2020 Ford Expedition vs. 2020 Chevy Suburban: Compare SUVs

February 28, 2020

We’re all Loverboy and we’re all working for the weekend. 

When it comes time to hit the road with the family and toys, few SUVs can do it better than the 2020 Ford Expedition and 2020 Chevy Suburban. They’re kings (or queens) of weekends.

Both SUVs offer big power, big space, and in some cases, big price tags. The only thing bigger? The rivalry between both. 

MORE: Read our 2020 Ford Expedition and 2020 Chevrolet Suburban full reviews

The TCC Rating indicates a clear win for Ford, but there’s a caveat. The 2020 ‘Burban is a codger in the SUV arms race; a completely different Suburban is coming for 2021. Our competition here forgoes that version completely, but patient shoppers would do well to wait a few months: the new Suburban promises more comfort, more available engine choices, and even more size. 

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4

For now, the Ford Expedition’s our pick because it’s more comfortable and quiet. In King Ranch, Limited, and Platinum configurations, the Expedition’s a rival for the supreme comfort of the Lincoln Navigator (which is mechanically related). Equipped with second-row captain’s chairs that slide forward and backward, adults won’t complain in taking the long way home in any seat. Front-seat riders get a perk, literally and figuratively: some Expedition trims can be equipped with in-seat massagers. 

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

The Suburban has seats for up to nine with a first-row bench that’s a nod to tradition more than it is a necessity. Everything is in the right place, including second-row captain’s chairs in some trims, but the third row is a little cramped and rides over a rear axle that can bound on uneven pavement. The Suburban’s interior is relatively aged compared to the Expedition, although next year’s version may remedy that. 

Under the hood, the Expedition taps twin-turbo V-6 power and a 10-speed automatic for propulsion. Lower trims make good with 375 horsepower, though the Expedition Platinum taps the turbos for 25 more hp. Rear-wheel drive is standard while four-wheel drive is optional on most Expeditions. With heavy-duty cooling, the Expedition is rated to tow up to 9,300 pounds in certain configurations. Mileage sinks appropriately from the mid-teens to “LOL” with a full load of passengers and a trailer. 

The Suburban prefers V-8 power, you choose how to flex your fuel points. The standard 5.3-liter V-8 makes 355 hp and is teamed to a 6-speed automatic that’s outnumbered in just about every way. An optional 6.2-liter V-8 makes 420 hp and is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission (Plot twist: It’s actually shared with Ford, although they’re tuned separately) with rear- or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Suburban will tow up to 8,300 pounds, which is still plenty for weekend toys or trailers. 

2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevy Suburban gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard equipment with cloth upholstery, three-zone climate control, and 18-inch wheels for $53,000 to start (four-wheel drive adds $3,000 across the board). 

The least expensive Ford Expedition costs about $54,000 and gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen, cloth upholstery, and 18-inch wheels, but it’s not apples-to-apples with the Suburban. The longer-wheelbase Expedition Max costs $57,235 in the base configuration and is the natural rival for the Suburban. In top trims, both can cost more than $70,000, although the Expedition is closer to convincing luxury. The Expedition also includes standard safety features that Chevy can’t match with automatic emergency braking and active lane control.

That may change with a new Suburban around the corner soon but for now, the 2020 Expedition is our family getaway SUV.

Summary

6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban can haul the family and its gear in relative comfort and style, as well as tow the toys.
7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ford Expedition sets a benchmark for full-size SUVs, with rugged ability and sophisticated sensibilities.

Styling

6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban is an ageless classic, like the bowtie.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The Expedition’s square-rigged body and tailored cabin set a high, swank bar.
Read More

Performance

6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban has two V-8 engines for all the power you could possibly need, though it may not be as efficient as newer models.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The Expedition breaks what we know about big SUVs with great ride quality and snappy acceleration.
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Comfort & Quality

8.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban has one job to do, haul people and their things, and it does it well.
Read More
9.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Expedition has room for everyone, all seven of them.
Read More

Safety

The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban offers ample crash safety tech, but a four-star rating from the NHTSA is concerning.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
With incomplete crash-test scores, the Ford Expedition already is in bonus.
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Features

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban offers full-size features at a full-size price.
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8.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ford Expedition offers its best value in XLT trim.
Read More

Fuel Economy

3.0
Expert Rating
Thanks to engines that can shut down four cylinders and a new 10-speed transmission, the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban is reasonably efficient for its size.
Read More
3.0
Expert Rating
Gas mileage isn’t the prime directive of the Ford Expedition.
Read More

MSRP

from $51,700
from $52,810

Invoice

from $48,804
from $50,697

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

18
19

Engine

Gas/Ethanol V8, 5.3L
Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded V-6, 3.5 L

Drivetrain

Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
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