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2020 Ford Expedition Review

With only a couple of real competitors, the 2020 Ford Expedition is a unique beast. With carlike crossovers spreading across the landscape, the large, truck-based SUV is a rare bird, indeed. With their body-on-frame constructions, truck-based SUVs tend to be stiffer, more rugged and less fuel-efficient than car-based crossovers. But they can tow more, too: When properly equipped, the Expedition can pull up to 9,300 pounds.

Ford has somewhat mitigated the ride quality and mileage issues by sticking a turbocharged V6 engine under the hood and using an independent rear suspension. The Expedition still doesn’t drive or sip fuel like a sedan, but it’s a bit more civilized than others in the segment.

Bottom line: If you aren’t going to be towing heavy trailers or boats, there are more economical and more comfortable alternatives among three-row crossovers.

What’s New for 2020?

The big news is the King Ranch trim, which joins the trim levels between the Limited and the Platinum for 2020. The power folding third-row seats on all trims now also provide power reclining. Third-row smart-charging USB ports are standard on all trims except the base trim. See the 2020 Ford Expedition models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Styling
  • Cool cabin technology
  • Power folding third-row seat
  • Trucklike capabilities
  • Smooth ride
  • Space
  • Highly contented entry-level grade

What We Don’t

  • Thirst

How Much?

$54,205-$75,330 (Expedition); $57,230-$78,360 (Expedition 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 estimates that the RWD Expedition gets 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 and 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined with AWD.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Ford Expedition is offered in regular (the Expedition) and extended (the Expedition Max) wheelbases and in four trim levels. Optional on all Expeditions, adding 4-wheel drive varies in price, depending on length and trim. All pricing includes the $1,395 factory delivery charge.

The XLT ($54,205/$57,230) trim 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 and reclining 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 ($64,740/$67,770) trim brings 20-in wheels, LED tail lights, front parking sensors, leather upholstery for the first two rows, heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way power adjustment (including lumbar support) and driver’s-side memory functions, a power adjustable and 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 capability, a 110-volt power outlet, third-row smart-charging USB ports, 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-and-go, lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and rain-sensing front wipers.

The King Ranch ($74,290/$76,985) trim adds or enhances the Limited’s standard gear with 22-in aluminum wheels, full exterior LED lighting, a panoramic sunroof, special exterior accents, a Mesa/Ebony interior with Del Rio Leather seats, enhanced active parking assistance with parallel parking, second-row power folding tip-slide captain’s seats, a 360-degree camera system and all the features from the Driver Assistance package.

The Platinum ($75,330/$78,360) trim moves up to an automatic suspension, massaging front seats, second-row inflatable seat belts and a navigation system.

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 (which 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, and the electronic traction control reduces wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard across 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 crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Expedition received a perfect five stars overall, including five stars in front-impact and side-impact tests.

Behind the Wheel

A 650-mile trek from upstate South Carolina to South Florida and back provided an ideal lab for evaluating the Expedition’s road manners. For something this big and comfortable, the Expedition 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.

The steering feel is heavy but not laborious. The ride is smooth and the cabin is quiet, but catch a strong crosswind and the steering wheel will need a firm grasp, requiring the driver 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 2020 Ford Expedition presents some challenges in cities, particularly traffic-dense urban areas such as Delray Beach, Florida. Although the parking sensors, rearview camera and integrated blind spot mirrors help, there’s no getting around the Expedition’s substantial size.

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

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Chevrolet Tahoe — Offers a V8 engine 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. You could look at the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Suburban, too.

2020 Nissan Armada — Comes with a 390-hp V8 engine. No long-wheelbase variant, though.

2020 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. You can find a certified pre-owned model 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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