Ford's New Monster

The oversize Excursion, the biggest SUV ever, is making the company defend its green reputation

Everyone loved the Jeep, an instant icon with its short frame and oh-so-rugged ways. Eventually, our hearts and wallets--and behinds--warmed to beefed-up successors, like the Ford Explorer and GMC Yukon. But is the whole SUV craze getting a little out of control with the new Ford Excursion, the King Kong of SUVs at 19 ft. and 8,500 lbs.? Park it in the garage--won't happen. And this six-door nine-seater swallows gas fast enough (about 12 miles per gal.) to warm any oil sheik's heart.

The new monster seems to be biting the reputation of Ford's new chairman, William Clay Ford Jr., great-grandson...

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