On The Road 3/27: 2020 Ford Expedition Platinum

Expedition Platinum introduces more premium updates for 2020, including leather-wrapped instrument panel topper and door rollovers, plus more aluminum interior touches
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Expedition Platinum introduces more premium updates for 2020, including leather-wrapped instrument panel topper and door rollovers, plus more aluminum interior touches

By Peter Perrotta

Sometimes thoughts come easy. Other times, it’s like pulling teeth to find just the right phrase or combination of words that seem to make sense.

In preparation for this week’s review, I was trying to find a clever lead in. But, nothing seemed to fit.

Maybe, it’s because I am not thoroughly fond of big, huge trucks. However, I must admit, the week I spent test driving the 2020 Ford Expedition Platinum was more fun than I originally thought it would be – there is a lot to like about this truck.

All I could think about, though, when it came time to write about the Expedition, were the explorers Lewis and Clark. They were the first to traverse the Great Continental Divide in the early 1800s on their “expedition” from Pittsburgh to discovering the Pacific West Coast.

“I think the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the greatest undertaking in American history. I think landing a man on the moon pales next to it,” says author Kathryn Lasky.

Well, I won’t argue if Lasky is wrong or right, but I will say this: if Lewis and Clark had had a Ford Expedition – with its enormous cargo space and three rows of seats – their excursion would have been quite simpler.

Of course, that hypothesis is almost absurd, but you get the point. The first thing one notices about the 2020 Ford Expedition Platinum is the enormity of this vehicle.

“This thing is like a house on wheels,” was my wife’s initial reaction.

My 21-year-old Gen Z son – who drives a Ford Edge – said he wanted to ride in it immediately. Afterward, he proclaimed that of all the vehicles I had road tested this year, this was his favorite.

First, let’s address the size of this Platinum edition Expedition. This 2020 model has a wheelbase of 122.5 inches and the following other dimensions: length, 210 inches; width, including mirrors, 93.4 inches; height, 76.4 inches; rear track, 67.6 inches and front track, 67.2 inches.

“If you’re transporting a large family and towing a heavy trailer at the same time, there are few options outside of an Expedition that are as capable,” Car and Driver wrote about the 2020 Expedition.

I agree. You can’t beat this truck for its cargo carrying capabilities and towing capacity.

The total passenger volume of this three row monstrosity is 171.9 cubic feet. Moreover, it has an enormous curb weight of 5,623 pounds with the ability of towing 6,500 pounds. If you add the heavy duty tow package as an option, the towing capacity increases to an impressive 9,200 pounds.

There aren’t too many other vehicles in the large SUV category that afford you with this much room and power.

However, while the size and power are impressive, at the end of the day, it comes down to how this bear of a truck drives that proves if it can earn its stripes or not.

So how does it drive? It drives like the typical American-made Ford.

What do I mean by that? Well, there are certain traits of each car maker that seem to carry over from year-to-year and model to model.

For Ford, those traits – for their trucks – are big, beefy and comfortable. And, that’s exactly what you get when you get behind the wheel of this 2020 Ford Expedition Platinum.

This Expedition is comfortable – its captain chair first and second rows are more than ample to fit even the huskiest – and at first, the sheer size of the vehicle can be a bit overwhelming. However, after some behind the wheel road time, I eased into driving it. When I relaxed with it, I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You aren’t going to win any Grand Prix road races with the way this vehicle maneuvers through turns, because it simply doesn’t perform like that. But, in all honesty, this truck wasn’t designed for that.

The 2020 Ford Expedition is offered up in four models: the XLT; Limited; King Ranch and the top-of-the line Platinum.

The base price, of each model, is $54,205 for the XLT; $64,740 for the Limited; $74,290 for the King Ranch and $77,085 for the Platinum I tested.

In fact, my tester, had a total MSRP sticker price of a whopping $79,075 when you added in the $1,395 for destination and delivery and $595 for an upgrade package that includes 22-inch wheels and 2nd row bucket seats.

My tester came standard with a 3.5 liter V6 ecoboost engine and a 10 speed automatic transmission with select shift so you could manually shift it from the “plus, minus” selector buttons on the center console.

This power plant puts out 375 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 2,250 rpm.

For the most part, I felt that this Expedition was amply powered. However, there were times when it felt like, in order to do an aggressive pass, I would have liked it to have a bit more juice.

The government crash test for this vehicle was impressive: an overall 5 out of 5 rating; and, all 5 star ratings for the frontal crash and side crash tests. On the rollover test, it got a 4 of 5 rating.

The EPA fuel economy rating for this vehicle is 19 miles per gallon overall average – 17 mpg in city driving and 22 on the highway. The annual estimated fuel cost is $2,150 as it uses about 5.3 gallons of gas per every 100 miles driven.

The list of standard features that come with the Platinum edition is impressive. It includes: heated and cooled first row seats; heated second row seats; heated steering wheel; impressive upgraded leather seats; tri-zone climate control; panoramic power moonroof; a superb infotainment system with navigation and a whole lot more.

Overall, if you are considering purchasing or leasing a vehicle in the extra large SUV category, you should give heavy consideration to this 2020 Ford Expedition Platinum.

Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears weekly. Comments are welcomed. You can contact him by email at: peter@capitalmotorcars.com