The Expedition is generally well designed. It has a spacious and comfortable interior, a steady ride, flexible seating and a roomy third-row seat. However, the vehicle's 5,900-pounds of heft results in leisurely acceleration and abysmal fuel economy.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags available 2001-2002, standard from 2007. Head protection air bags and ESC available from 2003, standard from 2007.
Road Test

The Expedition is generally well designed. It has a spacious and comfortable interior, a steady ride, flexible seating and a roomy third-row seat. However, the vehicle's 5,900-pounds of heft results in leisurely acceleration and abysmal fuel economy.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 3 third
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.6-liter V8 (232 hp)
  • 5.4-liter V8 (260 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Ford Expedition owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"AC compressor failed, also replaced evaporator"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

"compressor went out. Because all of the parts are integral to each other the car did not run efficiently. Could of gone with out A/C"

George T., WA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Automatic climate control

"The rear blend door motor died for the second time. The gears in the unit are plastic and get stripped. It is a time consuming job to remove and replace the unit"

Robert P., SC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"I have had both door actuators for the rear climate control system fail again this year. They have little plastic gears that fail very easily. I have replaced them several times over the years. The system will not function correctly and will make a loud clicking noise when they fail. I have tried OE and aftermarket parts. They all fail too quickly because of the nature of the part"

Robert P., SC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Rear A/C unit continual clicking when in use"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Rear blower motor is cheaply made and wears out quickly causing a clicking sound. Also, rear a/c pipe develops leaks from holes caused by built up condensation"

James C., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Blower fan broke from unknown reason. Required $50 part and $100 labor to replace"

Allan C., WA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"All pro lems with this vehicle I would say we're normal wear an d tear"

William E., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)
Evaporator

"valve failed, needed to replace the part"

Brad D., MT (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Had to be replaced"

Richard D., MI (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"The toggle switch for heating and cooling the drivers seat has stopped working on the A/C side"

Leroy N., AZ (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"For the second time during the life of the car I have replaced two modulator modules the the rear HVAC UNIT.. the modules control the heat and cold air setting in the rear of the car. And the control of air to either the floor or ceiling of the car. Both modules make the adjustment through a gear train which uses plastic gears. The failure is due to the gear teeth stripping . The labor involved in accessing and replacing the modules amounts to $200 to $300 plus $100'part x2.. both times I"

Allan C., WA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"blend door/motor"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Refrigerant leaks have been an on going problem for many years and now the repair would be cost prohibitive because of its age but our Prius still drives like brand new with more miles and it,s AC has never needed charging"

David H., IL (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"serious peeling of the rear hatch"

Gerald S., MI (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Te rear door is aluminum and the paint is bubbled up on many areas"

David H., IL (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"FORD painted the dashboards instead of using the correct color. So now all of the tan is peeling and cracking, but FORD will sell you the paint to repaint it :("

Angela M., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Paint is chipping off the exterior window area and fading badly around the rear bumper and roof areas"

John B., AZ (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Extensive cracking of paint on roof of car"

G F., CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"Paint bubbling on back lift gate and other parts of truck. Needed to sand down and repaint"

Glenn F., MA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Rust

"bars along sides of vehicle are rusting and peeling badly (are they called running bars ?)"

Gerald S., MI (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"The roof is rusting terribly due to a poor design and a poor choice of materials"

Rob O., CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"rocker panels rusted"

Rebecca J., FL (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Cannot believe how quickly rust developed"

Laura R., CT (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Rust developed around the tailgate window wiper"

William M., MN (2003 Ford Expedition XLT Unsure)

"The drivers rocker panel rusted through. Needed to repair before it would pass state inspection"

Glenn F., MA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Ford needed a couple of days to gedt the right parts and repair"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"worn out really bad"

Anonymous, AL (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Both front had to be replaced. Came in due to vibration. Very expensive repair at Ford"

James V., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"related to other issue, replaced at same time"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Normal wear"

William E., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"Typical of Ford, front bushings go bad easily and cause alignment issues and "clicking noises" when turning, especially a wide radius turn"

James C., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"Leaking struts, replaced"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Shocks have 155600 miles so really don't absorb bumps & rough surface..Dealer suggests some expensive in the front end suspension system. Car still functioning well"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"linkage from steering wheel to rack was rusted causing hard steering"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)
Tie rods

"went along with ball joints. fixed prop[erly"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"broken had to replace"

Anonymous, AL (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Wheel bearings

"experienced vibration while driving, wheel bearings worn, replaced by dealer service for apx. $ 1k"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

"started having condensation in the driver side headlight. This past winter it would freeze up. It is never without condensation in the headlight. Also, most of the time this winter the inside of the windshield would freeze/fog up after I started i"

Thomas F., WY (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"sunroof seal"

David B., PA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Don't know cause but the vehicle is very noisy. Road noise quite loud on the driver's side. Otherwise very comfortable"

