2018 Ford Expedition Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 07, 2017
FAST FACTS
  • Completely redesigned full-size SUV
  • High-strength steel frame
  • Aluminum body panels
  • 8-passenger seating
  • New twin-turbocharged V-6 engine
  • Claimed best towing capacity
  • Tons of technology
  • On sale in the fall of 2017
  • Built in Kentucky

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2018 Ford Expedition front quarter left photo

Introduction

A redesigned Ford Expedition goes on sale this fall and is likely to represent the benchmark against which all full-size SUVs are measured. Two body lengths will be offered, the Expedition MAX measuring a foot longer and 16.3 cu.-ft. roomier in terms of cargo space. Consumers will choose between XLT, Limited, and Platinum trim, with the base Expedition XL reserved for fleet purchase only.

Exterior Features

With the new 2018 Expedition, Ford wraps a high-strength steel frame in aluminum bodywork, similar to the brand’s F-150 pickup truck. The result is a sharply creased and tailored SUV, especially in chrome-dipped Platinum trim with the available 22-in. aluminum wheels. Weight is down approximately 300 lbs. compared with the previous version of the SUV.

Interior Features

Inside, the 2018 Ford Expedition provides seating for up to 8 people. The second-row seats slide forward and back, and also tip and slide forward to ease entry to and exit from the third-row seat, even when a child safety seat is latched into place. Ford says the third-row seat has more legroom than the previous Expedition.

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Optional Features

2018 Ford Expedition interior photo Push a button to fold both rows of rear seats, creating a flat floor designed to hold 4x8 ft. sheets of plywood. A new cargo management system installs a dividing shelf behind the third-row seat, perfect for carrying gear. The shelf and cargo floor are specifically designed so that items don’t fall out of the SUV when the rear liftgate is opened, not even when the SUV is parked on a hill.Among the numerous options offered for the 2018 Expedition, Ford has confirmed a range of technologies as well as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof that bathes the first two rows of seats in natural light. Additionally, Ford offers a power reclining third-row seat and a hands-free rear liftgate.

Under the Hood

Ford confirms that the 2018 Expedition will offer a new twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. However, the company’s consumer-facing website suggests that this powerful engine might be reserved for the top Platinum trim, which means the XLT and Limited could rely on a turbocharged, 2.7-liter V-6 engine.

In any case, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 features automatic engine start/stop technology and a 10-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shift knob delivers the power to the SUV’s rear wheels. A 4-wheel-drive system is optional, equipped with an electronic limited-slip differential, and the Terrain Management System supplies Eco, Normal, Sport, Sand, Mud/Ruts, Grass/Gravel/Snow, and Tow/Haul driving modes.

Speaking of towing, Ford claims the new Expedition supplies the best towing capacity of any full-size SUV. The company reports that half of Expedition buyers value towing, and 15% of them do it once a month at a minimum. This means that the Expedition’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology is going to come in handy. This system autonomously steers the front wheels while the driver uses a knob on the dashboard to indicate which direction he or she would like the trailer to go.

Safety

Though the 2018 Expedition has gone on a diet, it remains a large and heavy full-size SUV. In turn, that means that it is likely to prove quite safe in collisions with smaller, lighter vehicles. Almost certainly, its new vehicle architecture has been engineered to excel in this regard.

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2018 Ford Expedition rear quarter right photo With that said, Ford would prefer that the Expedition avoid a collision before it can occur. That’s why the company equips it with “more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV.”

Announced highlights include a forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring system, and a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist. Additional driver-assist systems include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, a 360-degree surround-view camera system, and active park assist that can steer the SUV into and out of parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission.

Additional safety features are found in the Expedition’s Sync connected services packages, including automatic collision notification and programmable settings designed to limit speed and stereo volume, and encourage seat belt use when teenagers have borrowed the family SUV.

Technology

Sync Connect with a FordPass smartphone app is also available for the new Expedition, offered through the SUV’s Sync 3 infotainment system. Highlights of Sync 3 include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-projection technology and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices that works within 50 feet of the SUV.

A rear-entertainment system with dual headrest screens is an option and allows viewing of home cable network programming while on the road. Front-seat occupants enjoy wireless device charging, and the 2018 Expedition provides additional sources of power for all rows of seats including 6 USB chargers and a couple of 110-volt outlets.

To maximize enjoyment of the infotainment systems, an optional 12-speaker B&O Play premium sound system is available for the new Expedition.

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