Function: The Ford is better equipped for hard labor. Four-wheel-drive Expeditions have a maximum towing capacity of 8600 pounds, whereas 4x4 Tahoes can haul up to 7700. And both the Tahoe and Expedition can seat up to nine people. Both top out at a gross vehicle weight rating of 7300 pounds, yet despite the motorized third row and independent rear, the Expedition weighs 40 pounds less unloaded. Winner: Expedition.

Carrying cargo: These three-row SUVs use different methods to accommodate gear. The Tahoe has a removable two-piece third row. The Expedition's cabin uses a power-folding third row (optional) that folds flat in 10 seconds. And even when the Tahoe's third row is stored in the garage, the Expedition still has more overall cargo volume. Winner: Expedition.

Interior design: This may be the first time the Tahoe's cabin can be described as elegant. The leather trim is tasteful, the woodgrain accents are a terrific match, the color scheme is well done, and the gauges and center stack are attractive and easy to read. The King Ranch layout uses medium-brown saddle-style Castano leather--not exactly a home run--and its center stack, namely the stereo and HVAC, could use a makeover. Winner: Tahoe.


Comfort: With captain's chairs in the first two rows of both vehicles, seat comfort there was similar. When equipped with a second-row bench, the Expedition has more hiproom, but the Tahoe has more leg and shoulder space. The decision-maker here is the third row: Ford's allows an adult to sit with relative comfort--the seating position is more natural, and there's a whopping 11 inches more legroom--but in the Tahoe, your knees sit too high. Winner: Expedition.