Large and in charge, the Ford Excursion is the big daddy of truck-based SUVs.
Launched for the 2000 model year, the Ford Excursion faced off with Chevrolet’s Suburban in a battle for SUV supremacy. Critics derided it for its size. Longer, wider, and taller than the Suburban they saw it as a dinosaur. A beastly, four-ton monster that shed any pretense of social responsibility.
But its detractors are pulling a Shallow Hal. They fail to see that the Excursion is a product of its time. With gas under $1.50 a gallon, demand for larger, more powerful SUVs skyrocketed. The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sold like pizza and wings on Superbowl Sunday. The Chevrolet Suburban finished first, second, and third in a class by itself. And it was those sales Ford went after.
Based on the Ford Super Duty platform, the Excursion tows up to 10,000 pounds. Inside it can haul nine people or up to 165 cubic feet of cargo. Remove the second and third rows and it swallows 4 x 8 sheets of plywood or just about anything else the Super Duty can haul. On top of its impressive capabilities, the Excursion proved to be a solid, durable, and comfortable vehicle.
Ford ended production in 2005, after producing more than 195,000 Excursions. A combination of declining sales, increased gas prices, and restructuring led to its demise. When the Great Recession hit, its value plummeted. People wanted cheaper, more fuel-efficient vehicles. People ditched their trucks and large SUVs for smaller vehicles, preferably ones with hybrid powertrains. Large, body-on-frame vehicles became dinosaurs facing almost sure extinction.
However, the opposite is true today. More than 16 years after the last Excursion rolled off the assembly line, trucks are bigger than ever. Gas prices are lower than during the Great Recession. And against long odds, the Excursion is hot again. It generates interest from collectors, truck enthusiasts, and people who just want a big, capable SUV. It routinely appears on Bring A Trailer and clean examples go for more than $30,000.
The Excursion is ideal for people who need a tow rig but would prefer not to have a truck bed. It provides lots of versatility to carry stuff, or haul a boy scout troop while towing their camping gear. The Super Duty platform is extremely solid and versatile. And it lends itself to all kinds of potential drivetrain swaps.