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2023 Ford Expedition: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 Ford Expedition continues as a full-size body-on-frame SUV that competes with the likes of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. It’s an eminently comfortable 3-row SUV with the towing abilities of a truck. Only minor changes have occurred in the relatively unchanged 2023 Expedition lineup, but prices have increased slightly compared to 2022.

As before, you can get an Expedition or an Expedition Max, both with seating for up to eight. The Max, however, has a foot-longer body, so it has a more generous cargo area behind the third-row seat. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard on the 2023 Ford Expedition; 4-wheel-drive (4WD) models cost about $3,000 more than the RWD versions.

The 2023 Ford Expedition lineup consists of these six models: the XL, XLT, Timberline, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum.

Let’s take a look at each.

2023 Ford Expedition XL STX (starting at $53,875)

As the entry-level 2023 Ford Expedition, the XL STX has only two rows of seats, so it’s a 5-seater with gobs of cargo space. It’s also generously equipped with standard equipment.

Under the aluminum hood of the Expedition XL STX is a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. This engine produces 380 horsepower and a satisfying 470 lb-ft of torque, which gets sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The optional 4WD system, called “Control Trac” by Ford, includes eight selectable drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Rut, and Sand.

With its tinted privacy glass, running boards, black side rails on its roof rack, 18-inch wheels, and body-color door handles and bumpers, the Expedition XL STX doesn’t look like an entry-level model.

A Class IV trailer hitch receiver comes standard, along with heated and power-adjustable side mirrors. Wiper-activated headlights, fog lights, and a flip-up window with a wiper/washer in the rear liftgate complement those features.

In addition to a push-button starter and key fob with a remote start feature, the Expedition XL STX comes standard with cloth seats and a second-row bench seat that splits 40/20/40.

While the driver gets an 8-way power seat with power lumbar, the front passenger seat of the Expedition XL STX has purely manual adjustments.

STX buyers will appreciate the analog gauges and the standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, which tilts and telescopes and has buttons for the cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and audio. Other niceties include tri-zone automatic climate control (with rear-seat controls) and thoughtful touches like illuminated vanity mirrors in the sun visors.

Ford’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system is on duty in the STX, supported by a touch-and-swipe 12-inch screen with voice control and a 6-speaker stereo. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Ford’s connected AppLink suite augment the setup. The STX also has four USB ports and four 12-volt outlets (two in front, one in the second row, and one in the cargo compartment.

Nor is safety forgotten in the Expedition XL STX. Notable among the technologies in the standard Co-Pilot360 safety suite are automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking. You also get automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and rear parking sensors. Trailer sway control and a rear-seat occupant reminder system are included, too.

As for STX options, we suspect the $795 Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package will be popular. Besides a trailer brake controller, it includes Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which handles the steering while you’re backing up to a trailer hitch.

Also noteworthy: Buyers can order 4WD XL STX models with an electronic limited-slip rear differential, which they can tow flat while in neutral.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ford Expedition XL STX comes to $55,670. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the STX’s monthly payment comes to about $1,000. See 2023 Ford Expedition XL STX models for sale

2023 Ford Expedition XL STX includes:

  • Sync 4 – This advanced infotainment system can be controlled by your voice or via a 12-inch touchscreen with swipe capability.
  • Automatic emergency braking – If the driver fails to respond to a warning, the Expedition can apply its brakes automatically in an effort to prevent a possible collision.
  • Android Auto/Apple CarPlay – We continue to espouse the convenience of these features, which allow seamless access to your smartphone’s apps, navigation, music, and messages.

2023 Ford Expedition XLT (starting at $57,940), Expedition XLT Max ($59,940)

The XLT has more standard features, perhaps the most significant being the power-folding third-row seat that bumps the seating capacity of the Expedition to eight. And yes, you get third-row USB charging points, plus standard SiriusXM radio.

Multiple options and special edition packages are available on the 2023 Ford Expedition XLT, which has 20-inch wheels as standard equipment.

Package 202A ($3,795) packs features like heated and ventilated power front seats, durable ActiveX upholstery (first two rows),  power-folding second-row captain’s chairs, power-adjustable pedals, a power liftgate, and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Also included are power-folding third-row headrests.

