2019 Ford Expedition Max Platinum 4x4 Review

His SUV Excellency, upsized


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: More room than a tiny house, plush interior appointments, easy in-car tech, turbo V6 is surprisingly powerful, a laundry list of high-end standard features.
Negatives: Some interior control ergonomics could be improved, good luck finding parallel parking.
Bottom Line: We thought the regular Expedition was huge, but boy were we wrong. The sheer amount of passenger and cargo space is astounding, as are the Expedition Max's driving manners for something this big. It's a family and gear hauler extraordinaire, and there's no reason to get a Navigator.
When the new Ford F-150-based Expedition bowed in 2018, we fell in love with its looks, comfort, and driving dynamics. Now, we get behind the wheel of an even larger version known as the Expedition Max, and that's an appropriate name. It's rife with technology, premium features, and more space than you know what to do with. Its use of aluminum for lightness, an independent rear suspension for ride composure, and a potent turbo V6 engine put it at the top of its class. Its tow rating is also impressive, and its fuel economy is a hair better than a V8. We drove the Platinum 4x4 version for a week to see if bigger really is better. Read on for our detailed review.
 

Driving Experience

8.7

 

The Expedition rides on the F-150 pickup truck's platform, but it doesn't feel like a truck because it doesn't get the F-150's rear leaf spring suspension setup. Instead, it gets a sophisticated multi-link suspension, and the difference is significant. THe only engine is the powerful Ecoboost, and its surprisingly powerful when most folks expect a V8.

Ride Quality: The big Max rides incredibly well thanks to a long wheelbase and great adjustable suspension that manages virtually all road surfaces with ease.

Acceleration: The 400 hp Ecoboost V6 in the Platinum trim adds 25 horses over lower trims, and they get the Expedition moving quickly with a fast-shifting 10-speed automatic. The standard-length Expedition does the 0-60 sprint in under seven seconds, so the Max will be a tiny bit slower.

Braking: The brakes are strong, progressive, and they bring the Expedition Max to a stop with authority.

Steering: The electronically-assisted steering is well-weighted and accurate. It's a great setup for a vehicle this big. In fact, it makes driving the Expedition Max remarkably easy to drive with none of the floatiness we expect from a large SUV.

Handling: The Max exhibits some body roll, but the adaptive suspension and chassis keep things very manageable. It rarely felt out of sorts.

Technology

9.2

 

At the Platinum level you get a lot, and we certainly love the SYNC 3 system that's standard, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Infotainment System: The 8-inch screen isn't huge in this class, but its vivid and responsive to the touch. We love the user-friendliness and the lack of distractions.

Controls: All the physical controls in the Expedition are solid, from the rotary shifter to the steering wheel controls. Big knobs for audio and climate are easy to actuate while driving, which we love.

Styling

9

 

The Max might be a foot longer than the standard Expedition, but it doesn't alter how handsome the bigger version is. All the same styling cues are retained, thankfully.

Front: We're surprised that there's virtually no chrome on the front end, a rarity. The wide grille and square fascia are attrative and nod to the Expedition's body-on-frame construction.

Rear: The size of the back is visually reduced by the tinted glass and the blackened D-pillars. It's a good look that's crisp and understated.

Profile: Though the boxy shape is toned down by the angled rear side glass and C-pillars, the profile is a bit less adventurous than the front and rear.

Cabin: We're usually not big fans of Ford interiors, but the Expedition Platinum is very nice. The rich leather seats are big and handsome. Unfortunately, the wood trim isn't real.

Comfort

9.4

 

The Expedition Max's comfort factor levels up thanks to even better space for passengers. It really is fit for a king and his subjects because every seat feels great, and there's ample space to stretch out..

Front Seats: They're big and supportive with soft leather and ample cushioning. Very comfortable for longer trips for hours on end.

Rear Seats: There's ample legroom and headroom for all three occupants, and 6-footers will have no problem with ingress and egress, as well as long durations of sitting. The third row huge, as well.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The Expedition Max does a great job with road noise and wind noise, too. Its build quality is also rock solid with no errant noises.

Visibility: Big glass all around helps the visibility. The front end is tall, limiting tight maneuver visibility. The standard cameras are absolutely necessary and very easy to use.

Safety

8.5

 

Though the Expedition and Expedition Max haven't been tested by the IIHS, it scores well in government crash tests.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: It earns five stars in crash testing from the feds, the top score.

Standard Tech: Platinum trim has a lot to offer in terms of standard equipment with a Blind Spot Information System, Class Trailer Tow Package, Hill Start Assist, rear view camera, Reverse Sensing System, SelectShift, an individual tire pressure monitoring system, and an SOS Post Crash Alert System that activates in case of airbag deployment and notifies the authorities.

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

9.8

 

The Expedition Max is positively enormous inside, and that's saying a lot since the standard version is already capacious. This one's for those families who just need a little extra space on top of something that's big to begin with.

Storage Space: There are great storage options in the Expedition including a long and deep armrest, a large center console cubby with a retractable door, big door pockets, and even a deep tray in the dash.

Cargo Room: There's a sizeable 36 cubic feet behind the last row and a monstrous 121.4 cubic with the seats folded flat (compared to the standard Expedition's 104.6 cubes). In addition, the load floor is completely flat.

Fuel Economy

7.8

 

The EcoBoost isn't really more efficient than a V8 engine would be in the Expedition Max. But it provides the punch that's needed for the big people/gear hauler. It is a great engine with ample punch, but it's definitely not efficient. Nevertheless, it's about on par with what we expected.

Observed: 16.8 mpg

Distance Driven: 241 miles

Audio

9.4

 

There's a lot to love about Harmon Kardon's excellent Bang & Olufsen premium system, which is standard on the Platinum trim. It's the right sound system for this big vehicle, and there was ample bass, full sound, and no distortion.



Final Thoughts

Watch out Chevy. The Ford Expedition Max might just be the best full-sized 7-8 passenger SUV out there. It provides more bang for your buck than just about anything its size, and it drives better than it should. If you're looking to tow, take the big family on road trips, and also enjoy the driving experience, look no further.
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