Chevrolet Tahoe vs. Ford Expedition

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - August 27, 2020

The Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition have battled for full-size SUV supremacy since the latter debuted in 1997. Now, over two decades later, these land yachts continue to prowl the pavement hauling people, cargo, and trailers with the best of them.

The Chevy Tahoe is fresh off of a 2021 redesign, bringing this once-aging SUV into modern times. We put the redesigned Tahoe in a head-to-head battle with the Ford Expedition to see if the Chevy has what it takes to fend off Ford’s versatile SUV.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Chevrolet Tahoe & Ford Expedition »

What the Tahoe Gets Right

The redesigned 2021 Chevy Tahoe kicks things off with an all-new look. Granted, there’s nothing earth-shattering about its redesign, but it’s a fresh take on this aging two-box design. Plus, the new C-shaped LED accent lighting and slim headlights make it stand out a bit in this overly vanilla class.

On top of its new look, the Tahoe’s $50,295 base price (including destination) beats the Expedition by over $4,500. In fact, you can upgrade to the second-tier Tahoe LT and pay just $245 more than the base Expedition and get tons more features.

While others in the full-size SUV class are bending to fuel-economy regulations by switching to thriftier turbocharged V6 engines, the Expedition included, the Tahoe digs its V8-powered feet into the dirt. Its standard 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 is nothing to write home about, but the optional 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 crushes the Expedition’s 375- and 400-hp V6 options. Plus, the Tahoe offers a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel engine with 277 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque.

The Tahoe’s spacey cabin offers an extra 0.5 inches of second-row leg room and tons more cargo room in every seating format compared to the standard-length Expedition.

Inside, the Tahoe comes standard with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, wi-fi, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Expedition’s standard touchscreen is just 8 inches, and its smartphone integration still requires the constantly failing USB cable.

What the Expedition Gets Right

The Expedition’s big advantage is its overall effectiveness as a do-it-all family machine. Though it falls in top-range power compared to the Tahoe, its base 375-hp twin-turbo V6 beats the Tahoe’s base 355-hp V8. Plus, with 470 or 480 lb-ft of torque, the Expedition delivers off-the-line power the Tahoe can’t match.

With its V6 engine, the Expedition also shines in fuel economy, delivering up to 17 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 combined, according to the EPA. This beats the base Tahoe by one mpg city, three highway, and one combined.

The Expedition also has a 9,300-pound towing capacity, beating the Tahoe by 900 pounds. Speaking of hauling, the Expedition Max – the extended-length model – gets closer to the Tahoe’s cargo-hauling abilities.

Safety also falls in the Expedition’s “win” column with standard blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and lane keeping assist. The Tahoe also has standard automatic emergency braking, but lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring aren’t standard until you reach the second-from-the-top Premier trim.

Value Is in the Chevy Tahoe

For value shoppers, the Chevy Tahoe is our pick. Starting at $50,295, this large SUV boasts V8 power and more standard features than the Expedition. Push up to the Tahoe LT, which is only about $250 more than the base Expedition, and you get even more features, including wireless smartphone charging, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, leather seating, two USB ports in the second and third rows, and more.

Our Verdict: Ford Expedition

Despite losing out in value, the Ford Expedition is still an all-around better family vehicle. With its multiple size options, thriftier V6 engines, and higher towing capacity, it’s simply more versatile, which is what a full-size SUV must be.

Take a closer look at the Chevrolet Tahoe »

Take a closer look at the Ford Expedition »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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