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The Expedition debuted as Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon for the 1997 model year. A large-sized sport utility vehicle built on the F-150 pickup truck platform, the four-door Ford Expedition indirectly succeeded the two-door Bronco. The 1997 Expedition was propelled by either a rear-wheel drive or an available ControlTrac four-wheel drive system. Boasting standard eight-cylinder engine power, the 4.6-liter Triton powerplant generated 215 horsepower while a 230-horsepower 5.4-liter Triton engine was optional. In 1999, the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter Triton V-8 powerplants received an increase in overall output (the 5.4-liter engine horsepower rating was increased to 260).
Both engines were mated to four-speed automatic transmissions. From 1997 to 2003, the Expedition was available in XLT and Eddie Bauer trim levels. With standard seating for five or six passengers (depending on the model, the 1998 Expedition included no-charge air conditioning, power mirrors, cassette player and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system. Completely redesigned in 2003, the Ford Expedition came equipped with a four-wheel independent rear suspension. Inside the cabin that can seat up to nine occupants, a fold-flat second and third-row seat allowed the space to be converted into more efficient storage space.
The Eddie Bauer model offered a convenient industry-first power-fold seat option for the 2003 Ford Expedition. In 2005, the smaller 4.6-liter V-8 engine was dropped while the remaining 5.4-liter powerplant received variable valve timing. The Ford Expedition was revised again in 2007 resulting in a heavily updated platform and a completely new front end appearance. Generating 300 horsepower in 2007, the 5.4-liter Triton V-8 engine was combined with a new six-speed automatic transmission. A new generation of the Ford Expedition introduced for the 2015 model year has received a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine as the sole power unit.