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2019 ford Expedition Max

The Ford Expedition Max is an old-school, full-size SUV with rugged body-on-frame construction. Although this setup makes the Expedition heavier, thirstier, and less agile on the pavement than the average crossover, it also gives it towing and off-road chops unibody models can only dream of.

The Expedition Max is a long-wheelbase version of the standard Expedition. It replaces the Expedition EL.

Overview

It may be an anachronism, a throwback to a bygone era when gas was cheap and consumers were in deeply in love with truck-based SUVs, but the aging Ford Expedition Max still has plenty to offer buyers in need of an eight-passenger 'ute that can handle serious trailering duties. And, the use of aluminum helps keep weight in check. It's about 300 pounds lighter than its all-steel predecessor.

Power comes from a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that makes 375 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. The range-topping Platinum trim benefits from a small bump in power that brings the six's output up to 400 and 480, respectively. Ford no longer offers the Expedition with a V8, but it can nonetheless tow up to 9,300 pounds when properly equipped. Payload checks in at 1,750 pounds.

The six-cylinder shifts through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost. Fuel economy checks in at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, figures that are, all things considered, quite respectable.

Life aboard

Step inside and you'll find space for up to eight passengers spread out over three rows of seats. The second and third rows fold completely flat at the push of a button to create a cavernous cargo area that can easily handle a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood.

Cargo capacity checks in at 37.8 cubic feet behind the third row, 80.5 cubes behind the second row, and an immense 121.5 cubes with the second and third row folded flat. The Expedition isn't just a big brute, though.

Ford made the Expedition Max more refined than ever. The list of available convenience features now includes a hands-free tailgate, six USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless phone charger, and a trailer backup assist system. Ford's touch screen-based SYNC infotainment system also comes standard.

 Standard and optional features

Ford offers the Expedition Max in three trim levels named XLT, Limited, and Platinum, respectively.

The XLT model comes with halogen lights, a bright chrome grille, power-adjustable mirrors with puddle lights, trailer sway control, 18-inch alloy wheels, a capless fuel filler, tinted windows, cloth upholstery, single-zone manual A/C, 15 cupholders (seriously), a clever cargo management system that turns the trunk into a closet, manual reclining second-row seats, a nine-speaker sound system, cruise control, a universal garage door opener, a push-button ignition, coat hooks, and a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel.

The Limited model adds power-deployable running boards, SYNC Connect with the aforementioned Wi-Fi hotspot, a foot-activated tailgate, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Note the hotspot is free for three months or 3GB, whichever comes first. Buyers will then need to subscribe to a data plan to keep it active.

Platinum models gain 22-inch aluminum wheels, a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function, and a more powerful engine that provides 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.

Occupant safety

Every Expedition Max comes standard with dual front, front side, and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, Ford's Roll Stability Control technology, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Buyers can order electronic driving aids like automatic high beams, pre-collision assist, and pedestrian detection at an extra cost.

Key competitors

The Ford Expedition Max squares off against other full-size SUVs, including the Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL twins, the Nissan Armada, and the Toyota Sequoia.