2021 Ford Expedition Max

2021 Ford Expedition Max Review: Space And Grace

The Ford Expedition Max has been designed for those who need an extra-large full-size SUV - designed with one country in mind, the USA. With its longer wheelbase and more interior space, the Max offers even more room for up to eight people and their belongings than the standard full-size Ford Expedition. Ford sells the Expedition Max in four different trim levels. All come with Ford's excellent twin-turbo V6 engine, which produces up to 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque in Platinum trim and bucks the trend of large-displacement V8 powerplants as seen in rivals like the Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade ESV. Power is sent to the rear or all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission, and a towing capacity of 9,000 lbs is mighty impressive, but against newer, more technologically advanced rivals, is the Expedition Max still larger than life, or is it just big enough to get in the way?

Read in this review:

2021 Ford Expedition Max Changes: 🚙What's the difference vs. 2020 Ford Expedition Max?

The 2021 Ford Expedition Max gets new wheel designs, and XLT and Limited models get standard two-way front row manually adjustable head restraints. Ford's Co-Pilot 360 Assist driver assistance package is now available on the XLT trim. Elsewhere in the lineup, some previously standard features have now been made optional, like Continuous Controlled Damping with the 22-inch wheels on Limited and King Ranch derivatives. Lastly, last year's fleet-only XL model has now been discontinued. Expect to see the Ford Expedition get a mid-cycle refresh for the 2022 year model.

Pros and Cons

  • Tons of interior space
  • Handsome styling
  • Strong twin-turbo V6 engine
  • Competitive towing capacity
  • Some cheap interior bits
  • It gets pricey
  • Not easy to maneuver
  • Rivals are technologically superior

Best Deals on Expedition Max

2021 Ford Expedition Max Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
XLT
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$55,410
Limited
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$64,175
King Ranch
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$75,335
Platinum
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$76,375

2021 Ford Expedition Max Exterior

It will be hard to ignore one of these behemoths barreling towards you on the highway. The massive and muscular Ford Expedition Max looks good from the front, but its extended side profile gives it the look of a hearse of sorts. Exterior features include halogen projector-beam headlights, a bright chrome grille with Magnetic-painted accents, a roof rack, running boards, privacy glass, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. The top of the range Platinum includes rain-sensing front wipers, LED headlights, a panoramic roof, and 22-inch six-spoke alloy wheels.

2021 Ford Expedition Max Front Angle View Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Rear Angle View Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Front View Ford
See All 2021 Ford Expedition Max Exterior Photos

Dimensions

This plus-size model is visibly humongous: there's no getting around the fact that this is one big vehicle, especially when it comes to the sheer length of it. According to the specs, the Expedition Max is 221.9 inches long - 11.9 inches longer than the regular Expedition - and rides on a 131.6-inch wheelbase. It measures 93.4 inches wide (including the mirrors). In RWD guise, the Max is 76.4 inches tall, or 76.2 inches in 4x4 configuration. The front/rear track is 67.6/67.2 inches. The maximum ground clearance on offer is 9.8 inches in RWD config. The base 4x2 curb weight is 5,534 lbs, swelling to 5,794 lbs in 4x4 guise.

  • Length 221.9 in
  • Wheelbase 131.6 in
  • Height 76.4 in
  • Max Width 79.9 in
  • Front Width 67.6 in
  • Rear Width 67.2 in

Exterior Colors

  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Burgundy Velvet Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Antimatter Blue Metallic
  • Kodiak Brown Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic

2021 Ford Expedition Max Performance

2021 Ford Expedition Max Front View Driving Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Rear View Driving Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Side View Ford

Engine and Transmission

Unlike the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL that are powered by large capacity naturally-aspirated V8 engines or 3.0-liter turbo diesel motors, the Ford Expedition Max is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 which produces a healthy 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque in lower trims, stepping up to 400hp and 480 lb-ft in Platinum guise. That's significantly more torque than you get under the hood of its V8 competitors and helps move the Max at an impressive rate of speed despite the significant curb weight. Power is sent to the rear or all four wheels via a slick 10-speed automatic transmission which offers crisp and smooth shifts and works well with all the low down torque on offer from this engine. With the Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing Package equipped, the Expedition Max has a towing capacity of up to 9,000 lbs.

