Our first experience with the full-sized SUV offering from Ford turned out to be almost exactly what we would have expected from a vehicle as large as the Expedition.
We found the SUV to drive as large as it looked, with room for seven and a carry-on for each. It did take some thinking to get around in it.
It was, however, an awesome vehicle to get in and out of, being higher off the ground than other mid-sized SUVs, which suited us even better in our age-advanced status.
We did find that the Expedition is made with the large, active family in mind.
This year, Ford has introduced a new, smaller — if that’s even possible — engine for the Expedition: a 3.5-liter Ecoboost version complete with a twin turbocharger, mated to their new 10-speed transmission that is now in the F-150 truck.
This set up produced a very nice 375 horsepower along with 470 foot-pounds of torque and could pull up to 9,300 pounds of trailer weight with the addition of a Heavy Duty Trailer Towing Package, which made this the ultimate family weekend hauler with room for everyone and everything needed for most any adventure, along with being able to haul most any type of trailer around, from boat to mobile home.
In our week with the full-sized SUV, we averaged 19.6 mpg, which was pretty much right where the EPA said we would be. With a 26.6-gallon gas tank, fill ups would be about every 400 miles.
We took the chance for a true Sunday drive during our test drive week, heading up through Spanish Fork Canyon and on up Diamond Fork Canyon, giving us not only a great chance to see the beautiful fall colors but also a chance to see how the Expedition would handle twisty roads and steeper terrain.
The SUV handled very well as we headed up into the mountains and was surprisingly nimble on the roads. We were very impressed with the smaller V-6 engine and how much power it had as the turbos added all the boost that we could ever need.
Pulling into traffic onto Highway 6, the Expedition accelerated without even the slightest hesitation, getting easily to 65 mph and into the flow of traffic.
Heading up through the narrow winding roads of Diamond Fork Canyon, we did have to keep in mind that we were in a full-sized SUV.
Passing and getting through some of the heavy traffic near the hot springs parking required all of our attention to maneuver the larger vehicle through, however, we certainly could easily have had another five adults along with us for the drive, again making it the perfect family hauler.
After hitting the end of the pavement, we figured it would be a great drive to continue up over the top of the mountain, coming back into Springville through the Right Fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. Not the hardest of off-road challenges but a good chance to see how the large SUV would handle some loose gravel and steeper terrain.
We loved all the extra add-ons of four-wheel drive information at our finger tips, and the fact it could all be displayed in the driver information cluster front and center was phenomenal. We knew at all times the steepness of the hills we were on and how much of a side angle we were at.
After getting back onto the pavement again, it was evident to us that the new Expedition would take the whole family wherever they wanted to go, on any adventure, and get pretty much any of their gear and toys there also with ease.
On the safety side, the Expedition came loaded with features and technologies, including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping system, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera.
Our test ride also came with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go assist. We love this type of system in any vehicle and loved the way it worked in the Ford, especially in heavy traffic, bringing the SUV to complete stop before continuing with traffic.
Our test ride was as luxurious as we could have every wanted. The seats were leather clad with the front heated and cooled; there were even heated second-row seats along with a very important heated steering wheel. We found them to be extremely comfortable, even the second-row would slide and tilt for extra comfort. The third row of seats would also fold electronically up and down, allowing easy access to the rear cargo space.
We would have loved to have this type of rear seats years ago when we owned a Chevy Tahoe and took those seats out after about six months, never putting them back in until we sold the SUV. Having them go up and down at the flip of a switch is huge and a great advantage for having that storage space available at all times.
Coming with USB ports for every seat gives the Expedition a huge advantage to keep everyone’s device charged and ready for the long road trip. There is also an onboard wifi system that will allow up to 10 connections at one time.
Up-front technology is abundant, using the included LED screen our phones connected easily. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and worked very well even using voice recognition commands.
The 2020 version of the Ford Expedition turned out to be a great ride meant for the active, modern family that needs space, technology and energy for everyday adventures and long road trips.
Base price: $66,470
Price as driven: $72,455