If you need to go large, the redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition has a lot to offer.
The full-size SUV has been completely reworked from the ground up for 2018, with attractive new sheetmetal made mostly from aluminum, just like the blue-oval brand’s F-150 pickup truck that shares its T3 platform architecture, plus more power for the automaker’s already robust 3.5-litre turbocharged Ecoboost V6, a new fuel-efficient 10-speed automatic transmission, and more.
The new aluminum body joins up with a high-strength steel frame to reduce the Expedition’s curb weight by 44 to 90 kilograms (97 to 199 pounds) depending on trim, or 135 kilos (just under 300 pounds) for the longer Expedition Max, yet despite such a significant elimination of overall mass the upgraded SUV is more than 100 mm (4.0 inches) longer with the regular wheelbase and 28 mm (1.1 inches) lengthier with the long wheelbase Max, while its wheelbase gets stretched by nearly 90 mm (3.5 inches) in the regular length model and by 15 mm (0.6 inches) in the Max, and it gains more than 25 mm (1.0 inch) from side to side.
Most people purchase an Expedition for passenger carrying and load hauling purposes, and to that end the new model’s larger dimensions make for an even roomier cabin than the previous generation’s already generous proportions, while the cargo compartment grows to a maximum of 2,962 litres (104.6 cubic feet) in the regular length model and 3,438 litres (121.4 cubic feet) with the Expedition Max, the latter providing 478 litres (16.9 cubic feet) more what-have-you capacity than the regular Expedition. This means 4×8 sheets of building material can be laid flat on top of the load floor with the tailgate closed, while you only need to press one of four individual buttons mounted on the cargo wall to lower the exact seat you want.
Additionally, the regular wheelbase model can now tow up to 4,218 kilos (9,300 pounds), which is an increase of 45 kg (100 lbs) over its predecessor and also the full-size SUV segment’s best result.
Making all the pulling possible is a version of Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre Ecoboost V6 that’s good for 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque in the majority of trims including this Limited model, although an even more robust variation on the theme gets 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque in top-tier Platinum trim.
I’ll give you details about the new 10-speed automatic in an upcoming review, and comment on its full assortment of advanced driver assistance systems, such as active park assist that can actually pull this big SUV in and out of parking spots, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, plus what I’ve found most useful so far, the bird’s-eye view from its 360-degree surround parking camera.
The Expedition now gets a version of the Explorer’s terrain management system too, allowing the choice of driving styles, the capability of maximizing traction on various road/trail surfaces, and the ability to set the SUV up to either tow a trailer or have it hauled behind a larger vehicle (although that’s hard to imagine), all from a dial on the lower console.
Additional tech worth mentioning includes wireless device charging (if you have a smartphone new enough to make use of it), Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and rear-seat entertainment. Ford’s superb Sync 3 infotainment touchscreen takes care of most other electronic duties, while six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets and one household-style 110-volt power outlet provide plenty of power points. Lastly, Ford includes 17 cupholders for holding all those personal devices, or alternatively for keeping all occupants’ thirst quenched.
That would be a total of eight occupants, by the way, although my tester included second-row captain’s chairs that reduced total people hauling capacity to seven, while I should also mention this new Expedition is the first full-size SUV to incorporate tip-and-slide second row seats that make access to the third row really… easy or difficult?
I’ll tell you everything in my upcoming review. Stay tuned…