Buying an SUV can feel like a big leap, especially when there are so many models out there to choose from. It seems like nowadays, every manufacturer is coming out with a range of SUV models, which makes sense; there is a lot to love about this body styling. Although, few manufacturers have been in the SUV game as long as Ford and Chevy. This long term rivalry has spanned decades, with both brands issuing their own impressive models. And while there may have always been several SUV models out there to select from, Ford and Chevy have both worked hard to ensure that their models remain at the top. So, today we are going to take a look at the latest top-ranking models these manufacturers are offering in a comparison: 2020 Ford Expedition vs 2020 Chevy Tahoe. These are two large and in charge SUVs that push the bounds of expectation. But which is the best? Let’s find out.
Tipping the Scales in Trims and Price
Neither SUV is cheap. Although considering how big these cars are, it makes sense that they’d start at such a high price tag. That said, the Chevy Tahoe does start a little bit lower, as base models have an entry-level price of $49,000. The price does rise from this opening point, though, as you’ll get three different trims to choose from, the LS, LT, and Premier.
The Ford Expedition is only slightly more expensive, with base models starting at a price of $52,810. That said, this higher cost isn’t inherently a bad thing, as some models with a higher price can come packed with serious value. For one, the Ford Expedition has a much more broad trim option family than its competitor, which includes the XLT, XLT MAX, Limited MAX, King Ranch, Platinum, and Platinum MAX. While the price does get a little high at the top-end tier, you can expect to find a complete luxury vehicle; this is something the Tahoe cannot offer.
Price and configurations only matter so much, though, as it is what lies within these various configurations that can change the entire narrative. And one of the significant features to consider when purchasing a large SUV is the engine that sits beneath the hood.
Performance Worthy of a Large SUV
Chevy nor Ford make underpowered SUVs. Sure, they have some models that utilize more compact powertrains, but both manufacturers develop engines that redefine the meaning of muscle. The Chevy Tahoe’s base models get a 5.3-liter V8 that churns out at a rate of 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Although, this engine’s performance is hindered as it funnels power through a relatively dated 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is also standard in the baseline model, with options to upgrade to a four-wheel alternative.
This entry engine can be advanced upon too, as some models can be packed with the more powerful 6.2-liter V8, which is responsible for 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This bigger engine gets a more nimble transmission as well in the form of a 10-speed automatic. With a max towing capacity of 8,600 pounds, the Chevy Tahoe is rather competent at hauling too. The Chevy Tahoe can also be tweaked to have an off-road centric edge with the help of a Z71 package. This Z71 package adds a suite of rugged features, including skid plates, recovery hooks, and a knobby set of off-road tires.
The Ford Expedition also takes a minimalistic approach to its powertrain options. No matter which model you decide to purchase, you’ll get a 3.5-liter V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Although, the power capacity of this engine can vary depending on which trim you purchase. For instance, if you decide to opt for the high-end Platinum edition, you’ll get to enjoy 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, the base model engine pumps out 375 hp and 470-lb-ft of torque. When tweaked the right way, the Ford Expedition can also haul a tremendous 9,300 pounds, which is a remarkable feat. An off-road package, titled FX4, is also available in the Ford Expedition, which gets all-terrain tires, a low-range transfer case, underbody plates, an electronic limited-slip differential, and a beefier shock system.
So, in many ways, the power delivery of these two SUVs is quite comparable. That said, the larger towing capacity and a slightly stronger high-end engine give the Ford Expedition a considerable edge.
Interior Features and Safety
A great SUV driving experience is dependent on more than just a great engine and a decent entry-price. Spacing, interior tech, and safety can all play a massive role in satisfaction. The Chevy Tahoe, like the Ford Expedition, is a big SUV, with a passenger capacity topping out at 7 or 8 (depending on build), and a cargo capacity of 95 cu.ft. The interior seats of base models are dressed in durable yet comfy cloth, while higher-tiered models get genuine leather dressings.
Drawing the eye to the center is an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen that gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The driver’s seat in base models is power-adjustable, and you’ll also find an intuitive dual-zone climate control system. Step up to higher trims, and you get some premium-level features such as heated leather seats, a power-folding rear seat, a power moonroof, and even a rear-seat entertainment center.
Unfortunately, the Chevy Tahoe loses appeal when you take a peek at the standard safety feature offering. While you’ll get the obvious features such as airbags and seatbelts in base models, you’ll have to pay extra to enjoy more advanced tech like automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and automatic high beams.
Meanwhile, the Ford Expedition is a bit larger, sporting room enough for 8 (no matter which trims you buy), and a cargo capacity of 104.6 cu.ft. That cargo capacity can go up a notch too in MAX models, topping out at 121.5 cu.ft. Cloth upholstery is standard, with options to upgrade to leather, which is to be expected.
Infotainment in the Ford Expedition is on an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Base models get a power-driver seat, and a power-folding third-row seat, and a peppering of USB ports throughout the cabin. Upgrade the Ford Expedition, and you can enjoy so much more, including keyless ignition, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, and an audio system designed by B&O. And in the safety department, the Ford Expedition is a standout, with base models getting automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and even blind-spot monitors. Overall, the Expedition just has more to offer on the inside than the Tahoe does.
Which SUV Should You Buy? Ford or Chevy?
The Chevy Tahoe and the Ford Expedition match up in a lot of different ways, although there are some areas in which the Chevy Tahoe falls a bit behind. The Ford Expedition may cost a bit more, but that value translates into a bigger cabin, more safety features, and a better performing base engine. And we understand that every driver has different needs, but with all of that said, the winner of this competition is the Expedition.