The Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition compete in a shrinking class of old-school, truck-based SUVs. While they don't have the maneuverability or fuel economy of crossovers, they both crack the 20 mpg barrier in highway ratings and can tow 8,500 pounds or more. But which does a better job of hauling families and their gear?
What the Ford Expedition Gets Right
Now that the super-sized Excursion is gone, the Expedition is Ford's largest SUV -- and its sole model that continues to use rugged body-on-frame design. The Expedition is powered by a 5.4-liter Triton V8 with 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic, and can be ordered with rear-wheel or Control Trac four-wheel drive.
Fuel economy is estimated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. All base Expeditions have a maximum tow rating of 6,000 pounds; with an optional heavy-duty package this jumps to 9,200 pound for 2x4 models and 9,000 pounds in 4x4 guise.
What the Chevrolet Tahoe Gets Right
A shorter version of the Suburban, the Chevrolet Tahoe earns fuel economy that's only slightly better than the numbers from Expedition: 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Credit a lower curb weigh and more efficient 5.3-liter V8.
The Tahoe has 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque -- this torque deficiency shows itself when towing, as the Tahoe maxes out at 8,500 pounds for 2x4 models. However, that rating comes without a optional package, making the base Tahoe more capable than the base Expedition.
Which is the Better Choice?
Neither the Ford nor the Chevy is exactly new anymore -- both were introduced in their current forms back in 2007. Regardless, the Tahoe has a certain newness the Expedition lacks. While Chevrolet has tweaked the Tahoe with obvious cosmetic updates, Ford hasn't. The Tahoe also offers up to nine seats when ordered with a front bench seat -- the Ford has an eight-passenger capacity.
Our Verdict: Chevrolet Tahoe
Both are excellent examples of the old-school SUV, but the Tahoe edges ahead of the Expedition in this comparison.