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2019 Ford Expedition Review

If what you’re looking for is a large, capable SUV, the 2019 Ford Expedition is one of the few choices. It’s a truck, and not just a big wagon, as are so many of today’s crossovers. The difference is, the Expedition is still a body attached to a boxed, or ladder, steel frame. Most crossovers are constructed like cars with the body and frame essentially all one unit.

Typically, truck-based SUVs deliver a stiffer ride and less fuel economy than car-based crossovers. The up side is they also have greater towing capability. The Expedition can tug 9,300 pounds behind it when appropriately equipped. Ford hasn’t entirely overcome the ride quality or mileage issues, but they have mitigated both in the Expedition with a turbocharged V6 engine and an independent rear suspension.

If towing a boat or a trailer isn’t on your agenda, there are other better-riding, less fuel-thirsty choices. But for towing big loads and accommodating lots of people or cargo, the 2019 Ford Expedition is a solid pick.

What’s New for 2019?

Having received a freshening last year, the Expedition returns for 2019 with only a couple of significant enhancements. FordPass Connect replaces SYNC Connect, and a tri-zone automatic climate control replaces the dual-zone unit wherever applicable. Otherwise, very minor changes affect select trims and option packages. See the 2019 Ford Expediton models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Styling
  • Cool cabin technology; power-folding third-row seat
  • Truck like capabilities
  • Smooth ride 
  • Space
  • Highly contented entry-level grade

What We Don’t

  • Thirst

How Much?

$53,525-$74,760 (regular length); $56,210-$77,455 (Max)

Fuel Economy

All Expedition and Expedition Max models use a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. A stop/start function helps save a little gas. The Platinum trim offers a boost to 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.

The transmission is a 10-speed automatic with rotary-shift selection. Rear-wheel drive is the default setup, while all-wheel drive is optional.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the RWD Expedition with the regular wheelbase to get up to 17 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving. The AWD version manages 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

The Expedition Max returns 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined in RWD form and 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined with AWD.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Ford Expedition is offered in regular- or extended- (Max) wheelbase form, in XLT, Limited and Platinum trim levels. Optional on all Expeditions, adding 4-wheel-drive varies from $3,010 to $3,150, depending on length and trim. All pricing includes the factory delivery charge.

The XLT ($53,525/$56,210) comes with 18-in alloy wheels, hill-start assist, a roof rack, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, fog lights, a capless fuel filler, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an external security keypad, push-button start, cruise control, power-adjustable pedals, heated/power-folding side mirrors, a partially powered driver’s seat, split second-row seats that slide and recline, a power-folding third row, 15 cup holders, automatic climate control, a rearview camera with a washer, the SYNC voice-command system, MyKey, a 4.2-in screen, Bluetooth and a 6-speaker sound system with USB connectivity, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input.

The Limited ($64,410/$67,100) brings 20-in wheels, LED tail lights, front parking sensors, leather upholstery for the first two rows, heated/ventilated front seats with 10-way power adjustment (including lumbar support) and driver’s-side memory functions, a power-adjustable/leather-wrapped steering wheel, a foot-activated power lift gate, heated outer second-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, powered running boards, wireless phone charging, a 110-volt power outlet, Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, an upgraded Bang & Olufsen audio system, FordPass Connect, the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-in touchscreen, and blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.

The XLT and the Limited are both eligible for the Driver Assistance package, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop/go, lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and rain-sensing front wipers.

The Platinum ($74,760/$77,455) moves up to 22-in wheels, a panoramic sunroof, full LED lighting, automatic suspension, self-parking assist, massaging front seats, second-row inflatable seat belts, navigation system, a 360-degree camera system and all the features from the Driver Assistance package.

Some standard equipment in the higher trims is optional in lower trims. Other extras include a self-parking system, an air suspension with automatic load leveling, power-retractable running boards, a rear entertainment system, second-row captain’s chairs that reduce seating capacity to seven, and a Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package.

Safety

Ford equips every Expedition with its Safety Canopy System, which includes front, front side and 3-row side curtain airbags. A rollover sensor can activate the side and curtain airbags even if there’s no collision. AdvanceTrac with roll stability control helps keep the vehicle from veering off course when skidding or plowing, while electronic traction control reduces wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard throughout the range. The Limited trim has front sensors as standard, plus a blind spot monitoring system that’s optional in the XLT. Every Expedition has a trailer sway control as standard.

In government crash testing, the Expedition received a perfect five stars overall, including five stars in frontal impacts and five stars in side impacts.

Behind the Wheel

A recent 650-mile trek from upstate South Carolina to South Florida and back provided an ideal lab for evaluating the 2019 Ford Expedition’s road manners. For something this big and comfortable, it doesn’t wallow and lean. Some credit goes to a suspension design that allows the two rear wheels to move up and down independently. The optional self-leveling rear suspension also helps with body control.

Steering feel is heavy but not laborious. The ride is smooth and the cabin quiet, but catch a strong crosswind and the steering wheel will need a firm grasp, requiring the dirver to make quick course corrections. Happily, the EcoBoost V6 has more than enough muscle to move a full load of passengers and gear without issue.

The 2019 Ford Expedition presents some challenges in cities, particularly traffic-dense urban areas like Delray Beach, Florida. Although the parking sensors, rearview camera and integrated blind spot mirrors help, there’s no getting away from its substantial size.

The upside is massive cargo space. In the regular model, that area begins with 19.3 cu ft. with all seats in place. Fold the third row for 63.6 cu ft. (with the second row shifted as far forward as possible) and flip down both rows for 104.6 cu ft. In the Max, we’re looking at 34.3, 79.6 (second row fully forward) and 121.4 cu ft., respectively.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Chevrolet Tahoe — Offers a V8 option with more power than the Expedition can muster. But its rear seats don’t fold flush into the floor and don’t offer as much legroom. Also, look at the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Suburban.

2019 Nissan Armada — Comes with a 390-hp V8 engine. No long-wheelbase variant, though.

2019 Toyota Sequoia — Not as many creature comforts nor as much towing capacity. And hardly the freshest on the block. But it traditionally enjoys better resale values than the Expedition.

Used Lincoln Navigator — Basically an Expedition with extra style and luxury. A certified pre-owned (CPO) model can be found through a Lincoln dealer for the price of a new Expedition.

Autotrader’s Advice

Even the Expedition XLT is nicely equipped, but our first choice would be a Limited version with the Driver Assistance package. From there we would either work our way up or down depending on our budget. Find a Ford Expedition for sale

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