Ford Expedition vs. Chevy Suburban: Which Is the Better Choice?

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The Ford Expedition and the Chevy Suburban are two of the most popular full-size SUVs on the market and have been longtime front-runners. If you’re thinking of buying a new car, the 2021 models both offer ample seating, generous cargo space, and a solid array of features.
According to Behind the Wheel, the Suburban and the Expedition have both been significantly redesigned over recent years. But, when pitted head-to-head in an Expedition vs. Suburban face-off, which family-friendly American SUV takes the top spot?
A white 2021 Ford Expedition towing a trailer on a road in the mountains
The 2021 Ford Expedition has great towing capacity, but the Chevy Suburban wins for overall cargo space.

Performance by the 2021 Ford Expedition vs. the Chevy Suburban

According to MotorBiscuit, the standard model of the 2021 Ford Expedition features a 3.5-liter V6 engine boasting 375 hp (increased to 400 on the Platinum trim) and 470 lb-ft of torque.
The 2021 Chevy Suburban base model comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8, 355 hp, and 383 lb-ft of torque, but there are two other engine upgrades available—a 6.2-liter V8 and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine.
Both SUVs offer all-wheel drive options, though rear-wheel drive is standard.
The Suburban steers nicely, handles well, and accelerates quickly. It offers a nice ride, thanks to a new independent rear suspension and optional air-spring suspension with adaptive dampeners.
The Expedition’s handling is less impressive and soft braking disappoints, yet despite these faults, city driving in the Expedition is still fairly easy.
The Expedition gets an estimated mileage rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg for the highway, according to MotorBiscuit. The Suburban doesn’t perform quite as well, earning 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, according to U.S. News.

Comfortable interiors and ample cargo space

When looking at the Expedition vs. the Suburban both offer spacious interiors, with plenty of room for both cargo and passengers. In the standard configuration, both SUVs seat eight. Other configurations yield seating for seven or nine in the Suburban, and seven in the Expedition.
The Expedition’s 57.5 cubic feet of cargo space means you can store all your family’s gear without compromising on second-row legroom or headroom, which are relatively on par with the Suburban’s.
The third-rows are a little less spacious than the second-rows in both vehicles, which is to be expected. The Expedition does offer a little more in the way of third-row legroom, while the Suburban has more headroom. MotorBiscuit noted that, unlike previous models, the 2021 Suburban’s third-row seats have a power-fold option and second-row seats can slide.
The Suburban’s cargo space is less roomy at 41.5 cubic feet, but with the seats down there are 144.7 cubic feet available—far more than the Expedition’s 104.6 cubic feet, and among the most spacious options you’ll find in a full-size SUV.
According to MotorBiscuit, the Expedition (when properly equipped) can tow a maximum weight of over 9,000 lbs—roughly 1,000 lbs more than the Suburban.

Expedition vs. Suburban: safety and infotainment features

The 2021 Ford Expedition received an overall safety rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Suburban scored four stars, due to lower ratings in roll-over and frontal collision tests.
Both SUVs come equipped with advanced safety features like tire pressure monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. Each has its own package of additional features including collision systems to help prevent accidents and simplify driving. However, MotorBiscuit did note that some safety features come at an additional cost.
U.S. News explained that the 2021 Suburban features a 10.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system (two inches larger than the outgoing model’s) with a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and more. Optional extras include navigation, wireless device charging, and a large double touch-screen entertainment system for the rear seats.
Many of the same features are offered with the Expedition’s infotainment system, although it has a slightly smaller 8-inch touch screen, according to U.S. News. Both systems are easy to use and offer a solid experience.

Pricing is fairly comparable

Pricing is pretty equivalent for both the Expedition and Suburban. According to U.S. News, the 2021 Expedition two-row base model starts at $49,995, which is fairly average for a large SUV, though there are more affordable three-row options.
If you want a third row in your Expedition, it will cost you roughly $2,800 extra—bumping the starting price up to the highest in its class. The most expensive model is the Expedition Max Platinum, with a price tag of $76,000.
U.S. News reported that a Suburban starts at $51,700—a little above the average. The most expensive trim is the High Country at $75,300.

Expedition vs. Suburban: the bottom line

If you are in the market for an SUV, the Suburban and the Expedition are two great choices. Each comes packed with features, comfort, and cargo space.
Many of the Expedition’s strengths are similar to the Suburban’s, especially when it comes to their engines, spacious interiors, and user-friendly infotainment systems. Frankly, either pick would be solid.
The Expedition offers better towing capacity, seats-up storage, and estimated gas mileage, but the Suburban has more cargo space with the seats folded, and has the option of seating up to nine people.
With each SUV offering a slightly different experience, the better choice ultimately depends on your lifestyle and the features your family needs in a vehicle.
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