Off-Roading

Ford adds available FX4 Off-Road Package to 2020 Expedition Limited

Ford has made a new FX4 off-roading package available for the 2020 Expedition.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2020 Ford Expedition Limited delivers premium features and appointments that would be at home in the parking lot of any steak house in Texas. Add in the FX4 off-road package and the large SUV is also at home on most any Texas ranch road as well.

"There's a growing trend in people looking to enjoy rugged terrain without having to give up the refinement, comfort or convenience of getting there," said Devin McParlane, Ford Expedition consumer marketing manager.

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4 Package The package is only available on Expedition Limited models.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Research by MaritzCX shows that nearly 20 percent of Expedition owners use their vehicle for off-roading. Forty-five percent take their SUV hunting, camping, or fishing.

The FX4 package includes 32-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch metallic gray-painted cast-aluminum rims, off-road-tuned shocks, seven underbody skid plates (including a new sand shield to protect turbocharger intercoolers, steel plates to protect steering gear, engine, transmission and transfer case, and a full-length guard for the fuel tank). The chin spoiler beneath the front bumper is shortened to improve approach angles for climbing over steep obstacles. There are also chrome-plated running boards with angular step bars.

FX4 badging adorns the liftgate, front fender, and key points inside the vehicle's cabin.

The model is powered by a standard 375-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It has a two-speed electronically controlled four-wheel-drive transfer case with neutral towing capability, electronic limited-slip differential, Terrain Management System, and heavy-duty radiator. Standard features include a 360-degree camera, rubber floor liners, and Ford Co-Pilot360 safety and driver assistance technology.

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4 Package Each model comes with FX4 badging.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds, leading its class.

The new 2020 Expedition Limited FX4 package is available on the standard Expedition and extended-length Expedition MAX versions. It is currently on sale at a Ford dealership near you. The 2020 Ford Expedition Limited starts at $63,885 including a destination charge and minus $1,500 in current incentives. The FX4 package adds $2,035 to the price tag.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD was redesigned for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

It already proved capable at hauling and towing on long stretches of road up, on, and around Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. That was a confined test, however, designed by Chevy to show off the redesigned Silverado HD's best qualities. When tested, unrestricted, on the rural roads, historic city streets, and highways of the East Coast, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD proved even more impressive.

The Silverado HD is huge. The 2500 that was delivered sat in the driveway towering over the Explorer parked next to it. The truck looks imposing too, especially with the large grille that faces a hood that is taller than this driver.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The grille of the Silverado HD is quite large.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Thankfully there are grab handles and side steps to aid in getting in the truck. Without the steps, it's quite the pull-up to get into the 2500. Getting in the bed was also easy thanks to a sidestep and the bumper steps.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD just isn't as nicely appointed as the Ram HD. There's no getting around that. However, in its midgrade trim level, the interior appointment choices of the 2500 make good sense for its price point and likely utilitarian lifestyle.

That doesn't mean that it's not well-appointed. Its surfaces aren't plush like what you'll get in the Ram, but they're pleasant enough to look at and inoffensive to the fingertips.

The truck's seats are comfortable, even for 600 miles at a time, which is about the range of the 2500 when equipped with the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The Silverado HD is surprisingly well-mannered on the highway.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

On the road, the Silverado HD is much more impressive. Despite its enormous size, the truck is easy to keep between the lanes, even without the modern driver assistance technology you'll find on some regular-duty trucks. Driving the model on the highway isn't tiring.

Though it does feel its size when you're behind the wheel, the truck is reasonably nimble and easy to maneuver. That's helpful on small, historic streets of places like Charlottesville, Virginia, where the size of the lanes and availability of parking spaces will make you wish there was a "HD trucks" setting in the navigation system. At around 78 inches tall as delivered, the Silverado HD is too tall to fit in most of the parking garages in historic areas.

That being said, the truck's numerous camera angles and wide mirrors made it easy to back into a spot and parallel park when necessary.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Mid-grade Silverado HDs, including this LTZ trim model, are the best balance of capability and value.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD is tremendously more stable on the road and it soaks up most of the imperfections. It doesn't have nearly the amount of body lean when cornering that the Ram HD does.

The engine is just as competent as the handling. Despite being plenty beefy and brawny for the task at hand, the diesel delivered around 22 mpg in mixed traffic situations, including some stretches pushing the upper limits of allowable speed on the highway and idling in traffic several times in bottlenecks. That number makes the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 about 50 percent more fuel efficient than the 2020 Toyota Tundra in similar driving situations.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The interior of the Silverado isn't as nice as the Ram HD, but it's good enough.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD LTZ came with standard with an 8-inch infotainment system. It worked as advertised with the latest operating system running in the background, which isn't too much of a departure from the previous one resulting in a very shallow learning curve.

The Silverado 2500 made a lasting impression during a week of road tripping. Its comfortable seats and fuel efficiency were the biggest surprises and the only true disappointment was that its height made it incompatible with parking garages.

With the capability and appointments considered, its $70,000 sticker price seemed appropriate.

Chevy may not have hit it out of the park with the Silverado HD redesign, but they hit a solid double that keeps them in the game.