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.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan Is The Most Luxurious SUV You’ve Ever Seen
After years of anticipation, Rolls-Royce finally took the wraps off its ultra-luxury SUV today in London, revealing to the world the Rolls-Royce Cullinan in all of its glory.
Now as you might imagine, the notion of a Rolls-Royce SUV caused quite a stir among purists, who believed that the world’s leading super-luxury brand should stick with cars. But according to Rolls-Royce, their customers were asking for a car that would allow them to “go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise, conquering the most challenging terrain to enjoy life’s most enriching experiences, wherever they may be.”
With the super-luxury lifestyle evolving, so did Rolls-Royce, leading to the development of a vehicle that offers uncompromised luxury wherever they dare to venture. Cullinan is that car.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan, named for a diamond that’s part of the British crown jewels, follows in the footsteps of the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, offering up an ultra-luxe SUV that can satisfy the adventurous urges of their clients.
Under the hood, there’s a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that delivers 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque to an all-new, all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer system. This engine has been reworked to make the Cullinan comfortable even while it’s off-roading.
A “Magic Carpet Ride” air suspension system keeps things civilized in the cabin when you’re off the beaten path, because you wouldn’t want a passenger to spill their glass of champagne.
Naturally, being a Rolls-Royce, the interior is bespoke and fit for a king, with only the finest leathers and appointments. But perhaps the most interesting feature is the pair of jump seats that come out of the trunk, presumably so you can sit while falconing in the desert.
The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is expected to go on sale late this year, with a starting price of around $325,000. Of course, one you start adding bespoke features and customization options, that price could go north of half a million in a hurry.
What do you think of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan?
First Drive: 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel
It’s hard to believe, but the Ford F-150 has never been offered with a diesel engine.. until now.
While Ford has offered a diesel engine in it’s F-Series Super Duty trucks for quite awhile now, not everyone out there wants (or needs) a bigger truck. So when Ford finally announced that they would be offering a diesel engine for the F-150, people were excited.
So when Ford invited us out to Denver, Colorado to drive the 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel for ourselves, we were only too happy to accept. And after spending a day behind the wheel of it in the Mile High City, I’m happy to report that it was worth the wait.
Now you might be asking yourself, why do we need yet another engine choice for the F-150, when there are already five great powerplants to choose from? Simply put, diesel engines are ideal for drivers who tow and haul frequently, with tons of torque and higher fuel economy.
While the F-150 Power Stroke Diesel’s 250 horsepower might not be anything to write home about, it’s all about that torque.. all 440 lb-ft of it! The F-150 Diesel has a best-in-class 11,400 pounds of towing capacity and 2,020 pounds of payload capacity, so it’s more than capable of towing a horse trailer, camper, or even a small boat.
We started off the day by towing a 5,500 pound horse trailer around town with the truck, and it handled it like it was nothing, with the 10-speed SelectShift transmission keeping us in the sweet spot of the powerband as needed. We thought the truck might struggle slightly given the high elevation of Colorado, but that proved to be a non-issue.
Honestly, if you didn’t know better, you would swear there was a V8 under the hood. Even the telltale diesel engine sound is really muted, much to the chagrin of some diesel enthusiasts who enjoy the sounds of their noisy engines.
Later on, we hopped into a F-150 Platinum to see if we could achieve the impressive 30MPG highway numbers that Ford claims, and indeed we did.. And then I discovered Sport mode, at which point all bets were off. It’s WAY more fun off the line, but you’re going to pay for it at the pump. Still, totally worth it in my opinion. 🙂
Next, we hit up an off-road course, and the Power Stroke was an absolute beast, making short work of this challenging course as we worked our way through thick mud, ruts, steep inclines, and the like. While most people won’t put their trucks through this kind of abuse, it’s good to see that the F-150 is “Built Ford Tough” and can handle whatever comes its way.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel. If you’re someone who regularly tows or goes off-roading, this might be just the engine choice for you. But keep in mind that there’s a slight price premium for the Power Stroke engine, to the tune of $4,000 (and it is only available on Lariat or higher trims). Still, when you factor in the fuel savings over time, it isn’t that bad of a deal at all.