Perhaps more importantly, Package 202A also brings Co-Pilot360 Assist to the Expedition XLT. In addition to adaptive cruise control and active lane centering, this safety suite has front parking sensors and intersection assist, designed to prevent accidents when making a left turn across the bow of oncoming traffic. Also, the automatic emergency braking system is further enhanced with pedestrian detection.

The Black Accent Package available on the XLT adds 20-inch black wheels with 275/55R-20 tires, a gloss-black front skidplate, a black rear bumper, and Black Onyx seat upholstery.

Individual options for the XLT abound. Among the highlights are 20-inch Sparkle Silver wheels, black roof rail crossbars, a panoramic glass roof, and an electronic limited-slip rear differential (4WD only).

When you add Ford’s $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Expedition XLT costs $59,735. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the XLT’s monthly payment comes to about $1,073. See 2023 Ford Expedition XLT models for sale and See 2023 Ford Expedition Max XLT models for sale

2023 Ford Expedition Limited (starting at $67,115), Expedition Max Limited ($69,115)

With the Limited, the 2023 Ford Expedition emphasizes luxury.

It offers all the same engine and drivetrain options as the XLT, plus all the multiple features included in the 202A package above. Beyond that, the Limited provides leather upholstery (first two rows), a panoramic Vista Roof, and a foot-activated liftgate.

What else distinguishes the Limited? Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Assist, LED headlights and taillights, heated second-row seats, rain-sensing wipers, and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with active noise cancellation.

If you’re looking for an Expedition that’s suspiciously quick, order your Expedition Limited with the Stealth Performance Edition Package 204A ($9,880). In addition to a 440-hp version of the EcoBoost V6 with dual exhausts, this package gets you sport suspension, black 22-inch alloy wheels, Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, and a fantastic 22-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Also notable: If you order the Sync 4A infotainment system on your 2023 Expedition Limited, it will be joined by the massive 15.5-inch touchscreen and the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster. All for a reasonable $795.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ford Expedition Limited costs $68,910. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing with zero down, the Limited will have a monthly payment of about $1,238. See 2023 Ford Expedition Limited models for sale and See 2023 Ford Expedition Max Limited models for sale

2023 Ford Expedition Limited includes:

  • Foot-activated tailgate – Why fumble around looking in your pocket for a key fob when all you need to do is swipe your foot under the back bumper to open the power hatch?
  • Vista Roof – This large panoramic glass makes for a great view of the sky but also has a power sunshade.
  • B&O sound system – We know from experience that the 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo sounds fantastic.

2023 Ford Expedition Timberline (starting at $70,705)

The Timberline, new last year, is an Expedition designed for the dirt. It’s sold exclusively with the standard wheelbase and 4WD. That means there is no Max version, and it’s blessed with a class-leading 10.6 inches of ground clearance. Power comes from the high-output version of the turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that cranks out 440 hp. Max tow rating: 9,200 pounds.

Ford gives the Timberline a more rugged, outdoor look. This appearance starts with exclusive interior and exterior colors (the Forged Green Metallic is particularly handsome) and black 18-inch alloy wheels wearing all-terrain tires, size P265/70R-18.

Further distinguishing the Expedition Timberline are a dual exhaust, LED fog lights, red tow hooks, and spotlights integrated into the side mirrors.

Mechanical upgrades abound. Besides the addition of front, rear, and center skid plates, the Expedition Timberline is equipped with an electronic limited-slip rear differential, a heavy-duty radiator, and fortified off-road suspension. It also has Trail Control (a low-speed form of off-road cruise control) and Trail Turn Assist (which locks the inside rear wheel to help the big Expedition make tighter turns on the trail).

Inside the Timberline, you get power front seats, a power-folding second-row bench seat, ActiveX seat upholstery (with orange stitching), and a heated tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Other noteworthy standard features include a foot-activated power liftgate, a smartphone charging pad, and a 115-volt power outlet.

Option package 501A brings an enormous amount of welcome hardware to the Timberline, a point underscored by its $9,220 price. Besides a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a massive 15.5-inch touchscreen with navigation, you get the latest Sync 4A infotainment, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, and power-folding center-row captain’s chairs that are heated.

Also part of the 501A package is Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0. In addition, to reverse braking and a 360-degree camera, this safety suite includes front and rear camera washers and Active Park Assist 2.0, which will automatically park the Expedition in a parallel or perpendicular spot. But be warned: You can’t get the Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package if you want Active Park Assist.

