The new Ford Expedition is unlike any other large SUV. It offers the passenger space, cargo room, and towing capacity that few three-row SUVs can match. This week, we had the opportunity to drive a 2021 Ford Expedition Limited. It offers a generous amount of features for the price and is an ideal vehicle if you need to haul the family and tow a trailer.
Ford Expedition: What’s New For 2021?
New for 2021 is an available STX Package, while new exterior colors across the lineup include Antimatter Blue and Kodiak Brown.
Ford Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of driver aids, is now standard across all trim levels. Every Expedition includes SYNC 3 with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 mobile devices. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard across the range.
XL, XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum make up the trim levels for 2020 and each can be outfitted as a MAX. In the MAX configuration, total cargo volume increases to 121.5 cubic feet versus the 104.6 cubic feet of the standard-wheelbase Expedition. While parking might be more difficult, consider looking at the Expedition MAX if you need the extra cargo space.
Features & Options
The 2021 Ford Expedition Limited we drove came standard with heated and cooled leather seats in the front, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-folding third-row seat, and tri-zone climate control. Our test model also had rain-sensing wipers, power-folding mirrors, privacy glass in the rear, a roof rack, running boards, a power liftgate, and the FX4 off-road package.
The Limited adds more premium touches with 20-inch tarnished dark-painted wheels, ambient lighting, an upgraded 12-speaker audio system, and power-adjustable pedals. More specifically, our Limited tester added navigation, a panoramic roof, FordPass Connect, which includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 mobile devices, SYNC 3, and the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety features.
What Does The 2021 Ford Expedition Cost?
Total MSRP (including destination) for the test model we drove was approaching $72,000. By comparison, the 2021 Ford Expedition XLT starts at $53,410. The Platinum, at the top of the range, starts at $74,150. If you are considering a new Ford Expedition, this free and easy search tool* will help you find the best price.
The Expedition has nearly 10 inches of ground clearance, and you’ll want the running boards to make the climb inside easier. The full-size SUV is massive inside and is designed for adventurous people with an adventurous lifestyle. You can haul eight adults with the standard second-row bench seat, or you can opt for captain’s chairs. Regardless, even the third-row is big enough for them to be comfortable, which isn’t the case with most three-row SUVs.
The Limited trim offers all the creature comforts with heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 360-degree camera to take the edge off backing the big SUV up. Our test vehicle’s 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system provided both power and clarity throughout the Expedition’s large cabin. The back passengers will stay cool in the summer and warm in winter with the Expedition’s capable tri-zone climate control. During our drive, we had no issues getting airflow through the sizeable cabin.
The third row’s accessibility is impressive, allowing kids and adults easy access with minimal effort. We folded the rear seats and the third-row flat to get a good idea of just how much cargo room the new Expedition offers. With both rows folded down, the Expedition offers up to 104.6 cubic feet of storage.
2021 Ford Expedition: Engine & Powertrain
All Expedition trims are powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque. If you opt for the Platinum trim level, the Expedition delivers 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. of torque with the same engine. The big SUV’s EcoBoost V6 is coupled with a 10-speed automatic transmission. 4×2 is standard, although Ford’s Control Trac four-wheel drive system is available.
When properly equipped with the Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing Package, the Expedition will tow 9,300 lbs. in a 4×2 configuration and 9,200 lbs. in a 4×4 configuration.
The Expedition gets an EPA estimated 17/22 city/highway and 19 combined in a 4×4 configuration. Fuel tank capacity is 23.6 gallons, increasing to 27.8 gallons for the Expedition MAX.
We were surprised at the EcoBoost engine’s ability to move this big SUV with some authority. We tested the Expedition in the mountains west of Denver, where the 3.5-liter V6 needed the twin-turbos to get maximum power. The torque is impressive, and the 2020 Ford Expedition gets off the line quickly. We pushed past slower traffic going up a steep incline with ease, although that would likely not be the case if we had a full load of cargo and passengers.
Handling is what you would expect from a large SUV. It’s not incredibly agile, but it’s relatively easy to drive in the city. Parking can be difficult, but the active park assist feature can guide you if you need it. We were also able to park in fairly tight spots thanks to the 360-degree camera. It offers a good view of the surroundings and uses a reverse sensing system to alert you to anything you can’t see.
While you will need more than just all-season tires for off-road use, the 4×4 system did get us through a muddy gravel pass. SUV buyers who live in winter climates will want to option their Expedition with Ford’s Control Trac four-wheel drive system.
The Expedition Limited we drove is luxurious enough to carry clients around town on a business trip but still rugged enough to pull a horse trailer on the ranch. The Expedition Limited hits the sweet spot with the right balance of features for the price. Of course, the XLT trim level has a better price point, but there is also the higher-level King Ranch and Platinum if you don’t mind the extra cost.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
Photos: Ford Motor Company.
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