The Ford Expedition’s Gas Types and Fuel Journey


The Ford Expedition, a flagship SUV from the American automaker, has been a favorite among families and adventurers alike since its inception in 1997. Over the years, the Expedition has undergone numerous changes, including its engine specifications and recommended fuel types.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into the type of gas each generation of the Ford Expedition uses, the reasons behind those recommendations, and the implications of deviating from them.

1. Understanding the Basics: Gas Types

Before diving into the specifics of the Ford Expedition, it’s essential to understand the basic types of gasoline:

  • Regular Unleaded (87 octane): The most common and least expensive type of gasoline. It’s suitable for most vehicles and provides adequate performance for daily driving.
  • Mid-grade (89 octane): A middle-ground between regular and premium, offering slightly better performance and efficiency.
  • Premium Unleaded (91-93 octane): Contains a higher octane level, which can enhance performance and efficiency in engines designed for it.


Ford Expedition’s Gasoline Evolution

1st Generation (1997-2002)

  • Engine Type: Primarily V8 engines.
  • Recommended Gas: Regular Unleaded.

Why? The engines during this period were less complex and didn’t have the advanced compression ratios of later models. Regular gasoline was sufficient to prevent knocking and ensure smooth operation.

2nd Generation (2003-2006)

  • Engine Type: V8 engines with improved efficiency.
  • Recommended Gas: Regular Unleaded.

Why? Despite advancements, the engines in this generation still didn’t require the high octane levels found in premium gasoline.

3rd Generation (2007-2017)

  • Engine Type: Introduction of the EcoBoost V6 alongside traditional V8s.
  • Recommended Gas: Regular Unleaded, with Premium Unleaded for optimal performance in EcoBoost engines.

Why? The EcoBoost engine, with its turbochargers, can benefit from premium gasoline due to its higher compression ratio. However, it can also run efficiently on regular gasoline.

4th Generation (2018-Present)

  • Engine Type: Primarily EcoBoost V6 engines.
  • Recommended Gas: Regular Unleaded, with Premium Unleaded for optimal performance.

Why? As Ford shifted towards more efficient and turbocharged engines, the benefits of premium gasoline became more pronounced, especially during high-performance driving or towing.


The Implications of Using Different Gas Types

Using a different gas type from the recommended can have various effects:

  • Using Premium in a Regular-Recommended Engine: While it won’t harm the engine, it might not provide any noticeable benefits in terms of performance or fuel efficiency. It’s essentially an unnecessary expense.
  • Using Regular in a Premium-Recommended Engine: This can lead to engine knocking, reduced performance, and decreased fuel efficiency. Modern engines have knock sensors that adjust performance to prevent damage, but it’s still not ideal.


Cost Implications

Gas TypeAverage Cost (per gallon)
Regular Unleaded$3.00
Premium Unleaded$3.50

Note: Prices are averages and can vary based on region and market fluctuations.

Fuel Efficiency of Each Generation of Ford Expedition

Video: 2022 Ford Expedition – MPG Test

  1. First Generation (1997-2002): The first-generation Ford Expedition was introduced in 1997 and was based on the Ford F-150 platform. During this period, the Expedition was equipped with a 4.6L V8 or a 5.4L V8 engine. The fuel efficiency for these models ranged from 12 to 17 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 16 to 21 mpg on the highway.
  2. Second Generation (2003-2006): The second generation saw a redesign and was based on the third-generation Ford F-150.

    The fuel efficiency for this generation ranged from 12 to 14 mpg in the city and 16 to 20 mpg on the highway.

  3. Third Generation (2007-2017): The third generation of the Expedition was introduced in 2007 and continued until 2017. This generation offered improved fuel efficiency with the introduction of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine in later models. The fuel efficiency for this generation ranged from 13 to 15 mpg in the city and 18 to 22 mpg on the highway.
  4. Fourth Generation (2018-Present): The latest generation of the Ford Expedition was introduced in 2018.

    With advancements in technology and engine design, the fourth generation offers better fuel efficiency compared to its predecessors. The 2018 model, for instance, offers an estimated 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with its 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. The 2020 model offers similar fuel efficiency, with an estimated 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

    The 2021 model continues this trend, with an estimated fuel efficiency of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.


The Ford Expedition, like all vehicles, has specific fuel requirements based on its engine design and intended performance. While it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, understanding the reasons behind these guidelines and the implications of deviating from them can help owners make informed decisions. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for the most specific and up-to-date information.