For 2006, the Expedition undergoes mostly trim changes. There are four lines: the XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch; chrome-tipped exhaust pipes and a power moonroof are standard equipment on the King Ranch.
Two new exterior colours have been added, Pewter Metallic and Dark Copper Metallic; Dark Shadow Grey Metallic and Estate Green Metallic are now limited-edition colours and will be discontinued at some time in the model year.
Inside, a Medium Flint Grey colour scheme is added to the Limited, which also gets a leather-wrapped wheel instead of wood; and the King Ranch now comes with power quarter windows and second-row captain’s chairs as standard equipment. Among option packages, the Safety & Security Package has been discontinued; reverse sensing and safety canopy are available as stand-alone options on XLT and Eddie Bauer; and step bars on the XLT Sport Appearance Package are now black instead of grey.
All Expedition models use a 5.4-litre V8, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. All come with four-wheel-drive; a rear-wheel version available in the U.S. is not sold here. The Expedition also appears over at Lincoln as the Navigator.
The XLT features four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, cruise control, six-way power driver’s seat, 40/20/40 split second seat, third-row 60/40 split-bench seat, privacy glass, power mirrors with approach lamps, power locks, air conditioning with rear air and heater controls, automatic headlamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels, Class III trailer hitch receiver, CD/MP3/cassette stereo, fog lamps, running boards and tire pressure monitoring system.
The Eddie Bauer edition, named for the clothing and outfitting store, adds 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, Pueblo Gold two-tone exterior appearance, keyless entry keypad, dual automatic climate control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio and climate controls, two-toned leather-trimmed front captain’s chairs with memory function, vinyl third-row bench seat, centre floor console with rear audio and auxiliary climate controls, power-adjustable pedals, auto-dimming mirror, six-CD stereo and power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The Limited adds 17-inch “Chrometec” aluminum wheels, body-coloured cladding, complex reflector headlamps, chrome roof rails, monochromatic leather-faced seats with eight-way power, curtain air bags and wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel with climate, audio and speed controls.
The King Ranch is an optional package available on the Limited, and adds Pueblo Gold bodyside cladding and fascias, luggage rack, mirrors with memory feature, unique wheels, Castano leather non-heated/cooled seats, simulated wood trim and real wood steering wheel.
For all its bulk, the Expedition delivers a remarkably civilized ride, with handling more nimble than its size would suggest, and a luxurious interior that would be expected for its price. It’s a good alternative to the Lincoln Navigator, which is $17,250 more than the Expedition Limited; you’ll need the difference in your pocket at the gas pumps.
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