5 Best & Worst Years For The Ford Expedition

What year Ford Expedition should I buy? Read my guide to find out

A successor to the Ford Bronco, the Ford Expedition was first put into the market back in 1997 and was the first full-sized sports utility vehicle you could purchase with a 4 door body.

It shares many parts and production values with the Ford F-150.

Thousands of eager customers can easily want such a lineup, but many may not know which of them is the best one they have to purchase.

This article will help such customers go over the best and worst years for Ford Expedition so that they can more easily make up their minds.

Here are the models which I have determined through my research:

Worst Years for Ford Expedition:

  1. 2003
  2. 2006
  3. 1999
  4. 2001
  5. 2005

Best Years for Ford Expedition:

  1. 2020
  2. 2009
  3. 2014
  4. 2012
  5. 2013

If you want to learn why I have placed all of these years as such, stick around, as I will be talking about them throughout the article.

Make sure you read it till the end to get the most knowledge about the Ford Expedition.

What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Expedition? Which Years To Avoid

The Ford Expedition struggled to take off at the start. This is why many of the models you will see on this list are earlier models full of issues.

I will explain all of them in this section of the article:

1. 2003 Ford Expedition

If you ask the community which Ford Expedition was the worst, you will get the 2003 Ford Expedition as your most common answer.

This year was the worst in the entire lineup just for the sheer number of issues brought to the table.

These problems were quickly picked up by the owners of the car, who were very vocal about them. This led to me placing this model in the first place on this list.

Engine problems, interior problems, AC problems, electrical issues; any problems you can think of are probably found in the 2003 Ford Expedition.

The biggest issue was undoubtedly in the engine, as the spark plug would blow out of the head, leading to the engine sputtering, seizing, and stalling.

Moreover, the side panels were defective, and the door light often stayed on. The AC was extremely faulty and buddy all around.

This was accompanied by many electrical issues, such as the alternator dying and the fuse boards shorting out.

This was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the 2003 Ford Expedition.

2. 2006 Ford Expedition

Three years after the disaster that was the 2003 model, improvements were made to all areas of the Ford Expedition.

But unfortunately, it seems as if none of them were put into the engine as it still had the most problems in the car and was widely complained against by fans and owners of the car.

This, along with somebody issues, made me place the 2006 Ford Expedition in second place. The engine tended to shut off when the fail-safe light would come on.

There were a lot of difficulties faced in changing the spark plugs, and the engine ran very rough in general.

It was prone to stalling and shutting off while driving and ignition coil failure.

The paint would bubble up and come off when it came to the exterior.

This made the car very unappealing, and no one wants to drive a car that does not look aesthetically pleasing.

3. 1999 Ford Expedition

It seems that engine issues were the main source of trouble for the Ford Expedition, as it was still an issue even in 1999.

I have to place the 1999 Ford Expedition in 3rd place.

Not only did it have many engine-related issues, but it was also filled to the brim with other annoyances that many car owners just want to stay away from.

First things first, let’s talk about the engine.

Spark plugs blowing, coils going bad, and the head gasket blowing a head are all major issues you can face in the engine of the 1999 Ford Expedition.

The engine would rev at idle and stall a lot as well.

Things were not going well on the inside of the car either, as the actuator was faulty, which led to the AC being extremely faulty.

Alternator failure was common in this model as well.

4. 2001 Ford Expedition

Two years after the 1999 model, Ford had to make a lot of improvements, and while they were able to do so in some regards, they were still struggling to get a hold of the problems in the engine.

This is why the 2001 Ford Expedition also suffered a lot because of those same issues. I had to place the 2001 Ford Expedition 4th place on this list.

As you would expect, the spark plugs were not in the best position and would often blow.

The engine was prone to misfires and often gave out a clicking/knocking sound.

Similar to the 1999 model, the alternator was also in a bad place and would go out.

This model also took things one step forward by adding transmission failure into the mix, making the car even more hard to sell.

5. 2005 Ford Expedition

The final model I will discuss in this list is the 2005 Ford Expedition. If you have figured out the pattern, you should not be surprised to see engine issues in this model.

Additionally, you should not be surprised that they are the most common issue in this model. Other issues were related to the transmission and the body of the car.

Bad injectors had it the worst on the engine leading to a lot of stalling and throttle failure.

The spark plugs were also not the best, as they would constantly end up with a broken spark plug and misfire.

There were so many issues related to the engine that they would simply fill up this entire section which is why I will elaborate on the rest about the body and transmission.

Bubbling paint was the issue many faced with the body while the car would not drive due to punctured transmission lines and generally shifting rough.

What Are The Best Years For The Ford Expedition? Which Years To Buy

Here are the models that I recommend you buy, as they are generally appreciated by the community and have little to no issues.

I will go over all these models in this section one by one.

1. 2020 Ford Expedition

I have extensively mentioned the troublesome engines of previous Ford Expeditions, but when it comes to the 2020 Ford Expedition, this was no longer the case.

Ford had put out a really powerful engine in this model, leading to the car’s excellent riding quality and exquisite handling. It towed beautifully and had a lot of space.

These amazing qualities made it certain that the 2020 Ford Expedition model year would take the top spot on this list.

This year brought five different trims into the mix, with the Platinum model being a bit too expensive for my taste.

Besides, you should not face any issues with the trims or models this year. It made the twin Turbo V6 engine standard, which was a good choice considering the engine was well-praised.

The entire car was well-praised by fans of the lineup and was the culmination of all the work and improvements which went into the models that came before it.

