So, you’re looking for the best large SUV of 2020. No easy task. Purchasing a new vehicle can be quite an investment. And while “best” can be relative, you can take factors like cost, size, gas mileage, and other key preferences to determine what fits your needs and pocketbook.
Whether it’s size, features, or the many benefits that come with buying a new vehicle, finding that “perfect” SUV is all about striking the right balance between what’s most important to you and what you can live without.
What is the Best Large SUV of 2020?
If you have a middle-of-the-road budget, our vote for the number-one large SUV of 2020 is the Ford Expedition. Many other prominent reviewers have come to the same conclusion. In a sense, it’s the benchmark among all the mainstream full-size SUVs. The Expedition is roomy, comfortable, it has quick acceleration, and it's loaded with features.
As far as horsepower, the Expedition has a turbocharged V6 engine that rivals the power of its competitors’ V8 engines. This offers well-rounded performance that delivers a balanced ride. As a spacious and modern vehicle, the Ford Expedition is one of the best large luxury SUVs of 2020.
Dimensions on the 2020 Ford Expedition:
- Length: 17 feet, 6 inches to 18 feet, 5.9 inches
- Height: 6 feet, 4.2 inches to 6 feet, 4.6 inches
- Curb weight: 5,368 to 5,794 pounds
Note: Ford also has a larger version of the Expedition, called the Expedition Max, which has an extended wheelbase and larger cargo hold.
What is the best large SUV for gas mileage? While the 2020 Ford Expedition doesn’t take the cake in the fuel economy category, it could be worse. Not to mention, fuel economy typically isn’t your number-one priority when it comes to buying a full-size SUV.
That being said, Ford claims that its EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 engine is more efficient than the competing V8s in the SUV market. According to the EPA, the rear-drive model of the Expedition gets 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive model also gets 17 mpg in the city, but drops to 23 mph on the highway.
How Much Does the 2020 Ford Expedition Cost?
The Ford Expedition 2020 isn’t the most economical in the large SUV class, but it’s more competitive than other large SUV luxury models, like the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lincoln Navigator, and Toyota Landcruiser.
Depending on your location, the base cost of a new 2020 Ford Expedition is about $53,000. Of course, based on what features are most important to you, the cost can go up significantly – upwards of $80,000, in fact. For example, there are three higher trim levels that have costs ranging from $63,000 to about $74,000. Adding four-wheel drive will cost you an extra $3,000. And the Expedition Platinum Max will run at a price tag of more than $80,000.
Before making a commitment, it’s important to research features. You can’t expect to get heated second-row seats, a top-notch audio system, and driving assisted parking for the starting $50K+ price tag. Be sure to research the full list of features before heading to the dealership.
Here’s an average starting cost breakdown of competing large 2020 SUV models:
- Dodge Durango – $31,900
- Kia Telluride: $32,800
- Hyundai Palisade – $33,500
- Nissan Armada – $48,500
- Chevrolet Suburban – $53,500
- Mercedes-Benz GLS: $76,200
- Lincoln Navigator: $77,120
- Toyota Land Cruiser – $86,600
The Best Large SUV for Families
Today’s family vehicle buyers are as demanding as ever. In 2020, merely having enough room for a car seat or two doesn’t necessarily make a vehicle “family-friendly.” In addition to having enough space, you’ll want to make sure you have all the mind-blowing technology that keeps everyone safe and happy.
The 2020 Ford Expedition has more second-row legroom (coming in at 41.5 inches) than most large SUVs on the market. If you have children, or you tend to vacation with a hefty load, this extra space is essential.
The vehicle also boasts one of the most spacious cargo holds in its class, along with three rows of comfortable and roomy seating – also a perk if you’ll be carting around large dogs and other pets. Passengers will have ample room in the first two rows and plenty of space in the third row. The front seats offer great visibility of the road ahead.
Another critical element of a “family-friendly vehicle” is its child car seat system. The Expedition has a set of LATCH car-seat connectors for both of the second-row seats. The third-row seats also have a set, with an added anchor for the middle seat. The SUV’s cavernous interior makes loading and unloading car seats pretty seamless.
Have a boat, or something else large you need to haul? It’ll be difficult to challenge the vehicle’s 6,000-pound towing capabilities (9,300 with the HD trailer package).
With its ability to haul eight people, while getting decent gas mileage (when calculating MPG-per-passenger), the 2020 Ford Expedition is arguably the best large SUV for families and large pets.
What Kind of Safety Features Can You Expect?
The 2020 Ford Expedition is one of the safest large SUVs on the market, arguably the safest. In fact, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the vehicle an overall safety rating of five out of five stars – earning this stellar rating in both the frontal and side crash tests.
