The 2018 Ford Expedition is all-new, receiving a new aluminum body, a segment-first, 10-speed transmission, and a redesigned interior packed with technology. Ford's biggest trick with the new Expedition is making a vehicle that's slightly bigger than the outgoing model, yet 300 pounds lighter thanks to the new aluminum bodywork.
A much-needed update to the exterior styling brings the Expedition more in line with the rest of Ford's lineup. Part of the Expedition's sleeker new look involved lowering the roof a few inches. Don't worry about how that affects interior space, though; Ford says that headroom has actually improved over the previous model.
Under the hood, Ford updated its familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 to provide more power, making the 2018 Expedition its most powerful SUV yet. The all-new 10-speed transmission will hopefully deliver improved mileage as well. Rear-wheel drive remains standard, with an upgrade to four-wheel drive available. Ford claims that, properly equipped, the 2018 Expedition will have best-in-class towing capability. Official numbers have not been released.
New driver-assist technologies promise to make not just towing but day-to-day life with the Expedition much easier. The available Pro Trailer Backup Assist will do just what it says and help drivers back their trailers up with ease. A 360-degree camera and enhanced active park assist will help with low-speed maneuvers, while adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring are designed to make life easier on the road.
The 2018 Expedition also gets some added off-road capability, thanks to an optional electronic limited-slip differential on four-wheel-drive models.
Inside, the new Expedition receives new technology including Ford's much-improved Sync 3 user interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All three rows of seating offer charging for personal devices, with a total of four 12-volt outlets, six USB plugs and a 110-volt outlet. Ford also outfitted the Expedition with its first-ever wireless charging pad, located in the front center console. Dual headrest screens for rear-seat video entertainment and an upgraded 12-speaker audio system are available.
Advanced connectivity comes courtesy of a Wi-Fi hotspot capable of connecting up to 10 devices and Sync Connect, which allows owners to remotely start, lock and unlock, and access vehicle diagnostic information from a smartphone app.
The 2018 Expedition will come in three trim levels: XLT, Limited and Platinum. Expect a more practical feel from the base XLT, while the top Platinum trim will provide greater luxury with features such as diamond-stitched leather seat edging and wood accents. Access to the third row of seats, which offers adult-sized legroom and the ability to recline, will be made easier thanks to the power-sliding and -folding second-row seats. The second row also features tip-and-slide functionality, which promises access to the third row without the need to remove child safety seats.
Folding both rear rows flat will open up enough interior space to lay a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood flat. An extended-wheelbase version, called the Expedition Max, will offer even more cargo space for those who need it.
With its many mechanical and technological upgrades, the 2018 Ford Expedition aims to make a splash in the full-sized SUV segment when it goes on sale this fall. Stay tuned to Edmunds for reviews, pricing and more as the on-sale date approaches.