The Excursion is far too laid-back a name for the beast that Ford Motor Co. has unleashed in the form of its oversized sport-utility vehicle. Designed to compete against the Chevrolet Suburban, this 2000 model is almost 19 feet long and weighs in at 6,650 pounds - and that's just the base model. The diesel 4x4 tips the scale at nearly four tons. But this isn't the road-crew version of a sport-utility. It's decked out for the country club, especially the high-end $38,380 Excursion Limited 4x2 that we tested. And speaking of price, at least one of us thinks the Excursion is even far more pricey than that number would suggest. She: The Excursion should come with a warning label: May have to tear down garage wall to park. My acid test with this vehicle was trying to get it into our attached garage. At first, I thought I had it licked, even though the antenna whacked against the raised garage door. Trouble was, I couldn't get the garage door back down. There was too much overhang with the rear bumper. So I figure we'll have to renovate if we decide to buy the biggest sport-utility on the market. What are you guessing? Another five or six grand to redo the garage? That means the Excursion will end up costing us closer to $44,000. He: Try $10,000 to $15,000 for the garage. When was the last time you did any remodeling? She: When one of the kids took out the garage wall and my dad rebuilt it. Guess he's pretty affordable, huh? He: Speaking of affordable, I think that 38 grand looks mighty attractive when you consider the last Hummer we tested was priced around $90,000. And believe me, the Excursion is far more civilized than the Hummer. The name is a little misleading, however. Ford should have called this the Adventure. Every time you take it out of the driveway is a cheap thrill, especially if you have to park anywhere. The actual on-road experience is lots of fun. Who wouldn't want to tower over almost all the other vehicles, and be wrapped in all that protective sheet metal? I'll bet George Patton would love it. She: You can talk about what Ford should have named it, but what Ford really should have done is given the Excursion six doors. You know they're probably coming and it reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine about The Pill. She said a doctor told her never be the first and never be the last to try something. I think that's good automotive advice. So thank you, I'll wait until the Excursion gets a couple extra doors, because right now, it's pretty hard to access that third seat, especially if you're trying to strap in a baby or a kid or help an elderly person into it. He: We're going to be empty nesters in a couple of weeks, and I could easily picture myself driving an Excursion. I thought the Limited we tested was pretty posh, almost like a Lincoln inside, and that big V-10 engine seriously kicks butt. You could probably tow the Titanic with it. I'd rather have the 4x4 for o ur lousy Michigan winters. And I wouldn't mind if someone helped subsidize the fuel bills. Boy, does that thing suck the gas! She: Despite my gripes and its shortcomings, I predict the Excursion will be the status vehicle of the 2000 model year. It has nothing to do with ride and handling, or horsepower, or towing capacity. Status is all about sheer mass these days. The more sheet metal, the better. I was thinking about Barbie when I was writing my notes up on the Excursion. Think about this. When I was a kid, Barbie drove a sports car; today, she drives a pink Jeep. She reflects the culture and the culture demands a sport-utility. The bigger the better. That's why the Excursion will be a huge success. 2000 Ford Excursion 4x2 Limited Anita's rating: average Paul's rating: world class Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, eight-passenger sport-utility vehicle Price: Base, $37,110; as tested, $38,380 (including $675 destination charge) Engine: 6.8-liter V-10; 310 hp at 4,250 rpm; 425 lb-ft torque at 3,250 rpm EPA fuel economy: N/A 12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan*: $1,250 (Estimate. Rates may be higher or lower, depending on coverage and driving record.) Where built: Louisville, Ky. What we liked: Bragging rights in the SUV wars; hipper than a Hummer; only V-10 in the segment; could probably tow the Titanic; the ultimate status symbol of 2000 What we didn't like: As difficult to park as a full-size van; won't fit every garage; unslakeable thirst for fuel; oh-so pricey; needs six doors (Anita); third seat difficult to access (Anita)
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Rick Popely||Cars.com National||December 1, 1999|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit News||June 21, 2000|
|Larry Printz||The Morning Call and Mcall.com||February 13, 2000|
|Paul Dean||Los Angeles Times||November 17, 1999|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||November 7, 1999|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||August 15, 1999|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit News||August 11, 1999|
|Al Haas||December 5, 1999|
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