputation for reliability. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs can also go a long way in ensuring the long-term reliability of any vehicle.

Best Year For Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition Problems

Like any other vehicle, the Ford Expedition has had its fair share of problems throughout its production history. Some common problems reported by owners include:

1. Engine And Transmission Problems

One of the most common issues with the Ford Expedition is engine problems. In particular, the 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine, which was used in the 2000-2003 models, was known to have issues with the spark plugs breaking off in the cylinder heads. This resulted in costly repairs and engine replacements.

Alongside that, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which is used in newer models, also has had some problems with timing chain and belt issues. This resulted in problems like engine failure. Thus, it’s crucial that you’re on the lookout for the Ford EcoBoost engine problems, and in particular, the Ford EcoBoost 3.5 engine problems.

The 6-speed automatic transmission, which is used in many Ford Expedition models, has had issues with gear shifting and failure. Some owners have reported that the transmission slips or jerks, while others have experienced complete transmission failure.

2. Suspension Problems

The Ford Expedition has been plagued by problems with its suspension system. One commonly reported issue is the failure of the rear air suspension. This problem can lead to a rough ride and expensive repairs for owners.

Furthermore, certain models have been prone to front ball joint wear, which can cause steering difficulties and pose a risk of unsafe driving conditions. Due to this, it’s inevitable that many owners have to consider the suspension repair costs at some point.

3. Electrical Issues

Electrical problems with the power windows and door locks have also been reported in the Ford Expedition. Owners have reported issues with the power windows not working and the door locks malfunctioning. A door lock actuator troubleshooting process might help out.

These problems can be frustrating for owners and can lead to expensive repairs. It is important for owners to regularly check their electrical system and have any issues addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

4. Brake Problems

Some Ford Expedition models have had issues with the brakes, including premature wear and rotor warping. This can lead to decreased stopping power and a potentially dangerous driving situation. Owners have reported having to replace the brakes multiple times within a short period of time, which can be costly.

In some cases, the brake pedal has also become soft and unresponsive, leading to difficulty in stopping the vehicle. It’s akin to having spongy brakes. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain the brake system in a Ford Expedition to ensure safe driving conditions.


To conclude this article, the Ford Expedition has been a reliable and capable SUV over the years. Each model of the Ford model has their own set of pros and cons. While the 2009 Ford Expedition and the 2014 Ford Expedition stand out for their advanced features and excellent ride quality, the 2012 and 2013 models are also worthy contenders.

Despite some common issues with the suspension, brakes, and electrical systems, the Expedition has proven to be a popular choice for those in need of a spacious and powerful vehicle. Overall, it is difficult to answer the question, “best year for Ford Expedition”. Each model has its own strengths and weaknesses that cater to different needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions relating to the question, ”best year for Ford Expedition”.

How Much Does A Ford Expedition Weigh

The weight of a Ford Expedition varies depending on the year, model, and equipment. The curb weight of a 2021 Ford Expedition ranges from approximately 5,400 to 6,100 pounds, while the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 7,300 to 7,700 pounds. The weight of earlier model years may be slightly different due to changes in design and equipment. It’s always best to consult the owner’s manual or manufacturer specifications for the exact weight of a specific Ford Expedition model.

How Many People Can You Fit In A Ford Expedition

The seating capacity of a Ford Expedition varies depending on the model and trim level. Typically, a standard Ford Expedition can seat up to eight people, with two front seats, three second-row seats, and three third-row seats. However, some models may have captain’s chairs in the second row, which would reduce the seating capacity to seven. Additionally, the amount of legroom and headroom may vary depending on the specific model and trim level.

Do V8 Engines Last Longer

The lifespan of a V8 engine in a Ford Expedition can vary depending on a variety of factors, including maintenance, driving habits, and the quality of the engine itself. However, V8 engines are generally known for their durability and longevity. With proper maintenance and care, a Ford Expedition with a V8 engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles. Regular oil changes, tune-ups, and other routine maintenance tasks can help prolong the life of the engine. Additionally, driving habits, such as avoiding harsh acceleration and excessive idling, can also help extend the lifespan of the engine. Overall, while there are no guarantees, a V8 engine in a Ford Expedition can be a reliable and long-lasting powertrain option.

How Many Gallons Does A Ford Expedition Hold

The fuel tank capacity of a Ford Expedition varies depending on the model year and trim level. Generally, the tank size ranges from 23 to 34 gallons. For example, the 2022 Ford Expedition has a fuel tank capacity of 23.3 gallons for the standard and Max models, while the 2021 Ford Expedition Platinum has a larger fuel tank capacity of 34 gallons. It’s essential to check the specific model and trim level to determine the fuel tank capacity accurately.

Are Ford Expeditions Reliable

Ford Expeditions are generally considered to be reliable vehicles. Just as with any vehicle, they may have issues and require repairs over time. The reliability of a particular Ford Expedition can also depend on factors such as maintenance history and driving habits. Alongside that, it also includes how well the vehicle has been cared for by previous owners. However, overall, Ford Expeditions have a good reputation for reliability. They are often noted for their sturdy construction and durable engines. It’s important to do research and consider factors such as reliability ratings and owner reviews. Things like these are important when considering a Ford Expedition or any vehicle.

Where Is The Ford Expedition Built

The Ford Expedition is built in the United States at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The plant has been in operation since 1969. It has produced a variety of Ford vehicles over the years. These varieties of vehicles include the F-Series pickup trucks, Super Duty trucks, and the Expedition SUV. The plant has undergone several expansions and upgrades over the years. This helped to increase production capacity and efficiency, and it remains a key facility for Ford’s operations in North America.

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