For drivers who want space, off-road performance, and an upscale interior, the Ford Expedition can’t be beat. The Expedition and its slightly larger sibling, the Expedition Max, which is one foot longer, both offer seating for up to eight passengers. With 36 inches of legroom in the third row, the 2019 Expedition can seat eight adults comfortably. Behind the third row, the Expedition has 19.3 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Max offers 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space. In case you have toys that won’t fit inside, the Expedition can tow more than 9,000 pounds when properly equipped, enough to easily move a boat or camping trailer.
The Expedition offers quality in addition to size. The truck has a twin-turbocharged V6 engine in all trims, which delivers plenty of power to move such a large vehicle. It comes standard with Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, and push-button start. Optional upgrades offer nearly endless luxury, including massaging seats, and a rear entertainment system.
The Expedition was fully redesigned in 2018, when a lighter-weight aluminum body was introduced for the fourth generation. This helped with fuel economy and made the Expedition even more capable off-road. The previous generation of the Expedition ran for ten years, from 2007 to 2017.
Here’s everything you should know if you’re considering buying a Ford Expedition.
Price and Value: The Ford Expedition is an expensive truck, with a starting price of $52,130 for a new 2019 model. With all options, the Expedition can cost as much as $85,000. These prices are higher than other large SUVs, but the Expedition also has better reviews, so many drivers feel it is worth the expense. The Expedition’s extra space, towing capacity, and solid reliability make it appealing, despite the higher price.
Purchasing a Ford Expedition is a great way to lower the initial price. The 2018 Expedition has the new shape and updates that debuted with the fourth generation, and is available used for under $40,000. The previous of generation of the Expedition, which ran from 2007 to 2017, has a slightly different shape and does not have features including more horsepower and a better transmission. However, shopping for a third-generation model can deliver you significant savings. In 2015, the Expedition got a mid-cycle revamp that improved fuel economy and engine power by switching from a V8 engine to twin turbo V6s. To get the most out of the truck, opt for model year 2015 or later.
Size and Seating Capacity: The Ford Expedition’s size sets it apart from the competition. It’s one of the largest SUVs on the market. The Expedition can seat up to eight people, though if you opt for bucket seats rather than a bench in the second row, seating drops to seven. Although smaller SUVs can hold that many people, the Expedition’s leg room distinguishes it from the competition: passengers in the second row have up to 42.6 inches of leg room, while third-row passengers have up to 41 inches of leg room, more than in the rear seats of many sedans. In addition to a roomy passenger area, the Ford Expedition has abundant cargo space. The Expedition has more than 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, while the Max has more than 34 cubic feet. With the rear seating folded flat, the Ford Expedition and the Expedition Max offer more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space.
If you need more space, the Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds when properly equipped, while the Expedition Max can tow up to 9,000 pounds.
Features and Trims: The fourth-generation Ford Expedition is offered in three trim levels: XLT, Limited, and Platinum. All of them are available in the normal length, or as the Expedition Max, which offers an additional foot of space. The Expedition comes with a twin-turbo V6 engine. It delivers 375 horsepower in the XLT and Limited Trims, and 400 horsepower in the Platinum (as long as you’re using premium gas).
The Expedition comes standard with rear-wheel drive, although four-wheel drive is an available option on all trim levels. The truck’s standard features include rear parking sensors, push-button start, and USB connection in the first and second rows. Parents will appreciate that the Expedition has LATCH connections in all second row seats, and in the side seats of the third row.
The additional features in the Expedition vary widely depending on trim. Here’s what you can expect in each trim level from the 2019 Expedition:
- The Expedition XLT: In this base trim level you’ll get cloth seats and a second row bench. An eight-inch display screen connects with Ford’s SYNC® system, as well as Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. A panoramic sunroof, leather-trimmed seats and heated, ventilated seats are available options. Driver’s assistance, off-road, towing, and equipment packages can be added to this trim level.
- The Expedition Limited: This trim level adds heated second-row seats and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, as well as high-definition radio. Power-deployable running boards are standard, while second-row bucket seats are an available option. The Limited offers optional packages similar to those offered in the XLT trim, but also has an available Stealth Edition package that features blacked-out rims, black accents, and red interior stitching.
- The Expedition Platinum: The Platinum offers the most powerful engine available in the Expedition at 400 horsepower. It has leather massaging front seats and available leather bucket seats for the second row, as well as real wood and leather accent throughout the interior. A rear entertainment system is available on this trim.
Fuel Economy: With twin turbo V6 engines, the Expedition burns through gas quickly. The 2019 Ford Expedition with rear-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 20 miles per gallon combined, while the four-wheel drive and Max version gets 19 mpg combined. The four-wheel drive Max gets 18 mpg combined. It’s worth noting that the Platinum trim level requires premium fuel to get 400 horsepower. The previous generation of the Expedition came with a twin-turbocharged 365-horsepower V6 in model years 2015-2017. The 2017 Expedition had an EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined fuel economy for the two-wheel drive version, and 17 mpg in all-wheel drive. The EL version (the precursor to the Max) got 17 mpg combined in rear-wheel drive and 16 mpg combined in all-wheel drive. Model years 2014 and earlier came with a 310-horsepower V8 engine that had an EPA-estimated 16 mpg combined in rear wheel drive (15 mpg combined in all-wheel drive).
Safety: The Ford Expedition is a very safe vehicle. The 2019 Ford Expedition has a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2017 Ford Expedition (the last year of the third generation Expedition) also had a five-star safety rating. All fourth generation Expeditions (2018 and 2019) come standard with Ford’s Personal Safety System™, which is designed to sense the severity of a crash in order to keep the driver and passenger safe. The Expedition also comes standard with an extensive airbag system and Roll Stability Control™. In addition, numerous driver assist features contribute to safety. The Expedition comes standard with a rear-view camera. The Driver Assistance Package, which is available on all trim levels, adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assistance.
The fourth-generation Expedition also comes standard with MyKey, a Ford offering that allows owners to set speed limits and volume limits for certain drivers.
Off-Road Capability: Despite its large size, the Expedition is very capable off-road. All trims offer true four-wheel drive, which comes standard with Hill Descent Control™ and front tow hooks . The FX4 Off-Road Package, available on the XLT trim, adds features including a limited-slip rear differential and off-road shocks that drivers who frequently go off-roading will appreciate.
Reliability: According to J.D. Power, the 2019 Expedition has a reliability rating of 4 out of 5. That is above average. The previous generation of the Expedition was even more reliable. The 2017 Expedition had a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5, which was well above average. Overall, the Expedition is considered a very reliable truck.
Ratings: The Expedition exceeds in a variety of ratings. It is rated highly among large SUVs because of its superior legroom, cargo space, and top-in-class towing capacity. In addition, it rates highly among family SUVs because of its safety features, LATCH accessibility and available entertainment system.
The Takeaway: The Ford Expedition is a versatile vehicle for drivers who want space, towing capacity and off-road capabilities. Although it is more expensive than some of the competition, the quality features and high reliability rating make up for the extra cost.