- The 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe and the 2020 Ford Expedition are full-size SUVs with trucklike capabilities.
- 2020 is the final model year for the current generation of the Tahoe, with an all-new model scheduled for 2021.
- The Expedition is available in two different wheelbases, whereas the Tahoe is technically available with one and the option to upgrade to the bigger Suburban.
If you need one all-purpose vehicle that can do it all, there’s a good chance that you’re in the market for a full-size American SUV. One of these big SUVs can carry the whole family in its three rows of seats, carry all of the family’s stuff in its generous cargo space, and tow a boat with its trucklike capabilities — all without breaking a sweat.
The Expedition comes in two different sizes: the standard Expedition and the longer-wheelbase Expedition Max. The Tahoe technically is only available in one size, but the bigger Suburban is essentially the exact same SUV but with a longer wheelbase, like the Expedition Max. That said, the standard-wheelbase Expedition is still bigger than the Tahoe — the is Ford 6 inches longer, 3 inches wider and 2 inches taller than the Chevy. See the 2020 Ford Expedition models for sale near you
As for aesthetics, both SUVs have boxy profiles that match their rugged capabilities. They both manage to look imposing on the road while still looking classy, especially in the higher trims. New for 2020 is the Expedition King Ranch, which adds some distinct, Western-inspired touches inside and out for your inner cowboy. See the 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe models for sale near you
The boxy shapes of these SUVs make them pretty roomy on the inside. The Ford is the more spacious and family-friendly of the two, partially because it’s just bigger than the Tahoe. Packaging also plays a role — the Ford has an independent rear suspension, which yields more cargo space. The Expedition also has quite a bit more room in the third row of seats than the Tahoe does, making it better for long family road trips that require more than four seats.
The interior of the Tahoe has roomy seating in the first two rows, but the third row is surprisingly cramped for an SUV this size. The third-row seats are fine if you need them in the occasional pinch, but if you have kids who will be riding back there regularly, they’d really appreciate the extra legroom in the Ford.
As you might expect, each of these SUVs comes standard with rear-wheel drive and is available with 4-wheel drive. The Tahoe has two V8 engine options, and every 2020 Expedition is powered by a turbocharged V6.
2020 Chevrolet Tahoe Engines
- 5.3-liter V8; 355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque; up to 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy; max towing: 8,600 pounds
- 6.2-liter V8; 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque; up to 14 mpg city/23 mpg hwy; max towing: 8,400 pounds
2020 Ford Expedition Engine
- 3.5-liter turbocharged V6; up to 400 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque; up to 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy; max towing: 9,300 pounds
When looking at the numbers, it’s hard to argue a case for the Tahoe’s base engine compared to the Expedition’s. The Ford engine makes more power and more torque while achieving better fuel economy than the Chevy’s base V8. Upgrading to the 6.2-liter V8 gives the Tahoe a little more power and a little less torque than the Expedition, but it’s still less efficient. The Ford also beats the Chevy in maximum towing capacity.
Another mechanical difference to consider is the Expedition’s independent rear suspension compared the Tahoe’s more old-school solid rear axle design. This makes the Expedition more comfortable and gives it more cargo space. However, the fully redesigned 2021 Tahoe, which is on the way, is making the switch to an independent rear suspension to more closely compete with its Ford rival.
These SUVs might have served as work trucks with SUV bodies in decades past, but in 2020 they can get downright luxurious with the latest technology. Each SUV offers features such as premium audio, leather seating, back-seat entertainment systems, satellite navigation, wireless charging and much more.
A nice upgrade for the 2020 Expedition is standard Ford Co-Pilot 360 safety technology, which includes automatic high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection and forward automatic emergency braking. Optional features include rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera and automatic parking assist.
As for safety tech in the Tahoe, it’s a little behind the times. You get a standard rearview camera (which is mandatory in every car from the 2020 model year) and rear parking sensors, and not much else in terms of driver assistance technology. Available tech includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front parking sensors, a head-up display, automatic high-beam headlights, forward-collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking. It’s great that all that is available, but we’d really like to see at least a few of those features as standard.
Each SUV comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Each is very user-friendly and pretty evenly matched in terms of usability and feature content.
These two SUVs are almost identical in starting price. The Tahoe has a starting MSRP of $49,000, and the Expedition stars 10 dollars cheaper at $48,990. On the high end, the Tahoe gets into the mid-$60,000 range, and the Expedition easily flirts with the $80,000 mark, but remember: That includes the Expedition Max. If we include the Chevy Suburban in this pricing comparison, a loaded Suburban can get to around the $70,000 mark, which is still quite a bit more affordable than a fully loaded Expedition Max.
In most respects, the Ford Expedition is a better full-size SUV than the Chevy Tahoe, plain and simple. We can’t wait to test out the all-new 2021 Tahoe, which is expected to hit showrooms in mid-2020 and has clearly been designed with its excellent Ford rival in mind. If you’re shopping for a full-size SUV in 2020, either go with the Expedition or wait for the new 2021 Tahoe, which is shaping up to be worth the wait. Find a Ford Expedition for sale or Find a Chevrolet Tahoe for sale