Full-Size SUV Best Buy of 2018
It’s been a long time coming, but the 2018 Ford Expedition was worth the wait.
A decade is a long time between major model makeovers, and that’s how long it’s been since we’ve seen an all-new Ford Expedition. But the company’s full-size SUV has now been totally redesigned and incorporates a lot of goodness from Ford's aluminum-intensive F-150 pickup, which has been the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy in its category since the award’s inception.
As befitting a traditional body-on-frame full-size SUV, the 2018 Ford Expedition has a substantial look to it. The lines are clean and straight and there’s a bold new face with a large Ford oval in the middle that has some Range Rover flavor to the grille texture. The topline Platinum model has plenty of chrome accents that add to the vehicle’s richer looks, and automatic deploying step rails greet you when you open the door. The new aesthetic is carried into the interior, which has a look and feel that rivals many luxury cars. The Platinum features sewed leather on the seats and additional stitching on the dash and door covers.
One key reason for buying a full-size SUV is for the expansive roominess, and the new Expedition delivers on that expectation with a front seating area that feels open and spacious. A large center console offers plenty of easy-access storage, the dash layout features conventional switches and knobs for many of the functions, and the center touchscreen employs the latest iteration of Ford’s Sync infotainment system.
Ford’s powerful EcoBoost 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 also signals a big change in a segment long accustomed to V8 power, as does an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s no shortage of power and the 10-speed has enough ratios to give the vehicle a snappy feel off the line, followed by plenty of overdrive gears to help conserve fuel at highway speeds. There’s also a defeatable fuel- saving stop/start system that works fairly seamlessly.
Our test model was equipped with a 4-wheel-drive system that can also be switched to rear-drive-only as another fuel-saving strategy. The new Ford Expedition is well poised to upset the conventional wisdom that only a V8 will do in vehicles of this type.
With its elevated seating position helping deliver excellent visibility, the Expedition drives like a smaller vehicle than its large footprint would lead you to believe. Thanks to its independent rear suspension, it also has a decidedly non-truck feel to its ride. A host of driver assists, including blind spot warning and lane keeping assist, make it easy to keep the Expedition on track.
Big Utility in this Utility
Having the utility to carry a lot of people and stuff is a full-size SUV virtue. In the Expedition, there’s plenty of legroom in both the second and third rows, and access to the back bench is easy thanks to a sliding second row. Even with that second bench slid all the way back, there’s enough legroom for adults in the way back and comfort is further enhanced with an available power-adjustable seat back. There’s good load space behind the third row, and in our Platinum model, converting the rear two rows from passenger to cargo duty is accomplished with just a push of a button at the rear of the vehicle.
While the top-of-the-line Platinum model we tested had just about every conceivable option you can get on a vehicle of this type, and a $77,000-plus sticker price to match, the Expedition’s pricing will start considerably below that lofty level, somewhere in the low $50,000 range. Given Ford’s track record for dependability and quality in its truck products, we expect the 5-Year Cost to Own and depreciation to be better than average. Given the magnitude of the changes, the 2018 Ford Expedition has arrived at the top of the heap and like the F-150 before it, is poised to stay there for the foreseeable future.
Video Tour: 2018 Ford Expedition
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