SUVs don’t get much bigger than the Ford Expedition Max. It’s over 18 feet long and is replete with three rows of seats and a workhorse of an engine. But is there really a replacement for displacement? Can the Expedition Max Platinum dethrone the Chevrolet Suburban RST, which is the only longer SUV on the market?
The engine is Fords popular 3.5L EcoBoost V6. In Platinum guise, just like the F150 Limited we tested last fall, it produces 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is mated to a 10 speed automatic transmission, like the Suburban, and allows for some seriously quick acceleration. You will be pinned back in your seat when you decide to mash the go pedal in this truck. Lacking the aural pleasure of the Suburbans 6.2L V8, this EcoBoost V6 makes up for it in low end grunt. Shifts from the 10 speed are crisp in any situation and we even observed 18 miles per gallon over a few hundred miles of a weekend trip away.
On the outside, the Expedition is a handsome SUV. Certainly not as menacing as the Suburban RST we recently tested, but it is more grown up and elegant. In our opinion, the all-new Expedition slots just behind the Navigator in design elegance for this segment, in our opinion. The Platinum affords you large amounts of chrome and a somewhat tacky PLATINUM emblazoned on the front passenger door. Inside is a different story, where the Platinum trim gives you lovely quilted leather, massage seats, and all the luxury goodies that you could ever want. Our 4 hour car ride was spent in comfort and quietness. The 22 inch wheels transmit very little noise into the cabin and the Bang and Olufsen stereo sounds great.
Driving the Expedition Max is not as daunting as the Suburban either. It feels smaller and more agile when you’re behind the wheel. The steering has little to no feel, but you don’t lose confidence in where the front wheels are. The suspension is comfortable and, in combination with the aforementioned massage seats, we never felt weary. Even through some of New England’s poorly-paved roads, the Expedition’s ride quality shone though. And, on occasion, if you’re brash enough with your right foot, the big Max is actually capable of sliding itself around a tight corner!
The Expedition Max Platinum is massive step forward from the old truck. Let’s face it, the last Expedition could trace its roots back to the 2003 launch of the second generation. The 2019 Expedition has leapt into modernity, striding past its boxy and archaic competition along the way. In terms of comfort, technology, and design, GM can’t keep up. The V8 sound may be missed, but the torque keeps you moving, just the Expedition name.
|2018 Ford Expedition Platinum MAX
|Leather-Trimmed Second Row Bucket Seats||$740|
|Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package||$1,570|
|As Tested MSRP||$82,470|