  • Engine
    3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

If you're looking for a fun-to-drive SUV, then you'd better look elsewhere; the Expedition Max is a large people carrier, and it feels like it behind the wheel. There's no way to escape the sheer size of this beast, most notably in the city and in tight mall parking lots, where its intimidating size can fluster more inexperienced drivers. However, out on the open road, the Expedition Max is a comfortable cruiser and manages to soak up bumps in the street without protest. Its rear independent suspension is a boon that some other competitors have to do without. Steering is somewhat sloppy and devoid of feeling, but it comes with the territory, being based on the same chassis as the Ford F-150. On the open road, it feels stable enough; just don't swerve for that cute little deer caught in the headlights.

2021 Ford Expedition Max Gas Mileage

Two turbos, thousands of pounds of weight, and the aerodynamic properties of a brick aren't the characteristics you look for when buying a fuel-efficient car, but who are we kidding? The Expedition Max wasn't designed to save fuel; it was designed to carry eight people to the top fuel drag series while blasting the AC on full. According to the EPA, the RWD Expedition Max will manage gas mileage estimates of 17/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined. Going for the 4WD model will see that figure drop down to 16/21/18 mpg. The Expedition Max's 27.8-gallon fuel tank gives it a max range of 528 miles in 2WD form.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    28.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 17/23 mpg
* 2021 Ford Expedition Max XLT RWD

2021 Ford Expedition Max Interior

2021 Ford Expedition Max Dashboard Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Screen for Rear Passenger Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Seat Control Ford
See All 2021 Ford Expedition Max Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Despite the increase in wheelbase size over the standard Expedition, the Max offers the same passenger space, but the cargo load increases significantly. This SUV offers tons of space and can seat up to eight people or seven when you go for the second-row captain's chairs. Legroom in the front is a massive 43.9 inches, while those in the second row get 41.5 inches. Third-row occupants get 36.1 inches of space, making it viable for medium-sized adults. The front seats are comfortable and feature eight-way power adjustability for the driver and four-way manual adjustability for the passenger. This gets upgraded to ten and eight-way power seats in the Limited and above. King Ranch and Platinum cars also offer heated and ventilated front seats. As the Expedition is a traditional SUV, the entry point to the cabin is slightly raised, but a set of running boards makes it easy to get in and out of the cabin.

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.9 in
  • Front Head Room 42.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 42.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.0 in

2021 Expedition Max Trunk and Cargo Space

The Expedition Max's extended wheelbase might not translate into any more passenger space, but it does add a serious amount of trunk and overall cargo room. Behind the third row of seats, you get an impressive 34.3 cubic feet of space, which is good enough for an extensive shopping trip. Fold the third row down, and you get 73.3 cubic feet. With all possible seats folded down, the Ford offers a massive 121.5 cubes.

Small items can be stored in the enormous center console storage bin, glovebox, deep door pockets, and 15 cupholders scattered throughout the car.

2021 Ford Expedition Max Central Console Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Rear Seats Ford
2021 Ford Expedition Max Maximum Cargo Space Ford

2021 Ford Expedition Max Infotainment and Features

Features

An abundance of features is present, in varying degrees depending on trim level. For example, base models get single-zone manual climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, push-button start, a remote start system, an illuminated entry system with courtesy lamp delay, Wi-Fi hotspot, a universal garage door opener auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a leather-wrapped manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. Higher up in the ranks, heated 10-way Power Driver and eight-way passenger seats, a forward sensing system, power-adjustable pedals, ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone electronic automatic temperature control, and wireless charging are all availed, while top of the line Platinum models add multi-contour seats with active motion, enhanced active noise control, and automated parking assistance.

Standard driver assistance systems included in the Ford Co-Pilot360 package include auto high-beam headlamps, blind-spot assistance with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert, driver alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, and trailer sway control.

Infotainment

Right from the base model, you get an eight-inch display with SYNC 3 and six speakers. SYNC 3 includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth streaming. You also get Smart-charging multimedia USB ports. Going for the Limited model adds voice-activated touchscreen navigation with Pinch-to-Zoom capability, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, SiriusXM Satellite radio, and a Bang And Olufsen premium sound system. Overall, the Sync 3 system is easy to live with and is one of the better infotainment systems out there.

2021 Ford Expedition Max Problems and Reliability

There are no current recalls for the 2021 Ford Expedition, but the 2020 model has been recalled seven times for issues ranging from improperly welded seats to malfunctioning driver assistance systems. Ford will cover the Expedition Max with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and five year's worth of corrosion cover.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

2021 Ford Expedition Max Safety

There might not be an official IIHS review available for the 2021 Ford Expedition Max, but the NHTSA awarded the car a full five out of five stars on its rating scale, despite only three stars for rollover prevention. All cars come fitted with six airbags including side curtain airbags, stability control, ABS, and other basics. Ford includes its Co-Pilot 360 driver aid package on all models, too, which includes blind-spot assistance with cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane-keeping alert, driver alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, dynamic brake support, automatic headlights, and trailer sway control.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Ford Expedition Max a good car?

