This winter, I had the opportunity to test out the Ford Expedition. The timing could not have been better as I picked it up the afternoon of “The BIG Storm”, right before the snow started to fall.
In this post, I will share with you our very special charitable experience while driving the Expedition and I will also share with you what we thought about the vehicle in general. There is a VIDEO at the end of the post where I actually show you inside the vehicle, demonstrate some of the Expedition’s features and discuss our thoughts and reactions.
My mission was not only to test drive the Expedition, but also to use it to perform an act of charity as part of the #FordDoMore initiative. I took my challenge very seriously and enlisted the help of my two sons and my youngest daughter as well as her best friend and we spent over 6 hours delivering 80 ‘Shabbat to Share’ boxes for MADA Community Center at various locations in our snow-jammed city. To be more specific, we delivered to 80 different recipients, so there was a lot of driving, parking, door-knocking and meeting & greeting involved
Shabbat to Share is a program whereby a Sabbath meal is delivered to people in need, usually elderly people who are socially isolated due to financial circumstances, illness or other life challenges. While the meal itself can sometimes be the one nutritious meal that the recipient has each week, the delivery of the Shabbat to Share box is about so much more than just that meal. It is a much-needed connection with another human being that recipients look forward to.
When I was asked to perform a charitable act using the new wheels, the delivery of these boxes seemed like a natural fit. So, two days following the BIG snowstorm, when the kids had an early dismissal, I picked them up and we headed straight for MADA. We were 5 people in the car and managed to fit 60 boxes in with us, and everyone was seated comfortably! ( We returned for the final 20 after we hit up our first apartment building )
I shared this Facebook Live Video just as we were packing up the car. Check it out:
Shabbat to Share is simply one program that is spearheaded by MADA Community Center. They do so much good for the community that one blog post simply will not cover it all. What I will share here is that their mission is to:
- To help people in need with the basic necessities of life while preserving their dignity and helping them become self-sufficient members of the community.
- To educate about poverty and inspire caring, sharing and sensitivity towards those in need.
- To be a platform for meaningful projects and educational opportunities.
I LOVE everything about MADA, what they do and how they do it. They also happen to offer great volunteering opportunities for kids looking to do community service 😉 . You can read more about them on their website at madacenter.com.
So..back to our Shabbat to Share Expedition… It was amazing. The recipients were so grateful to receive their meals from young smiling faces. In one case a gentleman asked me what the name of the girl who delivered the basket’s mother was…I said “She is my daughter”. He then asked me my name and proceeded to say a prayer for my daughter. It was actually quite an emotional and moving moment.
Here are some photos from the experience. I did not photograph recipients out of respect for preserving their anonymity.
Now…How did our Ford Expedition perform during this whole endeavour? FABULOUSLY well. I am sure you can recall the snowbanks EVERYWHERE. Navigating the streets was a nightmare and parking was even worse. We literally plowed through the streets in Snowdon, in the Côte des Neiges area and in Côte Saint Luc and managed to deliver 80 boxes in approximately 6 hours (and that included a trip back to MADA in between- during rush hour…on Decarie!)
The only negative was that at one point, I had to park in a driveway and the Expedition, being the beast that it is, took up half the width of the drive (also on account of the snow). More importantly however, I am not sure another vehicle would have made it in and out of that driveway that day LOL!
Now…I know you are wondering: How did the Ford Expedition perform when we were simply using it as a family?
From the luxury of the heated steering wheel and comfortable seats, to the feeling of being safely above way above the rest of the cars on the road, to plowing through snowbanks just for fun, I LOVED driving this vehicle. And about the snowbank crushing: No joke: I would actually do it and say ‘I crush you!’ as I did. Childish? Perhaps. Fun? Absolutely 😉
How did the Expedition perform during a Costco run? For starters, I had the easiest time finding the car when I got out of the store because it towered over all others in the lot. This was a bonus feature I wasn’t counting on, LOL AS for the cargo room…check it out:
How did it do on gas? For a vehicle of this nature, it did well, but as you might expect, it used more than your standard minivan, but I have to tell you that the week that I had it (which happened to be the worst week to drive all winter), driving was an absolute breeze, and there’s a real argument to be made that for many people the convenience of a safe, sturdy reliable vehicle that can get you anywhere even in the worst storms and also offers a luxurious interior, would be worth the premium of spending more on gas. I’m not going to lie, that was the thought going through my mind all week.
How did the kids like it? My kids LOVED it. They loved the luxury, the comfort, the abundance of USB outlets, and they definitely appreciated the fact that the Expedition got up the driveway at the cottage on Sunday night in a snap, as opposed to calling CAA and waiting for them to find a way to get our minivan up the hill…AGAIN. Yes, this happened more times than I care to recount this winter. Note: AWD is an absolute necessity if you want to spend time in the country. So…How much did they love it? They asked…no begged…for us to get one as our family car.
Now comes your next question: Would I recommend this as a family vehicle?
That said, the few things I would pay attention to are the following:
- Make sure you are ok with the gas mileage you will be getting.
- Parking indoors can be tricky- If this is not of concern to you then let it not be a barrier!
- While the trunk was large enough to carry 60 Shabbat to Share boxes, it would not be large enough to hold luggage for my family of 6 should we decide to take a road trip to Florida, as an example. That said, if you are a family of 5 or less, you can flip a seat, have plenty of extra cargo room and be good to go! You should also know that there is an extended version of the The Ford Expedition with an IMMENSE trunk- my friend who has 5 children drives one and absolutely LOVES it! She told me her only issue is the indoor parking issue. I think that is a small price to pay for a luxurious, spacious and safe vehicle that can tote around her family of SEVEN with room for all of their luggage!!!
Finally, I just had to share some of the features in a video:
Thinking about it? Go for a test drive…given the change in season, you may not experience the same snowbank-crushing satisfaction that I did, but I suspect you’ll love the luxury and enjoy the Expedition 😉