In Wheel Time: Living the high life

By Don Armstrong

Luxury and near-luxury offerings continue to evolve into an as-yet undefined blend of both worlds, and we are the winners. Two familiar Detroit mainstays now offer SUVs that would look good in anybody’s driveway, but the caveat is deciding which one scratches the itch.

Ford Expedition Max – King Ranch

The 4th generation Ford Expedition is a body-on-frame SUV, built on the F-150 truck frame. This may not mean much to most buyers but it offers maximum towing capabilities – 9,000 pounds. The MAX version is a foot longer than the standard size Expedition and allows more legroom for those in the 3rd row along with increased storage behind it.

Since you’ll be “all-in” with this King Ranch package, Ford adds the logo on all four sides for Bay Area braggin’ rights.

The King Ranch package is opulent, in a Texas kind of way, with heavy leather and embroidered King Ranch logos throughout the cabin. The Sync 3 infotainment system is intuitive, easy to use and understand.

All Expeditions are powered by a twin turbo V-6 engine, delivering 375-horsepower through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is optional.

The Expedition’s ride and handling qualities are superb, but parking at the HEB could be a little challenging at first.

Pricing for the Ford Expedition King Ranch MAX starts at $78,715.

Cadillac XT6

The Cadillac name is well known among luxury brands and the all-new for 2020 XT6 moves the marque another step forward in the highly competitive crossover segment. Unlike the Expedition’s truck frame architecture, the XT6 is unibody, meaning no frame and reduced towing ability.

Many of the recognizable Cadillac design elements, such as the front fascia and rear lighting are immediately recognizable as being part of the brand’s “look.” If that is what you are in search of, you won’t be disappointed.

We like GM’s infotainment system, like Ford’s, easy to use and navigate. That may sound cliché, but believe it or not, there are still some brands out there that overcomplicate this feature. When shopping, be sure to try them out.

Under the hood is a 310-horsepower V-6, married to 9-speed automatic transmission. The XT6 comes in a front-wheel drive layout with optional all-wheel drive at additional cost.

The ride is much sportier than Cadillacs of old, which we think competes nicely with some of its German competitors.

MSRP begins at $52,695

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