With its $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ford Expedition Timberline costs $72,500. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the Timberline will have a monthly payment of about $1,303. See 2023 Ford Expedition Timberline models for sale and See 2023 Ford Expedition Max Timberline models for sale

2023 Ford Expedition Timberline includes:

  • High-output EcoBoost engine – The high-output version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 puts out 440 hp and a stump-pulling 510 lb-ft of torque.
  • Special suspension – With more than 10 inches of ground clearance and specially tuned off-road suspension, the Timberline can go places a standard Expedition cannot.
  • Trail Control – This low-speed (below 10 mph) cruise control keeps the Timberline moving at a steady pace over rugged terrain, letting the driver concentrate more on the steering.

2023 Ford Expedition King Ranch (starting at $77,170), Expedition Max King Ranch ($79,170)

The King Ranch version of the 2023 Ford Expedition, based on a well-equipped Limited model, feels like a specially curated model for wealthy ranchers who want their trucks to treat them well.

Who can blame them? To that end, the Expedition King Ranch has rich Del Rio leather seat upholstery and Ziricote wood trim inside. On the outside, 22-inch wheels, gray cladding, chrome side rails on the roof rack, and some impossible-to-miss King Ranch badging complete the look.

Besides power-deployable side steps, the 2023 Expedition King Ranch comes standard with the Sync 4A infotainment system, which includes a 15.5-inch touch screen, a 22-speaker B&O sound system, and a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster.

Options for the King Ranch are limited. The Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package makes good sense if you plan to do any towing. And if your life ever involves driving in slippery and mucky conditions, get the electronic limited-slip rear differential (4WD only).

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ford Expedition King Ranch costs $78,965. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the King Ranch’s monthly payment comes to about $1,419. See 2023 Ford Expedition King Ranch models for sale and See 2023 Ford Expedition Max King Ranch models for sale

2023 Ford Expedition King Ranch includes:

  • Del Rio leather – This leather, in a rich mahogany brown, adorns all three rows of the King Ranch seats.
  • B&O audio – Get fully immersed in some Garth with 22 speakers, including a subwoofer. Or maybe your favorite Yacht Rock.
  • Power running boards – These steps automatically extend whenever the doors open.

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum (starting at $79,620), Expedition Max Platinum ($81,620)

The Platinum reigns as the top Ford Expedition for 2023. It has all the standard and optional equipment from the Limited, plus most of what’s found on the King Ranch. Ford then adds a few exclusive bits that help the Platinum live up to its name and $80,000 price tag.

The Platinum has the best available Expedition features, which include Sync 4A infotainment, the huge 15.5-inch touchscreen, and the 22-speaker B&O sound system.

But the Expedition Platinum also has a few features of its own. These adornments include exceptionally supple leather front seats, which have a massaging function, perforated inserts, and quilted bolsters. The Platinum’s interior door panels also are beautifully wrapped in leather.

The most notable feature of the 2023 Ford Expedition Platinum is BlueCruise, an autonomous driving feature that works on more than 130,000 miles of designated highways in North America. While it is really possible to drive for long stretches with your hands off the steering wheel and your foot off the gas, the driver must continue to look forward, or the BlueCruise system will shut off (in a stepped fashion and with many warnings). A camera keeps an eye on the driver at all times when BlueCruise is active.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ford Expedition Platinum costs $81,415. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the Platinum’s monthly payment comes to approximately $1,463. See 2023 Ford Expedition Platinum models for sale and See 2023 Ford Expedition Max Platinum models for sale

FAQ

What is the best 2023 Ford Expedition trim?

We like the 2023 Ford Expedition best in XLT trim. It offers the most value, plus lots of available options.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 Ford Expedition get?

The RWD models of the Ford Expedition get 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway. With 4WD, the Expedition is nearly as fuel efficient, returning 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway.

The 4WD Expedition Timberline is rated by the EPA at 16 mpg city/19 mpg highway.

Which 2022 Ford Expedition trim level offers the most safety?

Because the Platinum has the BlueCruise hands-free highway driving system, evasive steering assist, and intersection assist, we feel it’s the safest 2023 Ford Expedition.

Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop is an author specializing in the automotive world, primarily the new cars, trucks, crossovers, vans and SUVs that support our daily lives and provide us with such superb personal mobility. While all new vehicles are much more competent than they used to be, there remain some significant differences, and Andy enjoys sharing that info with anybody who’s interested. His first car? A... Read More about Andy Bornhop

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