Ford's 2023 full-size Expedition 4WD SUV offers a cavernous interior with impressive towing and off-road abilities
Ford’s full-size 4WD Expedition SUV is the carmaker’s answer to Chevy’s full-size Suburban. As such, the three row Expedition is large with an exceptionally spacious interior and cargo space that equals or surpasses most minivans.
Expedition is truck-based and is in its fourth generation that was initially introduced in 2018. If there’s a need for seven or eight passenger seating, generous cargo capacity and truck-like towing capability, Expedition deserves a serious look.
Expedition is offered in XL, XLT, Timberline, Limited, King Ranch and Platinum. We tested the XLT Max, the latter is the extended-length model that offers added space over the standard model.
The XLT was nicely endowed with heated/cooled, perforated leather front seats with a massage function. They’re exceptionally comfy, supportive and were complimented with power pedals to accommodate long and short legged drivers. And for those who keep a lot of incidentals in their cars, Expedition comes with two glove boxes.
A huge 12-inch infotainment display had some voice control along with Ford’s Sync-4 pinch-zoom screen capability, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, FordPass 4G Wi-Fi hotspot ability, climate selections, rearview camera with 360-degree view, apps, features, functions and online owner’s manual.
The console shares a wireless phone charger that can hold the larger cell phones with a rotary gear selector and drive mode switch that’s flanked by 4WD selection switches of 2H, 4A, 4L and 4H gearing. There’s also a rear differential lock mode switch for when the going gets tough and extra traction is needed.
Instrumentation combines an analog and digital gauge cluster with a driver information display that offers a host of notices, alerts and functions.
The second and third row seats have a low 14-inch step-in via the 5.5-inch wide running boards, or 24 inches if bypassing the boards and slipping right in. The second-row seats are comfortable with gobs of leg and head room and they tilt and slide forward to ease third seat ingress/egress. Leg room in the third was surprisingly ample for two short statured adults.
Back in the very spacious cargo area that has a 35-inch lift-over, and with the third-row seats upright, there’s 36.0 cubic feet of space measuring 30.5 inches deep, 51 wide and 31.5 high. Flip them and capacity increases to 79.6 cubic feet for 61 inches of depth. Flip the second row and capacity grows to a cavernous 121.5 cubic feet for 94 inches (7.8 feet) of cargo loading depth. Beneath the cargo floor is a three-section storage bin for small items.
Expedition is powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that develops 380-hp and 470 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 16 city, 21-highway mpg when coupled to the standard 10-speed automatic transmission. That’s enough grunt to garner a tow rating of up to 9,000 pounds with the HD towing package.
The 3.6L has a sweet deep rumble under hard acceleration that gives the impression there’s a V8 under the hood. There’s certainly no want for power, despite Expedition’s hefty 5,668-pound curb weight.
If desiring more grunt, the Timberline edition is available with a more potent V6 that puts out 440-hp and a whopping 510 lb/ft of torque.
As a large vehicle (221.9 feet overall length), Expedition rides smoothly and quietly on Toyo 20-inch tires. With 9.8 inches of ground clearance, Expedition can traverse modest snow depths or mucky mud. Handling too isn’t bad for a large SUV, but it could be a bit intimidating to park in tight spots.
Expedition is offered with three optional packages for extra purposes. There’s the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package w/3.73 rear axle; FX4 Off-Road package with off-road tuned suspension, all terrain tires, skid plates and more; and a Stealth Performance package with a higher output twin-turbo V6 to name a few.
Our test Expedition came with a long list of features and safety items such as post collision braking, terrain management system, rear occupant alert, post crash alert and many more.
Option wise, the remote start system ($3,795), Stone Blue paint ($395), Special Edition package ($2,495), auto start/stop removal ($50), ControlTrac w/3.73 rear ($1,100), plus miscellaneous option ($7,735), took the base price of $60,190 to $69,620 with delivery.
Considering Expeditions capabilities, capacities, off-road abilities, and when comparing it to similarly priced midsize SUVs, Expedition offers more vehicle for the money.
In government 5-star crash tests, Expedition was only tested for front/rear seat side crash and rollover. For the former it received a full five stars and for rollover it received four stars.
Expedition comes with a 3 year/36K bumper-bumper; 5/60K powertrain and 5/60K roadside assistance warranties.
As said, if you need seating for seven, loads of cargo space and towing ability, Expedition can fulfill all those needs, and then some.