Despite the last year’s fall in the full-sized SUV segment’s sales figure in the United States, Ford Expedition is once again the second best-selling full-size SUV with 77,838 units sold in 2020. Yet, it was 10,400 units behind one of its strongest rivals, the Chevrolet Tahoe, probably because of the higher price tag. However, the competition could be tighter this year when Ford announced the new basic variant of the Expedition, the XL STX, which starts from just under $50,000.
The 4th-gen Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that takes 7 to 8 people on a comfortable journey across American roads. Currently, with the revamped XL STX trim, the 2021 Expedition Regular is now available with just two rows of seats, making it a five-seater. However, Ford has kept the 7/8-seater on higher trims, providing more safety and luxury features than ever.
Weighing at more than 2.5 tones with a tall ride height, the Expedition is nowhere near sporty to drive. However, it is reasonably comfortable for a family SUV. Still, you owe yourself a chance to check out at Lincoln Navigator if posh feel is what you are after.
Those who have more purchasing power also could consider its two German rivals, the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7. Both should offer a more refined driving and riding experience.
The 2021 Ford Expedition only has one engine option, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 twin-turbo producing 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque in most trims. For the Platinum and Platinum MAX trim, the engine output is 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
The engine pairs exclusively to a 10-speed automatic transmission, channeling power to either the four wheels (for the 4X4 model) or only the rear wheels (for the 4X2 model). The SUV accelerates from 0-60 mph in around 6 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 115 mph.
Ford claims the fuel economy to be 17 MPG/city and 23 MPG/highway (based on the 4X2 model). Meanwhile, its 21-gallon fuel capacity is ready to chew up long road trips with an expected range of 420 miles on a single tank.
Regular VS MAX
The Expedition Regular measures 210.0 inches long, 79.9 inches wide, and 76.6 inches high. It has an off-road-ready ground clearance of 9.8 inches and a wheelbase of 122.5 inches.
Meanwhile, the interior is spacious, and there is a decent amount of cargo space at 21 cubic feet with all the seats upright. The SUV weighs 5368 lbs and has a whopping 9,300 lbs towing capacity for the 4X2 model and 9,200 lbs. for the 4X4 model, which is almost twice its weight.
Meanwhile, the Expedition Max has an extended-length body style compared to the Regular Expedition. It measures 221.9 inches long, although it maintains the same width and height as the Regular style. Nonetheless, the wheelbase is longer, at 131.6 inches, making the interior space much more limousine-like.
The cargo space is even more spacious with the length extension, now at 36 cubic feet with all the seats upright. However, all those extras come at a cost: 679 lbs. more in curb weight and a lower towing capacity at 9,000 lbs. for the 4X2 and 4X4 models.
The 2021 Expedition is offered in five trim levels, starting from XL STX, XLT, Limited, King Ranch®, to Platinum. Its extended-length sibling, the Expedition MAX, is also available on all trims but the base XL STX.
Only available as an Expedition Regular, the XL STX is the new base trim. On the outside, it features a gloss black five-bar grille, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and foglights. Inside, there is seating for five passengers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Ford Sync 3 infotainment system.
Having a similar exterior as the XL STX but with a chrome five-bar grille, the difference lies on the inside. The XLT’s cabin features the usual eight passengers capacity (a 7-seater captain chair configuration is available for an additional $595), three-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power reclined third-row seat, and all of XL STX’s standard features.
The Limited is the Expedition’s middle trim and probably the best one. The added luxuries are very suitable and useful in a full-size SUV.
On the outside, you will get bigger and more stylish 20-inch wheels, handy power-deployable running boards, a hands-free liftgate, front parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, LED taillamps, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Inside, besides the XLT’s features, you will also get leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, heated second-row seats, and an upgraded 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The King Ranch is a special edition trim and brings its own set of exclusive features. For starters, you can find King Ranch® emblems and badges on the body and inside the cabin.
Outside, there is a Stone Gray exterior, custom King Ranch® 22-inch rims, a panoramic glass roof, and LED headlights and foglights.
Moreover, this trim comes with a 360-Degree Camera with Split View, as well as Park Assist.
Inside, the Expedition King Ranch welcomes you with special leather upholstery (Mesa/Ebony interior with Del Rio Leather Seats, Console, Door and Steering Wheel), power-folding captain’s chairs, and all features from the Limited trim.
The Platinum is the top-of-the-range trim model, including a higher power output from the 3.5L EcoBoost® engine.
