fbpx

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4×4: Confident, three-row F-150

John Berg

The 2023 Ford Expedition Platinum stands tall like an F-150. It rides on the pickup’s chassis and shares the truck’s stance and capabilities. Refreshed for this year, the Expedition Platinum is handsome and refined, but has only subtle changes.

Only Ford aficionados will discern differences from the outgoing model. Unlike the Expedition’s bow tie-wearing rival, there’s no V-8 engine available. Still, Ford’s SUV out-hustles competition.

Under the hood

The Expedition Platinum packs a 3.5L twin-turbo Ecoboost V-6 that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It doesn’t feel as satisfying as a V-8, but it’s no slouch. The Expedition Platinum shines on the highway. I passed vehicles on a two-lane, undivided highway with confidence. Maximum power is achieved at higher RPMs.

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 1
The 2023 Ford Expedition performs well on all driving surfaces. Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

Another automotive journalist and I took an 800-mile round-trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Auto Show. The Expedition Platinum was an outstanding traveling companion. The SUV felt solid and well-planted over varying road surfaces. We “flew” over the Grapevine (the steep grade through Tejon Pass) and charged up California’s Central Valley on the expansive but boring Interstate 5. When driven at higher speeds, the Expedition felt stable and inspired confidence.

BlueCruise Driver Assistance

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 2
BlueCruise instrument panel display – photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

The 1,381-mile long, mostly featureless and nearly straight on I5 is the perfect place to try Ford’s hands-free Advanced Driver Assistance System. “BlueCruise” is a Level 2 ADAS that combines lane keep assist with adaptive cruise control for hands-free driving on over 100,000 miles of divided highways in North America.

The technology is similar to GM’s first generation of “Super Cruise.” But Ford’s system doesn’t have the refinement and smoothness of Super Cruise 2.0. Trying to activate BlueCruise is counterintuitive. There’s no on-and-off button to operate the system. BlueCruise engages on its own when conditions are right and when all other ADAS features are activated. Once BlueCruise is engaged, the steering wheel moves back and forth continuously as the system makes minor steering corrections.

BlueCruise does a good job of keeping the vehicle in the proper lane and maintaining a safe distance from traffic ahead. Steering input is overzealous at times, especially on straight stretches of roadway where vigorous steering corrections shake the entire vehicle. The system also disengages when encountering turns on the highway. I found the ride uncomfortable with BlueCruise and chose to switch off lane keep assist to prevent BlueCruise from engaging.      

Comfort and Convenience

The Expedition Platinum is comfortable, spacious, and luxurious with high-quality materials and premium finishes throughout the cabin.

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 3
Handsome interior details of the Expedition Platinum. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

The Bang and Olufsen audio system was a highlight. The sound was crisp and accurate, the bass response solid and tight. I enjoyed listening to my favorite music.

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 4
The B&O audio system is an audiophile’s delight. Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

Utility

The huge cargo area offered ample room for luggage. We detoured and picked up a fender for my ’67 C10 pickup. By pushing two buttons in the cargo area, the 2nd and 3rd row seats automatically dropped, revealing a flat, carpeted, six-foot-long cargo hold. There was plenty of room for the big fender and our luggage.   

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 5
Expedition Platinum offers ample cargo room. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

The Expedition tows with ease. I towed a car trailer with a Corvette race car onboard. I could barely feel the 4,700-pound trailer. The rear-view camera made hooking up the trailer a breeze, but other features of the Expedition’s towing package weren’t as convenient.

There’s a built-in trailer brake controller, but I had difficulty figuring out how to adjust the voltage output to my electric brakes. The towing package automatically detected the presence of the trailer and launched a trailering menu. However, I experienced a glitch where the system continued to detect a trailer even after uncoupling.

Fuel Economy

Trucks and SUVs don’t have the best fuel economy. High-profile vehicles have a lot of wind resistance. It takes a great deal of energy to push a big box through the air, especially at higher speeds. Surprisingly, the 2023 Expedition Platinum’s EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city, 22 highway, 18 combined. I observed 19 mpg over about 1,500 miles of spirited driving.

2023 Ford Expedition Platinum 4x4: Confident, three-row F-150 6
The Ford Expedition tows with ease. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

The Verdict

The Expedition Platinum is an understated and luxurious 7-passenger people mover that’s surprisingly fuel-efficient. It offers the versatility of a minivan with the utility of an F-150. The Expedition Platinum has an MSRP of $83,615. The price as tested, including destination, was $87,345.

Article Last Updated: December 19, 2023.

Leave a Reply

Share to...