A silver 2024 Ford Expedition XLT MAX is shown parked near an ocean.

Should You Step Up to the Expedition MAX?

For the 2018 model year, Ford released something new and surprising: the Ford Expedition MAX. All 2024 Ford Expedition models with the word “MAX” in their name boast nearly ten extra inches of cargo space behind the third row. The MAX option is available for the XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum trims; note that it is not available for the Timberline or base XL STX trims.

When you see a MAX model drive by, its size difference is undeniable. You might even think at first glance that there is a fourth row hiding in all of that extra rear room—but nope, that’s all dedicated to more cargo.

The Ford Expedition has been around since 1997 and has provided families with substantial passenger and cargo needs for a safe, comfortable, and powerful full-size SUV for busy days. With seating for up to eight, great standard driver assistance features, and highly configurable cargo, the Expedition is a popular option for families of all sizes. It’s snagged Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy award in the full-size SUV category multiple times, and it boasts a fair price tag for all that it offers.

Any time a manufacturer puts out a new rendition of a popular vehicle, but at a slightly higher MSRP, it begs the question: Do you need the new perk that’s being offered? For each trim the MAX is available on, going ‘MAX’ will always cost you $3,000 more for 2024. So, do you need to get the MAX? Here are reasons you might need the Ford Expedition MAX…

Transporting Four-Legged Friends

If you regularly shuttle four-legged companions around, it’s a good idea to get the MAX—especially if you have large breeds like German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers. The standard-sized Expedition is fine for one pooch, but if you have a pair, you’ll want the MAX so that they have room to turn around and stretch.

Some families love to bring their furry companions along on road trips or similar extended trips. Having them cramped in the back of a standard Expedition isn’t entirely fair to these furry family members. Get them the MAX if you want your canine companions to be comfortable on long trips.

The black and white rear interior and cargo area of a 2024 Ford Expedition XLT MAX is shown.

Serious Cross-Country Road Trips

If you plan on filling up all eight seats of the Expedition, and then all eight of those passengers want to bring two weeks’ worth of belongings for a cross-country road trip… get the MAX.

The original Expedition’s cargo dimensions are great for everyday needs. However, when you have a large family that travels together, everyone has to start making sacrifices when packing in the standard Expedition. If you have young children, you simply can’t go far without a ton of stuff. Between portable changing tables, bassinets, Pack ‘n Plays, boxes of diapers, and more, you absolutely need more cargo space.

Keeping everybody fed and hydrated on long trips is a tall order, too. If you’re going to pull over every time somebody needs a snack or water bottle, you’ll wind up spending a small fortune on road trip supplies. However, with the MAX, you can fit a large cooler in the trunk, so you can pack up all the snacks, drinks, lunches, and treats that everyone needs for long days on the road.

A Small Business With Big Cargo Needs

Depending on the type of business you run, you might need to transport tons of passengers or belongings on a regular basis. In fact, the Expedition MAX is perfect for those who drive for a ride-sharing service and offer their services at a premium because of the passenger and cargo space they can deliver. So when those large parties put in a request for a pickup at the airport—and there are eight passengers, each with a suitcase—you can get that fare. Those with smaller trunks would have to pass up on that income.

Alternatively, if you need to present often for your work, meaning you have to travel with model homes or similar items, you’ll like having a large trunk to put these in. If you go from dropping off kids to delivering eight boxes of files to a client, you need lots of seats and lots of cargo room.

Trips to the Wholesale Store

Wholesale stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are great for large families. They let you pick up commercial-size boxes of diapers, juice boxes, trail mix, and all the other things you need to keep your family going. However, commercial-size boxes need commercial-size trunks—so when you pick up enough paper towels to wipe your counters for a month, and you bring the kids along so they can pick out treats, you need a massive trunk.

Treasure Hunting

Some families love to spend the weekends hitting antique stores or yard sales together. You never know what treasure you might find, like a keyboard for the kid interested in piano, a classic dollhouse for your little one, or a big screen TV for the whole family to enjoy movies on. Again, if you bring the entire family with you on these excursions, then the main cabin area of the SUV is spoken for. You need a huge trunk for that antique coffee table you found or those enormous canvas paintings for the living room.

A gray 2024 Ford Expedition Platinum MAX is shown driving on a road near a beach.

Traveling in Groups

If you are an outdoorsy family that likes to go inner tubing, bike riding, or other similar activities on the weekends, it’s nice to have a large trunk. You can throw some foldable dirt bikes back there or deflated inner tubes. You can load it up with life vests for a day of boating. Active families tend to need large gear—and large gear calls for a massive trunk.

Turn Your SUV Into a Camper

Here’s an alternative way to use the added cargo space you get with the MAX: turn it into your camping quarters. With the second and third rows folded flat, you get an incredibly long interior for sprawling out in a couple of sleeping bags. It opens up a world of possibilities for families that camp together. The parents can sleep in the two-person camper pod, and the little kids can sleep in the cab of the Expedition—or the adults can take a romantic weekend to themselves to sleep under the stars.

When You Need More Space, You Need the MAX

Adding the MAX variant to the Expedition lineup was a smart move on Ford’s part. Somebody at the drawing table realized that a car carrying eight people might need to carry all of their belongings, too, and a standard trunk wouldn’t always cut it. However, keeping the standard trunk size available still leaves that slightly more affordable model there for families who don’t need a massive trunk.

There are so many things you get the freedom to do once you have the MAX’s extended cargo space—the possibilities are practically endless. It will take the stress out of deciding what can come and what has to stay behind on road trips. It means no longer having to skip a purchase at the wholesale store that you actually really need, all because you don’t have the trunk space.

Some families just need a huge trunk, and the Expedition MAX has it for them.