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New Expedition debuts sharper styling, adds power

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Full-size SUVs like the Ford Expedition are extremely versatile and make an excellent choice for hauling people, carrying bulky items or towing a trailer.

The Expedition offers an impressive towing capacity of up to 9,300 pounds and it can easily accommodate up to eight passengers or full 4×8 sheets of building material.

Fourth Generation

The Expedition was in need of an update and an all-new, much-improved, fourth-generation Ford Expedition debuts for 2018 with freshened exterior and interior styling, added power, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and loads of available infotainment and driver assistive technologies.

Basically, a wagon version of the popular F-150 pickup truck, the 2018 Ford Expedition now features an all-new, sharper-looking, high-strength aluminum-alloy body.

Thanks to shedding some 300 pounds, and now featuring a 10-speed transmission, fuel economy for the new Expedition has improved from 15/21 mpg city/highway to 17/24 mpg for 2WD models and from 15/20 mpg to 17/22 mpg for 4WD models.

Expedition continues to include a standard twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, but horsepower has increased by 10 hp to 375 hp, and torque has improved by 50 pound-feet to 470 pound-feet.

Platinum Line

In top-of-the-line Platinum trim levels, the turbo-V6 pounds out 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of which output level you get, the turbo-V6 is very strong and likable. It feels more like a healthy V8. The new 10-speed automatic transmission is a wonderful match, as it helps keep the engine in the power band and it delivers ultra-smooth shifts.

Roomy Cabin+

The capacious cabin features three-row seating and there is plenty of room for adults in all three rows.

Let it be known that there is no bad seat in the house as all offer plenty of padding in both the cushions and seatbacks. The second-row seats slide fore and aft and can be tipped forward with a child seat installed to provide quick and easy access the third row. Most adults will be comfortable in the third row, but six-footers may find head room a bit restrictive.

Cargo Flex

The standard-length Expedition offers 20.9 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the third row and when the need arises to haul bulky items or building materials, the second and third rows fold flat to the floor to offer a whopping 104.6 cubic-feet of space.

The extended length Expedition, now known as the Expedition MAX, is almost one-foot longer. It offers a spacious 36 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the third row, and a massive 121.5 cubic-feet with the second and third rows folded.

High-Tech

Technology is abundant, as Expedition’s available Wi-Fi hotspot can accommodate as many as 10 devices at once and the optional dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides the ability to link a user’s home Slingbox account to stream live TV.

Expedition is an extremely comfortable cruiser and a wonderful vehicle for family road trips. There is a bit of expected body sway when taking turns, but surprisingly, Expedition drives smaller than it looks. It only becomes difficult when navigating tight parking spaces.

Safety/Towing

You can opt for an enhanced Park Assist System or a 360-degree camera. Additional options include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-keeping assist.

For those who tow trailers, there is an optional and nifty Pro Trailer Backup Assist system that makes it easy for any driver to back up a trailer like a pro.

For me, due to its handsome styling, spacious and versatile cabin, likable driving characteristics and available luxuries and advanced technologies, the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition is a top pick in this segment.

Prices for the 2018 Ford Expedition start around $53,000 for a base XLT model and climb to over $74,000 for a top-of-the-line Platinum edition. Depending on your desired equipment level, there are three trims and numerous option packages to choose from.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication