It’s been more than three years since Ford redesigned the Expedition, and still today it
causes a stir wherever it goes. It’s big, it can carry lots of people, and it can tow some
serious cargo, all proving why it continues to be a serious contender in the full-size SUV
And if for some crazy reason if this fourth generation Expedition still isn’t big enough for
you, there is the Expedition Max, which is nearly a foot longer than the regular version,
allowing it to compete with Chevrolet and itís Suburban.
Not much has changed since the Expedition and Expedition Max were redesigned,
although last year we saw the return of the King Rang edition and this year a new XL
base trim, available only with a five-seat configuration and in non-Max form, is back.
As stated, the Expedition is quite large. Unlike most SUVs these days that use a unibody
construction (like most cars), the Expedition remains an old-school body-on-frame SUV.
But the sheetmetal, which is now made from aluminum, makes the huge Expedition
lighter than the previous, smaller generation.
Whichever Expedition you choose, the look is the same – it’s squared-off body conveys a
sense of dominance. A massive front grille makes way for C-shaped headlights that wrap
around the front fenders to smooth body. XL and XLT trim levels are fitted with 18-inch
wheels, while the mid-trim level Limited gets 20-inch wheels. Higher end models like the
King Ranch and Platinum trim levels, get 22-inch wheels.
Recently Ford had me in an Expedition Max Limited. The mid-level Limited comes
nicely equipped with power-deployable running boards, leather interior, hands-free
liftgate, heated second-row seats, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and Fords
Enter the vast spaciousness of the Expedition and you’ll appreciate why people love these
behemoth vehicles. Room is everywhere. As a people mover, the Expedition seats eight –
2 up front, 3 in the second row, and 3 in the third-row seat. If you opt for the captainís
chairs in the middle row, the total count falls by one.
On Max models, those extra 12 inches go a very long way. Passengers benefit most as
nine of those inches are in the wheelbase, which translates into more cabin room, slightly
larger rear doors and easier access to the third-row seats.
I found the third-row seats in the Expeditions very comfortable ñ probably the best in the
business (both versions offer the same amount of room for third row passengers). These
are vehicles that are made to have people sitting in the third-row, and you can tell that
Ford went to great lengths to accommodate them. In fact, one Ford engineer told me that
they made it so passengers over six feet tall could sit back there in comfort.
As a cargo hauler, the regular Expedition can transport up to 108 cubic feet of cargo. But
go with the Max and that jumps to 131 cubic feet. On top of that, the Expedition is
capable of towing up to 9,200 pounds. No doubt, the Expedition is a worker, whether to
haul people, cargo or a trailer.
Since 2015, a V8 could no longer be had in the Expedition. Instead, the Expedition and
Expedition Max get by with Fordís 3.5 EcoBoost V6. While it’s still hard to believe there
is no V8 available, one drive is all it takes to realize that the turbocharged V6 easily gets
the job done. In fact, it outshines previous V8s that were once available in previous
Expeditions. Numbers are impressive: 375 horsepower and 470 lb. ft of torque. It gets
better if you move up to the top of the line Platinum trim level where the same motor is
tuned to 400 hp and 480 lb ft of torque. Every Expedition uses a 10-speed automatic
On the road, the turbocharged V6 really makes the Expedition move ñ far better than any
V8 ever did. Just a little tip into the gas pedal causes the big SUV to smoothly lunge
forward. Another benefit that the EcoBoost provides is better fuel economy – the EPA
rates the four-wheel drive Expedition Max at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Like all Expeditions before it, the current Expedition feels as big as it looks. But for those
that need a big vehicle to haul both people and goods, the Expedition continues to be the
one for that journey.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2021 Ford Expedition MAX Limited 4X4
Base Price: $68,825.00
Price as Tested: $73,330.00
Layout: front-engine / rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5liter twin turbo V6 EcoBoost
Transmission: 10 – speed automatic
Horsepower: 375 hp
Torque: 470 ft-lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 16 city / 21 highway
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