Ford Excursion – Diesel


As some of you may know, I’ve recently purchased a 2001 Ford Excursion Limited 4×4 with a Ford (International) Powerstroke Diesel. This is my first vehicle I’ve ever owned with a diesel, and let me tell you, I’ve got a lot to learn. They are very different than your standard gas engine, starting with the way they start, the way they drive, the fuel they use, and the sheer amount of oil the engine takes when you change it. It’s been a very fun learning experience to say the least.

First off, let me just say that the Ford Excursion is one BIG vehicle. I LOVE it. There is room for everyone and everything in this truck. As my oldest son put it:

“Dad, this thing has a ton of personal space.”

And he’s right, it does. For my family and my situation, it was the perfect vehicle for us. That little extra room it provides over the Suburban is well worth it.

For those in the market for one of the big SUVs, I will say that the Excursion doesn’t drive as nice as the Suburban because it’s a TRUCK, and a 3/4 ton truck at that! The Suburban is a truck too, but the typical Suburban is a 1/2 ton, which means it’s going to drive more like a car, and it does. I was fine with it driving like a truck, and I knew going into it that it didn’t drive as nicely as the Suburban (we test drove a bunch of them). I also really didn’t want to deal with some of the problems that the Suburbans typically have, electrical being on the top of that list.

About the engine. They are certainly louder than a gas engine, but not loud enough that I wouldn’t buy one. Now here’s the part that really was different. Diesel engines don’t rev very high. The typical diesel to my knowledge, redlines at somewhere around 3,000 rpm. That’s pretty low compared to a gas engine. So here’s what was really weird for me to get used to. When at speed (freeway or whatever), the engine just seems like it’s barely going — kinda “chugging” along so to speak. It’s taken some getting used to since the speed of the engine just doesn’t seem to correspond with the speed you are driving. I think the fact that you can hear it so much better probably adds to it. I like it personally, but it was still different.

Since I’m a man, it was also cool because it gives me the feeling that I’m driving a big rig (18 wheeler), which for a lot of boys (me included), was always somewhat of a dream job when growing up. Now I’m older, I would never want to drive big rigs, but there’s just something nostalgic about driving a diesel. Again, I love it 🙂

So why did I buy an Excursion?

  • I have always wanted a Ford F-350 crew cab truck ever since they started making them — so this fulfills that dream for me. 🙂
  • My wife has always wanted a Ford Bronco — so it fulfills that dream for her.
  • I want to be able to tow with it — Diesels can tow!
  • We like the extra space.
  • Diesels get a little better gas mileage (15 around town, 17-18 on the freeway).
  • I have a need for that many seat belts.
  • It just fit our needs better.
  • I’m a FORD man 🙂

Now I will say, I would never buy an Excursion with a V10 — Maybe a V8 5.4, but never the V10. We drove one and although I know it’s got a lot of power, the gas mileage is just horrible. The price difference made it tempting, but only slightly.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on my new vehicle. Now I just need to sell all the others I’ve been collecting… 😉

Oh, and for the guys that would really like to get one… Let me give you some advise — Help set the expectation about the vehicle before your wife drives it. If she’s expecting a Suburban, she’ll be sorely disappointed, and you’ll end up with one (a Suburban). Tell her straight out what to expect. It’s a truck, it drives like a truck, and you may need to practice parking it (it’s not bad actually, and I can always use the exercise if I don’t want to park close). All in all it’s a great vehicle, and I highly recommend getting one if you are in the market for a large SUV. Too bad they stopped making them in 2005.

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