It’s America versus Japan. I take a new 2020 Ford Expedition FX4 and a new 2020 Lexus LX 570 up the Tombstone mountain trail. Which one of these two huge truck-based SUVs is better off-road and make for a better overland vehicle? Let’s find out!
2020 Lexus LX 570
The Lexus LX is a more luxurious brother to the Toyota Land Cruiser. It rides on a truck chassis (related to the Toyota Tundra) with a solid rear axle and a very sophisticated 4×4 system. It has a powerful 5.7-liter V8 under the hood (383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque) that is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This big SUV has a very fancy hydraulic suspension that is height adjustable and can help wheels to articulate and maintain contact with the terrain. The Lexus has a terrain management system with several off-road modes and the latest off-road crawl control system. Will the fancy 21-inch wheels let it down during this test? Stay tuned.
2020 Ford Expedition FX4
The new Expedition takes a different approach. It is related to the Ford F-150, but the chassis is modified to accept independent rear suspension. It supposed to make for a better on-road ride and better interior volume, but can it take on a rocky trail? Under the hood is very torquey 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine (375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque). The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Expedition also has a low-range transfer case for better crawling and a limited slip rear differential that can be engaged with a button. Will the limited ground clearance (the suspension height is not adjustable) slow this beast down? Let’s see.
In the end, both of these behemoth SUVs made it up the mountain. The Lexus was a bit more comfortable to drive on rough terrain (even with the 21-inch wheels). The 4WD system got me out of a couple slick situations. However, the Lexus LX really needs more aggressive tires for be a great off-roader. The Expedition surprised with no lost traction, although it had less articulation than the LX.
I choose the Expedition FX4 as the better overland vehicle out of these two, and it’s not because it is nearly $30,000 less expensive than the $100,000 Lexus. I choose the Expedition because it has better traction with the FX4 Michelin tires, the ground clearance was never an issue during this test, and it has a lot more interior space.
Check out the video for all of the latest off-road fun!