2. 2009 Ford Expedition

Since the start of the lineup in 1997, many said that the Ford Expedition struggled for the better part of the decade but was able to continue selling due to its brand recognition.

However, the lineup proved this wrong by putting out the 2009 Ford Expedition.

This model cleared up all the problems and quickly became the best model when released.

It would have stayed this way if the newer models did not have more advanced features.

The 2009 Ford Expedition model had amazing ride quality and was extremely stable on highways.

This, along with the third-row space, made it a great car for camping and traveling.

For those that wanted even more space, there was a power-folding option for the third row, which gave even more space.

Furthermore, the car was great at towing other vehicles as it had a huge towing capacity.

3. 2014 Ford Expedition

The 2014 Ford Expedition is another respectable vehicle that the lineup has produced over the years.

This has a lot of good features ranging from a great amount of space to an unyielding amount of power.

All these features and a general lack of issues have led me to place this model in 3rd place on this list.

This is also because it retains an older field with many modern features.

I have already talked about the Ford Expedition’s ride quality and stability, but the 2014 Ford Expedition model year has so much that I just have to mention it again.

This year has four different trims available for purchase with engines reaching 310 hp, all from a V8.

You can seat eight people in this vehicle and still have more than enough room for any luggage you want to bring.

4. 2012 Ford Expedition

The 2012 Ford Expedition is another capable model in the lineup which deserves your attention.

This year also has four different trims, and while there is no Platinum version, owners can get their hands on the equally exclusive King Ranch version, which is also pretty affordable.

All of these reasons are why I feel it is a good fit for 4th place on this list.

Moreover, this model also brought quite a few new features as standard, such as blind spot side mirrors integrated into the side mirrors.

Additionally, the King Ranch version I mentioned earlier; also has parking assist, which is needed for a vehicle of this size.

There are plenty more standard features to go over, but I will move on and end this section by saying that if you want a great Ford Expedition model at a good price, this one is perfect for you.

5. 2013 Ford Expedition

The last model on this list is the 2013 Ford Expedition. This model came between the 2012 and 2014 models, which I have discussed.

While it is just as capable as either of the two, it sits unimpressively in the middle, having a few issues that did a number on its reputation.

This is why I decided it was a great fit for last place on this.

Like the 2012 model, this year has four different trims you can get your hands on.

You can get the same level of ride quality as you expect from a better model Ford Expedition and highway stability.

This is also accompanied by the critically acclaimed towing capacity and cargo space.

Other than that, no significant changes deserve to be mentioned, making the 2013 Ford Expedition model a pretty good vehicle.

How Reliable Is A Ford Expedition?

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle, the Ford Expedition may suit your needs.

While it does not do the best regarding reliability, it can come dead in the middle compared to its competitors.

How Long Do Ford Expeditions Last?

One way to measure the reliability is to check how long the car can last, and the Ford Expedition can last up to 300,000 miles.

This will require much maintenance; otherwise, the car may be as low as 150,000 miles.

What To Do To Lengthen The Life Of Your Ford Expedition

Here are a few things that you can implement to increase the life of your Ford Expedition:

  • Regular cleaning.
  • Scheduled maintenance every 2 to 3 months.
  • Switching to premium fuel.
  • Driving at moderate speeds.
  • Keeping within the towing capacity.

All of these should make sure that your Ford Expedition lives to the maximum life it can reach.

Things That Shorten The Lifespan Of Your Ford Expedition

Here are a few things you should avoid if you want to maintain a long life span for your Ford Expedition:

  • Driving on empty.
  • Driving off-road.
  • Driving with a max capacity.
  • Driving for extended periods.
  • Keeping the car outside in the snow.

All of these will hurt the life of your car, which is why they should be avoided.

3 Most Ford Expedition Common Problems You Should Know

Here are some common issues that I have mentioned throughout this article that affect the Ford Expedition.

1. Engine Issues

Engine issues are extremely egregious and should not be present due to manufacturing issues, yet they are widely present in many models of the Ford Expedition.

Be prepared to deal with spark plugs blowing up, stalling, seizing, and much more.

2. Paint Problems

No one wants to drive an ugly-looking car. While you cannot change the car’s body without getting into an accident, you can mess up the paint.

In the case of the Ford Expedition, your paint will wear itself out and bubble off, running the image of the car.

3. Alternator Failure

If the alternator fails, you will not be able to start the car as the battery is not charged.

The alternators in the Ford Expeditions tend to fail, which is not good for a company such as Ford.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Ford Expedition A Good Car?

Yes. The Ford Expedition is a good car unless you get a bad model. In that case, you may not like it that much.

Q2: Do Ford Expeditions Hold Their Value?

Ford Expeditions are pretty good at holding their value and tend to drop 40% of them after five years.

Q3: How Many Ford Expeditions Have Been Sold?

Since 2005, the Ford Expedition has sold well over 1 million vehicles, which is amazing.

Q4: Which Ford Expedition Engine Is The Most Reliable?

The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 2020 Ford Expedition has the most reliable and problem-free engine that you should look into.

Q5: Is Ford Expedition Expensive To Maintain?

The Ford Expedition will cost $860 a year to maintain, which is only $100 more expensive as compared to its competitors.


In conclusion, the Ford Expedition had a very tough launch.

It took over a decade to find its footing, but when it did, it could put out really good quality models that deserved praise. Whether you think the Ford Expedition is reliable or not is up to you.

One thing you should be able to tell is the difference between the best and worst years for Ford Expedition.

This way, you can easily and almost certainly get the best model in the lineup and one that will perfectly carry out your needs.


Written by Kane Dan

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