For today’s families, it’s crucial to have a vehicle that’s just as active as they are. Ford has heard the calls for even more versatile SUVs from active millennial families. And it’s answering with the all-new Expedition, which it heralds as the “smartest, most capable, and most adaptable Expedition ever.”
Infused with enough technology to keep even the most electronically dependent passenger happy, you won’t find many cut corners in the Explorer’s big brother. Offering more power and towing prowess than any other full-size SUV on the market, as well as real off-road capability, Ford is positioning the new Expedition to score what video game fans would refer to as a “flawless victory” in its segment.
Unveiled at The Star Ford Center in Dallas, the larger and more streamlined Expedition is an exciting addition to the Blue Oval’s impressive lineup. It also has a cause. In fall 2016, Ford and the Dallas Cowboys surprised local firefighters with an overhauled fire station. Now, the Detroit-based automaker is back for another round.
Working once more with the Dallas Cowboys and the local firefighter community, Ford’s next move is to surprise one lucky first responder with an all-new Expedition. Here are 10 reasons why this generous donation has us thinking about volunteering down at the local station, and why SUV buyers could flip when it goes on sale later this year.
1. Ford’s got you covered
Ford says the all-new Expedition will offer more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV on the market. Utilizing an all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and overhauled steel frame (a recipe borrowed from its platform-mate, the F-150), the large SUV takes safety and efficiency to new levels. That means almost all the rugged perks of America’s best-selling vehicle are in a family-friendly SUV that boasts more than 40 new features and driver-assist technologies.
2. Safe assumptions
In the Expedition, a class-exclusive active park assist has been partnered with 360-degree camera angles to make sure you park perfectly every time. On the open road, the Expedition offers a lane-keeping aid to reduce unintentional drifting. And adaptive cruise control pulls double-duty as a stop-and-go safety screen between vehicles. Collision-avoidance detection systems notify drivers about other vehicles and pedestrians. Plus, a slew of other advanced sensory systems work in tandem to make this SUV one of the safest money can buy.
3. Tech the halls
In addition to all the safety tech in the 2018 Expedition, fresh connectivity and convenience features are almost everywhere you look. This means passengers get things, such as a wireless charging pad that is large enough to house either an iPhone S+ or a non-exploding Samsung Note. The handy ledge also features a tapered lip that prevents devices from popping out while keeping the screen fully visible.
Passengers are going to love the Expedition’s ability to stream their home cable programming on either the headrest-integrated screens or via hand-held devices. Ford’s SYNC3 now supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and FordPass allows drivers to start, lock, unlock, locate, and run vehicle diagnostic scans remotely via their smartphones. There’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot on board that can support up to 10 devices at once and features a 50-foot connection range.
4. Road trips, here we come
Passengers in every row have all the power they need courtesy of four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers, and a 110-volt outlet. There’s also an available 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen PLAY premium audio system that’s been tweaked by acoustic engineers to appease even the most finicky audiophile.
The new Expedition also sports an advanced cargo management system that features an adjustable shelf behind the third row for added storage space, and a special lip on the rear cargo floor keeps items from rolling out the back. Oh, and let’s not forget that segment-exclusive optional panoramic glass roof, which spans two rows and is retractable.
5. We’ve got the power … and the drive
Because this has been designed to be the most capable Expedition ever, a modified 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine had to be engineered in order to back up these claims. Attached to a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic gearbox, the new Expedition boasts best-in-class towing capabilities. And with an electronic limited-slip differential available, there’s little this SUV can’t handle.
6. I ‘towed’ you so
Ford says “more than 50% of Expedition customers value towing, and 15% tow weekly or monthly.” This explains why the 2018 model offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Turning a knob is a lot easier to explain than turning a boat launch into an 80-minute ordeal. Add that to the aforementioned best-in-class towing clout, and this SUV is a game changer for fans of cross-country hauls and crosstown tows, alike.
7. Time for some cabin acrobatics
The new Expedition has an extremely roomy, flexible interior that can seat up to eight with space to spare, thanks to its near minivan-like levels of customization. It’s the first full-size SUV in history to feature a sliding second-row with tip-and-slide features, a design that provides access to the third row without the need to remove a child safety seat.
Having sat in the third row, we can attest that even 6-foot people will have loads of legroom. By allowing it to recline, Ford has turned the back bench into a comfortable place to be. Naturally, everything can be quickly folded flat via the push of a button to create a cargo area wide enough to handle 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood or any other cumbersome payload.
8. Mother Nature has met her match
Taking an F-150 Raptor-like approach to off-road prowess was a massive move for Ford when it came time to engineer the latest Expedition. The latest Terrain Management System allows customers to choose various drive modes on the fly when inclement weather or treacherous terrain rear their snouts.
While a normal mode is dedicated to daily driving, sport is on hand to encourage spirited overtakes on the interstate. There’s also a tow/haul mode, which focuses on torque and gearing. Eco massages fuel economy gains. Grass/gravel/snow tackles loose terrain. Sand handles low traction situations. And mud/rut mode is reserved for uneven surfaces.
9. Trim, proper, and adding to the roster
Ford will offer the 2018 Expedition in XLT, Limited, and Platinum trims. Additionally, an XL version will be available to fleet customers, so law enforcement, emergency services, and other state-run agencies can benefit from this new chassis. Ford claims this will be one of five new SUVs coming to its North American vehicle lineup in the next four years. With a similar powertrain and controls at the ready, could we see a Raptor version emerge at some point? Hey, we can dream.
10. Made true with red, white, and blue
The all-new Expedition is slated to arrive this fall, and Ford says it will be 100% built at its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Regardless of your political affiliations, if you swear by “Buy American,” then this Ford’s for you.