When the Ford Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, the full-size SUV set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places. But times have changed, and today’s buyer wants all of that, along with smart technology, fuel efficiency, connectivity, comfort, and LOTS of cup holders.
Ford’s answer to that? The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition, the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever, with technology to keep every passenger connected, more power for drivers, and more expected towing capability than any other full-size SUV.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the 2018 Expedition last week at Ford HQ, and we were really impressed with what we saw. The aging Expedition was long overdue for an overhaul (the current generation Expedition came out back in 2007), but as you’ll see, it was well worth the wait!
Smartest Expedition Ever
The 2018 Expedition offers more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV. More than 40 features and driver-assist technologies new to the Expedition help make the journey as enjoyable as the destination. These include class-exclusive enhanced active park assist to easily pull in and out of parking spots, as well as available 360° camera technology to help customers see more around their Expedition for easier parking.
On the road, Expedition’s lane-keeping aid is designed to reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside its intended lane, while adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go allows drivers to set a cruising speed, using radar and camera technology to monitor traffic to maintain a set distance between vehicles.
Its collision avoidance detection system helps drivers avoid other vehicles or pedestrians, while available Blind Spot Information System helps monitor blind spots outside the driver’s immediate view.
In addition, Expedition features available new connectivity technologies and convenience features, including:
- Wireless charging; Expedition is Ford’s first vehicle to feature this system, which allows you to place compatible mobile devices on an integrated charging pad that’s located in the front center console.
- Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle.
- Dual-Headrest Rear Seat Entertainment System provides a next-gen video experience that allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices.
- SYNC 3, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, allows drivers to stay connected on the move.
- SYNC Connect lets owners connect with the vehicle remotely using FordPass to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from anywhere, while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic info.
- Power for passengers in every row, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power outlet that lets passengers stay charged and connected.
- Available 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system perfected by acoustic engineers for a sound experience even audiophiles will appreciate.
- Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row lets you create a storage space customized to whatever you’re hauling; even when parked on a hill, cargo won’t roll out the back of Expedition when the liftgate is opened.
- Available Panoramic Vista Roof spans two rows, a feature not offered by any competitor.
If you’re worried that all of these features add unnecessary weight to the vehicle, don’t be. Thanks to the use of advanced materials, the all-new Expedition saves up to 300 pounds, and the team reinvested that weight savings everywhere it counts to give us more technology and convenience features than ever before.
Most Capable Expedition Ever
Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with standard Auto Start-Stop plus a class-exclusive new 10-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Expedition is the most powerful Expedition ever. Engineers were tight-lipped when pressed about performance numbers, but it’ll be enough to get the Expedition to get up and go. And expected best-in-class towing and available electronic limited-slip differential will allow customers to quickly adapt to changing conditions when driving either on- or off-road.
Since more than 50% of Expedition customers value towing, with 15% towing weekly or monthly, the all-new Expedition offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob. We tested out this system in the Super Duty last year, and it was incredibly easy to use!
And for those families who need a little extra interior room, all series are available on the extended-length Expedition MAX. Plus, an available hands-free liftgate makes loading cargo easy.
Most Adaptable Expedition Ever
The all-new Expedition has a roomy, flexible interior. With seating for up to eight people and their gear (and their drinks, as there are 17 cup holders for some inexplicable reason), this full-size SUV makes modern family adventures more comfortable during short and long trips alike.
This Expedition is the first full-size utility to feature a sliding second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality, providing easy access to the third row without the need to first remove a child safety seat. Once in the third row, even adults will appreciate more legroom and reclining seats. I tried this, and even with my 6’2″ frame, I had no trouble getting back to the third row, where I was more than comfortable.
If you need to do some heavy hauling, the Expedition’s second- and third-row seats can be quickly folded flat with the push of a button to open up a cargo area wide enough to handle 4×8-foot sheets of plywood and other gear, depending on cargo weight and load distribution, even with the rear liftgate closed.
Even the drive is more adaptable, with Expedition’s all-new Terrain Management System that lets customers choose between drive modes for optimal vehicle handling in different conditions. This includes normal for around-town driving, sport for more spirited trips, tow/haul for improved towing and hauling performance, eco for enhanced fuel economy, grass/gravel/snow for loose terrain, sand for low traction situations, and mud/rut for uneven surfaces.
Personally, I think Ford really knocked it out of the park with the all-new Expedition, filling out Ford’s lineup of unstoppable SUVs (which include the Edge, Explorer, Escape, and the upcoming EcoSport) rather nicely.
The 2018 Ford Expedition arrives in dealerships this fall, with pricing to be revealed closer to its launch.