Ford calls the 2018 Expedition the ideal vehicle for active families, saying the full-size SUV is the smartest, most capable Expedition yet. Refinements for 2018 include connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and increases in performance attributes like tow capacity.
More than 40 additional features and driver-assist technologies are new to the Expedition for 2018. Ford points out how today’s full-size SUV customer has changed.
“When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently, and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family.”
Ford is utilizing their ever popular and ever powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost for the 2018 Expedition. The engine is standard with Auto Start-Stop and a new, class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission. A newly available electronic limited-slip differential on models with Intelligent 4WD improves off-road capability by sending power where it’s needed most.
An all-new Terrain Management System provides drive modes for better performance, depending on the conditions. The range is pretty extensive, from normal, around-town driving to more demanding situations like heavy towing and hauling.
Eco mode is pretty straight forward (fuel conservation) as is sport mode (not so much fuel conserved). Individual settings exist for a variety of surfaces from grass, gravel, snow, and mud, to ruts, dips, and other uneven surfaces.
Like its F-Series counterpart, the 2018 Ford Expedition utilizes a high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame. The combination, like in the F-Series, gives the new Expedition a solid foundation on which to stand. With the strategic choice and placement of materials, the 2018 Ford Expedition dropped 300 lbs., and engineers reinvested weight where it matters most in terms of technology and performance. In essence, tow capacity and off-road capability are increased from the prior generation.
The 2018 Ford Expedition features a class-exclusive, enhanced active park assist and an available 360-degree camera. With a vehicle as large as the Expedition, these two items may come in handy in a busy parking lot.
Once underway, lane-keeping aid will reduce unwanted drifting while a collision avoidance detection system monitors other vehicles and pedestrians. Two other tech items, adaptive cruise control and a Blind Spot Information System, ease stress and increase safety.
To help with backing a trailer, the 2018 Ford Expedition features Pro Trailer Backup Assist. According to Ford’s research, more than 50 percent of Expedition customers will use the vehicle for towing, and 15 percent say they tow monthly, even weekly.
Keeping up with a busy family is no easy chore but the 2018 Ford Expedition seems up to the task. Inside is wireless mobile charging, the first Ford vehicle to use such a feature interesting enough. Once your device is charged via the pad in the center console, you can connect it and ten others to the Expedition’s Wi-Fi hotspot, which is active up to 50 feet from the vehicle.
On a longer drive, the rear seat entertainment system allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices.
Additional connectivity comes from Ford’s SYNC 3 and SYNC Connect. The latter connects with FordPass so owners can start, lock, unlock, and locate their Expedition from anywhere. It also saves important diagnostic information.
Ford puts a lot of emphasis on the interior comfort of the 2018 Expedition. The automaker says the interior is both roomy and flexible, with seating for eight, plus their cargo. Ford even says adults will appreciate the additional legroom and reclining seats in the third row. Each row provides power too, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers, and a 110-volt power outlet.
Getting in should be a breeze as the 2018 Ford Expedition is the first full-size utility with a sliding second-row seat. The “tip-and-slide” feature should make accessing the third row easy. The second-and third-row seats fold flat via a button which opens up the cargo area substantially. With the seats folded, a trip to the hardware store is no problem since the cargo area will accommodate 4×8-foot sheets of plywood.
Two of our favorite interior treatments include the panoramic vista roof and the 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system. The panoramic vista roof spans two rows – the stereo plays music that spans decades. They are both very nice touches for this vehicle.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.