|19 MPG combined||Gas Fuel Economy||18 MPG combined|
The latest full-size SUVs by Ford and Chevy are breaking the mold and proving that SUVs can do it all. If you are looking for power, luxury, passenger space, cargo room, and even towing, then you have probably considered comparing the 2021 Ford Expedition vs the 2021 Chevy Tahoe. These two models are automotive icons and lead the market for full-size SUVs. However, one of these SUVs outperforms the other.
Kelley Blue Book has now given the Ford Expeditions the coveted Full-Size SUV Best Buy Award for three years in running. While the fully redesigned 2021 Chevy Tahoe gives the Expedition a run for its money, it still falls short in many places. The best-value vehicle is the one that drives well every day, has plenty of benefits like advanced safety features for you and your family, and is built to last. But the only way to be certain which full-size SUV reigns supreme is to compare them in detail, starting with their prices and specifications.
The 2021 Ford Expedition was designed to be a roomy full-size SUV that drives like a smaller, more agile vehicle. Too hefty to be top-heavy like some compact SUVs are, the Expedition has always been recognized for its superior handling. The 2021 Expedition, though, is even more responsive and fun to drive.
The Expedition's turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission pair well with its tough-but-lightweight, aluminum body. Its refined independent rear suspension also offers better handling and ride quality than the ungainly live-axle construction used by Chevy up until 2020. While Chevy has finally accepted the superiority of an independent rear suspension and adopted it for the 2021 Tahoe, they are still coming late to the game. Overall, the 2021 Expedition boasts a thoroughly modern powertrain, while the 2021 Tahoe still has one foot in the past.
This is particularly apparent when you look at the Tahoe's V8 engine options. The base 5.3-liter engine only provides 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, while the Ford EcoBoost in the Expedition makes up to 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. While the Tahoe does offer an even larger 6.2-liter V8 on its top trim, even this falls short of what the Expedition brings to the table and only has 460 lb-ft of torque. But not only does the Expedition offer significantly more dynamic performance, its more modern gasoline engine also gets better fuel economy at 23 MPG on the highway compared to just 20 MPG for the Tahoe.
Don't forget about the importance of tough towing. A good full-size SUV should be strong enough to pull an RV, trailer, boat, or anything else that needs to travel with you. The 2021 Ford Expedition shines in this respect, and its maximum towing capacity is a best-in-class 9,300 lbs - better than even some modern pickup trucks can tow. And thanks to its plentiful torque, you stay in control and feel a comfortable drive, even when you approach the towing limit. As for the new Tahoe, the numbers speak for themselves: Its lower 8,400 lbs towing capacity provides less potential to get what you need where you need it.
This is where the 2021 Expedition takes top marks, rating well above any other full-size SUVs. The new Expedition has room for eight passengers, who can comfortably sit in one of the three rows of spacious, adult-sized seating. What if you don't need to transport up to 7 other people? Simply fold down the additional rows of seats to take advantage of ample cargo space. The second and third rows both fold completely flat thanks to easy power-folding controls, giving you a completely rectangular space for all your luggage, furniture, work supplies, sports equipment, and just about anything else you may want to carry.
As for interior materials, the 2021 Ford Expedition prefers a more straightforward approach; its no-fuss interior is that of a comfortable and relaxing family vehicle. It's hardy enough to endure family travel (let your children do their worst) and a little rough treatment when you load and unload its ample cargo area. If you want the full luxury package, simply upgrade to one of the more refined trims, like the Platinum with its Multicontour massage seats, perforated leather trim accents, and real wood center console accents.
The 2021 Tahoe, meanwhile, has been criticized for its odd design choices. This includes the exterior front-end design, which is a huge departure for Tahoe fans who may not recognize its revamped design. The interior is just as quirky, with strange features like the placement of the center console lid controls on the ceiling or the fact that it's motorized rather than manually controlled. Also, its infotainment system is set at an awkward angle, jutting vertically out of the dash. However, the 2021 edition is the roomiest Tahoe yet, with plenty of legroom and cup holders for all eight passengers.
Another disappointment may be in the Tahoe's basic, flat interior design. While Chevy may advertise available luxury appointments for the latest Tahoe, many of these features are exclusive to the top-tier High Country edition. But even if you upgrade to the High Country, it still brings a disappointingly economy feel under the more luxurious features - after all, GM can't let Chevy compete directly with its higher-priced GMC and Buick models. Meanwhile, the Ford Expedition Platinum is a true luxury vehicle.
When it comes to infotainment, the 2021 Ford Expedition has you covered. Its standard touchscreen infotainment is powered by Ford's SYNC 3 technology. This makes it your gateway to Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, provides a 4G LTE mobile WiFi hotspot, and offers available features like real-time navigation and weather info that help you stay on top of your drive. You can also equip your new Expedition with high-tech features like a motion-activated rear liftgate, remote start, heated and ventilated front seats that help regulate your temperature, and a luxurious heated steering wheel.
As for safety technology, smart driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection come standard on all but the base XL trim of the 2021 Expedition. Upgrade to the XLT edition for Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assistance features that offer ultimate peace of mind while you drive. With so much safety technology in mind, it's no wonder why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the new Expedition their coveted 5-star rating.
The new Tahoe has plenty of technology as well. As stated though, the awkward placement of the infotainment unit may make it feel less convenient to use, even if it is touch activated. However, if you can get past the Chevy design choices, the Tahoe infotainment features include smartphone connectivity, a WiFi hotspot, and an available Bose audio system.
Safety technology in the 2021 Tahoe, however, falls flat. For instance, high-tech features like Adaptive Cruise Control (which is a standard part of the Ford Co-Pilot 360 suite) are only optional editions even on the top High Country trim of the 2021 Tahoe. While there are plenty of features designed to ensure safe towing, these feel somewhat out of place given the Tahoe's substantially lower towing capacity. However, you do get automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection built into the base model.