Fans of the Blue Oval may having been ringing their hands the last few years as the current-generation Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban dominated a large slice of the lucrative full-size SUV pie. Well, the Ford cognoscenti can finally rest easy; after fifteen years, the 2018 Expedition, Ford's biggest SUV, is all-new in every way.
What's New for 2018
Everything. From the high-strength aluminium body to the redesigned steel frame underneath it, the Expedition is new in every sense of the word.
Choosing Your Ford Expedition
A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 does the dirty work for the 2018 Expedition, and is paired with a new ten-speed automatic. Don't be quick to dismiss the fresh-on-the-block workhorse, though: with 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, this new engine has enough muscle to tow up to 9,300 pounds.
When unladen, it's also a (relative) fuel miser, with a claimed best-in-class fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon city, 24 highway and 20 combined for a two-wheel-drive model (four-wheel-drive versions suffer a one mpg drop in combined and highway driving). These numbers edge out that perpetual arch-rival, the Chevy Tahoe, by a single mpg across the board.
In a nod to the demands and expectations of modern drivers and passengers, the new Expedition offers a host of new connectivity features. The available in-car wi-fi hotspot, for instance, allows a total of ten devices to connect to the internet from up to fifty feet away - just make sure your neighbor doesn't start doing his googling suspiciously close to your driveway. Once passengers use up their phone battery surfing the web, they can take advantage of the available wireless charging and the standard smart-charging USB ports - the latter of which can be found in pairs of two in each row. There is also an available dual-headrest, rear-seat entertainment system that allows passengers to watch live TV via the Sling streaming service.
For buyers who need even more space than a standard Expedition can provide, a longer Expedition Max trim is available. The Maxedition sees the wheelbase grow from 122.5 to 131.6 inches, and overall length is stretched to 221.9 inches long, making it about a foot longer than the standard-length Expedition.
10 exterior colors and three interior shades give buyers ample choice when trying to color-match their new SUV to the boat or RV they'll be towing. Buyers can also pick from a few different option packages, including the FX4 Off-Road Package. The $1,650 FX4 beefs up the Expedition with improved hardware that includes upgraded shocks, heavy-duty radiator, aluminum wheels, skid plates and a limited-slip differential. A $1,570 Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package is similar, but instead of coming with the tougher shocks and underbody protection, it includes trailer backup assist and an integrated trailer brake controller.
If towing or off-roading isn't in the cards, look to the Cargo Package and Driver Assistance Package. The former offers a roof-rail crossbar and cargo net, while the latter ups the Expedition's safety quotient via lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist, auto high-beams and rain-sensing wipers.
When you're spending this much on an SUV, it isn't worth getting the base XLT, as its list of standard features pales in comparison to the higher-tier trucks. At the same time, the top-spec Platinum is breathing down the neck of the mechanically and dimensionally similar Lincoln Navigator, especially with a couple options added on. The best value here is the Limited with the 301A Package, which comes with the doodads expected of a modern full-size SUV and yet avoids the Platinum's pitfall of costing as much as one of the rigs peddled by the luxury marques.