As sport utility vehicles (SUVs) grow, so do their price tags so that even the base model of a full-size SUV can produce a bit of sticker shock. With a starting price above $50,000, the Ford Expedition is no exception.
Redesigned in 2018 (it’ll be refreshed for 2022), the Expedition continues to serve buyers with the need for transporting multiple passengers, lots of cargo, and towing. Latino Traffic Report recently tested the two highest end models of this fancy workaholic, the Expedition Platinum and extended length Max.
Regardless of trim level, all Expeditions benefitted from a new exterior design that gave them a more refined look in 2018. Three years later, the fourth generation Expedition still showcases a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and ten-speed automatic transmission that produce up to 375 horsepower and 470 ft.–lbs. of torque with best-in-class maximum towing capability of 9,300 pounds.
It has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 23 on the highway. The aluminum-alloy body, redesigned high-strength steel frame, and stop-start technology help stretch fuel further. The extended version adds 11.9 inches in length but loses a couple mpgs with a city/highway EPA estimated fuel economy of 16/21 mpg.
Flexible seating and storage solutions include second-row tip-and-slide seating, standard on all models, that provide easy access to the third row.
Improved utility on the all-new Expedition comes with the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist camera that helps drivers maneuver with confidence when backing up to a trailer.
Standard safety features include a perimeter alarm, the SOS post-crash alert, traction control, and a blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pre-collision warning, and automatic high beams as part of Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 technology suite.
Fully loaded with technology and otherwise optional features, the Platinum trim level also improves on aesthetics with satin chrome scuff plates, ivory leather seats, and body color door handles.
As a 4×2 configuration, the test model was meant to stay on the road and as such, provided a comfy, quiet ride ensconced in a plush interior. Ford sets the bar regarding seating comfort, in LTR’s experience.
Not only were the front seats heated but so were the second row. The front seats, however, were also cooled or ventilated. The rear seats deployed easily with the push of a button as did the hands free liftgate. Both test models offered seating for seven with captain’s chairs in the second row rather than a bench.
Maneuvering such a large vehicle requires extra technology like a 360-degree camera when in reverse with sensors to make sure to avoid people and objects. For the smaller statured, power running boards make getting in and out of the vehicle much smoother and adjustable pedals improved driver confidence and safety.
A panoramic sunroof on the test model and a hotspot with wireless phone charging included on both, added luxury and convenience.
The Premium averaged 20.4 mpg on the weeklong test drive.
Built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, pricing on the 2021 Expedition starts at $52,290 with destination fees. The as-tested price came to $75,925 with 22-inch wheels and second-row buckets seats adding $595.
King Ranch 4×4
Not only is the Expedition Max longer than other Expeditions, the test model came in one of the most successful and plush trims that Ford offers, the King Ranch. Named for the famed ranch in Kingsville, Texas, purchasing this trim rewards the buyer with Del Rio leather seating and accents that bear the King Ranch logo.
The test model swapped a panoramic roof for the roof rack found on the Premium and added a ten-way driver and passenger memory seat.
While max towing on the King Ranch can reach 9,000 lbs., a little less than its shorter sibling, its added length expanded cargo room for a maximum of 121.5 cubic feet.
The test modal also lost a bit of fuel efficiency due to its size, it averaging 17.9 mpg.
The main feature on the King Ranch that sets apart, however, really boils down to its interior. There’s more plastic included than in the past but the leather seating, with saddlebags on the seat backs for added storage, achieves quite a high standard in the segment.
The as-tested price for the King Ranch came to $81,680 with an added $1,570 for its 22-inch wheels and heavy-duty trailer tow package.
Sí: Both test models offered what buyers would expect in a large SUV, particularly at this price point, lots of luxury, comfort, and convenience.
No: The infotainment system didn’t offer enough presets and the start-stop fuel saving system was abrupt.