Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A green 2024 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown driving in a forest after visiting a Ford dealer.

Should I Buy a 2024 Ford Explorer or Expedition?

If you live life to the fullest, would you rather go exploring or on an expedition? This is somewhat of a trick question because these words both mean quality in Ford’s repertoire. Let’s go over a few of the most noteworthy differences between the 2024 Ford Explorer and the 2024 Ford Expedition to help you decide which one fits your wants and needs, as well as the cost of your vehicle. Then, you can head down to your local Ford dealer to check them out for yourself.

Let’s Talk Pricing

The first difference between the Ford Expedition and Explorer might be the driving force behind your ultimate decision. Let’s start with the Explorer, the more cost-effective option between these two SUVs. The 2024 Explorer base model starts at an MSRP of $36,760, which effectively places it at the same price as the 2023 model. Eight trim levels, including the base model, are available. The popular XLT trim is a step up from the base Explorer, starting at $38,570. This small price increase adds a lot of value, including push-button start, second-row captain’s chairs, Ford’s SecuriCode keyless entry, a 6.5-inch color LCD instrument panel, power and heated mirrors, and a four-way power passenger seat to match the driver’s seat. It’s a big jump to the ST-Line starting at $46,355, with the top-of-the-line Platinum starting at $54,670.

The Ford Expedition is a more pricey vehicle, but this added cost does provide a more capable overall package, as we’ll get into later. That doesn’t make the Explorer a poor choice by any means. It simply means the Explorer is targeted at a different type of driver, and pricing isn’t the only factor. The 2024 Expedition starts at an MSRP of $55,525 for the XL STX trim, the least expensive version. Similar to the Explorer, it’s a small step up to the XLT, starting at $59,590, which adds up to eight-passenger seating, tri-zone automatic climate control, third-row USB ports, and PowerFold third-row seats. A total of six trim levels are available to let you equip the Expedition to best suit your needs, topping out with the Platinum starting at $80,695.

A white 2024 Ford Expedition is shown driving across a bridge.

Power Through Your Day

The 2024 Explorer and Expedition aren’t the same vehicle, but their mutual DNA is impossible to miss. Both SUVs utilize turbocharged engines, and both SUVs are available with a turbocharged V6 engine. The 2024 Expedition and Explorer have a ten-speed automatic transmission to couple with any chosen engine. Rear-wheel drive comes standard on both models, but four-wheel drive is an option for those who need it. That’s where the similarities between the two SUVs end, and the differences begin to rear their heads.

The first difference you’ll notice between the 2024 Explorer and Expedition is the available engines. The Explorer comes standard with a turbocharged I-4 engine, while the Expedition comes with a standard turbocharged V6.

The Explorer’s turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine is pretty capable for its smaller size, achieving up to 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain is also enough to tow 5,300 lbs of cargo when the model is properly equipped. Currently, there are no official fuel economy ratings for the 2024 model, but the 2023 model used the same powertrain and earned 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway (RWD model).

Ford Explorer models equipped with the turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine will churn out 100 more horsepower and 115 more lb-ft of torque, bringing the 2024 Explorer to its highest performance with 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. With this added performance, there’s also a 300 lb increase in towing capacity, bringing it up to 5,600 lbs.

If the performance from the Explorer’s turbocharged V6 engine sounds enticing, consider looking into the Expedition. Its base engine is not only a turbocharged V6 engine, but it’s larger too, coming in at 3.5L instead of the 3.0L engine found in the Explorer models. The base V6 engine in the Expedition can make between 380 hp and 400 hp depending on its configuration, while its torque output is raised to between 470 and 480 lb-ft. The towing capacity with this engine gives the Expedition its maximum capacity of 9,300 lbs, which is a considerable leap over the type of towing you’d be doing with the Explorer. The more powerful engine in the Expedition is a high-output turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. If towing is something you need to do with your SUV, the Expedition is going to be your best choice between these two Ford models.

Another difference between the 2024 Explorer and Expedition is that the Expedition can be equipped with true four-wheel drive, making it a better off-roading option in this comparison. Not to mention, features like the Terrain Management System help you take that Expedition off the beaten path and go off on an “expedition” for yourself.

A Place for Your Stuff

Both the 2024 Explorer and Expedition have three rows of seats, so if you’re buying a vehicle for your family, you don’t have to worry about needing to spend more to secure that third row. However, when you need cargo space over seating, both of these models have you covered.

The 2024 Explorer has a minimum of 18.2 cu.ft. of space with all three rows of seating in place, which is an impressive use of the smaller Explorer’s interior space compared to the 20.9 cu.ft. of the Expedition. However, the Expedition MAX, available only in the XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum trims, is nearly a foot longer than the standard Expedition, providing 36 cu.ft. of cargo space even with all the seats in place. With only the third row folded down, the Explorer has 47.9 cu.ft. available compared to 63.6 cu.ft. on the regular Expedition, and 79.6 cu.ft. on the MAX. With both the second and third rows folded down, the Explorer has 87.8 cu.ft., the standard Expedition has 104.6 cu.ft., and the Expedition MAX has an amazing 121.5 cu.ft. of cargo space.

A black 2024 Ford Expedition is shown driving in a city.

What’s The Verdict?

It’s entirely up to you. Do you need to maximize your cargo space? The Expedition MAX is the model you should consider. Do you have a large family and find yourself in need of towing capabilities? The Expedition is also the right call. However, if you need lighter towing capabilities and don’t have a big family but could use the extra seating on occasion, the Explorer is a solid choice. Or, maybe it just comes down to the cost; both vehicles can be equipped with incredible features, but the overall cost is going to be lower with the Explorer. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you end up with the vehicle that makes you happy. So get out there and test drive these two Ford SUVs to see which one is the best fit for you.