A big beast, but a fine road-trip partner indeed.
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
Pricing: 2019 Ford Expedition
Base price (Platinum 4×4 trim): $81,799
Options: $450 ruby red metallic paint; $1,400 heavy-duty trailering package; $800 second row captain’s chairs; $200 all-weather floor liners; $2,100 rear entertainment system/screens
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $88,639
Even in the non-MAX version, the Expedition is a big boy. But the styling is sleek and clean and the lines hide much of its bulk away. I think it’s a handsome vehicle, if not particularly striking – and the Ruby Red metallic paint my review sample came in was stunning. As are the 22-inch polished aluminum rims with massive 285/45-size boots.
The overall package looks luxurious and refined. All exterior lighting is LED – head lights, driving lights, tail lights.
All that size makes for a very spacious interior. It doesn’t matter where you look, it’s roomy and expansive. The materials are nice – lots of soft-touch plastics, quilted stitched panels and beautifully upholstered seats. Those are heated, ventilated and massaging by the way. We took our company from Germany to the mountains, and the seats were comfortable even after hours on the open road.
Ford’s SYNC 3 touchscreen-based system sits snugly in the centre of the dash – it’s a clean interface that works well, supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto nicely, and piping tunes through the excellent 12-speaker B&O sound system.
Every bit of Ford’s driver assistance technology comes with this loaded-up Platinum trim model – you get blind-spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, 360-degree camera with parking sensors all around, park assist (which is very helpful with something this size), lane keep alert and assist, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection.
Second and Third Row Seats
I love the second-row captain’s chairs. They make for a roomier seating experience, and they allow for a walk-through aisle to the third row. Unless you desperately need that third seat in the second row, definitely opt for these ones. They’re heated and as comfortable as the front seats. And there’s a wealth of head and leg room.
I love that Ford has made third-row space a priority in the Expedition – choosing the MAX model doesn’t have any impact on the third row, it only adds trunk space. And that that means is the third row in this “smaller” Expedition is big enough for three adults.
There are plenty of power ports and charging options for both rear rows, as well as cupholders and a separate climate control panel. Second row passengers got the optional head-rest based touchscreen entertainment system. It’s ridiculously pricey and I would just buy each passenger an iPad and have money left over, but if you do go for it, it’s one of the better ones out there. It offers numerous ways to interact with the system as well as get your content onto the screen.
There are plenty of places to plop down your things around the cabin. The Expedition’s trunk is obviously the champ though and even behind the third row, it offers the equivalent of a big trunk (592L). Drop the third row and you get a minimum of 1627L (up to 1800L if you move the second row seats forward) and if you’re moving an entire house at once, you can drop those second row seats for a total of 2961L. You can definitely do car-camping in here if you want.
On a size note, if you do require that extra trunk space the MAX offers, it is a reasonably priced upgrade.
Under the Hood
The high-output 3.5L EcoBoost lurks here, ready to unleash 400HP and 480 lb.ft of torque (the latter available from 2,250 RPM on) on the world. It feeds that power through a 10-speed automatic and distributes it to all four corners via an automatic 4-wheel drive system. Fuel economy is rated at 14.1/11.2/13.1 L/100 km (city/hwy/combined). We ended up with an average of 12.4 L/100 km after driving the Expedition for 1,634 km – the majority of that being highway cruising with a full passenger and luggage load. That’s not bad at all for a 2,550kg (5,621 lb) 4×4 SUV.
Although it’s a buttery smooth operator and everything is comfortable and cushy, the Expedition is very responsive. Off the line, it absolutely jumps to attention and gets up to highway speeds in a big hurry. Handling is as one would expect of something of this mass and girth, but it remains highly competent and predictable when you sling it into curves and mountain passes. The continuously variable suspension helps with that obviously.
Not only does it drive smoothly, but it’s incredibly quiet. Never, even at the highest highway speeds we reached, did wind or road noise intrude – it was easy to have a normal volume conversation with people sitting in the back row. That’s impressive stuff.
If you tow things, the Expedition configured as I had it, tows 6,804kg. That’s a full 9,200 lbs. That is a lot and will allow this monster to handle most RV trailers on the market.
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) was huge. She doesn’t normally like big vehicles like this, but she sure liked this one. She said it looks very high-end and found it relatively easy to drive, although she didn’t enjoy parking it.
If I was in the market for a full-size SUV, this would be the one I’d buy. Nothing else on the market offers the same amount of power, space, technology and yes, efficiency and bundles it into such a thoughtful, handsome package. Great job, Ford – this is the one to beat!
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Ford Canada.
If you enjoyed this review, feel free to check out my other vehicle reviews under the car reviews tab at the top of my blog.