New Ford Expedition gets lighter, leaner, safer

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The all-new 2018 Expedition is Ford’s most adept and efficient version of the eight-passenger SUV. Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with standard Auto Start-Stop technology and a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission, the all-new SUV is Ford’s most powerful and fuel efficient Expedition ever.

The real story for Expedition starts with it shedding more than 300 pounds of weight – in addition to making a concerted effort to focus on enhanced comfort and safety. This is a very big vehicle, 210 inches long and weighing in at more than 5,600 pounds, and buyers typically have high expectations for anything this big to have a decent ride.

Safety

Expedition is even safer than previous models and new technology makes great things possible. It features a new suite of active and passive safety systems, including 360-degree camera, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking that works up to 50 mph.

Exterior

The new Expedition is an improvement over previous gen models with more refined character lines that allow it to fit in with Ford’s stable of smaller SUVs. My first impressions of the exterior were directed to the aerodynamic roofline that makes it look slippery and quick, while a bolder grille and enlarged headlights easily fit in with the sporty rear spoiler. It’s a new and improved Expedition. This fourth-generation Expedition is available as an XLT, upscale Limited, and high-end Platinum.

Cabin

While a second-row bench seat is standard on all models, heated leather captain’s chairs are optional, Expedition does offer an incredibly convenient sliding second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality, which allows easy access to the third row without having to remove a child safety seat. As for the third-row seating, no concerns about space – they recline!

A touch of a button quickly folds the second- and third-row seats to open up a cargo area wide enough to handle 4×8-foot sheets of plywood and other gear; and an optional hands-free liftgate makes loading and unloading easy.

Powerhouse

Offered with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive, the revised 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, offering 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, gets automatic stop-start functionality to improve fuel economy. A new 10-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous 6-speed transmission.

Tech

Available infotainment features include Sync 3 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, premium B&O Play sound system, wireless smartphone charging (as well as one 120-volt outlet, four 12-volt powerpoints, and six USB ports), WiFi hotspot, and Sync Connect app-based vehicle controls that will allow you to lock, unlock, and remotely start the vehicle, and more. An available rear-seat entertainment package with screens built into the back of the front-seat headrests allows you to connect to your home cable television through Sling TV.

Towing

Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds, while Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist helps steer trailers by simply using a knob located on the dashboard. When equipped, trailer tow monitoring works alongside the blind spot information system to alert the driver if something is in the trailer’s blind spot.

The 2018 Ford Expedition has a starting price of $51,695, with top-end Platinum editions hitting the ceiling at $81,000.