The Ford Expedition in standard form is one of the most popular full-size SUVs out there, making the Max an excellent contender. This lengthened version loses none of the standard SUV's capability or everyday practicality; instead, it improves upon an already capable SUV by offering even more cargo space. The only drawback is that the 2021 Expedition Max is that it is more challenging to park and navigate through tight city streets. Under the hood, the twin-turbo V6 engine offers more than enough shove, and the interior, although scattered with some cheaper plastics, is a very comfortable place to sit in. The car effortlessly soaks up bumps on the road, but it's not the most exciting to pilot. There's lots of standard tech and the Platinum feels genuinely luxurious. If you need lots of space, lots of tech, and solid performance out of your SUV, then this is an excellent place to start looking.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Ford Expedition Max?

The price of the Ford Expedition Max is about as large as the SUV itself, but it matches its rivals and isn't out of place. The XLT Max will cost you $54,810 excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,695. Going for the AWD model will see that price increase by $4,890. The Limited model goes for $63,575, and the King Ranch Max takes things into the $70k range with a total price of $74,735. The top of the range Platinum will set you back $75,775. Maxed out, the Platinum can reach over $82k.

2021 Ford Expedition Max Models

See All 2021 Ford Expedition Max Trims and Specs

🚗What 2021 Ford Expedition Max Model Should I Buy?

This SUV is offered in a wide range of trims, suited to a wide range of needs, so it will boil down to your specific requirements, but if we had to choose, we'd keep things simple and go for the XLT model. This car comes with a twin-turbo V6 engine producing 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque and can be had in both RWD and AWD configurations. It's also got a decent standard specification, such as push-button start, a remote start system, an illuminated entry system with a courtesy lamp, a universal garage door opener auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and a leather steering wheel.

Check out other Ford Expedition Styles

2021 Ford Expedition Max Comparisons

GMC Yukon XL GMC
Chevrolet Suburban Chevrolet
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford Expedition Max375 hp17/23 mpg$55,410
GMC Yukon XL 355 hpTBC$53,700
Chevrolet Suburban 355 hp15/22 mpg$51,700

2021 Ford Expedition Max vs GMC Yukon XL

These two cars are closely priced, with the entry-level Yukon XL costing $1,410 less than the Ford. Both vehicles are massive in size, with the Yukon XL measuring 4.7 inches longer and riding on a longer 134.1-inch wheelbase. Under the hood, you'll find a 5.3-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine producing a less impressive 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, but an available 6.2L V8 outclasses the Ford with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. The GMC is less fuel-efficient and also feels like a slower SUV. The GMC interior is not as remarkable as that of the Expedition Max but does offer more passenger space. There's tons of space on offer in each car. Those looking for a budget-friendly - relatively speaking - three-row SUV focused on providing more passenger space should look at the GMC Yukon XL. For everyone else, the Ford is the better option.

See GMC Yukon XL Review

2021 Ford Expedition Max vs Chevrolet Suburban

The Expedition Max's most natural rival in the full-size SUV segment is the Chevrolet Suburban - one of the oldest vehicle nameplates in existence. For 2021, that battle is tougher than ever as the Suburban is all new. Both boast three-row seating for up to eight occupants, but it's the Suburban with a few tenths extra legroom for third row occupants that makes it the most accommodating in this regard. The Chevy is also the practicality king, decimating the Expedition's cargo carrying abilities with up to 144.7 cubic feet of space to the Ford's 121.5 cube maximum. The Suburban makes do with a 5.3L V8 engine in base form, which is outgunned by the Expedition Max's twin-turbo 3.5L V6, but an available 3.0L diesel and 6.2L V8 give the Suburban range better versatility. None of these options can quite come close to the Expedition for towing capability though, as the Ford's maximum 9,000-pound towing capacity supersedes the Chevy's 8,200-pound maximum. The Chevrolet feels more modern and more luxurious inside, which combines with a more spacious interior to swing us in its favor. But it is more expensive than the Expedition Max. This is a very close competition to call, but we feel the revisions made to the Suburban make it a better full-sizer overall.

See Chevrolet Suburban Review

Ford Expedition Max Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Ford Expedition Max:

36
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$55,410 - $79,425
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford Expedition Max
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