Ford’s full-size Expedition SUV has been fully redesigned for 2018, and it’s the car makers answer to Chevy’s full-size Suburban/GMC Yukon Denali SUVs.
Expedition is a vehicle that beckons large families as it can seat eight in comfort, or, can serve as a company truck where workers, gear or both can be transported to job sites. It’s also an ideal SUV for outdoorsmen who can stow gobs of fishing and hunting gear in the cargo area, and still have room to spare.
Ford loaded the new Expedition with the latest safety technology and powered it with their economical 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6. This is the only engine offered, and this is why.
Offered in XLT, Limited, Platinum (tested), stretched Max and in FWD and AWD, all Expeditions come with a twin turbo V6 that puts out a potent 375-hp and a whopping 470 lb/ft of torque (400-hp and 480 lb/ft for the Platinum 4X4 tested). When coupled to the standard 10-speed automatic transmission, the duo garnered EPA mileage estimates of 17 city, 22-highway mpg with the use of aluminum body panels (like the F-150 pickup) and start/stop technology. There’s also a turbo boost gauge showing when boost is being used, and in an attempt to drive economically.
Who needs a V8 with power and torque like this? And the V6 really felt like a V8 under hard acceleration and passing situations. With this much grunt, Expedition can tow up to 9,000 pounds, more than most of its competitors. And it can seat eight, when others only offer six.
Open any door and a full-length running board powers out to shorten the 24-inch step-in to a mere 12.5 inches. Once in, you’re treated to attractively stitched, soft, leather seats with perforated inserts. Front seat lateral support is just right as they allow for bulky winter wear, work or hunting clothes. And the fronts are heated/cooled for year-round comfort. But your eyes may not find a gear shift lever as Ford opted to go with a rotary dial to conserve console space. If coming off a traditional gear shift or console shifter, the dial may take some getting used to. And right below it are switches for the AWD system with only two positions of 2WD and AWD.
An 8-inch touchscreen serves the Bang & Olufsen audio, rearview camera, navigation and MyFord Touch infotainment systems (including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto). Below it, Ford thoughtfully included a smartphone charger.
All HVAC controls are easy to operate and air flow is directed by man-form buttons. There are also powered adjustable pedals for short statured drivers. They’re especially helpful as it allows the driver to be a bit farther away from the steering wheel airbag. This is desirable as it allows the bag to inflate without bodily interference, or injury to the driver during a frontal accident.
Second row outboard seats split in 40/20/40 style and they slide fore-aft allowing a spacious entry into the third row of seats that can actually hold three short-statured adults. Optionally available are captain’s chairs in place of the second row bench seat.
Ford thought of everything by placing separate HVAC controls behind the console box for second row passengers. And third and second row seats fold automatically upon pushing switches in the cargo area - but only the third row powers upright. Second row is a manual operation.
Space wise, and with the third row of seats upright there’s 18.6 cubic feet of cargo space or more meaningful, it measures 18.5 inches deep, 51.5 wide and 31.5 high. Flip them and depth increases to 49 inches and upon flipping the second row, there’s 84 inches or a full seven feet of cargo depth. There’s also a small storage compartment beneath the cargo floor. Cargo lift height is a respectable 34 inches.
As Expedition is a big bulky vehicle, and to ease parallel parking woes, the around-view camera helps and to further this, the test vehicle came with Auto Park.
On highways and byways, Expedition remains planted and feels secure, a trait of large vehicles. Its ride on Hankook 22-inch tires and hosted by a fine independent rear suspension, smooth’s out road bumps and pock marks. And it’s a quiet rider.
Since the test vehicles’ sticker didn’t list a price, the starting price for a Limited model starts at around $64,000 while the Platinum tested starts life at around $74,000.
If you have a sizable family, own a small construction company or are an outdoor sportsman, Expedition can fill your needs very nicely, albeit at a price.