Jones Ford Wickenburg Compares 2011 Ford Expedition VS 2011 Cadillac Escalade Near Wickenburg, AZ

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2011 Ford Expedition

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2011 Cadillac Escalade

Safety Comparison

Both the Expedition and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Expedition’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Ford Expedition’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Escalade’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Expedition has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Escalade.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Expedition has a standard 650-amp battery. The Escalade’s 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Expedition 2WD’s reliability will be 9% better than the Escalade and the Ford Expedition 4x4 will be 10% better than the Escalade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Expedition RWD gets better highway fuel mileage than the Escalade RWD V8 (14 city/20 hwy vs. 14 city/18 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Expedition uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escalade with the 6.2 V8 engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Expedition has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escalade Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (28 vs. 24.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Expedition has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Escalade’s standard fuel tank (28 vs. 26 gallons).

The Expedition has a standard capless fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation which causes pollution. The Escalade doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Expedition’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade:



Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Expedition has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Escalade doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Expedition has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Expedition has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Escalade’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Expedition has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Escalade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Expedition’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Escalade (119 inches vs. 116 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Expedition offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Escalade can only carry up to 8.

The Expedition has 51.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escalade (160.3 vs. 108.9).

The Expedition has .6 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more third row headroom, 12.1 inches more third row legroom and 1.1 inches more third row hip room than the Escalade.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Expedition’s cargo area provides more volume than the Escalade.



Behind Third Seat

18.6 cubic feet

16.9 cubic feet

The Expedition has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly, without having to lift, carry or store heavy seats, like in the Escalade.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Expedition’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Escalade does not have an oil pressure gauge.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the exterior keypad. The Escalade doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception.

The Expedition’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Escalade’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Expedition’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Expedition owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Expedition will cost $3014 to $4868 less than the Escalade over a five-year period.

The Expedition will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Expedition will retain 38.93% to 42.02% of its original price after five years, while the Escalade only retains 34.73% to 37.87%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Expedition is less expensive to operate than the Escalade because typical repairs cost much less on the Expedition than the Escalade, including $174 less for a water pump, $178 less for an alternator, $23 less for front brake pads, $275 less for a starter, $90 less for fuel injection, $61 less for a fuel pump and $591 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Expedition will be $19088 to $24209 less than for the Cadillac Escalade.

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