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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A black 2020 Ford Expedition is parked in a grassy field.

Building Your 2020 Ford Expedition From the Base

The Ford Expedition is back again with lots of exciting features to offer for 2020. Drivers have more options than ever when hoping to build the SUV of their dreams. No matter which upgrades you choose to add on to the generous base model of the 2020 Ford Expedition, you’re guaranteed lots of space for both cargo and passengers in this comfortable eight-seater.

The new Ford Expedition comes in eight different trim levels, including the XLT, XLT MAX, Limited, Limited MAX, King Ranch, King Ranch MAX, Platinum, and Platinum Max. The starting MSRP for the base (XLT) is $52,810. It provides an extensive array of the latest technology, safety features, and respectable power statistics. We’ll explore what you can get with an XLT Expedition in 2020, and you can decide from there if further upgrades are needed in order to fulfill your new vehicle vision.


The XLT comes with a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. This uses direct injection to maximize power for a rugged ride that seems more like a truck than a family car. Twin air-to-air intercooled turbochargers provide a surge in on-demand power as needed, so you can get through traffic without a hassle. The XLT is also equipped with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. This transmission is known for its desirable qualities, including having a wide ratio span. Its optimized gear spacing is more responsive than most and provides improved performance during acceleration.

Rear-wheel drive is standard in the XLT trim, but the Control Trac four-wheel-drive is optional if you prefer. The estimated fuel efficiency on the XLT is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg for the highway. Considering it has the capacity to deliver 400 horsepower and 480 pounds per foot of torque, it’s tough not to be satisfied with those stats. The XLT provides quite a bit as a base trim. You don’t necessarily need an upgrade in order to get strong power and technology features.

A battery saver and automatic start-stop technology come in the standard XLT. The standard Automatic Braking System has brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution for optimal stopping ability when you need it. You can add a heavy-duty engine radiator or fuel tank underbody protection to create an SUV with more rugged styling. On the 4×4, you can add skid plates and two-speed, automatic four-wheel-drive with neutral towing capability if desired.

A red 2020 Ford Expedition has mud on the front fenders while driving on a muddy trail.

Standard wheels on the XLT are 18-inch machined-face aluminum with magnetic painted pockets. Forget your usual donut, the XLT provides an under-body mounted spare tire that is full-sized, so you won’t need to switch it out after you get safely back home. Four optional tire styles are available in the XLT if you’d prefer a different look. Choose from 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, 18-inch magnetic metallic-painted cast-aluminum, 20-inch luster nickel-painted aluminum, or the darker look of 20-inch 6-spoke gloss black-painted wheels to customize the XLT just how you like it.

Several advanced handling features make this large SUV surprisingly easy to maneuver. It drives like a dream with multi-link independent rear suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, and electronic stability control. Also included as standard is Ford’s AdvanceTrac with roll stability control. Selectable drive modes, tractor control, and trailer sway control will keep you feeling confident at all times behind the wheel. On the 4×2, you’ll get a non-limited slip 3.15 rear axle and Hill Start Assist. Hill Start Assist also comes standard on the 4×4, along with Hill Descent Control and the Terrain Management System, for a variety of driving conditions. Ford’s XLT has you covered no matter where you decide to drive it.

Optional handling upgrades for the XLT include intelligent four-wheel-drive, premium off-road front and rear shocks, and a non-limited-slip 3.31 rear axle. An electronic limited-slip differential 3.73 rear axle is also an available upgrade. An integrated trailer brake controller is included for drivers who opt for the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package. Ford has clearly put together a comprehensive standard package for their base XLT models, ensuring excellent value for their new Expedition at a reasonable price-point. Given the steep competition in the SUV market, it’s no wonder that Ford is so generous in its base models.


Along with excellent power and handling capability, safety is a major focus of the Ford Expedition in 2020. Of course, in a three-row SUV, visibility is always a concern. In standard XLTs, you’ll find a rearview camera, complete with backup assist grid lines and washer. Backing up is easy with the help of this technology, even for beginner drivers. A standard reverse sensing system and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking systems provide you with the upper hand on unpredictable roadways. Automatic high beam headlamps improve your visibility at night and while also preventing you from accidentally blinding other drivers on the road.

For a little extra peace of mind, the XLT has four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock brake system. Ford’s SOS post-crash alert system is also included in its standard safety features. A Safety Canopy System protects drivers and passengers in all three rows with side-curtain airbags. These are designed with roll-fold technology and a rollover sensor for everyone in the vehicle. In addition to six standard airbags already included, the Safety Canopy system provides extra assurance to drivers.

A side view of the front brown and black leather interior of a 2020 Ford Expedition is shown.

Optional safety technology in XLT includes a blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow monitoring. You’ll never feel out of control being able to see everything clearly that surrounds you. In addition to standard cruise control, you can upgrade to adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. A lane keeping assist system that includes a lane keeping alert and driver alert may be added to your XLT as well. Ford offers the option to mix and match the latest technology to keep you feeling safe in this desirable base model.

Several security features are in place to protect your new Expedition, including a perimeter alarm and personal safety system. The XLT includes SecuriLock passive anti-theft system. Remote keyless entry and a SecuriCode keyless entry keypad are also provided as standard. Inclination sensors to detect when the vehicle is being lifted up to remove the tires and intrusion sensors (alerting you if the vehicle is being towed without permission) are optional add-ons as part of the Advanced Security Package.

Comfort and Convenience

To keep your new Expedition fresh, the XLT standard includes a cabin particulate air filter and rear auxiliary climate controls. If you’d like to add the tri-zone electronic automatic temperature control, it’s an available option on the XLT. You can also add a heated steering wheel, wrapped in leather to enhance the luxury-feel of your XLT. The second-row has a 40/20/40 split-bench, manual reclining fold-flat seat with CenterSlide. The third row seat comes with a 60/40 PowerFold, allowing for various interior configurations that can adapt to your cargo needs from day-to-day. It also offers best-in-class legroom, so taller passengers will remain comfortable during long rides.

Standard convenience features include cruise control, a universal garage opener, and a push button start. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rear cargo area light provide the perfect amount of light when you need it. Wi-Fi Hotspot keeps you connected wherever you go. The XLT’s entertainment system uses Sync 3 technology to connect Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with enhanced voice recognition software to keep your eyes on the road. FordPass Connect and Sirius XM radio are provided as standard, along with Smart Charging USB ports. A six-speaker stereo system that adjusts volume automatically based on your driving speed is provided as another standard feature that makes driving this base SUV an enjoyable experience.


The 2020 Ford Expedition comes in a handsome color pallet of nine classic hues. Choose from Blue, Magnetic, Agate Black, Oxford White, Burgundy Velvet, Desert Gold, Iconic Silver, Rapid Red, or Star White. The XLT offers drivers quite a bit in terms of mechanics, technology, and style. If you want additional upgrades like leather seats, unique stitching, or LED headlamps, you may want to consider the King Ranch, Stealth Edition, or Texas Edition.

Depending on how it’s equipped, the 2020 Expedition can provide 9,300 pounds of towing with the addition of the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package. The FX4 Off-Road Package can take your adventure to the next level (available on a limited number of XLT models). With so many possible packages to choose from, you can’t go wrong with a new 2020 Ford Expedition starting from the base XLT trim.

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