The Ford Expedition sets the bar high. It basically has everything you’d want in a large SUV: plenty of power, smooth ride, roomy and comfortable cabin, user-friendly infotainment system, generous cargo hold and excellent towing capability. One of the only drawbacks is that it costs more than some rivals.
Base Price: $76,025
As Tested: $79,585
Mileage: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
The Expedition got a makeover for the 2018 model year and some minor tweaks for 2019. For 2020, the upscale King Ranch trim is added and the Co-Pilot360 suite of advanced driver assistance technologies becomes standard.
The 2020 Expedition comes in four trims: XLT, King Ranch and Platinum. The Expedition Max has an extended wheelbase for more cargo room and is available on all trims. As mentioned above, the King Ranch trim is new for the 2020 model year. Starting prices range from $52,810 to $77,085, making the Expedition one of the most expensive large SUVs. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and four-wheel-drive is available on every trim.
The Expedition has three rows of seating and room for up to eight passengers. A bench seat is standard in the second row, or you can get the optional captain’s chairs and have seating for seven.
The standard engine is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost (turbocharged) V6 that makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The Platinum trim gets the tuned V6 that cranks out 400 horses and 480 pound-feet. Both engines come with the same 10-speed automatic transmission.
There’s plenty of power for just about anything you throw at the Expedition. Acceleration is quick with little turbo lag, and there’s plenty of oomph for merging and passing at freeway speeds. The 10-speed shifts smoothly and quickly. The Expedition handles well, too, and is easy to drive despite its enormous size. I’d often forget that I was behind the wheel of a vehicle that is 17.5 feet long and weighs nearly three tons. The only time I noticed its bulk was when I was negotiating a busy parking lot at Costco. At least there was plenty of room in the Expedition for my purchases! Visibility is good all the way around.
The Expedition gets good fuel economy for a large SUV. EPA ratings for my tester are 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19. I got 19 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
A trailer tow package is available on all models, and an off-road package is available on the XLT and Limited trims.
The Expedition can tow 6,500 or 6,600 pounds without the heavy-duty towing package, and 9,000 to 9,300 pounds with the package.
The interior is upscale, roomy and modern with mostly nice materials. It’s very similar to what you’ll find in the F-150. My swanky King Ranch trim has special trim and accents including premium Del Rio leather seating and King Ranch branding. Seats are supportive and comfortable with plenty of leg- and headroom. The second-row seats have lots of adjustments so passengers can find the best position. And even adults will fit ok in the third row.
Standard features include rearview camera, cloth upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, voice recognition, four USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hot spot, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a universal garage door opener.
Standard driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Ford’s MyKey is also standard which comes in handy for your teenage drivers. This system lets you configure one or more of the vehicle keys to control various settings such as seatbelt alerts, audio volume and maximum speed.
Available features include proximity keyless entry, remote start, surround-view camera system, eight-inch digital instrument cluster display, synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather upholstery, premium Del Rio or quilted leather, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, multicontour front seats, heated second-row seats, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. navigation, rear-seat entertainment system, wireless device charging, HD Radio, two third-row USB ports, a household-style power outlet, panoramic roof, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Available driver assistance technologies include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, and automatic parking assist.
Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system is user-friendly and well organized. It’s one of the better systems available today. The system responds quickly to touch and voice commands, and there are physical controls for common functions. The only thing that could use updating are the plain graphics.
The Expedition has above-average cargo space. There are 20.9 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 63.6 cubes behind the second row, and 104.6 cubes with the second and third rows folded. The Expedition Max has more room with 36, 79.6 and 121.5 cubic feet, respectively. A power-folding third row is standard, and power-folding second row and hands-free power liftgate are available.
Strong V6 engines
Decent fuel economy for a large SUV
Excellent towing capability
Attractive and upscale interior
Lots of room for passengers and cargo
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Costs more than rivals
My tester starts at $76,025. Star White Metallic paint is $595. 22-inch six-spoke painted machined-face aluminum wheels, 285/45R22, King Ranch tires, and the heavy-duty trailer tow package are $1,570. Destination fee is $1,395 bringing the grand total to $79,585.
It’s tough to beat the Ford Expedition if you want a big SUV. It checks all the boxes when it comes to power, capability, amenities and technology. The only negative is that its spendier than other full-size SUVs.