An Expedition is the best choice for large families who need to transport a lot of cargo and tow a trailer. The Expedition is available in two body styles: long-wheelbase Max and standard. It has three rows of spacious seating and plenty of cargo space. It can tow up to 9300 pounds (when properly equipped). The Expedition’s twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 is under the hood. It drives the rear or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford will gladly sell you a luxurious-equipped model that tries to emulate the Lincoln Navigator’s mechanically identical features. However, the Expedition’s price tag is not comparable to other premium models. The 2020 Expedition’s driving dynamics are also dull. This can create anxiety when you need to navigate tight spaces or change lanes in heavy traffic.
What’s new for 2020?
Ford has introduced the King Ranch trim to its Expedition 2020 model. It comes with premium features such as power-retractable running board, 22-inch wheels and Del Rio leather upholstery. Real wood trim is also included. Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment and Co-Pilot360 suites of driver-assistant features are now standard on all Expedition models. This includes blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking and lane-keeping aid. The new 22-inch wheels are available on Platinum models. Leather upholstery covers more of the cabin.
It is important to be cautious when looking for Expeditions. The Expeditions that are more expensive will disappoint you. The 202A package includes the XLT model, which comes with a remote start, foot-activated liftgate and heated front seats. There is also a heated steering column. One suggestion we would like to make is to swap the 18-inch standard wheels for a set of 20-inch rolling bearings. This will keep the Expedition XLT from looking too cheap.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
The Expedition’s twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 is coupled with a responsive 10-speed automatic transmission. It can be paired with either rear- or all-wheel-drive. The 375-hp V-6 is available on the Limited and XLT models, while the Platinum model has a 400-hp version. Although we haven’t tried the base engine yet, we know it won’t be as fast as the 400-hp version that we tested on both the short- and long wheelbase models. All Expeditions have an independent rear suspension, which provides better handling and ride than the live-axle Chevrolet and GMC options. Although the ride is soft for passengers, the driver’s handling and steering feel are not as precise. The Expedition is the most expensive Expedition, so those who can afford it should check out the 10Best-winning Mercedes-Benz GLS-class for the ultimate driving experience.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Expedition can tow up 9300 pounds, which is 700 more than the Chevrolet Tahoe. The Expedition Max’s maximum weight is 9000 pounds, which is still more than any other competitor.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
These stout haulers are certainly not helping to conserve fossil fuels. Ford claims that the EcoBoost engine, a twin-turbocharged V-6, is more efficient than V-8s. However, the Expedition fails to live up to this promise. The EPA rates the rear-drive Expedition at 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The all-wheel-drive Expedition drops to 22 highway. The regular-length Expedition Max and the longer Expedition Max both delivered 20 mpg along our 200-mile highway fuel economy route. The Yukon Denali, a Yukon 420-hp, was also not as efficient, but it still beat the Ford’s real world results.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The Expedition’s interior features a square dashboard with large air vents. Materials that increase in trim levels also improve the appearance of the cabin. Each Expedition comes with 15 cupholders as well as a third-row seat that can be folded down. The Platinum tester vehicle had luxury features not found in lower trims like multicontour front seats with massage function, leather door-trim accents and real wood on its center console. It also featured premium leather wrapped steering wheels. The cabin is beautiful inside. However, the cheap plastics make it look terrible and are unacceptable for the price. The Expedition models are spacious and have a third row, which is a rare feature among competitors. A standard second row has a three-seat bench, but optionally, there are two captain’s chairs. The Expedition and Expedition Max have three rows of seats, two long body styles, and can haul lots of people and property. Although we did not test the extended version, we found it to have a competitive carry-on size and superior interior cubby storage. Each model comes with a power-folding, third row. This can be controlled via the cargo area or from the back seats. The second and third rows can be folded flat to create a level floor for cargo loading.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The Expedition is an infotainment paradise with many connectivity options and lots more features. The standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 4G LTE hotspot. Navigation plus real-time weather and traffic are available for an additional charge. The Limited, King Ranch and Platinum models only have a rear-seat entertainment system.