Ford is bringing down the price tag of its full-size SUV as it ushers in a new year, but there's a catch. The 2021 Ford Expedition XL STX enters the trim level choices for the Blue Oval utility vehicles, with a base MSRP of $49,995 without the $1,695 destination and other charges.
Whether this move will allow the automaker to advertise the Ford Expedition at a low starting price, or to provide more flexibility to buyers, is entirely up to you. However, you should know that the low MSRP comes at a hefty tradeoff – the Expedition XL STX comes standard with five seats.
The Ford Expedition is a large three-row SUV in the classic sense of the term. It has rugged body-on-frame construction, plenty of ground clearance, and a four-wheel-drive system to get you where you're going even if the path ahead is a little rocky. It's the largest SUV in Ford's lineup, slotting above the recently redesigned Ford Explorer. When this Expedition generation launched in 2018, it represented a significant upgrade over its predecessor. It's comfortable and spacious, especially if you opt for the longer Expedition Max. Changes for 2021 include a new base trim and more optional features.
While the Ford Expedition has been our runaway favorite in its class, two redesigned competitors threaten its dominance. The Chevrolet Tahoe, along with its longer sibling, the Suburban, are all-new for 2021. The new Tahoe and Suburban fix many of the outgoing model's flaws, though we think many aspects — especially inside — don't quite measure up to the Ford. Other alternatives include the Nissan Armada and the ancient Toyota Sequoia. Even with all that competition, we still think the Expedition is the best overall full-size SUV. Want to know more? Check out our Expert Rating for more in-depth analysis on the 2021 Expedition.
On the outside, the Expedition XL STX has the usual glossy black five-bar grille, while the 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels come with Magnetic Metallic color and wrapped in all-season tires. Some notable exterior features include body-color bumpers, door handles, and lower bodyside cladding, as well as black mirror caps, roof rails, and running boards.
Inside, the most obvious change in the SUV is the lack of a third row. Though this means fewer passengers to haul, it also tells gives you more cargo-hauling capacity – perfect for work and businesses. Despite that, the Expedition XL STX isn't exactly short in standard tech features; the list of which you can already view via Ford's configurator.
As with the rest of the range, the 2021 Expedition XL STX comes with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine under the hood mated to a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. You can upgrade to a 4x4 drivetrain, but that would be for an additional $3,050.
You also have the option to add the Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package for an added premium of $795, and ControlTrac with electronic limited-slip differential for $1,100.
Of note, despite the drop of starting MSRP, the Expedition is still pricier than the base 2021 Chevy Tahoe that comes with a third row.