Thomas F., WY (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Water leaks around the windshield and moon roof"

R M., GA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Unidentified rubbing, groaning noise that comes and goes"

Gary C., MI (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"lots of squeaks, rattles, wind noise"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Wind noise

"wind noise has increased during the past 12 months, perhaps due to age of vehicle"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"interior noise level high"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

"Driver side front door does not close properly. I had to tape several quarters in the door jam to prevent the door from shaking and falsely sending a "door ajar" warning chime and light to the driver"

Rob O., CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"Driver seat heating/cooling not functioning"

David G., WI (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Locks and latches

"Rattling rear passenger doors. Door ajar sensor continuously on/off beeping"

David G., WI (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Door locks work intermittently and door switches fail and indicate door is not closed (false)"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Automatic mirrors do not return to normal position after putting the vehicle in reverse - which automatically slants the mirrors to a downward position to provide a view of the lower rear of the car"

John B., AZ (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Sunroof

"Plastic clips broke of the "drip tray" so when it rains it leeks inside the truck. FIXED that with a few screws, then the plastic "stop bars" broke now the shade gets caught and the roof won't close. Have to open shade first, roof NEVER completely"

Angela M., FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Rear side venting window seal cracked and leaked, causing puddling on floor of car during rain. Due to interior trim it was difficult to tell where the leak was coming from (roof, side/windows or floor)"

G F., CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)
Seat belts

"Don't retract ask the time"

Laura R., CT (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

"alternator stopped charging"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"Alternator failed. High mileage and age was the cause. Excellent vehicle"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Stopped working, needed new one"

Anonymous, ID (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Coil

"Returning from FL when the engine dropped a cylinder. I stopped in Melbourne to have it repaired which required an overnight. This was the 2nd occurance of the problem"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"2 coils intermitting changed all 8"

Anonymous, LA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

"Blew a coil, needed a replacement"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Spark plugs in this engine are bad to misfire"

Ben S., NC (2003 Ford Expedition Unsure 5.4-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

"Catalytic converter needs to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"Was corrected by dealer for $1700"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
Fuel pump

"Replace fuel pump"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Does not start when warm on the first crank"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"pumping low pressure at145000 miles"

Anonymous, LA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

"SUV just stopped in the middle of an intersection. Had to get a tow to nearest dealer for repairs"

B V., AZ (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"hard to start, especially hot"

Matthew P., TX (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

"Window switches stopped working"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"All rear lights went out. After 3 days the mechanic had to jimmy the lights to get them to work but the problem was never really fixed"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"The cooled seats no longer function anywhere near original capacity. Ford says nothing they can do except install new AC units for the seats which cost more than the current value of the vehicle"

Ivan K., TX (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"because the door ajar light keeps coming on the interior lights will remain on until I have driven the truck for a few miles. Although we have checked and double checked all the doors it will still come on"

Kyra S., CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"fob no longer works"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

"REAR MOTOR LOCKED UP AND KEPT TRYING TO START--CAUSEING BATTERY DRAIN`` DEALER TECK UNPLUGED ---PROBLEM SOLVED"

Steve F., IN (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"the sensors continued to activate due to wheel bearing problems, making suv undrivable till fixed, this was the second bearing in 12 months"

Fred C., OH (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

"Master cylinder seal gave way and had fluid in the brake sensor"

Roman B., NC (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

"Toyota started to pulsate about 200000 miles. Replaced with slotted and drilled rotors"

Roman B., NC (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"internal, burns about 1 quart per 2000 miles"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Rear main seal leaking"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Very small leak from engine?"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Dealer said had to remove rear end and replace in lieu of just repairing it. First year for this type and didn't think it through. Very costly to have this work done"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)
4WD/AWD components

"Wouldn't come out of 4-wheel drive low"

Gary C., MI (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"the pinion bearings needed replacement, pretty good life for 200,000 miles"

Dave B., CA (2003 Ford Expedition Unsure Unsure)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"it goes blank. no one can figure out why"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 4.5-L V8)
Steering wheel controls

"doesnt work half the time"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer Unsure)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

"One of two failed. Ford discontinued the part so it was very difficult to get it replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)
Exhaust leaks

"the "service engine soon" light comes on. was diagnosed as a vacuum leak. for some reason it is difficult to repair"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

"Thermostat stuck open, replaced it myself"

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.5-L V8)

"our check engine light comes on and my mechanic says it has something to do with the thermostat. He doesnt know what exactly, he says the code just says thermostat. This has been going on for years. We did not fix anything on the thermostat"

Kyra S., CA (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Four of the cylinder head spark plug threads have failed and needed to be repaired (Helicoil)"

Anonymous, CO (2003 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Head gasket

"I have a small leak on the number one cylinder. It was not detected during a pressure test, but leaks during the actual engine compression / exhaust strokes. I get antifreeze soot one the number one spark plug"

Robert P., SC (2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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