Ford’s full-size Expedition SUV fits the bill for carrying loads of passengers and cargo while at the same time towing up to 9,300 pounds and without struggling uphill.
The Expedition is updated for 2020 with the return of the King Ranch edition, the inclusion of Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system and Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance system as standard on all models, and new 22-inch wheels for the flagship Platinum model.
Five new exterior colors are available this year: Burgundy Velvet Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Desert Gold, Iconic Silver, Rapid Red Metallic Tri-Coat, and Star White Metallic Tri-Coat.
The 2020 Expedition King Ranch model has interior and exterior premium features including Stone Gray paint accents, 22-inch painted wheels, and Del Rio leather on seats and other interior trim points.
There are four Expedition trim levels: XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum, available in regular length or extended-wheelbase Expedition Max body styles. Pricing starts at $54,205 for the standard length XLT. Rear-wheel drive is standard, four-wheel drive optional.
I drove the Expedition Max Platinum 4×4 model adorned with the new Burgundy Velvet Metallic Tinted Clearcoat and powered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The engine is specially tuned for the Platinum model for higher output. The same turbo V6 engine is used on the other models but in their case the horsepower rating is 375 and torque is 470 pound-feet.
A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard on every 2020 Expedition.
My test vehicle’s EPA rating is 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. Ford recommends minimum 87-octane fuel. Those fuel economy numbers are good for something as big as the Expedition, especially with four-wheel drive. Other vehicles in the large SUV class typically get several fewer miles per gallon.
Expedition isn’t quite as competitive when it comes to pricing. The fully loaded Expedition Platinum Max 4×4 starts at $81,502 with destination charge included. A heavy-duty trailer tow package added $1,570 to the tester’s bottom line.
Maximum towing capacity is reduced to 9,000 pounds for the Expedition Max compared to the 9,300 pounds handled by the standard Expedition with rear-wheel drive, or 9,200 with four-wheel drive. These capacities require the heavy-duty trailer tow package. Without it, capability is 6,500 or 6,600 pounds, depending on model.
Expedition has three rows of seats and seating for eight. You can have captain’s chairs instead of a bench for the middle row as a $595 option. There’s plenty of room for everyone, even in the third row. That would normally take a big toll on rear cargo space, but the extended-wheelbase Expedition Max gives you three roomy rows and a giant cargo area as well.
The Platinum interior is welcoming, well made, attractive, and replete with infotainment and connectivity technology in an uncomplicated system. Passengers are treated to a serene ride. Upscale features are abundant including second row heated seats with power folding, a powerfold third row, panoramic sunroof, Bang & Olufsen 12-speaker audio, and automatic power running boards.
The driving experience is a little less enchanting, due to the Expedition Max’s sheer bulk. You can still travel Snohomish County’s twisty backroads, but in a lumbering kind of way. However, highway cruising is swell.
2020 FORD EXPEDITION MAX PLATINUM 4×4
Base price, including destination charge: $81,502
Price as driven: $84,065
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.