So if you’re in the market for light-duty, half-ton diesel-powered pickup truck for your towing needs, you should definitely check out the new 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, which is set to arrive at dealers this May, and experience the truck’s stump-pulling torque for yourself!
Click here to learn more about the 2018 Ford F-150 truck lineup.
Review: 2018 Infiniti QX80
The Infiniti QX80 is like putting John Cena in a tuxedo. It’s elegant and ready for champagne, sure, but it’s still big and bulky. Which isn’t such a bad thing given the great combination of svelte comfort and capability that the 2018 QX80 offers. Luxurious power is kinda nice.
The 2018 QX80 has seen some updating to its design, with both exterior and interior changes for the new model year. This already luxurious SUV has become even more so with these updates, adding some nice modern amenities.
On the outside, changes include a softened front fascia with less bulk and more sophisticated tones. The overbite is gone and bumper thickness is deemphasized to give the big QX80 a refined look. Narrower headlamps help accent this refinement while the bulky fenders remain to keep the muscularity of the 2018 QX80 in place. A few changes to the rear of the QX80 mirror those up front while the tow kit and roof rails are now standard equipment.
Inside, the 2018 Infiniti QX80 is filled with quality materials and excellent workmanship that notes both luxury and robustness. A new center stack for the console has been designed, adding some small item storage to boost ergonomics. Including a new cell phone pocket ahead of the shift knob. Comfortable seating and excellent design remain the norm in this luxury SUV with spaciousness being key. No matter how big or tall, there’s room in the QX80.
The third row is meant primarily for kids, despite this being a big full-sized SUV. It’s still good, though, and very usable in that vein. Parents will note how easily child safety seats can be installed and removed from the third row using the rear hatch. The middle row is also good for child safety accommodation. Cargo space in the big QX80 is a massive 95 cubic feet overall with 49.6 cubes behind the second row and 16.6 behind the third. That’s a lot of golf bags, luggage, or camping gear.
Technology in the 2018 Infiniti QX80 is also good with the base model of the SUV having a very well-done infotainment setup. The 8-inch touchscreen is standard in the QX80 and offers good usability with plenty of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, voice control, etc. Satellite radio and navigation are also standard equipment. The graphics quality and speed of the base model infotainment is a bit dated, though. The upgrade option adds WiFi in the car as well as some apps and improves that interface some.
Several driver aids and convenience items are standard in the 2018 QX80. Adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera, and so forth are standard equipment. Updates include parking assistance, screen casting for infotainment, and so on. A rear seat entertainment package is also an option for the QX80 and includes wireless headphones and a built-in DVD player.
Driving the big 2018 Infiniti QX80 is a lesson on truck-based SUVs becoming far road friendlier thanks to modern engineering. The QX80 is smooth and predictable with a confident gate and excellent road dampening. Despite the serious off-pavement credibility of this big SUV, it’s a very comfortable, quiet highway ride. Powering that is a big (sometimes throaty) 5.6-liter V8 that outputs 400 horsepower. A well-done seven-speed automatic transmission is standard, running rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is an option and shifting is seamless. Towing is rated at 8,500 pounds.
Fuel economy is a weak point in the QX80, though, at a mere 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. In the real world, a driver can expect closer to that 13 mpg overall, though, with our week proving out at only a 14 mpg average in all. That low fuel economy wouldn’t be a big deal, given the price point and likely lack of interest in MPG returns from the QX80’s market, but a small fuel tank means that the low MPGs will become frequent fuel stops.
With a big, capable machine like the 2018 Infiniti QX80, though, it’s important that the look, feel, and attitude all be there. The QX80 makes no bones about its muscularity or ostentatious nature. It flaunts its luxury and capability to the world. This new, luxury-oriented, and less truck-appearing QX80 brings a great option to the luxury full-sized SUV market.