On the outside, it is similar to the King Ranch®, with more chrome accents and roof rails with crossbars installed.
Inside the cabin, upgrades include wood and leather interior trim, ventilated multi-contour seats with Active Motion® and massaging features, power-folding seats for the second and third row, as well as active noise cancellation helping to reduce wind and tire noise making its way into the cabin.
Although the 2021 Expedition is based on its pickup truck sibling, the Ford F-150, the tech inside could not be underestimated. As standard, all trims come with Ford Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen display with voice commands, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Waze Technology. There is also the FordPass™ app connectivity, allowing you to connect and control your car from your smartphone.
Other nice features such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, keyless entry with push-button start, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Qi Wireless Charging are also standard across all trims. The standard stereo system comes with 8-speakers, but starting from the Limited trim and above, you will get a much nicer 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system instead.
With the 2021 Expedition, Ford is making a serious effort in the safety department. It equipped all trims as standard with Ford Co-Pilot360™, the brand’s latest safety system. The package including a Rear View Camera, Lane-Keeping System, Auto High-Beam Headlamps, BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert, and Pre-Collision Assist with Auto Emergency Braking.
Dual-stage front airbags and side-impact airbags are also standard. In addition to that, ABS, ESC, Traction Control, Electronic Power-Assist, front and rear stabilizer bars, Roll Stability Control™, Hill Start Assist, and Hill Descent Control™ (included on 4×4 models only) are also included from the lowest XL STX trim.
Another safety package known as “Ford Co-Pilot360™ Assist” is standard across the XLT, Limited, King Ranch®, and Platinum trim.
As a starter, Ford offers the 2021 Expedition in two styles: the Regular and the MAX. Each style is available in XLT, Limited, King Ranch®, and Platinum trim, with the Expedition Regular added with an additional trim, the 5-seater XL STX. All Expedition models come as standard with 4X2 drivetrain configuration, with the 4X4 configuration available for an extra $3,050.
2021 Expedition Regular
2021 Expedition MAX
|XL STX||from $49,995|
|XLT||from $52,810||XLT MAX||from $54,810|
|Limited||from $61,575||Limited MAX||from $63,575|
|King Ranch®||from $72,735||King Ranch® MAX||from $74,735|
|Platinum||from $73,775||Platinum MAX||from $75,775|
Some significant optional packages are available for purchase for all trims.
This package includes an advanced cargo manager and roof-rail crossbars. It is available for an additional $285 for the 7/8-seater models.
Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package
Just like the name suggests, this package covers the need for the towing enthusiast. It includes an upgraded radiator, trailer backup assist, 3.73 real-axle gearing, and trailer brake controller that allows the adjustment of the trailer’s brakes from the cab. You can have it for an additional $795.
FX4 Off-Road Package
Ford has also thought of off-road enthusiasts. With this package, they would get an upgraded radiator, skid plates and fuel tank protection, all-terrain tires, off-road-tuned suspension, electronic limited-slip differentials, and surround-view camera system. The FX4 package is available for an additional $1,650.
Ford will secure their 2021 Expedition buyers with a three-year/36,000 miles limited warranty and five years/60,000 miles of powertrain warranty.
The 2021 Ford Expedition is a refined full-size SUV that is very suitable for a family companion. It has everything you need to run family errands, and it is ready to tackle long road-trip journeys with family and friends.
I would recommend the Limited trim just because you are getting many features for the price. Whether to choose the Regular and the MAX model? It depends on the overall family needs. You can always go with the MAX if you need a bigger space, but the Regular might be big enough and provides slightly better fuel economy.
One may go wild and opt-in every option of the Expedition, and the price could reach more than $85,000. However, at that price, German options such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7 might be a better idea.
|Body Style(s)||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Horsepower @ RPM||375 @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque @ RPM||470 lb.-ft. @ 2,250 rpm|
|Fuel Injection||Direct Injection|
|Drive Wheels||RWD, AWD|
|Fuel Economy – City||17 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Hwy||23 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Combined||19 MPG|
|Seating Capacity||Eight; Five on STX||Eight|
|Passenger volume (cu.ft.)||171.9||172|
|Cargo volume (cu.ft.)||57.5||73.3|
|Curb weight (lbs)||5,368||5,554|
|Front||Independent short- and long-arm|
|Rear||Independent multi-link with stabilizer bar|
Wheels & Tires
|Wheel size||17″, 18″, 20″, 22″|
|Tire size||275/65R18, STX/XLT
285/45R22, King Ranch