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2018 Ford Expedition vs. 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe: Which Is Better?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Eric Brandt August 2018
  • The Chevy Tahoe has been in its fourth generation since 2015, and the Ford Expedition is all-new for 2018.

  • The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe is powered by a tried-and-true V8, while the 2018 Ford Expedition uses a slightly more efficient twin-turbo V6.

  • The Chevy has a lower starting price, but fewer standard features in its base trim than the Ford.

Ever since full-size SUVs started getting really popular in the 1990s, the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe have been rivals. The Tahoe outsells the Expedition, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a better SUV. The two used to be pretty similar truck-based SUVs, but the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe has less in common with the 2018 Ford Expedition than you might think.

With different powertrains, pricing and suspensions, the Tahoe and the Expedition offer two different takes on the full-size SUV. Which one is right for you depends on your priorities, your budget and, of course, your own personal taste. Let's take a look at the differences between the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition and the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe.

Exterior

The profiles of these two SUVs are pretty similar. Since they both put a priority on utilitarian practicality, the bodies of the Tahoe and the Expedition are both very boxy, which helps to maximize the space efficiency of the interior.

The Expedition is a little bigger than the Tahoe in every dimension. The Ford is six inches longer, three inches wider and two inches taller than the Chevy. Despite shedding some weight from its previous generation, the Expedition is still a little heavier than the Tahoe.

The exterior styling of both SUVs looks rugged, yet classy. They both look great in the higher trims with lots of chrome and nicer-looking wheels, but they also look good in the lower, more affordable trims. The Expedition looks a little more modern just because its design is a few years newer, but the Tahoe's look is aging nicely so far.

Interior

The Tahoe and the Expedition are both available with either seven or eight seats. Both SUVs have front bucket seats, a third-row bench seat and a standard second-row bench seat with available bucket seats.

The Expedition is a little roomier than the Tahoe on the inside by virtue of just being a slightly bigger SUV. The Expedition leads its class in second- and third-row passenger space, giving the third-row passengers more legroom by almost a foot. If you have a big family and you're planning on using the third row often, this is an important factor in deciding which SUV is right for you.

Not surprisingly, the Expedition also has more cargo space than the Tahoe. Granted, both SUVs are pretty big on the inside compared to just about any other vehicle, but if every square inch counts and you want the most space you can get in this class, then you may want to take a closer look at the Expedition.

As for interior styling, the Tahoe and the Expedition both have very truck-like interiors, for better or worse. If you don't mind being reminded that you're driving a truck, then you'll probably appreciate the interior styling with blocky features and no-nonsense controls. If you want to be cradled in luxury with a more sophisticated interior design, then you may want to check out their luxury counterparts: the Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade.

Mechanicals

You'd be right to associate this segment with old-fashioned V8 engines, but the Ford Expedition is an exception to this rule. Rather than a V8, the 2018 Ford Expedition has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 under the hood linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It offers best-in-class torque and towing capacity with 375 horsepower (up to 400 depending on the trim) and 470 lb-ft of torque.

Another thing that makes the Expedition stand out is independent rear suspension rather than a more traditional solid rear axle. Independent rear suspension gives the Expedition improved ride quality while making more interior space.

The Chevrolet Tahoe takes a more traditional approach to SUV performance. Its base engine is a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Clearly, those numbers fall short of the EcoBoost engine in the Expedition, but you can upgrade your Tahoe to a bigger 6.2-liter V8 that boosts performance to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. However, this engine is only available in the range-topping Premier trim.

Both SUVs come standard with rear-wheel drive but are available with 4-wheel drive for off-road and all-season capability.

On top of having more power and more torque than the base engine in the Tahoe, the Expedition's EcoBoost V6 also gets better fuel economy. The Expedition returns 24 miles per gallon highway and 17 mpg city, and the Expedition's 5.3-liter V8 gets one mpg worse in both highway and city driving. Fuel economy only takes a slight hit when you upgrade to the 6.2-liter V8, which is rated at 23 mpg highway/14 mpg city.

Mechanically, the Expedition is more modern and the Tahoe is more old-school. On paper, the Expedition's numbers beat the Tahoe's, but if a more traditional full-size SUV is what you're after, then the Tahoe might be for you despite its disadvantages in performance and fuel economy.

Features and Technology

The Expedition and the Tahoe both keep it pretty simple when it comes to trims. They both have three trim levels, an entry-level, a mid-range and a luxury trim. For the Expedition, it starts with the XLT, which comes with power-folding third-row seats, clever Tip-and-Slide second-row seats (which allow you to slide the seats forward even with child seats installed) and a reverse sensing system. The Expedition Limited adds SYNC Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot, power-deployable running boards, perforated leather seats (which are heated and cooled in front), heated second-row seats and Harman 12-speaker premium audio. Upgrading to the luxurious Expedition Platinum adds features like a panoramic Vista Roof, adaptive cruise control, a power upgrade to 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, enhanced park assist, continuous-control damping suspension, a 360-degree camera and much more.

The base trim for the Tahoe is the LS model, which comes with an 8-inch Chevy MyLink infotainment system offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a rearview camera, remote start and tri-zone automatic climate control. Upgrade to the mid-range Tahoe LT and you'll get leather first- and second-row seats (heated in front), a programmable power liftgate and Bose 9-speaker premium audio. Finally, the luxurious Premier trim treats you to HID headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, lane-change alert with blind spot monitoring as well as GM's fantastic magnetic ride control, which adjusts your suspension every millisecond to maintain a smooth ride.

The Expedition Limited is comparable to the Tahoe Premier, and you just can't get a Tahoe that's quite as nice as the Expedition Platinum. However, the pricing reflects that.

Pricing

The Tahoe is more affordable than the Expedition across the board. The Tahoe's three trims start at $48,795, $53,895 and $63,495. The Expedition starts higher with the XLT starting at $51,790, Limited starting at $62,675 and Platinum setting you back at least $73,030.

When optioned similarly, the Tahoe still beats the Expedition on price most of the time. The Tahoe also comes with some nice features that are standard on every Tahoe, like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi and an 8-in touchscreen. However, the Expedition can pack in enough luxury to justify its higher price and has some nice standard features of its own, like power folding third-row seats.

The Expedition may be more mechanically advanced, but when it crosses the $70,000 mark, it's firmly into luxury SUV pricing. For example, it's possible to get a Mercedes-Benz GLS for less money than a Ford Expedition Platinum, and the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade are in the same territory in terms of price.

Dollar for dollar, the Tahoe is a better value, but it's also not hard to see why the Expedition commands the prices that it does.

Conclusion

For a modern take on an old-school, full-size SUV, the Ford Expedition offers a sophisticated engine that returns respectable fuel economy without sacrificing performance. The Chevy Tahoe, on the other hand, is more traditional without feeling too dated and doesn't skimp on standard features, giving you a nice value proposition in its segment. The extra room in the Expedition could be the deciding factor for you, but maybe the generous tech and lower price of the Tahoe are enough to entice you to join Chevy's side.

You can't go wrong no matter which of these full-size SUVs you choose. The best way to know which is right for you is to schedule a couple test drives.

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New 2018 Ford Expedition 4WD Platinum
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New 2018 Ford Expedition 4WD Limited
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Ford Expedition vs. 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe: Which Is Better? - Autotrader