Buying a 2018 Ford Expedition Is Like Throwing Money Away

Since its introduction in the mid-1990s, the Ford Expedition has been an almost ideal SUV for large families. With robust engine options and three rows of available space, the Expedition is the road trip king. However, the introduction of the fourth-generation model in 2018 seems to have brought some serious problems. According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 Ford Expedition suffers from serious issues, making it quite expensive to own long term.

There’s a lot to like about the 2018 Ford Expedition

Before we dive into the 2018 Ford Expeditions main issues, let’s recap on what the large SUV does well. Since the Expedition rides on the brand’s T3 platform, it shares many of its components with the excellent F-150. For starters, the 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine from the truck also lives under the hood of the SUV. The engine pumps out 375 hp in most trim levels, but in the Platinum Series, it develops 400 hp. While rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is optional, the only transmission is a 10-speed automatic.

According to Kelly Blue Book, the 2018 Ford Expedition had a base price of around $53,000. While it is certainly more expensive than newer three-row SUVs such as the Kia Telluride, it is also significantly larger. The interior of the Expedition is almost indistinguishable from the F-150. For starters, you get the same infotainment system, gauge cluster, and button layout. The main difference comes in higher trim levels when you can option nicer leather colors and better interior materials.

Here’s why you should avoid it

Ford introduces the 2018 Expedition at the Chicago Auto Show
The Ford Expedition | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Despite these great attributes, there are a few good reasons why you should steer clear of the 2018 Ford Expedition. According to Consumer Reports, the large SUV suffers from extensive reliability issues. So much so that CR placed the 2018 model on its list of most unreliable SUVs. Consumer Reports notes that the main issues surround needing an engine rebuild or replacement. These issues stem most often from cylinder head, head gasket, turbocharger, and timing chain issues.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the only issues found in the 2018 Ford Expedition. Aside from the engine issues, the SUV suffered in the drive system, climate system, suspension, brakes, power equipment, and in-car electronics categories. The result here is that you may save big on buying a used model; you will see yourself spending a big amount to keep it running smoothly over the years.

If you must have an Expedition in your life, opt for the 2019 model, which improved significantly in most major reliability areas. However, be warned that buying newer will see you lose big time to depreciation. Despite costing anywhere between $53,000 to $74,000, brand-new, lightly used examples regularly sell for under $35,000. The steep depreciation likely comes as a result of the ownership costs.

Buy this used large SUVs instead

2020 Chevy Suburban SUV in the mountains
2020 Chevrolet Suburban RST | Chevrolet

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If you want the perks of a Ford Expedition without the main drawbacks, you’ll want to look at its closest competitor. Since its introduction in the mid-1930s, the Suburban has been the benchmark for large American SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 model makes for an excellent buy as well. While the Ford Expedition struggles to be reliable, the Suburban excels. Consumer Reports no major reliability issues with the model, and as a result, owner satisfaction is quite high.

Since the Suburban tends to be slightly more reliable than the Ford Expedition, expect to pay up slightly for used examples, which start just under $36,000. It is worth noting that fewer maintenance requirements will likely offset the higher cost of entry. Additionally, there are great brand-new SUV options around that $35,000 price.