The rollover tests weren’t perfect, but they could be worse. The rear-wheel-drive models earned three stars for the rollover test and the four-wheel-drive models earned a four-star rating.
In addition to its overall safety ratings, the vehicle offers a host of safety features. A feature just introduced in 2020, every Expedition model comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360 bundle of active safety features. Ford claims the Co-Pilo360 package is “the most advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies among full-line brands… helping customers drive more safely and confidently amid rising congestion and distractions.” Included in the safety bundle is:
- Lane keeping system
- Blind spot information system
- Rear backup camera
- Auto high beam lighting
- Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
While the Expedition does not offer a fully autonomous driving mode, it does have a range of premium driver-assist technologies – including post-collision braking, evasive steering assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering.
Which Ford Expedition Model is Right For You?
So, let’s assume you’ve made your decision. You’re ready to pull the trigger on a 2020 Ford Expedition. Now you have a new, and equally important, decision to make. Which model best fits your wants and needs?
First, consider the fact that it comes in four trim levels: XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum – all of which come standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a turbocharged V6 engine. While rear-wheel drive is standard in all of the models, four-wheel drive is an optional upgrade.
The standard base models still come with a decent set of features, including the aforementioned safety features and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Here are the appearance packages for each trim level:
- Black Accent: This package boasts 20-inch black aluminum wheels and black front and rear bumper skid plates.
- Stealth Edition: This package comes with 22-inch black aluminum wheels, a black grille, roof-rack rails, outside mirror caps, and a controlled damping suspension. Additionally, you’ll get red interior stitching and black taillight, headlight, and fog light housings.
Then you have the performance package options for each model:
- Heavy Duty Trailer Tow (all models): Among the features in this package are a trailer brake controller, backup assist, heavy-duty radiator, and an electronic limited-slip differential.
- FX4 Off-Road (XLT or Limited models): All-terrain tires, off-road shocks, skid plates, step bars, running boards, electronic limited-slip differential, a heavy-duty radiator, and metallic-colored aluminum wheels.
And finally, what’s included in each of the four trim levels:
XLT Model (Starting at $52,800)
While base models typically lack significantly from their “fully-loaded” siblings, the Ford Expedition XLT still packs a punch in the feature arena. In addition to basic cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, you’ll get an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The standard SYNC infotainment system boasts an 8” touch screen, voice recognition, satellite radio, four USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot capabilities, and the Apple and Android vehicle apps. In addition to the other driver assistance features mentioned previously in this article, you get a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.
Take note, you are able to customize the XLT further without fully upgrading to the more expensive trim models. For example, you can add features like remote start, navigation, electric-folding second-row seating, wireless phone charging, and heated seats and steering wheel.
Limited Model (Starting at $63,300)
The Ford Expedition Limited Model is available with all of the optional features mentioned in the XLT model, along with several key features you might find difficult to live without. This includes leather upholstery, rain-sensor windshield wipers, power-adjustable pedals, heated second-row seats, high definition radio, and a powerful 12-speaker sound system.
There are two packages available with the Limited model. One of the packages includes navigation, a panoramic roof, and adaptive stop-and-go cruise control. The other package includes the same features, plus LED headlights, automatic parking assist, and a 360-degree parking camera.
King Ranch (Starting at $72,900)
The Ford Expedition King Ranch builds on the Limited model to make it one of the best large SUV luxury models on the market. In fact, the King Ranch arguably rivals some of the more “luxurious” base models from Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz.
Adding to most of the features present in the Limited Model, the King Ranch combines comfort with bold aesthetic appeal. Included in the model are gray body accents, 22-inch colored wheels, and an upgraded Del Rio leather interior (seats, steering wheel, and door panel coverings).
Platinum (Starting at $73,900)
You won’t find many mechanical differences between the King Ranch and Platinum models. The only noticeable difference with the Platinum model is that the wheels won’t have the King Ranch logo featured across the center cap. Drivetrain, powertrain, etc. – it’s all the same. The exterior does seem a little more aggressive, adding shine to the roof rack and an upgrade from bright chrome to satin aluminum.
The interior of the Platinum model also gets a bit fancier. You’ll find wood accents sprayed across the front console and seats that are multi-contoured with active motion. Another great perk is the active noise control that helps keep the vehicle muted from outside noises.
Summing it Up
We hope this article helped you in your search for the best large SUV of 2020. If you’re in the market for a vehicle that can carry your family, friends, and large pets (maybe even a boat), the 2020 Ford Expedition might just be the perfect vehicle for you.